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Our Trustees

The Board of Trustees plays a significant role in a charity’s strategic direction and management. A well-qualified Board is essential in securing our future success.

  • Last reviewed: 30th June 2023
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Our trustees make sure we work within legal and financial guidelines and meet our key objectives as well as making policy decisions and working with our senior management team to set targets and monitor our performance. Although it can be a demanding role, it can also be rewarding to know you’re making a difference, forming new relationships and experiences, and helping to develop the Society for the benefit of our members and the wider equestrian community.

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

Sally McCarthy – Chairman

Sally feels that the BHS has helped to shape her career through qualifications and professional development and is now delighted to have a good range of skills to give something back to the charity.

She has extensive business and fundraising skills, having raised £2 million to build an equestrian centre. Sally is knowledgeable in staff management and was voted “Business Personality of the Year, Aberdeen” 2017. She also has good knowledge of employment law and has successfully lobbied for full rates relief for her centre, Aberdeen Riding Club. 

As well as being a keen member of the BHS, Sally has volunteered her time to sit on local BHS committees and supports the Society by providing her centre for educational days or talks. Sally says that becoming a Trustee seems a logical further step in helping the charity and she believes that her skill sets will benefit the BHS in its development.

As a team player, Sally is delighted to join the Board as she feels a strong Board is vital to the success of the BHS. Having been though a very successful period, Sally believes that the Society is at a stage where better communication and trust in the Board is required. She says that this issue is not a BHS-specific problem, but one created by social media and our demand for instantaneous information. She aims to assist in improving these communications and will work to give members trust and confidence in the Board.

The Rt. Hon. Dame Caroline Spelman DBE – Specialist Trustee for Policy, Campaigning and Government Relations

Caroline will play a pivotal role in the Society’s lobbying efforts across many key causes, including the required support for the equine industry as the United Kingdom recovers from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Caroline is a keen equestrian and member of British Riding Clubs, and served as MP for Meriden from 1997 to 2019, holding many senior ministerial appointments, including Secretary of State for Defra. As Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Horse for many years, she championed the work of the BHS across all of its charitable aims. Access is of particular interest to Caroline and one of her priorities will be to ensure the 2026 deadline for recording of historical routes is repealed as promised by the Government without sacrificing other promised improvements to the process.  

Gillian Clark – Specialist Trustee – Safety

CEO & Director of the Forest Industry Safety Accord, Gillian is also a farmer, directly involved in rural Health & Safety with a working knowledge of the challenges of rural and forest roads. Chartered Member of IOSH, Gillian previously ran Thirlestane Horse Trials and has been involved in other large equestrian events.  Gillian is the owner & producer of eleven horses, and continues to ride frequently in her spare time, hacking regularly on local, rural roads.

As Specialist Trustee for Safety, Gillian has become involved in supporting the brilliant BHS road safety initiatives, brining additional support to look at the challenge of meeting large vehicles: HGVs and farm machinery on the road. Gillian will support the BHS in raising awareness with both the rider on how to stop and safely pass large vehicles; and with the haulage and agricultural industries on how to safely pass horses.

Gillian works in the forestry and agricultural industries. In these industries there are peak times when certain areas do need to be avoided; helping riders understand when these are would help to avoid difficult situations. Gillian believes that this could easily be done through existing BHS communication routes, which already provide a network to connect across the UK.

Another area of focus for Gillian is that the safety of the horse and rider can be extended to include safe fencing and safe stabling. Some of Gillian’s other areas of interest pertaining to equine safety include advice on turnout groups and winter turnout; safety both in the field and being visible on the road for those who turnout around work hours;  and coping with dark nights for much of the year. Gillian works full-time and fits her horses in as a hobby, she also drives large vehicles and farm machinery, so she understands fully the road challenges and challenges posed to the hobby rider of dark nights and frozen troughs.

Professor Tim Morris – Specialist Trustee – Welfare

Veterinary Surgeon, Professor Tim Morris brings a wealth of experience to the Society. Tim has held a large number of leadership roles in veterinary professional organisations, industry bodies, animal science and welfare charities, and he sits as a Non-Executive Science and Welfare Advisor on DEFRA’s Animal Health and Welfare Board for England; the principal source of departmental advice to DEFRA ministers on strategic health and welfare matters relating to kept animals in England. 

Tim rode extensively until leaving home for University, after which he started his veterinary career as a stud vet. Tim’s former roles include Director of the Department of Equine Science and Welfare at the British Horseracing Authority, where he helped to establish their anti-doping and animal welfare program, and Chair of the British Horse Industry Confederation. He has previously supported the BHS on a number of campaigns such as on ragwort and business rates.

Sarah Simpson – Specialist Trustee – Education

Sarah’s first consideration when pursuing a career with horses was to become BHS qualified. Over a ten-year period she progressed from BHSAI to BHSI. The structure and depth of the training provided a sound foundation on which to build a rewarding and successful career; this is something that Sarah would like to help the BHS promote. Her experience has taken her into all areas of the industry, including; saddlery, colleges, racing, the thoroughbred breeding industry and also the coaching aspects of BE, BD and BS. 

Sarah has worked in the equine industry for 35 years; producing event horses, competing to advanced level, training competitors and career students, and working as an examiner, moderator, verifier and coach educator. 

Having seen and been involved in a variety of approaches to structure, delivery and assessment of qualifications, Sarah feels that she can bring a wealth of experience to the role of Education Trustee. 

Passionate about all aspects of the BHS as an organisation that promotes education as an effective way to improve horse welfare, Sarah would like to see greater availability and accessibility to a wide range of courses. 

Sandra Harris – Specialist Trustee – Business with Digital Knowledge

Sandra's extensive and varied business experience with Waitrose, Coca-Cola, Cadbury’s and Molson Coors in leadership roles has seen her be a part of leading major programmes of change in IT and business processes. She is trained in project and programme governance. 

As well as working at Board level, Sandra has shaped business strategy, driven customer focus initiatives and created three-year operational plans for delivery, including digital projects. She is also experienced in management, team development and has a deep understanding of HR policies. 

Sandra has been involved with a number of volunteering initiatives in her local community including setting up the Bonsall Bridleways group and doing lots of bridleway clearing. 

Tim Lord – Generalist Trustee

Tim has more than 35 years’ worth 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. Tim would like to see the BHS as the body that represents the industry, especially around issues that are not in the control of a business e.g. the recent changes in business rates. 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.

Kerryn Haynes – Generalist Trustee

Kerryn has invested many years in building a professional and corporate career and is now keen to use her skills to benefit social, health, human and animal wellbeing organisations. Her personal purpose is to build trusting relationships, across diverse and honourable networks and make high integrity, positive change. 

Kerryn recently moved out of the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods sector and into Educational Publishing at Oxford University Press to lead and participate in the success of a mission-based organisation. On reading about the BHS Trustee elections in the February edition of British Horse, Kerryn was drawn to the opportunity of becoming a Trustee. Kerryn feels that her career experience can support the BHS Board to navigate the current challenges, create agile strategies for the BHS for the future, and ultimately help to set the BHS, all BHS members, beneficiaries and especially their horses, up for brilliance in the current and post Covid-19 world. 

Kerryn has loved horses and horse riding since her early childhood in Australia, but was only able to enjoy the occasional riding lesson, and did not have the opportunity to learn to ride properly until she moved to the UK and Buckinghamshire in 1998. A keen outdoor person, Kerryn has been an aspiring social rider since her arrival in the UK, when she had the good fortune and pleasure of riding at a BHS Approved Riding School where the horses were cherished and she made a wonderful circle of lifelong friends and mentors. 

Karen Silcock – Generalist Trustee with Financial Knowledge

Karen’s aims as a Trustee of the BHS are twofold. Firstly, to use her financial acumen and experience to support good financial management and governance, and good risk management, throughout the organisation. Secondly, to make a wider contribution to the campaigning and educational work of the BHS by using her experience as a horse owner and rider. 

Karen has board level experience of other membership organisations and has developed financial strategies for not-for-profit and charitable organisations, with understanding of the financial implications of strategic and operational plans. She is experienced in corporate, not-for-profit and charity governance, and management at board level; she has been part of, and chaired, board committees covering finance, audit, risk, nomination and remuneration and various aspects of strategy. 

Since retirement, Karen has committed herself to work only in the not-for-profit and charitable sectors to bring, pro bono, the professional and personal skills gained in her career. Through volunteering and managing other volunteers, Karen has developed an understanding of the complexity of satisfying member, volunteer, and beneficiary needs. 

A long-term member of the BHS and a horse owner, horses and equestrian sports are a major part of Karen’s life. She is passionate about the benefits that interaction with horses can bring to people in terms of physical and mental health and has first-hand knowledge as an owner and competitor of the many issues now faced by horses and riders.

Gill Longhurst – Specialist Trustee for Volunteering

Gill’s association with the BHS goes back to 2001 when she was a Riding and Road Safety officer and examiner and she has spent many years as Chairman of both BHS Dorset and BHS Somerset Committees separately, reinvigorating them, returning them to healthy finances and thriving Committees. In 2018, Gill stood and was duly elected as Chairman for the South West Region and is committed to seeing the South West Region go from strength to strength. Gill also fits in another role with the BHS, that of a Welfare Officer, a role she has held for many years now. 

Gill’s knowledge and support of the Society crosses all its diverse remit and she equally promotes education, access, safety, and welfare with the support of the teams she builds. For 20 years, her focus has always been outward facing and about what she can do for the BHS, its members, and other equestrians. She is a ‘giver’ of expertise, time, passion, enthusiasm, and friendliness and looks for, and never turns down, opportunities for the BHS to be involved in the wider equestrian community in the region. Gill has, and continues, to put a real enthusiasm and passion for the BHS into practical application. She has a way of bringing people with her and in turn cultivates the same ethos into others whether they are members, prospective members, or volunteers.

Beverley Simms – Specialist Trustee for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

As a newly appointed Trustee to lead on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI), Beverley is keen to utilise her knowledge and skills to improve the experiences and attraction, of underrepresented groups in the equine industry.

Beverley comes with a wealth of business experience, leading projects on including business transformation, organisational change and performance improvement. In her role as a consultant, she was also involved with learning and development initiatives, particularly delivering on leadership and management programmes across different industries.

Her EDI experience has evolved from in-company committee and board roles within further education, sport and local government. She has led projects: to increase black and Asian managers from middle to senior management roles; to improve the aspirations of grassroots female athletics coaches to progress through to elite coaching status. Currently she performs a voluntary role as Chair of the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Employee Network at Essex County Council, alongside her main role within organisational development and change.

Beverley will be leading the EDI Advisory Board to spearhead change to making diversity and inclusion part of the DNA of The British Horse Society.

Nicola Greenwood – Specialist Trustee for Access