British Eventing has elected Mike Tucker as its new chairman at the first meeting of the new BE Board, which took place on 30 November.
Tucker succeeds Jane Holderness-Roddam, who will become the association’s first ever President. He was unanimously elected for a two-year tenure by the nine board directors, including outgoing chairman Holderness-Roddam and newly-elected board member Alexandra Fox.
“I’m obviously delighted to take up the chairmanship following Mandy Stibbe and Jane’s excellent work,” Tucker says. “The sport has a lot to be proud of and the huge steps made in the last few years will leave a lasting legacy.
“However, the time for further development is now – Olympic medals, an enhanced media profile, increased participation levels and a strong executive team, all point to further success for us but there is much work to be done to capitalise on these opportunities.”
A former international competitor, Tucker has been involved in eventing for more than 30 years. He was a member of the Horse Trials Committee between 1972 and 1986, and a reserve at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. A year later, he and his wife Angela launched the first Tetbury Horse Trials, which they continued to run until 1992.
Tucker then joined the Senior Selection Committee for two terms and was Chairman of the Fixtures Committee. He also embarked on a successful career as an equestrian sports commentator for the BBC, but this didn’t prevent him from keeping an active role within BE. In 1999, he took over the Chairmanship of the Safety Committee from Hugh Thomas and was co-opted to the association’s Board.
Tucker runs the Windsor Horse Trials, but he may decide to relinquish the role now that he is BE’s new chairman. When he threw “his hat into the ring” for the chairmanship earlier this year, he said that he was ready to “reschedule his life” to suit the position: “There are bonuses to being out and about and seeing other sports, so I will keep commentating, but it’s possible I’d step down from Windsor.”
Perhaps because he has been a commentator for many years, Tucker sees improving BE’s communications strategy as one of his top priorities. “As a membership organisation it is vital that we get our communication processes up to date to ensure regular, open and beneficial information is shared,” he says. “It is also important that communication is both ways – to and from our customers and I will endeavour to ensure that there is a noticeable improvement for all concerned.”
BE has also appointed 1972 Olympic gold medallist Richard Meade as Vice President.