Chartered Surveying firm’s MD appointed to the world’s governing body for equestrian Olympic sport

World's only judges' representative

21 December 2017

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Andrew Gardner, Managing Director of Cooke & Arkwright, has been appointed a member on the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) Dressage Committee. Founded in 1921, the FEI is the world’s governing body for equestrian Olympic sport.

It regulates equestrian programmes at championships and continental and regional games, as well as the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Andrew became a 5*/O-dressage judge in 2011, adjudicating at the highest level achievable in the dressage discipline. He replaces outgoing member, Mexican 5* judge, Maribel Alonso on the FEI Dressage Committee as the world’s only judges’ representative.

Andrew’s ‘alternative career’ in judging began 30 years ago and has progressed through many posts. He was originally a member of the British Horse Society’s Dressage Committee, including a period as Chairman of International Selection. He was part of the working group that helped form British Dressage Limited and is a past Board Director. He was Chairman of British Judges for two terms and has sat on the committee that oversees judge training and examinations. His latest appointment is the culmination of many years of dedication to the specialist equestrian sport, which has taken him to Australia, the USA, Canada, South America, Scandinavia, Russia and the Middle East, and all over Europe.

Andrew comments, “It is a great honour to be appointed to the FEI Dressage Committee. My judging career has taken me on many trips throughout the world and I have been very lucky to see the sport grow in strength and popularity, especially in Great Britain.”

Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He joined the firm as a graduate in 1985 and became a Director in 2002, and Managing Director in 2011. He has conducted major asset valuations and provided professional advice for leading Welsh organisations and public bodies, and is active in residential development land agency, where he advises both public and private sector land owners.

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group