British Equestrian opens recruitment process for ‘once in a lifetime opportunity’

  • British Equestrian (BEF) is offering a “once in a lifetime opportunity” position as it recruits for a new independent chair following the announcement that Malcolm Wharton is to step down.

    “After four years at the helm, our chairman Malcolm Wharton CBE, has taken the difficult decision not to stand for a second term to give him more time to enjoy other pursuits,” read a BEF statement today (20 December).

    A BEF spokesman said Malcolm has had a “major impact” on the federation – its headquarters and all members – “steering us through difficult times including Covid, and he has been an excellent support to the team”.

    “With the organisation in good health under a strong board and a group of focused staff, Malcolm feels he can step down with confidence but will remain in position until a suitable replacement is appointed,” he said.

    A recruitment process, conducted with advisers Perrett Laver, has opened to find the next independent chair of the BEF board.

    “The appointment comes at a critical and exciting time for the equestrian sports and activities we represent,” said the spokesman.

    “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for an individual with the vision, purpose and commitment to drive the long-term sustainability of equestrianism in the UK.”

    The spokesman added that the new chair will be in a “unique position” to build links and relationships across the British and international equine and broader sports sector, supporting the common interests of BEF member bodies, and “continuing to develop our reputation as a leading nation for equine sports” while also encouraging growth in equestrianism across the UK.

    The immediate priority for the successful candidate will be helping to support teams at Paris 2024, deputising for outgoing chair Malcolm when necessary and “ensuring a smooth transition”.

    “Looking further ahead, the chair will be integral in helping maintain strong relationships with a varied stakeholder group ensuring that British equestrian sports remain well positioned for the LA Olympic and Paralympic cycle and beyond,” said the spokesman.

    “In addition, the chair will be fundamental in driving partnership with our diverse membership bodies to achieve our common goals. As the equestrian landscape continues to evolve, we must continue to safeguard the interests of both human and horse, while also driving forward with our diversity and inclusion agenda, working with our members to help engage a wider audience.

    “It is crucial to us that our new chair is an inclusive leader who shares our commitment to enable us to deliver the ambitions set out in our new diversity and inclusion strategy.”

    To find out more about the role and to apply visit https://www.britishequestrian.org.uk/about-us/vacancies. Applications close at midnight on 14 January.

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