Storm brews over eventing funds

The British Horse Society and British Eventing are in a legal wrangle over ownership of £800,000

An ongoing feud between the British Horse Society (BHS) and British Eventing (BE) over money eventing’s governing body says is due to it after the sporting disciplines broke away from the BHS has escalated.

The BHS has taken the unusual step of issuing a statement suggesting that it will “strenuously resist” any actionby BE to claim the cash.

British Eventing (then known as the Horse Trials Group) was a division of the BHS until 1996, when the Charities Commission decided that it was inappropriate for the sporting disciplines to be part of a charitable body.

Members voted to establish the British Horse Trials Association (now known as BE) as a separate governing body under the umbrella of the British Equestrian Federation and agreed to forfeit £800,000 of its reserves to the BHS, as the Charities Commission ruled that the assets were subject to charitable trust rules and could not be transferred to a non-charitable organisation.

BE chief executive Peter Durrant said: “I am rather surprised and disappointed that the BHS has decided to go public on what I consider to be a private matter between our two organisations at this stage.

“We are satisfied that the retained funds properly belong to British Eventing and oncethe Charity Commissioners have been appraised of the facts they will authorise the transfer of the funds back to BE.”

The issue is now in the hands of the lawyers, and because of this, Peter Durrant declined to comment further at this stage.

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