‘We want to be a society that listens to the members’: new chairman sets out plans

  • The British Show Pony Society (BSPS) has elected a new chairman and vice-chairman.

    Paul Cook takes over the chairman role from Pat Pattinson, who stepped down from the position after 11 years of service.

    Paul has been a lifelong member of the BSPS and he steps up to the role having served as national vice-chairman and championship show vice-chairman. Chairman of area chairmen and chairman of BSPS Area 1A, Joanne Pybus, will stand as the BSPS’s new vice-chairman as well as the chairman of the judges’ assessment.

    “The society has managed to evolve and grow over the past few years in uncertain times and we want to continue to build on this success,” said Paul. “I’ve worked with Joanne a lot and we have a strong team with several new members on the council. We do have some areas to address in showing, particularly around ensuring that breeders of show hunter ponies and show ponies are being supported and how we ensure we’re as inclusive as possible. We also want to ensure the breed of mountain and moorland ponies are maintained despite fact that they’ve become increasingly the versatile and popular choices.

    “Finally, we want to be a society that is upfront with our members. We want to listen to their opinions and tell them everything that we’re doing. We’re moving forward to address areas, such as the need for more novice working hunter ponies to come up through the ranks, through new initiatives such as the Winter Worker Stakes series.”

    “We want to give every single rider the aspiration and the opportunity to ride at the big shows such as Burghley, Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International.”

    Joanne added: “I’m very excited to be vice-chairman and also a chairman of judges’ assessment. I hope to really help to be a part of continuing to move the society forward in the future.”

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