British Dressage is delighted to announce Jo Byrne as the new Regional Development Officer for the Northern region. After 30 years in policing, which included a secondment to the Home Office, Jo will now combine her extensive skill set, organisational ability and ‘team player’ mentality with her lifelong love of horses and dressage.
Jo followed the path of many keen young horsewomen in completing her BHSAI after leaving school but then realised that in order to financially support her hobby, she would need an alternative profession, so joined the police.
Originally from Walsall, Jo started her policing career with the West Midlands Police, reaching the rank of Chief Superintendent before making the move north to join South Yorkshire Police. She retired last June having become the first female Assistant Chief Constable at South Yorkshire Police.
Throughout her career, she kept horses as a hobby and is active as a competitor, owner and trainee judge with British Dressage.
Jo said; “I’m thrilled to be joining BD as the Northern RDO. My home is in Sheffield and I’m familiar with many of the Northern venues, so I am determined to get out and about in the region to meet everyone. I’m looking forward to working with the regional committee to support our organisers, judges and volunteers and to develop opportunities for training and competition.
“Dressage has always been my passion and British Dressage is such a strong brand home and abroad, I’m very proud to join the team. I have an advanced horse competing with Hannah Esberger-Hancock and some youngsters coming through, so appreciate the commitment, investment and energy that goes into the sport, both as a business and a hobby.”
Vikki Hayton, Northern Region Chairman, was part of the selection panel and commented; “I’m very much looking forward to working with Jo. She’s a very skilled, intelligent woman whose friendly and approachable manner will make her very easy to work with. I think Jo will be a real asset for the Northern region and I’m excited about the prospect of our region and its members achieving even more success in 2017 and beyond.”
Jo starts her new role on Monday 6 February and will be straight out into the region. She said; “My first event as RDO will be the Regional Championships at Bishop Burton and I hope to meet as many BD members as I can over the four days of competition – good luck Northern riders!”