British equestrianism boss steps down after 16 months

The British Equestrian Federation (BEF) chief executive is standing down, less than 18 months into the role.

The BEF announced today (18 July) that Nick Fellows is leaving to “explore other opportunities”. British Showjumping (BS) chief executive Iain Graham is to take over as interim CEO.

BEF chairman Mohamed Elsarky said: “On behalf of the board I would like to thank Nick for the work he has undertaken since he joined the BEF, and I wish him well for the future.”

Mr Fellows, a former chief executive of the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association who has previously worked with British Shooting and the British Olympic Association, took on the role in March 2018. His appointment came after previous CEO Clare Salmon resigned in July 2017, a year into the job.

The BEF said it wanted to make the transition “as smooth as possible”, so approached Mr Graham, who has been CEO of BS for nine years and had previously worked for British Eventing and Horse Scotland.

Mr Elsarky said: “Since the independent review in 2018, and during my time as chair of the board, we have established a strong collaborative culture across the federation and its member bodies. Iain brings a wealth of experience as a leader with a proven track record in equestrian both within the UK and internationally. We thank BS for releasing Iain to support British equestrianism in this capacity”.

Mr Graham added “I am really excited about taking up this opportunity, working with the BEF and its member bodies as we head into the final qualifying period for Tokyo.”

Mr Graham will remain BS chief executive.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he told H&H. “I think it’s a good opportunity for us. We as member bodies have been working more closely with the federation so hopefully we can continue that journey.

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“I want to support BEF staff, help them deliver on previous funding commitments and continue to build relationships with funding partners, and ensure continued close working with the FEI and the European Equestrian Federation.

“The priority for dressage, para dressage and eventing is to keep moving towards Tokyo, and use all opportunities between now and then as well as we can, for jumping to secure qualification, and for the member bodies to continue working across them to improve the federation.

“I’m very fortunate to have a really good team of staff at BS who can pick up in my absence, and I’m confident they will.”

More information on the recruitment process for a new CEO will be announced “at a future date”.

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