‘I’ve loved every minute’: BHS chief executive retires after six years

British Horse Society (BHS) chief executive Lynn Petersen has announced she is retiring after six years in the job.

Ms Petersen said she had “loved every minute” of her time at the helm of the charity, membership of which has grown by 43% during that time.

“The time has come for me to move on and forge another path, and to retire from the post of CEO,” she said in an email to members today (12 March).

“I have loved being your CEO. Together we have moved the society forward in so many ways – membership, education, welfare, safety, access. Today we are better and stronger in every way.

“We have learned that change is a fundamental part of life… and so it is with the role of CEO. It is time for an exciting change for the society.”

Ms Petersen said membership income has increased by more than 70% during her time as CEO, adding that the charity’s income has “never been stronger, ensuring we can serve the needs of a growing number of horses and riders”.

“With the growth in membership and income we have witnessed a growth in professional staff of 60% since 2013 all of whom seek to support over 1,000 volunteers across the UK,” she said. “Without their efforts and dedication, the BHS could not have experienced such remarkable growth and success.”

Ms Petersen mentioned the upgrading of the BHS education system, which she said has led to a 53% increase in the number of candidates, and said this year the BHS Challenge Awards will be launched, allowing leisure riders to qualify for 26 different titles.

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She cited the 2018 launch of BHS on the move, a “travelling classroom” that will continue to deliver training and education nationally, the Dead or Dead Slow road safety campaign and the successful Changing Lives Through Horses scheme, as well as the BHS’s work on access to safe off-road riding.

“With the evident success of the BHS over the past six years has come a renaissance in the influence of the BHS within the UK’s equine community. The wise counsel of the society is now actively sought within industry associations and, most importantly, government.

“I have loved every minute of serving you, our members, and the horses of the United Kingdom. Thank you very much for the opportunity.”

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