Below are highlights from the American Morgan Horse Association Board of Directors Third Quarter Meeting which took place via ZOOM video conference on Saturday, August 8, 2020.
Meeting Minutes: Meeting minutes from the meeting held on July 6, 2020 were approved and are now posted for your 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 C.A. Lee, III provided the President’s report that included updates on many items. The Joint Leadership Council has continued to be very busy in the middle of the pandemic addressing current challenges. The Grand National has been meeting bi-weekly to concentrate efforts on the ever-changing data and is doing everything possible to move forward with the best possible offering this year. The Board reviewed and approved some minor tweaks to the AMHA logo (moving the mane from the wrong side, defining the ear, etc.). Steven Epperson was nominated and approved to serve as a Trustee to the Cynthia Elaine Epperson Trust Board. The current status of the Bennett litigation was also provided. While the court has dismissed the claim, the plaintiff has the right to appeal and AMHA is currently reviewing options on seeking relief from attorney fees.
AMHECT Report: It was noted that the AMHECT Board of Trustees met on June 25, 2020 when they reviewed and approved the 2019 Audit presented by McSoley, McCoy and Company. They reviewed financial reports through May 31, 2020, as well as the fund balances including the Grand National Horse Show accounts as of June 22, 2020. The Trustees were provided with a copy of the complaint filed with the IRS by former AMHA Director Victoria Bennett. The Trustees sent a copy of the complaint to McSoley, McCoy and Company for their official review and follow up. Updating the AMHECT website is a current project for the Trustees and will be reviewed shortly. The Trustees voted to accept prints from the Sam Savitt Estate which he titled “Horse Breed Series – The Morgan Horse” done in 1971 for fundraising purposes.
AMHA Staff Report: Both the Morgan Horse Magazine Editor, Stephen Kinney and the Executive Director, Carrie Mortensen provided staff reports to the Board.
Stephen reported the statistics on each of the magazine issues that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Loss of advertising due to the cancellation of many shows has GREATLY affected the budget. At a previous meeting, the Board agreed to move forward with the printing of each issue as long as revenue exceeded expense. The magazine team has been very creative in keeping the publication in print and while we are thrilled to maintain the printing for our subscribers, the overall AMHA budget will suffer significant shortfalls in previously expected revenue.
Carrie gave a report on the physical closing of the Vermont office which occurred on August 6, 2020. The Registry Representative position in Kentucky has been filled and the in-house accountant position will be back effective August 31, 2020. Due to the need to possibly adjust another version of the 2020 budget and due to the transition of the Vermont office to Kentucky, the 2021 Budget draft will be presented at the Fourth Quarter meeting in November. At the time of the meeting, several members have requested nomination materials to have their name on the ballot for the 2021 Election, but the office has not received any completed forms back yet. The deadline for nominations is October 1, 2020. Lastly, the Board granted permission to have staff move forward with the printing of the Fall/Winter NETWORK newsletter.
Registry: Please click here to view the statistics reported by the Registrar through July 31, 2020.
As of August 1, 2020, there were 293 registration applications pending completion. Of these, 124 are for 2020 foals, 85 are for 2019 foals, 26 are for 2018 foals, 18 are for 2017 foals, and 40 are for horses foaled in 2016 and prior. The oldest horse was foaled in 1999. These figures are by the year foaled, not by when they were received.
Bylaws: The Bylaws Committee continues to work on a variety of items but are limited in scope on items that require legal review since the budget is so tight at this time. Some of the projects being handled include establishing a written policy regarding the use of the AMHA membership list, further researching the value of possible incorporation in the State of Kentucky, options to raise the number of board members from 9 to 11, and strengthening the current AMHA Bylaws in regards to Indemnification of Officers and Directors and Hearings processes. It was also noted that AMHA has been in complete compliance with Section 3.6 of AMHA Bylaws pertaining to the retention of voting records and the posting of the voters' list to the members only side of the website (posted since March 24, 2020 as required).
Finance: Fund Balances as of July 26, 2020 were reported as follows below.
Special Committee Reports: The Board received reports from the Special Committees and some of the highlights included:
Welfare & Rescue Committee Chair, Kelly Kraegel reported on the successful launch of the Full Circle Angels program and the dedicated Facebook page. The Committee has done quite a bit of work in the short time they have been formed and are excited to continue to assist in this area of need. Check out the Full Circle Angel program on the AMHA website here or visit the newly formed Full Circle Program Facebook page here.
Highlights were read from the amazing report received by the AMHA Youth Committee which has been significantly active in updating the Horsemastership Program (into the new MERIT program). In addition to these great upgrades, the Youth Council has been tremendously busy with monthly meetings, special events, educational sessions, AND fundraising for AMHA by successfully selling Youth Council water bottles! This is a BUSY group. Plans are underway to hold the 2020 Youth of the Year Contest virtually. This group has been very creative to make this amazing event as special as ever during these challenging times. They are still working on obtaining pictures/videos for the judging portion of the contest – if you can help, please contact Nikki Scovotti at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Old Business: A brief update was provided on the status of the Morgan Stronger campaign to raise funds to offset losses expected from the COVID-19 crisis, etc. It appears that many members thought that the membership form included was the “renewal” form for 2021 when it was in fact for use by those who may not have renewed yet for 2020. However, donations are also being received and the website is being updated with the names of those supporters. The Board discussed ways to keep the campaign at the forefront of the members’ minds.
New Business: Discussion was held regarding various options for the 2021 Annual Membership Meeting in lieu of travel challenges due to COVID-19. The Board will further discuss those options and establish a plan at the September 14, 2020 meeting.
At the April meeting, the Board had put the majority of all programs and awards on hiatus for 2020 in order to be fiscally responsible and manage the budget. After much review, it was determined to only award the Hall of Fame awards for 2020 and then resume all AMHA Honor Awards with the 2021 calendar year.
The Board approved the Judges & Professionals Committee recommendation to hold judges schools in 2020 in conjunction with the UPHA Annual Meeting/Convention (if held, for Large ‘R’ judges only) and for applicants, small ‘r’ judges and Large ‘R’ judges at the 2021 Gold Cup Horse Show. A second school will be offered but will be announced at a later date as to where and when it will be offered.
The Board reviewed a couple of member suggestions/requests before adjournment.
Next Meetings: Upcoming Board Meetings are scheduled as shown 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 email@example.com or (802) 985-4944, Ext. 201.
-- via AMHA