Ex-BSJA chairman John Jacks has resigned from the association’s management board, in frustration over rapid change with “little or no consultation with the membership”.

In an official resignation letter to BSJA chairman Michael Mac, dated 6 March, Mr Jacks wrote: “I am not prepared to be a participant on a board that makes decisions without consulting the membership [or] board members who have relevant knowledge and experience.”

Mr Jacks resigned as chairman of the operations committee, but is still a member of the executive board. His concerns included insufficient consultation prior to financial adjustments to show categorisation, together with changes to style and performance classes (qualifying competitions will now be judged on performance only) without reference to him as instigator of the classes.

Saddened by Mr Jacks’s resignation, Michael Mac thanked him for “all his hard work”, but said he disagreed with the concerns raised, stressing that all decisions were “discussed properly”.

On the issue of consultation, he said the BSJA did “not go to the membership for permission” every time it made rule changes. Instead, he said members were widely consulted as part of research to determine the best way ahead for the sport.

Mr Mac said he could not agree with Mr Jacks’s comments that the BSJA was moving too quickly.

“The BSJA has been renowned in the past for moving too slowly — some say we’re moving quickly, but in my opinion we’re not moving quick enough,” said Mr Mac.

Mr Jacks told H&H his decision was regrettable, particularly since the BSJA adopted a smaller management board (eight members) during his chairmanship, in a bid to promote greater communication and consultation.

He said he was still in favour of a downsized board, following recommendations by a 2004 Deloitte and Touche modernisation review, but had concerns over how board members went about their duties.

“I feel the strategy is going awry — people are interpreting the responsibilities they have been given and are acting upon them without consultation,” said Mr Jacks. “It is the responsibility of the members of the executive board to look at this because they appoint the management board.”

Mr Jacks said a side concern dealt with infighting between some management board members over recent months.

In response, Mr Mac said it could boil down to a difference in opinion over healthy debate.

  • This news story was first published in Horse & Hound (23 March, ’06)
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