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BHS trustees are collectively responsible for helping to plan the charity's strategic future. They make sure we work within legal and financial guidelines, and meeting our key objectives. The team of trustees make policy decisions and work with our senior management team to set targets and monitor our performance.

To contact any of the BHS trustees, please contact the Chief Executive Office on 02476 840512 or email

David Sheerin

David Sheerin BHSI (Chairman)

David has been a member of the BHS for nearly 20 years, having moved down from the north of‬ Scotland with little experience to train for his exams within the system. He has since worked hands-on in many different areas, from dressage, racing, riding school to eventing yards. He credits the BHS with having sculpted his career path and is currently the Head Coach at Wellington Riding, where he trains students, riding club, pony club and weekly non-horse owners. David enjoys working in this environment with grassroots riders from all backgrounds, within which the Society plays a vital role.

David also remains passionate about his own riding, producing young event horses and bringing them up the grades, which presents exciting challenges and shows a passion for good training and welfare of horses. He feels that this experience is relevant and current in a modern and fast changing equestrian world, which he would like to see more integrated across the disciplines.

Described by those who know him as 'enthusiastic', David feels passionate about the BHS and driven to put something back into a system that has greatly benefited him. He would like, as a trustee, to see the BHS remain at the heart of discussion and decision making in the fast-evolving equestrian community.

Christine BlackfordChristine Blackford FCMA (Treasurer)

Christine is a Chartered Management Accountant who has worked as a senior finance professional for a number of companies and in a variety of industry sectors for many years. Having previously served on the Audit Committee she became the Society’s Treasurer in 2011. Christine looks to bring her commercial and financial skills and experience to assist the BHS in achieving its charitable objectives. She has been a member of the BHS for nearly 30 years, and her main leisure activity for most of her adult life has been horse riding and care.

Kirsty HandelKirsty Handel

Kirsty has been riding horses since she was five, and has been a member of the Society for 15 years. She is also a member of the British Riding Club and British Dressage. Kirsty has made years’ experience of finance, project and general business management in a variety of industries such as financial services, education and charities.



Lotta Van Der HeydeLotta von der Heyde (Vice Chairman)

Lotta aims to represent a significant proportion of BHS members‬‬‬, being a horse owner who loves her horses and enjoys doing everything with them, from grooming to hacking out with friends and sometimes attending local shows, but is not a competitive rider. A business background, love of horses and qualification in Equine Behaviour equips her to provide an uncluttered perspective that aims to be progressive and enlightened.

Lotta brings a holistic view of horse welfare and does not take an extreme view on any level, preferring to maintain a pragmatic position based on empathy. She is very excited to be involved in taking the Society to the next level over the coming years and embracing an even greater proportion of equine enthusiasts as members, volunteers and advocates.

Diane TranterDiane Tranter BHSAI

Diane has been a member of the Society for more than 30 years, having ridden and owned horses since childhood.

She has qualified as a BHSAI, and although her main competition interest has been show jumping, she has volunteered over many years with BE, Riding and Pony Clubs.

Since retiring as design manager with the Peak District National Park, Diane has been on the committee of an affiliated bridleways group working to improve and extend off-road routes for riders and carriage drivers by:

• seeking improvements to bridleways and by-ways, making them safe, accessible and free from obstructions;
• campaigning to restrict illegal, dangerous and damaging use of routes by motorised recreational vehicles;
• developing long circular rides and linking existing routes;
• negotiating with landowners and public bodies to extend the bridleway network;
• researching historic routes for inclusion on the definitive map;
• gathering evidence and representing equestrian interests at public enquiries.

It is vital to Diane that the BHS ensures equestrian interests are on the agenda of all national, regional and local authorities. The more people that ride and the bigger the contribution to the economy, the easier this becomes, giving the opportunity to ride safely, away from the dangers of traffic, and helping encourage new and returning riders to take up the reins. 

Access, welfare and education are Diane’s priority equine issues. Improving horse welfare at all levels is one of Diane’s most important challenges and obligations.

By providing training, information and support to all riders, drivers and horse-keepers and educating land owners, decision makers and the public, Diane’s vision is that the BHS remains key to this, with volunteers, Pony and Riding Clubs playing a crucial role.

Fred HodgesFred Hodges BHSI

Fred works in the equestrian industry as an instructor/coach, BHS assessor and livery yard proprietor. He works with a variety of riding clubs, pony clubs and a broad range of clients from grassroots through to full-time competition riders and students preparing for BHS exams.

Fred became a trustee of the BHS as he believes the best way to ensure the continued welfare of the horse is through education. The BHS system provided him with a brilliant and solid basis on which to build his own professional identity and his livery and competition yard.

He aims to see the BHS have a continued and improved influence over the running of livery yards and riding schools, and in particular to encourage smaller riding schools operating with one or two schoolmasters to flourish.

Fred also aims to see a greater integration of BHS qualified instructors within the Olympic disciplines’ coaching framework and to that end he believes the BHS must continue to promote itself as the leader of education in the horse industry.

Desi Dillingham MBEDesi Dillingham MBE

Desi has a proven track record in the equine industry, with the successful leadership of British Dressage for more than ten years, the past President of the British Horse Society, fundraiser for the Animal Health Trust and Chairman of the British Equestrian Awards Dinner for ten years.

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