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Meet the Team

The SsangYong Blenheim PalaceHorse Trials have a core team of people who plan and organise the event.  

Mandy Hervieu

Event Director

Originally brought up in Jersey in the Channel Islands, Mandy studied Zoology at Nottingham University then went on to do a Postgraduate qualification in Travel and Tourism at Manchester before undertaking a career in the travel industry.  Having worked at Thomas Cook Direct for several years where she was Head of Sales and Marketing she joined Petplan as the Commercial Director and through their sponsorship became involved with Blenheim. After a sabbatical travelling the world she joined the core organising team at Blenheim for the 2005 European Championships and took over as Event Director in 2007. Married to Simon Esnouf, she lives in Oxfordshire with their horses, dogs and cat and is a keen skier as well as enjoying riding and swimming in her spare time.

Emily Bradford 

Marketing & Admin Executive

Emily joined the SYBPHT team in March 2017. After studying a degree in equine science at Oxford Brookes University, she worked at The Horse Trust where she managed a variety of events for the charity. Emily's main responsibilities at Blenheim include looking after the extensive shopping village,  coordinating exciting programmes for the popular attractions arena, manging our social media media as well as creating exciting content for our followers. 

Zoë Etherington

Event Administrator

Zoë joined the SYBPHT in 2018 as the summer intern shortly after graduating from the Unviersity of Edinburgh with a Masters in Economics. Since then, Zoë has become a permanent member of team and looks after the volunteers, officials and the amateur classes that take place during the event. Zoë is a keen eventer herself and enjoys competing her horses throughout the summer.


Emily Littlejohn

Event Administrator

Emily knows Blenheim and the sport well, having worked as head girl on 2 well-known event yards for many years. She has joined the team as an Event Administrator, following a temporary position at Cheltenham racecourse. Emily’s responsibilities include the FEI competitions, our contractors and hospitality.

Steering Group

The above core office team is supported by the Steering Group. The Steering Group have a huge wealth of knowledge across many sectors.

Karen Bartlett

Karen is a partner in a top 15 national firm of accountants, Saffery Champness, where she specialises in looking after landed estate, private families including trusts and sports persons, and has headed up the High Wycombe office for over 15 years.

Karen is Hon Treasurer of the Horse Trials Support Group and the British Eventing Organisers Association. She owns a number of horses and spends much of her spare time watching them compete. Helping the Steering Group to see the event from an owner’s perspective is one of her main roles at Blenheim.  

Roy Cox

Roy joined the Steering Group in 2017, having worked for the Blenheim Palace Estate for several years as Head of Rural Enterprises.

The Steering Group welcomed Roy to the team last year following his new appointment as Head of Estates. Roy is involved with the majority of outside events run at the palace, so his knowledge and advice relating to the Estate is second to none. 

Phil Duff

Phil Duff is one of the most well respected entrepreneurs in the equestrian industry. His experience in leading equestrian and country lifestyle brands is second to none and, alongside a finely tuned team, he established Ariat’s dominance in the UK and European footwear market.

Driven by performance, Phil’s experience in the equestrian profession began in the early 80’s when he saw a gap in the market for a more casual approach to riding wear. In 1983 innovative clothing brand HAC-TAC was born. By 1997, HAC-TAC had pioneered equestrian cotton legwear in the UK and beyond, when Ariat’s founder, invited Phil to establish the American brand into the English riding market.

Phil has been a passionate member of the BETA International Trade Fair Committee and has worked tirelessly to secure long-term relationships within the industry. In 2014, Phil embarked on the next phase of his equestrian career as an independent business professional.

Tim Holderness-Roddam

Tim joined the Management Team and Steering Group as BE’s Board representative in 2017. Tim has much experience in agriculture is currently a consultant to Countrywide Farmers and Bristol Port and is a Director of the Abercrombie & Kent group of companies.

Tim is married to Jane, former Olympic event rider and the current President of British Eventing. Together they run West Kingston Stud.

Niki Jackson

Niki joined the Steering Group in 2016, accepting particular responsibility for our army of volunteers. Niki was previously involved with SYBPHT for many years as a Head of Department for the grandstand and hospitality teams. In 'real life', Niki is a corporate lawyer based near Leamington Spa. 

Wendy McGowan

Arriving at British Evening seven years ago, it was a complete change from the companies that Wendy had historically worked for. Horses had always been a hobby and since her daughter started to ride some 10 years ago, they had become a much bigger part of Wendy’s life.

Wendy’s career in finance started at GEC Telecommunications where she completed an Accountancy and Business Apprenticeship. Wendy worked for Alvis Logistics Ltd for 18 years and saw various restructures and takeovers, the last being by Northrop Grumman, one of the largest defence companies in the US. The company designed and manufactured bomb disposal vehicles, with their largest customer being the UK MOD. At that time Wendy was promoted from Finance Director to Managing Director, a position held for 7 years.

Having had a daughter during this time, Wendy reconsidered her work life balance and decided that a change was needed. They say timing is everything and so when she learned of the vacancy at British Eventing, she did not hesitate to apply and the rest they say is history!

Wendy’s role at SYBPHT as catering, event guide selling and treasury Head of Department is very different to the Chief Operating Officer role she has back in the office but she relishes the opportunity to meet the other volunteers and officials as she wizzes around the site on a buggy!

Jude Matthews

Jude was appointed the CEO of BE in July 2019 and is a passionate grassroots event rider herself. Jude has served on the board of BE since April 2018 and brings with her more than 17 years' experience with organisations such as KPMG and Hanson PLC. 

Jude is a long-term member of British Eventing and owns six horses of her own. In 2015, she competed in the Badminton grassroots championships on her home-bred Bendigo IV.