The allocation to show centres of this year’s BSJA qualifiers is in question pending resolution of a clause in the association’s constitution that prevents board members from gaining any remuneration or benefit in connection with the BSJA.
The BSJA is worried the clause may mean directors whose show centres are allocated qualifiers are breaking company law. Several directors, including Douglas Bunn, Michael Mac, Peter Gillespie and David Broome, are connected with top venues that have hosted qualifiers in the past, such as Hickstead, Wales and the West and Vicarage Farm.
The question, raised by members, was to be reviewed last October but was postponed pending further enquiries into the legal situation. The matter will hopefully be resolved at an EGM in May; meanwhile, several qualifiers, including a Horse & Hound Foxhunter semi-final and two junior Premier Shows, have yet to be allocated.
BSJA spokesman Jacky Knightley explains: “We’ve had to re-evaluate whether it is correct to allocate qualifiers to centres in which directors have an interest. We’ve taken legal advice and this sort of thing could be perceived as a benefit, so are investigating it further.
“We don’t want to lose the expertise on the board: if the clause stays as it is, anybody with a perceived vested interest may have to resign. You could almost stop the sport if you interpret it to the nth degree.”