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Lady Caroline Tyrell will be the new President of Ponies (UK) for next year’s season.

In her new role, Lady Tyrell will support P(UK)’s campaign to promote the integrity of judges and will help develop a P(UK) Horse/Pony Judge’s Panel for 2006, which should help remove the confusion on competition criteria that is plaguing the shows.

Lady Tyrrell will bring a vast experience of many equestrian disciplines to the post, as she has successfully competed in point-to-point, showjumping, dressage, driving and, more recently, showing.

“She comes from cross-training, which we endorse. That cross training experience and her experience in the dressage world will be nothing but beneficial in setting up the Judge’s Panel,” says P(UK) Chairman Davina Whiteman, who sees Lady Tyrell spearheading the society’s campaign on the integrity of judges. “We see her as the leader of it, again because of her experience in the dressage world.”

A long-standing member of the Dressage Committee, Lady Tyrrell has been the Chairman of Jury Appeals for many years. She has been judging since she was twenty and now sits on a number of panels, including SHB(GB), BSHC & RH, Dressage and the BSPA.

But her judging duties haven’t quenched her thirst for competing and Lady Tyrrell still takes part in many shows. She considers winning Best Trained Horse Class at the British Hack & Cob Championships this year one of her greatest achievements. “Horses are an addiction – which may be better for your health than smoking and certainly more fun,” she says.

Meanwhile, Whiteman and the P(UK) Executive Board have announced at the company’s AGM last week that ground reparation works following the wet summer championships and a new computer system made a massive inroad in the P(UK) budget, affecting the margins for the year and raising financial challenges which will be addressed in 2005.

Despite this, P(UK) have “a positive vision for the future.” Educating judges, trainers and competitors on what makes good competition horses and ponies is central to their plans for next year, and a series of conferences and seminars will be held throughout 2005 to help address the issue of judging skills. Whiteman also confirmed that membership of P(UK) now includes Public Liability insurance while taking part in any P(UK) affiliated event.