Olympic course-designer Mike Etherington-Smith is to step down from his position as chief executive of British Eventing (BE).

Mike, who has been in the post since 2009, will stand down in six months time. He has made the decision in order to devote more time to cross-country course designing and consultancy work, having scaled back his designing work after being responsible for the track at the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

Among his other high-profile course-design jobs, Mike was designer at at the 2000 and 2008 Olympic Games.

“It’s no secret that my first love is being out and about on cross-country courses and I have been offered some more designing opportunities, including at the Adelaide four-star in Australia,” said Mike.

“It was a really tough decision to leave BE, but I feel that now is a good time for someone else to take over the reins.

“I’ve really enjoyed the job, which has been a real privilege, and would like to thank everyone in the sport, especially the staff at BE, for their commitment and support. I will always be more than happy to continue to help and advise where needed.”

BE chairman Hugh Thomas added: “Mike has done an outstanding job leading his team.

“I quite understand his desire to do more course-design while he’s still able, but we will certainly miss him a lot.”

Mike was previously event director at Blenheim, from 1990-2006 and Chatsworth from 1999-2007.
BE has said the position will be advertised “in due course”.