British Showjumping (BS) is urging members to back plans to change the way it is run, to safeguard funding from UK Sport.

At today’s annual meeting (30 August) it is hoped members will vote for a new constitution, which would reduce the board of BS from 22 to eight people.

Chief executive Iain Graham has emailed members saying the changes are vital to ensure BS is “in the best position to obtain funding“.

The Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson has said that to secure grants, sporting organisations must create “smaller boards”.

British Eventing and British Dressage modernised in response to a report by consultants Deloitte in 2006.

But a previous attempt to reduce the size of the BS board in 2010 failed.

Members objected to the proposal that some figures would remain on the board. There was also concern about a perceived lack of involvement from grass-roots members.

But Mr Graham told H&H that those concerns had been addressed in the new plans.

“If this gets passed at the AGM, the whole board stands down in December,” he said.

Mr Graham said the new constitution included an elected members’ council -which would approve the new board. This would give people “a direct route to influence the way their sport is run”, he said.

Some BS members have responded to the proposals by airing grievances on Facebook.

Lia Peters said: “No one in BS has put anything into the middle or lower ranks”, while Jan Swailes complained that fees were too high.

Mr Graham said the planned members’ council would better represent the grass roots, with “a different make-up than there is on the board”.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (30 August 2012)