Major event organiser appointed new British Eventing chief executive

  • Long-standing Bicton organiser Helen West will take up the mantle as British Eventing (BE) chief executive this summer.

    Helen, who has a strong background in horse sport, has managed Bicton Arena for Clinton Devon Estates for the last eight years and will leave her role there to take up the BE position in August.

    Helen said she is “thrilled” to be appointed, and that the sport has been a large part of her life for many years.

    “As a membership organisation, collaboration with key stakeholders is essential to developing growth within the sport and providing a sustainable business model for the future,” she said. “This requires both knowledge and vision, which I will bring to the organisation. My vision is for the sport to unite together and thrive.”

    She will take over from outgoing chief executive Jude Matthews on 2 August. Jude’s departure was announced in January, and she remains in post while her notice is served.

    Helen is a former winner of the Eventing Riders Association Organiser of the Year for her involvement at Bicton Horse Trials, which runs three times a year from BE80 to CCI3*. This year it has also stepped in to host a four-star fixture in June, following Bramham’s cancellation, plus a new BE90 three-day event.

    She is also a former young rider European team gold medallist, who has evented up to CCI3* (now CCI4*-L) and continues to compete in her spare time, is a FEI level three cross-country course designer and a member of the BE cross-country advisory group.

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    A statement from BE said Helen’s business acumen, extensive knowledge of the sport and her vision for BE stood out.

    BE board chairman Fiona O’Hara said they are “very much looking forward to working with Helen”.

    “Her deep understanding of all facets of the sport and her vision for its future make her an outstanding choice for chief executive,” said Ms O’Hara.

    “We would also like to pay tribute to Jude Matthews who has worked incredibly hard as the outgoing chief executive to guide the sport through the Covid pandemic. We wish Jude every success in the next chapter of her career.”

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