Sarah Bradley has been named the new chair of Dressage Canada, joining two new board members in adding strength to the organisation’s sport and business experience.
Bradley, of Roberts Creek, BC, is currently the chair of the Equine Canada’s (EC) Bylaws & Governance Committee which is undertaking a review of EC’s bylaws. She has also served as a director on the EC Board, president of Horse Council British Columbia, president of Horse Trials British Columbia and chair of Equine Canada Provinces Council.
“I am honored by the opportunity to work with the Dressage Canada Board as they continue to develop into an effective, collaborative team, and look forward to the next nine months,” said Bradley.
“Many thanks go to Rénee Young for all her time and care during her term as chair.”
Bradley will be taking over the reins from Michael Gallagher, Equine Canada president, and Kerri McGregor, Equine Canada Sport Council chair, who have been serving as Dressage Canada’s interim co-chairs while the Sport Council Working Group completed their report and recommendations.
Peggy Hambly, chair of Sport Council Working Group, said it had been a pleasure to work with the people on the working group. “The expertise is nearly overwhelming. We hit our stride in our first meeting and have not lost any momentum. Each member has been extremely important in all recommendations. It is our sincere hope that not only dressage benefits from this exercise but each and every discipline.”
Equine Canada Sport Council chair Kerri McGregor, said she and Gallagher had enjoyed working with Dressage Canada over the last few months. “We are very encouraged by both the dedication and professionalism of the volunteers involved, and at how quickly changes have been implemented. We thank everyone for being so welcoming to us, and look forward to their continuing accomplishments.”
Gallagher said: “I think we have a superb group of volunteers within Dressage Canada that will move our sport forward.”
In addition to the position of chair, Dressage Canada has also filled two vacancies on the Board. In response to community feedback provided in early 2012 to the Sport Council Working Group, Dressage Canada sought to fill these vacancies with individuals who possess strong business acumen and committee experience. Dressage Canada’s Athletes Council was also consulted during this process, as the Board felt that input from an individual who has close experience as an owner of a team horse would provide an important perspective.
Joining the board is Rebecca Schoenhardt, of Georgetown, ON, and Michael Horgan, of Toronto, ON.
Schoenhardt, a graduate from the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships ranks and former Canadian Equestrian Team listed athlete, is currently working towards her MBA at the prestigious Schulich School of Business.
Horgan is the current chairman of The Hurley Group, Canada and president of Hurley of America Inc. His substantial experience in community service includes past-director of the Sunnybrook Foundation of the Sunnybrook Health Services Centre and governor of Havergal College. Horgan’s wife, Mary Ellen Horgan, is the owner of Winston, Tina Irwin’s silver medal winning horse at the 2011 Pan American Games, and both are dedicated supporters of dressage sport in Canada.
Their appointed terms will end December 31, 2012, at which point the vacancies will no longer exist. 2013 will be the first full year under Dressage Canada’s new governance system, a transition that began in early 2011 and will result in the Dressage Canada Board being wholly populated by the committee chairs.
Dressage Canada also welcomes Olympic bronze medalist Gina Smith to her new role as chair of the High Performance Committee. Many will already be familiar with Smith not only from her long list of accomplishments in the competition ring, but also within her role with the Canadian Dressage Team as assistant chef d’équipe for the 2010 World Equestrian Games and chef d’équipe for the 2011 Pan American Games Silver medal team and the upcoming 2012 Olympic Games Team.
Bradley, Schoenhardt, Horgan and Smith will be joining existing Dressage Canada Board members:
Wendy Christoff — chair, Coaching Committee,
Joanna Crilly — chair, Rules Committee,
MH Lessard — chair, Competitions Committee,
Joan McCartney — chair, Officials Committee,
Nancy MacLachlan — Athlete Council Representative,
Kristy Nahirniak — chair, Development Committee, and
Rénee Young — Director-at-Large.
A second Athlete Council Representative is to be identified.