‘There is still more to do’: British Eventing appoints chief executive

British Eventing’s (BE) interim chief executive Jude Matthews will take up position permanently from 1 July.

Ms Matthews was appointed to the interim role following the sudden departure of David Holmes at the end of March.

A grassroots event rider, she served on the BE board as a non-executive director for a year before taking on the interim CEO position. She also has more than 17 years of experience with companies including KPMG, Hanson PLC and Hargreaves Landsown PLC.

She said she is “thrilled” with her appointment.

“The past few months have been both challenging and rewarding,” she said.

“There has been a lot to address, and we know there is still more to do. It is exciting to be working with such a strong team, and I look forward to the opportunity to move the sport forward.”

Paul Graham takes up the role of chief sporting officer and he will report directly to Ms Matthews, as will chief operating officer Wendy McGowan.

“I’m excited to be back with British Eventing,” said Mr Graham.

“For me this is a real opportunity to engage and listen to our members. We have so much passion in eventing and I want to channel that to innovate and invigorate the strategic direction of the sport.

“I’m looking forward to working with the board, head office and regional teams in order to drive the sports growth and development.”

Mr Graham has 18 years’ experience in sports management and has evented up to CCI3*-L (formerly CCI2*). He worked at BE from 2001 to 2011 and recently came back as acting sport manager. He has also spent six years as British Dressage’s sport operations manager, worked at British Triathlon and ran a sport consultancy business whose clients included Bolesworth, Liverpool and Badminton.

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Chairman of the board Fiona O’Hara said she is “delighted” to welcome the pair into their new roles.

“Their business and sports knowledge combined with Wendy’s experience provides BE with a balanced and talented leadership team that will drive collaboration, openness and growth across the sport,” she said. “I and the board are very much looking forward to working with them.”

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