Following are highlights from the American Morgan Horse Association Board of Directors Second Quarter Meeting which took place via ZOOM video conference on Saturday, April 25, 2020.
Meeting Minutes: Meeting minutes from the meetings held on January 22, 2020, January 23 and February 10, 2020, March 13, 2020, March 16, 2020 and March 23, 2020 were approved and are now posted for review on the Members Only side of the website here: https://www.morganhorse.com/members/minutes/. (Minutes are posted to this web page once they are formally approved by the BOD or the corresponding committee.)
President’s Report: President Lee asked that everyone keep the health and welfare of all in mind and remember to stay safe and strong. He reported that the Grand National Committee is meeting every two weeks to keep abreast of the quickly changing situations. It was noted that the industry was lucky to have such a knowledgeable committee that planned and established the reserve fund to assist should a catastrophic loss occur. In addition, President Lee reported on the recent activities of the Joint Leadership Council and reported that the JLC has been very busy with various projects revolving around the assistance to the industry during this difficult time.
AMHECT Report: It was noted that the AMHECT Board of Trustees met on March 2 and April 14 and that Mike Goebig was appointed and approved as the Trust President while Carol Fletcher was elected Finance Chair. AMHECT approved and issued three grants to AMHA including 1) $18,565.35 for AMHA Marketing Endeavors, 2) $6,961.97 for AMHA Regional Show Support, and 3) $2,320.66 for AMHA Show Grant Support. The accounting firm of McSoley, McCoy and Company is currently working on the 2019 AMHECT Audit.
The Morgan Horse Magazine Report: TMH Magazine Editor, Stephen Kinney along with Associate Editor, Kim Oplotnik were on the video conference and provided the board with an overview of the current state of the magazine, the possible modifications that are being considered due to expected loss of ad income due to COVID-19 and creative advertising opportunities. Updates regarding the implementation of the Broodmare Hall of Fame Equitation Horse Results were provided. It was noted that while the Magazine Advisory Committee had been dissolved, that Dallas Bolen would serve as the official liaison between the magazine and the Board of Directors throughout the year but that Stephen would participate directly in quarterly board meetings for a more formal reporting process.
Executive Director’s Report: Executive Director, Carrie Mortensen reported on the following topics:
Registry: Please click here to view the statistics reported by the Registrar through March 31, 2020.
The Board voted to change the rules regarding changing a horse’s registered name so that in order to change a horse’s registered name (regardless if the horse has a registered prefix or not), permission must be granted by the owner of the dam at the time of foaling. This change will go into effect on June 1, 2020.
It was determined to proceed with the establishment of the Registry Breeders Awards beginning in 2021 for all World Champion and High Point Classes and AMHA will actively pursue sponsors to offset any expenses of the program.
Bylaws: The Board approved the Bylaws Committee recommendation to amend Section 4.11 of the Bylaws to delete the requirement for 45 days-notice to be sent to hold a Special Meeting and replace it with 48 hours-notice. Also approved were updates in Section 2.16(a) wherein the name of Vermont will be replaced by the name of Kentucky to change jurisdiction venue now that the home office has relocated. The Bylaws Committee continues researching and working on several pending items and will continue to research and report back to the Board.
Finance: The impact of COVID-19 on the horse industry in general, as well as the AMHA in particular, was discussed extensively. It is expected to impact every revenue source including magazine advertising, registry transactions, memberships, Star Shows, Champion Title Program, etc. In addition, continued legal fees incurred due to Victoria Bennett’s lawsuit continue to grow and drain the Rainy-Day Fund. The Finance Committee will schedule a meeting to review possible budget cuts based on expected loss of income in the coming weeks and significant reductions in expenses will be required. The 2019 AMHA Audit is complete and was approved by both the Finance Committee and the Board. A copy of the Audit is posted on the Members Only side of the AMHA website at https://www.morganhorse.com/members/reports/.
Fund Balances as of April 4, 2020 were reported as follows below.
While the Rainy-Day Fund balance is $107,656.38, there are funds earmarked for moving expenses and upgrades to technical equipment leaving a $79,656.38 balance in the Rainy-Day Fund.
Special Committee Reports: The Board received reports from the Special Committees and some of the highlights included:
Pending USEF Rule Changes:
The board reviewed the pending rule change proposals from USEF and determined to provide formal support for EQ118.12 (Equitation-USEF Medal Final), DR133.1 (Dressage-Opportunity Classes), MO166 (Morgan-AMHA Medal) and WD102 (Western Dressage-Membership). You can find the pending rule change proposals in full on the USEF website at www.usef.org.
New Business/Action Items: Several items of New Business and/or Action Items were included on the agenda and discussed by the Board including:
Remaining Quarterly Meetings:
The tentative dates for the Third and Fourth Quarter meetings are subject to change based on possible adjustments required due to Coronavirus policies and safety. At this time, the meetings are scheduled as listed below.
AMHA Board meetings are open to members and guests and the Directors encourage members to participate.
Any questions regarding these highlights can be directed to AMHA Executive Director, Carrie J. Mortensen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (802) 985-4944, Ext. 201.
-- via AMHA