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British Eventing boss to leave this weekend after resignation

British Eventing (BE) chief executive David Holmes has resigned, after nearly four years in the post.

Mr Holmes will leave the organisation at the end of March, BE members were told in an email this afternoon (26 March).

“I have very much enjoyed my time working as CEO of British Eventing,” said Mr Holmes.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone with whom I have worked over the last four years — the team of staff in the office and regionally, volunteers, organisers, officials, owners and sponsors; a key part of what has motivated me to drive forward great change in our sport is working with such a committed, hardworking and inspiring group of people.

“I am intending to move abroad to Italy later in the year.”

Mr Holmes took over the role from Mike Etherington-Smith on 1 May 2015. He was was previously chief executive at British Dressage for nine years and is a former commanding officer of the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery. He has also spent time as director of sport at the FEI and the Italian equestrian federation.

During his time at BE, Britain has won World team and individual gold (2018) as well as multiple European and youth team medals.

Mr Holmes also served as Team GBR’s chef de mission for the full British equestrian squad competing at last year’s World Equestrian Games.

There have also been trickier patches, with ongoing issues surrounding the pricey IT project, an extraordinary general meeting sparked by a motion of no confidence last autumn and rumblings of discontent over the new international and championship fixtures tendering process.

BE board chairman Fiona O’Hara added: “On behalf on the board not only do we wish David well for the future but also thank him for his contribution to the sport during his time as [chief executive].”

A statement from BE added a replacement has not yet been appointed, and further details will be released “in due course”.

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A further update from Ms O’Hara on the BE website said the organisation has put transitionary arrangements in place with the board and management team while they look for a new chief executive.

“2019 has seen the much-anticipated website launch and with each week this is becoming increasingly stable as fixes and updates are made,” she said, thanking members for all their feedback and patience.

“I would also like particularly to thank the team in the office, who have continued to demonstrate their huge commitment and been unfailingly helpful to members who have contacted them.

“Looking ahead, we will continue to invest in IT and we will shortly announce the results of the fixtures review for 2020.

“I know there will be some disappointment, however this review was driven by the international and championship calendar and was also needed to ensure we have a geographically balanced and financially viable fixture list that will ensure the long term future of the sport.”

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