Michael Clayton retired at the Society's AGM on Thursday, June 28th, as Chairman of the BHS, and as a member of the BHS Board of Trustees, in his fourth year in office. At the meeting of the Board of Trustees which took place after the AGM, Mrs Pat Campbell was unanimously elected as the new Chairman, with James Buxton as Vice Chairman.

Pat Campbell is well known throughout the horseworld through her involvement with our native ponies. She is a former Chairman of the Dartmoor Pony Society, the Central Prefix Register as well as the National Pony Society, who elected her their President during the Millennium year. She is also Chairman of the BHS Horse and Pony Breeds Committee.

Mrs Campbell paid tribute to her predecessor. "Michael Clayton's will be a hard act to follow" she said. "Everyone in the horse world and particularly in the BHS owe him a huge debt of gratitude for his untiring efforts on our behalf over the past four years. He has worked extremely hard and under his leadership the BHS has grown in membership and stature. It is thanks to his vision that the Society has refocused its energies as a leading equine welfare charity."

"I look forward to carrying on the challenge, secure in the knowledge that the foundations he has built are secure, and I am honoured to head a new and revitalised BHS."

Michael Clayton said:
"My colleagues and I who took office in January 1998 were the first members of the new Board created by the re-structuring of the Society following the departure of its sports. We had many difficult decisions and changes to make, consequent on the break-up. I would like to thank everyone who co-operated with us during this period in ensuring that the finances and membership were stabilised. I found my six months when I combined my chairmanship with the role of voluntary Chief Executive particularly challenging.

"I am sure the Society will now go forward to grasp the huge opportunities facing recreational riding as a major force in Britain. I wish my successor, and all members and staff, the best of good fortune in their endeavours, and I hope they receive the widest support from everyone who cares about horses and ponies. The aims of the Society remain the best way forward for everyone involved in equestrianism.

"I look forward to continuing to serve the best interests of the horse community through my continuing Chairmanship of the British Horse Industry Confederation, as a representative of the British Equestrian Federation to whose Board I have been co-opted. We will do our best to seek from government a better deal for the horse industry. "

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Updated: October 2005.