Meet the MD: Major Richard Carney, IXL Events LtdDallas Burston Polo Club

Meet the MD: Major Richard Carney, IXL Events LtdDallas Burston Polo Club

As part of a 12 year plan, Major Richard Carney is leading the transformation of the Dallas Burston Polo Club. He took some time out of his busy schedule to tell BQ a little bit more.

Describe your role in no more than 100 words.

To lead and oversee the transformation of the Dallas Burston Polo Club into a multifunctional events and entertainment destination. It forms part of a 12-year plan for the venue in Southam, costing £122m, and will include 100 luxury lodges, a hotel and a Player’s Pavilion.

 

What is it the company does?

IXL Events Ltd encompasses 600-acres of indoor and outdoor event space and includes the IXL Events Centre, six polo grounds, wedding venues, 2.4-acre all-weather SuperArena and Clubhouse. The venue plays host to a number of polo matches, the annual Ladies Day, Fine & Country Polo Day and Polo in the Park. The venue caters for all types of conferences and celebrations, as well as networking events for the local business community.


Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?

I spent 32 years in the military and served in every conflict from 1980 to the war in Afghanistan. I was also the chief instructor for the UN in the Middle East as well as the EU. In April 2013, I joined the Dallas Burston Group of Companies.

 

What do you believe makes a great leader?

Leading from the front, listening carefully, discipline, situational awareness and trust.

 


What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?

The biggest challenge so far has probably been trying to change people’s perception of the polo club and this impressive facility. We are working very hard to encourage more people, from all walks of life, to visit this outstanding venue. Polo is an enjoyable sport for everyone and the IXL Events Centre plays host to some wonderful shows and galas.

 

How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?

I always plan ahead, enjoy each and every new day and relish a challenge.
 
 

When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A lorry driver
 
 
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about then?

I hate untidiness so I lead by example and make sure that everything is organised and has a place!


 
Where do you see the company in five year’s time?

I see the Dallas Burston Polo Club being one of the top ten destinations in the UK for events, leisure and entertainment. We have a lot of work ahead of us, but our £122m development will ensure that we are able to put the Dallas Burston Polo Club firmly on the map.



What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?

Listen, watch and learn. Take your time and most of all be patient.