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BRITISH DRESSAGE STATEMENT: Chairman to stand down

Posted on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 by Sasha Melia

It is with much regret that British Dressage must announce that our Chairman, Penny Pollard, will be standing down from her position at the Annual General Meeting on 20 September 2018 due to ongoing invasive treatment for cancer.

Penny has served five years as Chairman and is two years through her second four year term having served six years previously as Marketing Director.

Penny commented; “I’ve dedicated ten years as a Board level volunteer in this amazing sport, but the time has come for me to put myself first.  I’m obviously disappointed as I’d like to have seen out my full term, having achieved so much with the support of the wonderful team within British Dressage.  Last year was particularly challenging for many reasons, although it was testament to what great team work, strong partnerships and resilience can achieve – and I for one wanted to continue that momentum forward.

“However, I now need to focus on the immediate future and spend time with my loved ones and friends.  I’ll still be right behind the sport supporting all the great work that goes on and no one will be cheering more loudly to celebrate our successes, but now I have to take a step back.  I’d like to thank everyone for the support they’ve given to me personally over the last decade, it’s meant a lot and helped drive me to really make a difference.”

As the timeframe to nominate candidates for election has passed, arrangements are currently being made to enable the appointment of an Interim Chairman at the British Dressage Annual General Meeting in September.  The Board of Directors will propose a suitable interim appointment to hold the position for a 12 month period only, to be approved by members at the AGM.  Further details will follow with an updated Notice of AGM, in accordance with the BD Articles of Association, once an appropriate candidate has been identified and agreed.

Chief Executive Jason Brautigam said; “This is a massive blow and a terribly sad announcement for everyone involved with British Dressage.  Penny’s energy, drive and enthusiasm have inspired the Board, staff and volunteers of BD beyond measure.  She has dedicated countless hours to help shape the future of the sport, modernise our processes and instigated culture change to make us a much more professional and financially secure organisation.

“Many will have only seen Penny out and about at events, but her commitment to British Dressage has been incredible, putting in so much work behind the scenes, often at all hours.  Personally, she’s helped me enormously in my role and has been a great mentor, providing tremendous support.  A simple thank you isn’t enough and words really can’t express my gratitude.  We will all miss Penny very much but entirely respect her decision, it’s important now that she focuses on looking after herself and spends some quality time with her family and friends.”

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