Following are highlights from the American Morgan Horse Association Board of Directors First Quarter Meeting, which took place January 22, 2020, in Lexington, Kentucky, in conjunction with the United Professional Horsemen's Association National Conference.
MEETING MINUTES: Meeting minutes from the meetings held on November 9, 2019, December 18, 2019, and January 15, 2020, were approved and are now posted for review on the Members Only side of the website here: www.morganhorse.com/members/minutes/. (Minutes are posted to this web page once they are formally approved by the BOD or the corresponding committee.)
BYLAWS: It was determined to obtain a quote regarding the estimated fees required to have New York attorneys review the current AMHA bylaws in order to advise the Board regarding any recommendations to edit or change the current bylaws. The estimate will be reviewed at the next board meeting to determine the value in such project.
Continued discussion also was held regarding researching the possibility of incorporation in the State of Kentucky. A sub-committee to do initial research with other equine organizations located in Kentucky but incorporated in New York was established.
REGISTRY: It was noted that while the registration numbers were down 3.23 percent, that is following a 25 percent jump from 2017 to 2018. So, it is still a solid gain over the last two years. In addition, it was noted that the transfers from the Superior Sale (which were processed and reflected in the 2018 statistics) are not included in the 2019 statistics as the transfers did not arrive at the office in time for processing before year end. So the overall registry statistics were fairly positive.
Click here to see the Statistic Overview-Through December 31, 2019.
FINANCE: Final 2019 Membership Statistics were reviewed and reported as follows:
In 2019, there was continued growth in the Premium membership level (up 50 from the previous year). Overall, membership was slightly lower than it was in 2018 (down by 77) but there was an increase in both Life members and Youth Life members. Excluding fees from Life Memberships and Youth Life Memberships, AMHA collected approximately $5,005 less in membership fees in 2019 as it did in 2018.
The Committee reviewed the AMHA fund balances as of January 17, 2020, which were:
*It was noted that the two CD’s that mature each October (TWC and KHP) were temporarily moved to the Rainy Day Fund until the home office transitions to Kentucky and new CD’s can be set up in the local bank accounts that will be established in Lexington.
The Year to Date Financials ending November 30, 2019, were distributed and reviewed.
The board selected Chase Bank to assume the banking duties on behalf of AMHA due to the relocation of the AMHA office from Shelburne, Vermont, to Lexington, Kentucky.
The Vermont Court provided a ruling that required AMHA to advance legal fees for the defense of the 14 individuals sued by former Central Region Director Vicki Bennett. Legal Fees for the first three months of the defense (October through December 2019) totaled $51,104. Discussion was held regarding the possibility of establishing a Legal Defense Fund and it was decided that the Board would research the legal parameters of such. For more information regarding the status of this lawsuit, see the litigation page on the AMHA website here: www.morganhorse.com/about/litigation-updates/.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT: The office continues to be very busy with the transition from Vermont to Kentucky. Two staff members have been hired to work from the Kentucky office and other job postings have been listed. The promotional grant applications have been received and are being prepared for review. The Club awards application deadline falls after convention this year so those will not be presented at the joint conference but rather mailed. "The Morgan Horse Magazine" had a spectacular Nov/Dec. 2019 issue completed and have recently sent the Jan/Feb. 2020 issue to print as well. The Van schaik Dressage Scholarships have been received and the committee to review those needs to be established. The AMHECT memorial grants have been reviewed, all applicants notified and press releases have been completed. The annual report will be distributed at the annual meeting on January 23, 2020. (The annual report is available on the AMHA website here: www.morganhorse.com/about/who-we-are/supporting-documents/.)
USEF: The AMHA Board of Directors reviewed the pending USEF rule change proposals affecting the Morgan Horse industry. They determined to submit comments to USEF supporting the previously provided opinions of the USEF Morgan Rules Committee. The main focus this year was the addition of a Morgan Working Western section within the Morgan Division rules.
The Board also was provided with a copy of the USEF CEO letter from Bill Moroney that recapped the meeting topics from the earlier January 2020, meetings held by the USEF Board of Directors at their convention in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Finally, the board was updated on Safe Sport resources added to the USEF website via second letter from USEF CEO Bill Moroney. The new resources are grouped by “audience” member (trainers, horse owners, competitors, parents, etc.) in order to make them more easily accessible.
AMERICAN HORSE COUNCIL REPORT: The Board of Directors reviewed the annual report from the American Horse Council that provides an update regarding high priority legislation and regulatory issues monitored by the AHC. In addition, the AHC provided progress reports on key industry initiatives championed by AHC.
QUARTERLY MEETING SCHEDULE: The AMHA 2020 Quarterly Board meetings are scheduled as listed below.
AMHA Board meetings are open to members and guests are the directors encourage attendance.
2021 BOARD OF DIRECTOR NOMINATIONS: Attendance at one live, in-person board meeting (within the last 24 months) is required for anyone wishing to run for the position of regional director. The nomination period opens on April 1 and closes on October 1. Therefore, anyone wishing to run for the AMHA board in the next election that has not already attended a live, in person meeting within the last 24 months, will need to attend the May 8-9, 2020, meeting in order to be eligible to submit nomination forms. Contact the AMHA office for more information regarding the election process.
-- via AMHA