For those involved in dressage, Amanda Heath’s name will already be familiar, particularly with those in the South West region as she has been the Regional Development Officer in the area for the past 15 years. Her wealth of knowledge and business experience makes her ideally placed to take up the Sport Operations Manager role. This will initially be on a six month interim basis to ensure we have continuity in delivering our major projects between now and the end of the year.
Amanda has been involved in the sport in various capacities so understands the needs of BD’s stakeholder groups, from members to organisers, officials, committees and beyond. The delivery of the IT project for our sport operations, implementation of the championships strategy and the streamlining of rules have been identified by the BD Board as the key operational priorities for this year and Amanda has the skillset to manage these effectively when she starts on 1 June.
Charlotte Osborne joins BD after two years at the British Equestrian Federation (BEF), where she has been Participation Manager. Responsible for a regional team, Charlotte has delivered a number of key initiatives to increase numbers taking part in equestrianism including ‘Give Horses a Go’ and ‘Take Up the Reins’, as well as fan activity around the Rio 2016 Olympics and Paralympics.
Recently, Charlotte has also covered coaching in her BEF role and has been instrumental in supporting the development of the new UKCC qualifications. This experience, combined with her background as a lecturer, as well as a passion for dressage as a competitor and trainee judge, give Charlotte the tools and knowledge needed to take on the Training and Education role from 3 July.
Together with two new appointments within our Training and Education team, Charlotte will help BD to deliver a range of initiatives that will support the development of our coaches and judges.
BD members in Wales will also be welcoming a new face from July when Mari O’Connor starts maternity cover for our Regional Development Officer Vanessa Archer. Based in Colwyn Bay, Mari has worked with her mother Sioned as the driving force behind Penrhyd Dressage and has been a freelance riding instructor for seven years. Mari has been heavily involved in the region as a volunteer in areas like camps, clinics and fundraising events so has first-hand experience of all the activities and work Vanessa has introduced since joining BD in January last year.
BD Chief Executive Jason Brautigam commented;
“BD is at a pivotal point in its development, with membership and participation growing rapidly. While losing experienced and knowledgeable team members like Paul Graham and Jo Brown at the same time is not ideal, I’m confident that Amanda and Charlotte are the right people to help us continue the evolution process as we take British Dressage onto the next level and we’re excited to welcome them to our head office team.
“On behalf of our Welsh community, I’d like to wish Vanessa and her husband all the best on their impending arrival and to welcome Mari to the organisation. I am sure that the knowledge and experience that all three of these new appointments will bring will enable Mari, Amanda and Charlotte to hit the ground running.
“As a team, we’re striving to develop dressage into a modern, forward looking sport with abundant opportunities for all and I look forward to sharing this vision with our new names, alongside our fantastic existing staff, as we all work together to write the next chapter of BD.”