British Horse Society chief executive to retire after media criticism

Lynn Peterson, a former chair of the charity, has overseen a 43 per cent increase in the charity's membership over the past six years

Lynn Peterson, with Teddy
Lynn Peterson, with Teddy

Lynn Peterson, chief executive of the British Horse Society has announced her retirement.

Peterson is leaving the charity after six years, amid media stories criticising the charity’s culture and direction.

The charity has been accused in the media of having a "toxic culture" and questions have been asked about the charity’s financial situation.

In 2018, an independent lawyer investigated claims that Peterson had been involved in bullying, and interviewed 23 people, including members of staff, about the allegations.

The lawyer’s report concluded that, although there were some issues to be addressed, the allegations of bullying were unwarranted.

The charity said that the recommendations on new ways of working identified in that report were being adopted.

A whistleblowing disclosure from a manager in 2017 was investigated by the professional services company PwC, but the complaint was not upheld, the charity said.

Peterson was formerly chair of the BHS, and had overseen a 43 per cent expansion of the charity’s membership to 106,000 people during her time as chief executive.

She will step down in the "next couple of months", a spokesperson for the charity said. 

A statement from the charity said Peterson had been the "driving force behind modernising and growing the BHS".

In a statement, David Sheerin, chair of the BHS, said: "It has been a remarkable journey for the BHS under Lynn’s leadership as chief executive, and previously as chair of the society and a trustee.

"Her vision and achievements will leave an indelible mark on the BHS and the wider equine industry in the UK and internationally. We wish her the very best in her retirement."

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