British Equestrian Federation Under Investigation for Alleged Bullying, Elitism, Corruption

 
Tue, 10/17/2017 - 09:08
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Carl Hester on Nip Tuck at the 2017 European Dressage Championships
Photo © Astrid Appels
British Dressage News

The British Equestrian Federation has come under investigation for alleged bullying, elitism and corruption.  On Friday 13 October 2017, BEF announced the launch of an independent review following concerns raised by the outgoing Chief Executive Clare Salmon.

On 13 July Salmon announced her resignation as CEO and in her resignation letter Salmon raised significant and serious concerns about culture, governance and the interaction of some of the Member Bodies.

Joanne Shaw, chair of the BEF board of directors, agreed that Salmon's concerns were legitimate and her questions need to be answered, so an independent investigation was commissioned. The company Sport Resolutions has been commissioned to carry out this investigation and they published the Terms of Reference on 13 October. Sport Resolutions includes John Mehrzad, Sharon Scotson, and Ben Ewart on its panel of investigators.

The BEF is heavily funded with 15.5 million GBP of public money by UK Sport. BEF is an umbrella organisation covering 15 full and three  associate bodies involved in British equestrian sport, from British Eventing to the Pony Club. British Dressage, Show Jumping and Eventing are amongst the bodies.

According to The Telegraph, "issues have ranged from Carl Hester, coach to Charlotte Dujardin and a leading figure in British dressage, suggesting his sport lost sponsors after they were leant on to make up the ensuing financial shortfall, to those in eventing lamenting the enforced redundancy of a  number of coaches on the junior programme. Further strain was caused by the BEF’s embrace of Sheikh Maktoum’s sponsorship of the UK Endurance Masters held this summer in Euston Park, Suffolk. This offered prize money of £1,768,900 for horses competing in cross country races of up to 80km in duration. There was widespread dismay at the connection after six horses died in an endurance event held in Dubai in January."

British show jumper Nick Skelton also attacked Clare Salmon in an interview in Horse and Hound, deriding her business background and lack of equestrian feel. "“There appears to be a growing trend for non-horsey people to run the sport and it’s a disaster. You can have all the credentials and qualifications in the world, but the bottom line is that those at the helm need to know horses inside out," Skelton stated.

Any persons wishing to contact Sport Resolutions confidentially or submit a Pro Forma (deadline for submissions is 3 November 2017) can do so via a dedicated mailbox - via befreview@sportresolutions.co.uk – further contact information for Sport Resolutions can be located on their website.

Photos © Astrid Appels

Related Links
Clare Salmon Resigns as Chief Executive of the British Equestrian Federation
Clare Salmon Appointed New CEO of British Equestrian Federation 

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