Introducing the Committee
British Horseball Association Chairman- Jim Copeland
"I was instrumental in the sport coming to Britain when I saw horseball at the horse of the year show in 1990. With the help of Simon Brookes-Ward, we held our first competitions in 1991 and our first European Cup in 1992 in Paris.
I was also one of the founder members of the FIHB, which is now the force behind international horseball development.
Now, as Chairman, my role is obviously to chair our meetings, liaise with the BEF and the FIHB and ask at times if a decision is being made around a club or the game in general. In 1999 we reached our first peak of 22 teams at our Open Championship, a figure nearly matched in 2015 with 21 teams entered.
I am hoping that together with the committee and the hard work of the Association our Open Championships and League will continue to thrive.
We have a very hard-working committee who are dedicated to the sport and its development. Everyone on the committee is a volunteer, so is genuinely working for the love of the sport."
BHA Secretary- Hayley Garner
"My current position in the British Horseball Association is Secretary, my role involves me attending the committee meetings producing the Agenda and minutes from the meeting along with participating in all discussions as well as putting forward suggestions.
My role also involves me working with our Horse Welfare Officer Mike Barton in providing admin support at vetting along with judging the turnout of the horses.
I joined the committee 3 years ago in order to spread the word about our great sport Horseball and I have achieved this by developing University Horseball and also introducing the sport to local riding schools allowing people without their own horses to participate.
I started coaching the University Horseball 10 years ago and over the past 4 years Horseball has grown dramatically with me now coaching Nottingham Trent, University of Nottingham, Sutton Bonnington and also heavily involved with Leeds University.
Implementing the University league 3 years ago now enables all students to compete and give them the Horseball bug! This has led to several university players’ hiring the polo ponies and playing at the BHA Open Championships and also to go on and play in the league. One of the biggest achievements for University Horseball is that it’s now recognised and we are able to compete in the Varsity series.
As well as coaching for many years I have also been playing for 23 years having worked my way up all the divisions from juniors to 1st Division."
BHA Membership Secretary & Treasurer - Penny Barton
"As treasurer and membership secretary my roles within the BHA are straight forward. I have never been a Horseball player and until we bought our son Michael a horse when he was 9, I had had no previous experience with horses.
I took on the role of membership secretary about 10 years ago when I felt that Severnvale Horseball Club did not have voice on the committee and then Treasurer followed when the finances of the association were not being monitored closely.
Mike the vet is one of my 2 sons, Christopher my other son can sometimes be seen around but his passion is tennis.
When I am not paying horseball bills etc., I am an Optometrist, and I spend most of my free time gardening and walking my dog Rio."
BHA Events Committee & Social Media - Jenny Hughes & Mia Berry
We joined the committee at the AGM in October 2013 as volunteered help with Events. Shortly after this we became full committee members and the BHA Events Team. We are responsible for organising British Horseball run events in the UK including all League, Open & International competitions, demonstrations and senior training clinics.
Additionally we have a lot to do with the organisation of the Great Britain Horseball teams, coordinating a number of fundraising events, the running of British Horseball social media channels, blog posts and updates for the British Horseball website, retraining of racehorse’s parades and more.
Since joining the British Horseball Committee we have hosted a FIHB 2* Competition and the FIHB European Championships 2018, a 4* competition, which took place in August at Bishop Burton College alongside the FEI Pony Europeans 2018.
As well as this we have organised exhibitions at a number of large Equestrian events such as Badminton Horse Trials and Equifest.
As well as being the BHA Evens Team we are also keen Coaches and Players.
We both play in the Ladies 1st Division Team; Derby Horseball Club who are the leading ladies team in the UK and have three times qualified for the FIHB Champions League, we travelled to Belgium in September to compete and finished 4th/8th place overall; the best result a GB Team has ever had in a Champions League competition!
As Coaches, last August we begun running have a go at Horseball sessions in our area and since this we have been able to turn out two-three brand new teams for the 2018 season; Derby Division 3, Derby Under 14s and Derby Under 10s.
Since 2014 we have organised the British Horseball Association End Of Season Ball & Awards Ceremony. Over the past 4 years we have together raised nearly £10,500 for the British Horseball Association from this event alone.
Mia has also recently taken over the role of BHA Website administrator.
If you have any questions for the Events Team you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or find us at Horseball events for a chat!
BHA Welfare & Veterinary Officer - Mike Barton
BHA Junior Development - Sarah Whitby
BHA Junior Development - Sarah Whitby
I joined the committee in the role of Junior Development Officer and am responsible for training and development opportunities for all players in U21 categories and younger. More recently I have been appointed National Coach for U16 and U21. The role is a busy one as I am responsible for organising and running a training plan for U16 and U21 players, as well as 2 camps and various training and competition opportunities abroad for players in U21, U16 and U14 categories. I find the role immensely rewarding and having played Horseball for over 20 years felt that it was time to give something back to the association.
Away from Horseball I have a full time job working with Nottinghamshire County Council and last year became Mum to a little boy so it really helps me out when people use the contact details I provide (Facebook messages at 11pm aren’t appreciated!) and don’t try to ring me too late in the evening as I’ll be on my way to bed.
I’m really lucky to have the support of a lot of people within Horseball who give up their time and expertise to help me in my role. Everyone involved in the organisation of British Horseball is a volunteer and gives up their time for free and I’d urge all our members to remember this when things don’t quite go to plan. We always welcome extra support so please feel free to get in touch if you want to get involved in any of the areas I’m responsible for.
BHA Safeguarding Officer & Fundraising - Julia Oldbury-Davies
As a willing volunteer I joined the committee last year after helping with the fund raising and sponsorship for the Juniors.
I have since added to responsibilities and am acting as Safe Guarding officer and Health & Safety Advisor (my real job).
I previously worked at a large equestrian centre in Southampton and at weekends ran Pony Club so child friendly and horsey which means I am organised and like to help.
I am mum to Alexandra who rides & coaches in 2nd Division and Ladies, whom I support with spreading the word about Horseball and we have enticed a number of riders and teams to have a go and join us in attending the Open Championships 2018.
BHA Coaching Co-ordinator - Donna Allen
I recently joined the committee in the role of coaching co-ordinator to develop the training and education of coaches within horseball. Part of my role is the development of a junior education programme and have produced a series of a junior badge schemes, this will be available this year to all cadet and junior players.
In my role on the committee I also attend a number of meetings and focus groups with the BEF representing horseball, as well as developing CPD opportunities for registered coaches. I’ve been playing Horseball for over 20 years and have had the privilege represent team GB playing in many international competitions. I’m also a qualified UKCC level 2 horseball coach, and have helped coach numerous teams over the years most recently Warwickshire Warriors.
Outside of horseball I am a lecturer in higher education specialising in equine and human sports science and performance coaching at Warwickshire College / Coventry University. I’ve also played competitive rugby for over 10 years along with competing in other equestrian sports (dressage, eventing, show jumping etc)
BHA Referee Officer - Abbie Gibson
ABRS Liaison Officer - David Bond
My role on the committee is as the link between the Association of British Riding Schools and the BHA. Our aim is to get all ABRS registered riding schools using horseball in their lessons and eventually to set up an inter riding school competition nationwide.
I am a director of Grove Riding School in Bucks, a few years ago we hosted a demonstration of horseball as a one off. We now use horseball in our regular lessons, have our own club playing in the national league and I play and coach as a BHA registered coach.