Bernhard submitted his resignation on April 23, but he will continue to support EC as a director on the board.
“The role of EC President demands and deserves a significant time commitment, and due to personal commitments and new business obligations, I am no longer able to devote the time and effort required to fulfill these responsibilities,” said Bernhard, who first joined the EC Board as a director in 2015 and was elected president in April 2016 during the EC Annual Convention in Montreal, Quebec.
Bernhard continued, “It has been a privilege to serve as president of Equestrian Canada. I would like to thank the board for their support during these changing, challenging, yet productive times at EC. I also wish to thank Eva Havaris, the EC staff and those in the community who supported me during my time as EC president. I look forward to continuing to serve EC and the equestrian community in my capacity as a member of the board.”
Bernhard’s resignation comes in the wake of a shake up at Equestrian Canada, with several members of the board of directors resigning, and riders and EC committees voicing their discontent with the governing body.
A long-time sponsor of Canadian eventing athletes, Bernhard has been an active supporter of the sport of eventing for more than 15 years. Professionally, he has operated an international metal trading business for more than 20 years.
EC CEO Eva Havaris stated, “On behalf of the EC Board and staff, I would like to thank Jorge for his leadership during a very challenging time for EC as an organization. For the past year, Jorge has been instrumental in helping EC through a time of transition and renewal.”
Havaris also welcomed Hambly: “The EC Board and the federation as a whole have been fortunate to benefit from Peggy’s depth of experience, involvement and dedication to the equestrian industry for many years, and to have her become EC’s first female president is a well-deserved honor. Peggy understands the many nuances of the federation and the community as a whole, and her history of involvement and commitment to the fundamentals embodied by EC’s new bylaws and governance model will be invaluable to EC moving forward.”
Hambly has been connected to EC for nearly 30 years and is the current owner and operator of her family’s Glenarden Farms, which specializes in raising, training and competing eventing horses. She is also an FEI 1/2* Technical Delegate and Level 3 National Technical Delegate. A long-time volunteer within the equestrian community, Peggy is a former member of the Horse Trials Canada board of directors and past president of the Ontario Horse Trials Association. She first joined the EC Board of Directors in 2014.
“I’m extremely excited to be the very first female president of Equestrian Canada,” said Hambly. “I’d like to start out by giving my sincere gratitude and respect to Jorge Bernhard for his tireless work over the past year to help EC move along the path to a stronger and more efficient governance model. Now it is time to honor the progress of the federation by pulling together and completing the governance changes that we collectively created and started implementing more than two years ago. By working together through collaboration and communication we can finish with a solid, unified and strong federation. We have a few challenges left for sure, but I truly believe our glass is 3/4 full now. We can do this and be proud.”