British Showjumping’s (BS) members’ council has approved a streamlined board of eight non-executive directors from 29 March.

This change in constitution comes more than seven years after a report by financial services firm Deloitte identified a need for a business-based and much smaller board at the helm.

Several previous attempts have failed and past board members had come under fire for claiming hefty expenses.

Last August, members voted to reduce the size of the board from 22 after chief executive Iain Graham stressed that the changes were needed to secure funding from UK Sport ahead of Rio 2016.

The old board stood down last November, and the organisation has been run by an interim management board.

Mr Graham said: “We’ve moved from a cumbersome board structure to one that will enable us to adapt as the world is changing, and to comply with the Government’s sport recommendations.”

The non-executive board is a voluntary position. They will meet every six weeks to discuss strategy and policy. The board will work with the 32-strong elected members’ council, whose role is as “a two-way interface between the board and the membership”.

New BS chairman Les Harris said he felt “extremely fortunate… to be in a position where we now have a board of highly regarded and enthused professionals looking after the governance of the sport.”

Mr Graham credited the Olympics as having raised the profile of sport. He had encouraged prominent business people — such as London 2012 director of operations Nicky Roche — to volunteer.

“The buzz is still there; sport is on the agenda,” he said.

This news story was first published in Horse & Hound magazine (21 March 2013)