David Holmes is to take over as the chief executive of British Eventing (BE).

He will take up the role on 1 May. David takes over from Olympic course-designer Mike Etherington-Smith who announced his intentions to step down in December.

Mike was in the role since 2009 and made the decision in order to devote more time to cross-country course designing and consultancy work, having scale back his designing work after the 2010 World Equestrian Games.

David was previously chief executive of British Dressage for nine years and is a BHSI and former Commanding Officer of The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

He was director of sport at both the FEI and at the Italian Equestrian Federation, for which he acted as chef d’equipe at several championships. He is currently a sports consultant, working with national governing sports bodies, and is still involved in riding and training.

“I’m delighted to have been chosen to take over such a mantle of responsibility and am very much looking forward to the job,” said David.

“Eventing has a wide spectrum of participants that enables it to happen on a daily basis, from volunteers, organisers and officials in the field to a great team at the office.

“I’m very much looking forward to being part of this amazing team, as well as to the current and future challenges of enabling the sport to be as enjoyable and safe as possible, and to helping shape a robust, clear strategy that will benefit all those concerned.”

BE chairman Paul Hodgson added: “I am delighted we have secured David, who will brings a wealth of experience to BE. It’s an exciting time for all and will take us forward in tackling the challenges ahead.”

Mr Hodgson said that BE will be conducting a review over the next three months to focus energy and resources on critical objectives.