Another British Horse Society c**k-up

ViolettaTears

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Whatever happens tomorrow the Vote of No Confidence is a game changer for the board and directors of the BHS. It's likely due to the
inaccurate information in the letters from the Chairman that uninformed members will back the board.

By the way Forum readers, news has just got to us from a very good source that some of the directors are refusing to follow the COO as acting CE and as a result she isn't going for the job but two other directors are. We beg of you trustees and chairman, please hire externally otherwise the changes that are needed will not happen. We all know that the Chairman was internally promoted over and over again at Wellington, to take the top job, but what's good for Wellington isn't good for the BHS.

Fresh thinking and focus is needed to make huge cultural changes, which includes parting company with the personnel director who is one of the biggest problems stopping you moving forward.

It will be interesting to see how many numbers the 'minority' actually turn out to be in voting terms, more than 45??????
 

JanetGeorge

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Well - a result. We knew the Vote woud not be passed - the Chairman has full access to ALL members. When you consider that a mere 5% of members bothered to vote, that makes the figures even more of a warning to the BHS. 829 members - 15% of the members who had bothered attending or giving proxies supported the Vote of No Confidence. From reports I have had, the meeting was a shambles with NO control of members on the Chairman's side. Members who had real concerns were shouted down by known 'puppets' of the Chairman - or people with their own agenda. Of course, the standard letter went out to members in his usual self-congratulatory style. I doubt the video recording will ever be seen by members. We await Minutes (not holding breath.) All I can say is thank goodness the proposed changes to the AoA on 5th January did not get passed - otherwise the BHS would be stuck with the sme Chairman for another 3 years, God forbid!

The fight for change will continue!
 

Themis

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In my opinion, the general meeting was the "live performance" of everything I have experienced first hand and heard from others about the BHS "leadership and governance". A disorganised, dismissive, disrespectful din of denial. It opened with reading a letter from the Charity Commission (not in my opinion relevant to the stated business of the meeting), an esteemed Fellow being interrupted mid sentence by an obviously rude person who was supported by the mob seated around him who shouted and clapped loudly supporting him. (Did anybody recognise any of those people?) Chair lost control of the meeting as did the facilitator. Chairman spoke of rebutting the comments from members. And the Board either sat stone faced or responded by refuting the truths of members. A decent proposal for a way forward was put forward but lost in the noise. Let's hope it is found again. And to cap it off, a member was assaulted. The vote of no confidence in the Chair and the Board may have only been supported by 829. But with the number of people voting who make their livings via the BHS - who would be surprised at that?
 

Velcrobum

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The person who interrupted Isay Auty was Fred Hodges who is a former trustee who apparently was a trustee during the unfair sacking of Sheila Hardy c*ck up. He apparently is a friend of the chair and has been part of the China visits. Draw your own conclusions............
 

JanetGeorge

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The person who interrupted Isay Auty was Fred Hodges who is a former trustee who apparently was a trustee during the unfair sacking of Sheila Hardy c*ck up. He apparently is a friend of the chair and has been part of the China visits. Draw your own conclusions............
Absolutely spot on. We finally had to 'mute' Fred Horges on the FB Group - as he proved without doubt that he was definitely suited to FRED! We know they are 'mates', both 'enjoyed' trips to China, and were even 'connected' via a horse (Johnny Irish - eventer.) How the FRED was dim enough to shout down Islay Auty ... She was an excellent Trustee back in my day, and I had first hand experience of her excellence as an Instructor well before that. We are yet to identify the man who forced Pat into her seat when she was speaking. Hopefully, the video of the meeting will help identify him (if it doesn't get lost!)
 

teapot

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He's also a current examiner.

(Having met him in that remit, he seemed one of the better examiners around. Can't speak for his other involvements/actions.)
 

ECB

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With the several eye witnesses, the video, and the record of votes the identity of the man with the strong arm tactics is very likely to be revealed in due course. So hopefully the truth will out.
 

onemoretime

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In my opinion, the general meeting was the "live performance" of everything I have experienced first hand and heard from others about the BHS "leadership and governance". A disorganised, dismissive, disrespectful din of denial. It opened with reading a letter from the Charity Commission (not in my opinion relevant to the stated business of the meeting), an esteemed Fellow being interrupted mid sentence by an obviously rude person who was supported by the mob seated around him who shouted and clapped loudly supporting him. (Did anybody recognise any of those people?) Chair lost control of the meeting as did the facilitator. Chairman spoke of rebutting the comments from members. And the Board either sat stone faced or responded by refuting the truths of members. A decent proposal for a way forward was put forward but lost in the noise. Let's hope it is found again. And to cap it off, a member was assaulted. The vote of no confidence in the Chair and the Board may have only been supported by 829. But with the number of people voting who make their livings via the BHS - who would be surprised at that?

The meeting was a farce and a complete shambles, I expected nothing more! The chairman still refuses to listen to members and so the rot will go on. Many members have cancelled their membership, the only way to hit the Board is to withdraw finance! As for a man assaulting a petite lady during this meeting clearly show how little control the Chairman had on this farcical meeting!
 

Themis

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Here's a good post from Facebook - In my opinion, this one of the "root causes" of the symptoms we observe. Some members primarily join the "charity" and others primarily join "the brand" for CPD etc and some join both. That range from "charity to CPD", in my opinion, used to be perceived as the unique selling point "USP" of the BHS - it was both a charity and a professional education body. Over time though, in my view, the governance (and governors) have not maintained the balance or perhaps, not managed the perception of a balance. It looks as if the "brand" is all important. We see changes of logo and then large flashy advertising with large price tags after the fact, without well communicated business cases in advance.
 
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I suggest that the BHS confirm their charitable status, because it seems to act as a clearing house for about 4,000 professionals who maintain their status and qualifications under its umbrella. This is not the duty of a charity.

The 104,000 other members are really just there to provide clients, pretend to be charitable and pay for the professional administration of the 4,000 professionals, the members have been lured by a lot of advertising as well as cheap and cheerful insurance.

Whilst the high standards of the BHS qualifications are recognised throughout the world, inroads into other countries can only be made if that country does not have any objection to their presence, as soon as the present ambassadors have imparted their knowledge, China and such like will create their own Societies, meantime the white elephants in the BHS room will have made a living selling out the systems created and payed for by the BHS members.

There are some unknowing stooges who are being steered by the white elephants in order to keep the society churning along and ignoring bad management for the benefit of the 4,000 professionals who need a base to give themselves creditably. These stooges are devoid of compassion and long term knowledge.

Resigning individual memberships will have little effect on the behaviour of trustees unless these individuals are joined by many more of the top end professionals, most of whom have been uncaringly silent and some have been arrogantly disdainful. These people need to stand up to the plate, otherwise they will continue to be regarded as irresponsible and unworthy of respect.

Gordon Norrie.
 

Themis

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Quite a few of these being sent -

Thank you for your email and your instruction to cancel your membership with the BHS.

The Board of Trustees and I are deeply saddened by the situation that The British Horse Society has found itself in this week; the General Meeting was a sad event for all of our supporters and there were no winners, regardless of the outcome of the vote. I am truly sorry that you feel that this is the end of the road for your relationship with the BHS after your many years of membership. I do hope that you will continue to observe our progress and eventually feel that you would like to take up your membership again.

Many thanks again for your committed support over the years.
 

pony5

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I suggest that the BHS confirm their charitable status, because it seems to act as a clearing house for about 4,000 professionals who maintain their status and qualifications under its umbrella. This is not the duty of a charity.

The 104,000 other members are really just there to provide clients, pretend to be charitable and pay for the professional administration of the 4,000 professionals, the members have been lured by a lot of advertising as well as cheap and cheerful insurance.

Whilst the high standards of the BHS qualifications are recognised throughout the world, inroads into other countries can only be made if that country does not have any objection to their presence, as soon as the present ambassadors have imparted their knowledge, China and such like will create their own Societies, meantime the white elephants in the BHS room will have made a living selling out the systems created and payed for by the BHS members.

There are some unknowing stooges who are being steered by the white elephants in order to keep the society churning along and ignoring bad management for the benefit of the 4,000 professionals who need a base to give themselves creditably. These stooges are devoid of compassion and long term knowledge.

Resigning individual memberships will have little effect on the behaviour of trustees unless these individuals are joined by many more of the top end professionals, most of whom have been uncaringly silent and some have been arrogantly disdainful. These people need to stand up to the plate, otherwise they will continue to be regarded as irresponsible and unworthy of respect.

Gordon Norrie.
There are many professional associations with charitable status.
 

honetpot

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There are many professional associations with charitable status.
Your right there are some professional associations, even boarding schools, and clubs that have a charitable element of their business, to get the tax breaks that charities have. The public benifit is usually shown by giving bursaries for training or providing faciltities at reduced rates.

I think the difference is with the BHS most members, are totally unaware that the education part is mainly supporting sports professional, the higher up the Stages the more support they seem to get. They are not members by choice, some even get their membership free as part of a package of benifits, they have to be, unlike the rest of the 100,000 that are paying their subs but who are not allowed to purchase the same products.
If we were putting money in to education for those that could not afford it, or for welfare edcation,or even people who were just starting there career I would think that was a good idea, but they are providing support and business advice for senior sports coaches. There are about 4000 APC's, and perhaps only 1500 F&I's, and yet the education department has more staff than all the staff welfare, access and saftey put together.
 

ViolettaTears

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We had a real life drama here so missed the meeting, which whilst regrettable from what we read here and have been told by other members was a foregone conclusion before it started and the actions of the bhs 'lawyer' were particularly unprofessional. Hey ho, did we really expect anything less? We are going to vote and then may cancel our membership and can always re new. In the meantime, a friend who works in another animal charity told us about this recent report about CE pay. Remember the former CE was on a ridiculously high salary vs. income ie on par with the RSPCA CE with a fraction of the income. Anyway, the article is below, but the the standout news is that CHIEF EXECUTIVE CHARITY SALARIES HAVE FALLEN IN THE PAST FIVE YEARS ACROSS THE CHARITY SECTOR. So there is no need at all for the BHS to pay the next CE the same inflated salary as before. Also watch out for the Annual Report, anyone want to bet that the members will get blamed for the spend on legal bills rather than the inept boards lack of action?


Speaking at the Honorary Treasurers Forum last week, Acevo chief executive Vicky Browning said only 46 per cent of charity chief executives currently have formal pay reviews.
Browning said this was “a missed opportunity” for charities to see whether they are getting value for money.
She said: “People are not looking at this in a systematic way to check that what they are paying is appropriate.
“If you are not linking remuneration to progress against agreed targets, whether that is personal targets or organisational targets, how can you ensure your pay levels are proportionate to the value of that chief executive to your organisation?”
She added: “Anyway, it’s poor practice. Boards should be giving the same level of support to their chief execs that they would expect them to give to rest of the organisation.”
Public debate affecting CEO pay
Browning said the increased public scrutiny of chief executive pay has had an effect on the way charities think about remuneration.
She said: “We have anecdotal evidence that charities are taking this much more into consideration. Trustees are much more concerned about issues of reputation that affect this and therefore they are taking it into consideration.
“The average chief exec salary has fallen over the last five years. Whether that is to do with media or public opinion or whether that is to do with austerity and reduced contracts is not clear. But it is clear that public opinion is certainly having an effect on the way people are thinking about this.”
- See more at: https://www.civilsociety.co.uk/news...978b-8136b719f5-87649993#sthash.Lel4OoZF.dpuf
 

teapot

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Your right there are some professional associations, even boarding schools, and clubs that have a charitable element of their business, to get the tax breaks that charities have. The public benifit is usually shown by giving bursaries for training or providing faciltities at reduced rates.

I think the difference is with the BHS most members, are totally unaware that the education part is mainly supporting sports professional, the higher up the Stages the more support they seem to get. They are not members by choice, some even get their membership free as part of a package of benifits, they have to be, unlike the rest of the 100,000 that are paying their subs but who are not allowed to purchase the same products.
If we were putting money in to education for those that could not afford it, or for welfare edcation,or even people who were just starting there career I would think that was a good idea, but they are providing support and business advice for senior sports coaches. There are about 4000 APC's, and perhaps only 1500 F&I's, and yet the education department has more staff than all the staff welfare, access and saftey put together.
You only get discounted exam rates if you're an APC, which costs £343 a year to include BHS membership. I know and work with a number of APCs and I can assure you they're not getting lots of support, and they're mainly IIs/Stage 4 coaches. I'm training for my 4 flat exam, work in the industry, and get zero support, so no idea where the money IS going.
 

Themis

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Time to take off the rose tinted glasses and look at the facts. 4000+ professionals are invisibly riding on the backs of the 100K members who buy insurance for £69 that only costs £9. And to top it off, the BHS gets gift aid of 25% on the £69! Only 12% goes to the charitable aims. The rest feeds the beast with a salary appetite of over £5 million and buys puppets for over £20K.
 

ViolettaTears

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All gone very quiet. We had some friends round for supper last night and we all think that Tim Lord will be made the new Chairman, Alex Copeland will be made CEO, Sarah will stay as COO. Having seen Tim in action and Alex, in their hands nothing will change. We are thinking of cancelling our memberships and going to WHW instead as not only is it cheaper but their lot just seem to get on with it. Very very very sad, but with the current board with their blinkers firmly on, how can it every change?
 

Velcrobum

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I am awaiting the outcome of the election as my membership is not up for renewal until the end of this month. However unless there is a radical change (unlikely but you never know there might be some flying pigs spotted) I will cancel and go to WHW. I have drafted letters to be sent to the individual trustees outlining my reasons (tailored to each trustee) for leaving.
 

Themis

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A few faces may change but the overall pattern is unlikely to shift. A charity is being used to promote professional people and places. A gruesome equivalent would be if the Red Cross provided a register of private blood banks.
All gone very quiet. We had some friends round for supper last night and we all think that Tim Lord will be made the new Chairman, Alex Copeland will be made CEO, Sarah will stay as COO. Having seen Tim in action and Alex, in their hands nothing will change. We are thinking of cancelling our memberships and going to WHW instead as not only is it cheaper but their lot just seem to get on with it. Very very very sad, but with the current board with their blinkers firmly on, how can it every change?
 

honetpot

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I watched the programme last night about RBS, and it seems there is a thread running though all of these.
Someone has a vision of being bigger and better, a section see an oppotunity to make money and improve their standing, anyone who disagrees is got rid of, the investor in all of this is completely ignored but ends up paying for of it. The regulator only checks that the boxes have been ticked, so they wash their hands and walk away when it all goes **** up.
 

ViolettaTears

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Hi Janet and friends. We heard tonight over dinner that the Chairman has been forced out early from his post. Talk of an interim chairman. Maybe bunkum and more Trump style propaganda, but has a sound of truth in it? Anyone else heard anything?
 
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So its true! The Ego has landed. After his shocking behavior towards Lady Vesty at the meeting this doesn't bode well for the future and wouldn't we all have loved to have been a fly on the wall when they told David S, "Thanks Dave me old mate for the last couple of years, no need for you to hang around while we elect the permanent chairman, you can b@gger off now, we've got this". This also means Mr Lord will decide who the new CEO is. Maybe an ex-RSPCA CEO, there's enough of them about after all.

Tim Lord - Interim Chairman

Tim has 35+ years of experience in brand marketing through to CEO roles in major companies, he also has experience of building brands, achieving focus and developing business strategies to achieve long term goals. He has worked in the voluntary sector and has experience of fundraising and lobbying.
Proprietor of a riding school and livery yard, Tim is aware of the business issues that affect the industry. For those issues that are not in the control of a business e.g. the recent changes in business rates, Tim would like to see the BHS as the body that represents the industry. During his time as a Trustee, Tim aims to promote the BHS’s role and develop its proactivity in equestrian issues.
Tim believes that having a clear focus on priorities is vital to improve the effectiveness of the organisation. With the BHS being a large organisation with numerous aspects and supporting strategies, he feels that it is important for the Society to have a clear view of what it wants to be and how to deliver that vision. With a strong strategic background, Tim will assist the Board in driving this forward.
As a charity and member organisation, Tim would like to see the BHS add more value to its members and see this clearly set out in the strategy in a measurable way.
 

Velcrobum

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Well I have already resigned my membership and gave a bullet point letter outlining why. If I get a response I will be very interested!! Who ousted David S and did it happen before the election results were known?? Still nowt on BHS website and I would have expected it to be published in "News".

ETA just found it in the Trustees section, interestingly earlier today that had not been updated!
 

JanetGeorge

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Yes - DS has gone with a really smarmy song of praise from Tim Lord, who is now Interim Chairman for 2 months while they get sorted. To quote from the e-mail sent out:

"
The election result was as follows:
  • BHS Specialist Trustee - Education: Sarah Simpson*
  • BHS Trustee - Sally McCarthy received 1467 votes
  • BHS Trustee - Tim Lord received 1225 votes
  • BHS Trustee - Fran Mason received 1143 votes
  • BHS Trustee - Anita Quigley received 1141 votes
  • BHS Trustee - Brenda Watson received 736 votes
*Only one candidate had progressed to the election, therefore in accordance with the British Horse Society Constitution, Sarah Simpson was elected as BHS Specialist Trustee, Education.
A total of 2373 individual members voted with each member having the choice to cast up to three votes."

So Sally McCarthy got the most votes and Fran Mason was hot on Tim Lord's heels. Interesting that as Sally McCarthy didn't get past the Nominations' Committee last year (and the whys of that are ANYONE'S guess.)
 
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