Latest equestrian industry appointments

  • UK Sport

    Nicky Roche, a non-executive director of British Showjumping has been appointed to the board of UK Sport.

    Nicky Roche said: “I am delighted to have been appointed to the UK Sport Board. I hope to bring both my passion and experience of working at the heart of Government on the high performance sport brief around London 2012 and most recently as the CEO in charge of overseeing the government’s investment in the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart, to support the work of UK Sport.”


    Laura Dolphin has been promoted to the role of Dengie national sales manager after three years with the company.

    An equine science graduate, she will take responsibility for Dengie’s UK sales team.

    Laura was previously north west and wales area sales manager.

    “I am thrilled with my new job and really looking forward to the challenges that it will bring,” said Laura. “I’ve inherited a strong and experienced team who are all highly focused and extremely dynamic.

    “Our products are highly respected by the equestrian community and it feels great to be associated with a range of fibre feeds that are so widely acknowledged to benefit the health and wellbeing of all horses and ponies.”

    Mark Davies Injured Riders

    Nina Barbour and Claire O’Donnell are now vice presidents for the Mark Davies Injured Riders Fund.

    International show-jumper Nina has evented herself up to CCI*** level and runs annual Bolesworth International Show as well as the Harthill Stud. Nina is well aware of the potential dangers of riding and is a strong believer in the important work MDIRF does.

    Claire has a wealth of business experience running her own interior design company and has been riding all her life.

    Nina and Claire join a strong team of committed trustees and patron Zara Phillips who all work together to assist injured riders.

    The British Horseracing Authority

    Brant Dunshea has been appointed as the newly created role of head of raceday operations. He joins from the role as chief operating officer for Harness Racing Victoria (HRV), where he also previously held roles as general manager of integrity, chairman of stewards and senior stipendiary steward over a period of 20 years.

    Jamie Stier, director of raceday operations and regulation for BHA, said: “We are delighted to welcome someone of Brant’s calibre to what is a crucial, senior and high-profile position. His expertise in all of the relevant business areas, including the operational management of racing events and a proven track record of the delivery of improvement to regulatory services, made him the outstanding candidate from what was an exceptionally high standard of applications.”

    Welsh Pony and Cob Society

    Roo Johnstone is the new secretary for the Welsh Pony and Cob Society. He joined in mid-January.

    “The show and sale season starts soon and what with elections for new trustees and the AGM at the end of March, it’s a busy time of year to join,” said Roo.

    “The Society benefits from solid membership and expert staff in the office. My aims are to bolster services and benefits offered to members, to raise the Society’s profile within the equine world and increase interest from those who have so far had little to do with Welsh ponies and cobs.”

    Building on the Society’s charitable aims – education and welfare – are also key elements of Roo’s tenure.

    The society has recently recruited Ed Gummery as Honorary National Welfare Co-ordinator while recruitment for honorary regional welfare officers is set to begin.


    Mark Newman is the new sales development manager of Ariat Europe.

    He was previously key account manager for Cat footwear.

    “Ariat’s expansion into the country lifestyle market is a great opportunity for the brand to secure a premium position in this channel, while showcasing the performance features and technology aspects of the brand.” Mark states

    “I am very much looking forward to working with some of the most dedicated and professional teams in the market,” Mark goes on to say. “With total focus on both retailer and consumer support, Ariat remains true to the brand’s heritage and offers the highest standard of sales, training and customer service I have seen.”

    Arena Racing Company

    Arena Racing Company (ARC) has appointed Stephen Higgins into the newly created role of property director. Stephen is now on the board of ARC and took up the role on 1 January.

    Stephen, a trained chartered surveyor, was previously managing director of Newbury racecourse, and before that Wincanton racecourse.

    “Having extensive knowledge of managing large property developments and a passion for British racing I am very much looking forward to joining ARC and helping contribute to its investment across its racecourses,” he said.

    Guards Polo Club

    Guards Polo Club has appointed Antony Fanshawe as polo manager from the start of the 2015 season. Antony is a former high-goal player, who has competed in some of the sport’s biggest tournaments – including the Queen’s Cup and Gold Cup.

    “This really is the number one job in polo and to take up the reins at such an auspicious time for the Club is incredible,” he said.

    “I have played many times at Smith’s Lawn throughout my career at all levels and cannot wait to be involved in the day-to-day management of so many world class fixtures and grounds. This year is my 30th anniversary of playing polo and there could not be a more fitting way for me to celebrate such an anniversary than by becoming polo manager.”

    Veterinary Thermal Imagining

    Veterinary Thermal Imaging (VTI) has welcomed Laura Ball to its team of thermographers. Laura is based in Lancashire and will be covering Lancashire and the Greater Manchester area.

    Helen Morrell, managing director of VTI said: “With such an impressive equestrian background and a passion for dogs and cats too, we know that she’ll get on well with all the animals that our service images. “Having Laura positioned in Lancashire means that customers in the surrounding area will now be able to enjoy reduced travel fees, making thermal imaging by VTI even more affordable.”


    Probiotic supplements supplier Protexin has two new territory managers.

    Kirsty Holmes, who’s covering the south-east, was previously the manager at Ingatestone Saddlery Centre in Essex for nearly six years and Jessica Bowen, covering the south-west of England and South Wales.

    Ascot racecourse

    Guy Henderson has been appointed new chief executive effective of Ascot racecourse, succeeding Charles Barnett, who is retiring.

    Johnny Weatherby, Chairman at Ascot, said: “Guy has had an outstanding career as a commercial lawyer demonstrating skills ideally suited to the multi-faceted role that chief executive of Ascot now demands.

    “He also has a longstanding interest in racing as a racegoer, owner and most recently as a Board member and now as chairman of Wincanton racecourse.

    “Guy has the skills and experience to build on the legacy that Charles Barnett will leave. Under Charles’s leadership, Ascot has become Europe’s undisputed flagship racecourse and Guy’s brief is to build on this success by further enhancing our sporting and commercial operations. Charles’s expertise will be available to Guy during the handover period.”

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