Desi Dillingham to Act as Special Advisor for Dressage Canada
Equine Canada is extremely pleased to be able to announce that Desi Dillingham, MBE, has graciously accepted the role of Special Advisor (Dressage).
“We are thrilled to have Desi working with us at this crucial time for Dressage in Canada, said Jean-Christophe Gandubert, CEO of Equine Canada. "Her energy, drive and knowledge will help us set new standards and get back on track in this challenging international setting.”
While working with the organization, Dillingham’s wealth and expansive connections into the international equestrian industry recognizes an incredible opportunity for organizational growth both in fundraising and through a broadened global perspective.
“I am delighted to be involved with Dressage in Canada. I believe Canada has the talent and with transparency, trust and teamwork, I feel we can make our mark on the global scene. I have a passion for the sport and the more nations that participate successfully worldwide only help us to strengthen our place at the Olympic and World Championship level.”
Dillingham was born in Montreal with a pony waiting and the first 20 plus years were filled with competing, eventing and hunting. Dillingham’s family was involved in the Canadian horse world in the twentieth century; her mother being Pam Dillingham and her aunt, Barbara Kemp, was the first woman ever to design and build an Olympic cross country course (Montreal 1976).
Transferred to England with a Canadian Recruitment company for one year term in 1973 changed her life – one year turned into 40. Dillingham was lured to Dressage by Jennie Loriston-Clarke whom she sponsored for 18 years. In the early ‘80s she began fundraising for the British Equestrian Olympic Team and started helping out with marketing and sponsorship within the sport of Dressage, while running her own recruitment business. Dillingham was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Writtle College (University of Essex) for her services to the Equestrian World in 2001.
In the mid-1990s the structure of the British Equestrian Federation changed with the onslaught of Lottery Funding/World Class. Dillingham took over the voluntary role of turning British Dressage into a viable company – a six month assignment which turned into ten years (1997 – 2007) Dillingham served as President of the British Horse Society from 2007 to 2011. In 2009 she was awarded a MBE (Member of the British Empire) by her Majesty the Queen, for her services to the equestrian sector (Dressage).