Two new directors have joined the National Equine Database (NED) since the organisation was criticised over lack of studbook representation on the board.

Last month Jane Holderness-Roddam, owner of West Kington Stud, and Lynne Crowden, chairman of the lead body for British Sport Horses and Ponies, were asked to join the board.

In September, the NED appointed Corrina Duncan, who founded Equine AI,and Julia Hodkin who runs Future Sport Horses as directors.

But critics called the decision “inappropriate”, saying they could gain from “inside information” — a claim the NED disputed (news, 16 October 2008).

But NED spokesman Jan Rogers said the recent appointments by the British Equestrian Federation (BEF) were not in direct response to criticism.

“Corrina stepped down to have a baby and we felt Jane and Lynne’s skills complemented each other,” she said.

Ms Crowden, who is secretary of the Warmblood Breeders Studbook, said: “We have a lot of work to do to improve the pedigree data in the NED and I hope to be able to explain clearly and simply to British studbooks what this means and how by supplying data we can help breeders make better choices.”

Ms Holderness-Roddam is chairman of the Riding for the Disabled Association, president of British Eventing and an International Equestrian Federation (FEI) technical delegate.

The BEF hopes she will improve relations between the NED and horse owners.

Last October, John Shenfield, secretary of the British Hanoverian Horse Society, was critical about a lack of studbook representation at the NED.

Now he tells H&H: “It’s good to see the board being expanded.”

The NED contains information on over a million horses, ponies and donkeys and has details of every passport issued by a UK passport issuing organisation (PIO).

Visit www.nedonline.co.uk

This article was first published in Horse & Hound (6 August, ’09)