British Equestrian Federation publishes Independent Review

The British Equestrian Federation today, 15 March, publishes, with the support of UK Sport and Sport England, the report of the Independent Review into the relationship between the BEF’s board, head office and member bodies during the period April 2016 to the appointment of the independent review panel on 13 October 2017. The then BEF board commissioned the review to fully understand and investigate issues raised by its former CEO, Clare Salmon, in July 2017. 

In summary, the independent review panel found that:

  • There had been a breakdown in relationships between the leadership of the BEF and member bodies, which was not exclusive to the period under investigation
  • Many of these relationship issues had arisen through lack of clarity about and acceptance of the role of the BEF
  • In relation to the key themes raised by the CEO on her resignation, certain actions during the period relevant to the review may be viewed objectively as bullying, elitism and arising from self interest; but there was no evidence of corruption.

The panel recommends that all stakeholders should focus on three key areas: identification of the role and responsibilities of the BEF; establishing strong leadership to effect change; and to maintain good governance, including the adoption of a Code of Conduct.

The full report can be found here

On behalf of the British Equestrian Federation, its Interim Chair Ed Warner says: “We are grateful for the work of the panel and accept, in full, the recommendations arising from its independent review, which identified difficulties in relationships within the BEF.

“It is now a priority for the BEF, which is under the leadership of both a new board of directors and executive management, to learn lessons from the past and ensure appropriate practices in future. We are committed to strong and transparent governance, which will be critical in ensuring the trust of all our stakeholders going forward.

“I come to the end of my tenure as Interim Chair shortly. I took on the role at the end of October 2017 to steer the Federation through a period of significant change. In that time, during which the panel was conducting its review, I have been impressed by how well the employees of the BEF, under the leadership of Interim CEO Nicki Kavanagh, and our member bodies have continued to work. I thank them for their commitment, particularly in securing a unanimous vote by our members in favour of the BEF’s new Articles of Association and putting all the measures in place to achieve compliance with UK Sport and Sport England’s A Code for Sports Governance.

“I have been encouraged by the collaboration I have experienced with our member bodies in recent months, and also their enthusiasm to work with the new board, the incoming permanent Chair and our new CEO, Nick Fellows, who joins the BEF later in March. This represents a fresh start for the organisation and I am sure British equestrianism will be all the stronger for it in the years ahead.”

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