The British Equestrian Federation approved changes to its constitution at an Extraordinary General Meeting on 1 March.

Members voted for a new Memorandum and Articles of Association, which will provide “the legal framework for [the BEF’s] new corporate governance structure,” according to BEF Executive Officer Helen Huggett.

The new constitution sees the creation of a Council who will represent the Federation’s twelve member bodies and a Board of Directors who will develop and drive forward its strategic plan. Each director will be responsible for a specific area, from commercial affairs to sport development.

“This is a huge achievement,” says BEF Chairman Philip Billington. “Through hard work and real co-operation have we been able to agree and implement a new structure, which we hope will support the future work of the BEF and its member bodies. The existing Board will manage the transitional phase until our new Board of Directors is in place and operational.”

The BEF hopes to have the new directors in place by summer time. “What we are doing now is recruiting directors [who] will be now drawn from people who will have competencies to drive forward the strategic plan,” says Huggett.

The move is part of the BEF’s two-year modernisation strategy project, which was detailed in the far-reaching Stratford proposal published a year ago. The proposal enshrined “a radical redesign of the federation’s corporate governance structure,” according to Huggett, as well as detailing “recommendations leading to other things, such as maximising resources and improving the federation’s commercial standing.”

Although its impact may for now appear remote to most riders, the BEF says it will ultimately lead to a more efficient federation. “We hope that continuing to work closely with our member bodies, and among the member bodies themselves, will improve effectiveness with which the BEF is run,” says Huggett. “The Stratford proposal underpins greater efficiency.”

Candidates have until 31 March to apply for the new BEF directorships.