* Licensed Officials Education
Last week’s ASHA Judges Clinic set a completely new precedent for attendance and new applicants. It was refreshing and encouraging to have 20 new applicants perusing their first USEF Licensed Judges accreditation alongside the 40 previous licensed judges.
The ASHA Judges Clinic is for anyone needing to get educational hours, start the licensing process, or interested in learning more about judging standards for Saddlebred, Hackney, Roadster, and Equitation classes. The clinics are facilitated by Fran Crumpler and Melissa Moore. ASHA took over licensed officials education in the spring of 2019 and has since hosted two clinics to rave reviews and growing interest.
Because of the interest in and value of this educational forum to better understand the judging standards, ASHA is opening up future clinics to be audited for free by current UPHA Professional Members who are not on track to be judges. Both our leadership and facilitators believe this can be an excellent tool for industry professionals looking to strengthen their ability to articulate to clients and the newcomers they are introducing to showing the American Saddlebred.
For more information and future clinic dates, check out our Licensed Officials page.
* ASHA Board of Directors Meeting
While the National Conference is a great time to engage with members, it also proves to be an advantageous time to hold one of the two in-person board meetings for the ASHA Board of Directors. ASHA held its first of two sessions on Wednesday before many of the conference activities commencing to introduce oncoming members and create a dialog that both closes out and starts the new term with positivity and progress.
In this year’s meeting, all agenda items received unanimous approval from the board. Executive leadership for 2020 established Marty Schaffel as President, James Nichols as Vice President, Allen Bosworth as Treasurer, and Owen Weaver as Secretary. Also, the board voted to enact an idle by-law that identifies and creates a succession plan for executive leadership of the board. The board also heard and approved proposals to take advantage of by-laws that create room for three honorary appointed board members that contribute valuable perspectives from membership but do not have voting privileges. The three honorary board members approved for 2020 are Amy Dix Rock, Joe O’Brien, and Chris Shubert. The board looks forward to having these individuals’ professional expertise and American Saddlebred experience at the table to help us in the upcoming year. In closing, the board voted to approve the 2020 annual budget and the first horse show grant to the Silicon Valley Horse Show in California.
* Annual Membership Meeting
Each year during the National Conference, the participating affiliate associations hold annual membership meetings. The ASHA uses this opportunity to both highlight key accomplishments and shares the major new initiatives for the upcoming year. This year Leadership presented a president’s report, executive director’s report, treasurer’s report, ASR report, USEF rule proposals update, and nominating committee procedures.
One advancement made for 2020 was the 36-page full-color ASHA 2019 Annual Report we developed for meeting attendees to review and follow along with the presentation given by the interim executive director, David Mount. 2019 has been a year of significant progress. The report takes members through the past year, starting with the goals set at the 2019 National Conference in Palm Springs. It outlines ASHA’s accomplishments in leadership, partnerships, member benefits, competition support, marketing and promotions, youth activities, and industry services initiatives. The 2019 ASHA Annual Report is available for your viewing here.
In addition to the Annual Report, President Marty Schaffel and Treasurer Allen Bosworth took the stage to update membership and review the directional mission currently driving the ASHA to continued progress, accountability, and positivity. Schaffel’s President Report spoke to the last six months with him at the helm focusing on communications, transparency, and partnership. He also touched on the threats facing all equine endeavors with declining registrations and horse shows, but how we can combat these challenges by following a mantra, he followed in business, “You can be successful if you are willing to help enough other people be successful.” The President’s Report was highlighted by the guest appearance of Mercer Springs Farm Matriarch, the formidable, Sandra Lilly. Lilly implored all in attendance to celebrate the positive things happening in our community and direct our energy into building a robust future hand in hand for the betterment of the American Saddlebred. Schaffel echoed these sentiments with a final take away that we will continue to make every effort to stand arm in arm to look out and work towards strengthening the ASHA and the American Saddlebred community. Bosworth translated the financial summary into layman’s terms and break down the fiscal philosophy currently at work to make “ASHA a business that operates as a business.” The overall take away was that ASHA in 2020 would be operating on a flat budget and continue to modernize business practices and policies.
ASR Registrar Lisa Duncan and USEF Board Member Judy Werner also gave their reports to the membership. Duncan highlighted the last year of statistics on foal registrations, stallions reporting, transfers completed, the 2020 First Time Breeders Program, online registrations, and the Half Saddlebred Registry. Werner gave an update on current USEF Saddlebred rule proposals currently being reviewed and considered. She took the time to explain how rule proposals come to fruition and that just because a rule was proposed does not make it enforceable, nor does it mean that it will eventually be passed.
We thank Richfield Video Productions for being on hand to record the meeting and will be sharing the video as soon as it becomes available.
* Continuing Education Sessions & Workshops
Since the early spring of 2019, ASHA has worked to create support resources for our members to strengthen areas of their equine endeavors, from promotion to barn business management. To continue this mission to provide value to ASHA members, we brought three educational sessions to the National Conference this year. We are incredibly grateful for the support of Independent Equine Agents for making these sessions possible.
Leading the ASHA Continuing Education Sessions were Elisabeth McMillan from EquestrianProfessional.com and Chad Mendell from Equiseen Marketing. These two equine industry leaders provided over five hours of enrichment content to ASHA members and conference attendees in the areas of marketing and business planning. Mendell broke down the importance of “don’t make me think” when it comes to your website, social media, and service advertising. He meticulously went through website organization, social advertising, and the tips and tricks to making social media posts work for you. McMillian, who also mentors our ASHA Professional Development Grant recipients, led both a presentation and workshop to help guide attendees through four areas focus to succeed more in your equine business. Attendees learned how to approach their business and personal goals with increased awareness and self-understanding to assure that every facet of your business is working optimally for you. Each of these sessions was captured by Richfield Video Productions and will be made available shortly.
In addition to the two guest speakers, ASHA’s Marketing and Communications Manager, Jessica Cushing, prepared and presented a basic digital marketing resource workshop to the Riding Program Council on Wednesday. Cushing produced a resource guide with step-by-step processes for how to make economic digital marketing resources work for you. The manual is available here and is meant to accompany the hands-on direction of a facilitator there to support and instruct attendees through their first designs and video creations. The ASHA looks forward to expanding this manual and more to assist more members in helping #sharethesaddlebred and growing their barn communities.
ASHA was proud to honor over 100 members in attendance at the National Conference. From our annual ASHA Major Awards to National High Point Champions, we took the time to celebrate equestrians from all regions and disciplines last week. Over 200 guests joined us to celebrate these accomplishments at the ASHA Awards Luncheon! It is humbling to see the vast array of accomplished American Saddlebreds and members succeeding in the show ring and beyond in 2019.
ASHA Major Award Video Presentations
ASHA Awards Luncheon Presentation
A special thank you to our leadership, staff, volunteers, Richfield Video Productions and the UPHA Conference planning committee that all work together to make this great event possible!
-- via ASHA