USHJA 2nd Annual Meeting Wrap-Up

December 21, 2005



Dear USHJA Members,

We wish all of you a safe and happy Holiday Season. We have included a brief overview of the recent USHJA Annual Meeting. A full report of Convention activities will be included in the winter edition of our newsletter.

The USHJA Annual Meeting held December 5-8, 2005 in Miami, Florida ended with high spirits, a sense of accomplishment and a list of new work to be done. There were approximately 250 members in attendance which speaks for the growing progress of the USHJA. During the four days of the Annual Meeting, over 40 committees and task forces met to discuss progress, programs, issues and concerns and of course rule change proposals. These were open meetings that allowed meeting attendants to listen and participate in the discussions.

The Annual Meeting "officially" began on Monday December 4th with over 100 members attending the Show Managers Clinic, sponsored by Marshall & Sterling, Great American Insurance and Footings Unlimited. Guest speakers included Mary Moeller and James Mitchell from Great American Insurance, Wayne Gregory from Footings Unlimited, Tom Struzzieri, Chairman of the Show Managers Committee, and Dr. Hillary Clayton. Dr. Clayton's studies on the biomechanics of equine gaits with a focus on sport horses provided the attendants with valuable information on the importance of proper footing. The clinic was free to all meeting attendees and included information on footing, insurance, and a show manager's check list. On Monday evening, equestrians gathered under the Miami moon to enjoy cocktails and appetizers at the "Caribbean Nights" Welcome Reception, graciously sponsored by the Rudin Family.

Day two of the Annual Meeting hosted numerous committee meetings as well as the Hunter and Jumper Rule Change Forums which were all very well attended. At the Helmet Safety Seminar, held later in the day, a packed house listened to Dr. William Brooks' presentation on the importance of helmet safety and statistics on injuries due to not wearing an approved helmet. Berk Lee and Danielle Santos of the Tack Box in Middleburg, Virginia, and a representative from Charles Owen brought several approved helmets for members to try on and compare. Following the Helmet Safety Seminar, the first USHJA election was held with a new Board of Directors being seated for a three year term. The day was capped off with the Dine-Around program. This spectacular evening provided round trip travel for our guests to experience one of six superb area restaurants.

Wednesday dawned with another full schedule of meetings including the National Hunter and National Jumper committees as well as the General Rule Change Forum. After a morning of reviewing and discussing rule change proposals, attendees were treated to a luncheon where newly elected USHJA Vice President, Chrystine Tauber, delivered the Keynote Address. Chrystine updated the membership on the progress the USHJA has made throughout the year including the Trainer's Directory, the Mentor Program, the creation of the USHJA magazine that will be coming out this summer and several new and upcoming programs that are sure to benefit and excite the members of USHJA. After a long day of meetings and seminars equestrians enjoyed the President's Reception and Dinner sponsored by the Washington State Hunter Jumper Association. During the dinner President William Moroney honored USHJA Secretary, Beth Miner, with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Beth has served the USHJA tirelessly, with great passion and determination since inception in July of 2003. Mr. Moroney also honored USHJA Legal Council Marianne Kutner and USHJA CFO Sara Pisani with special awards for their dedication to the USHJA.

On Thursday, the final day of the Annual Meeting, the Show Standards Committee gave a presentation on their progress throughout the year on evaluating competition issues, levels of competition, mileage, licensing, defining standards and what is best for the sport of equestrian. The presentation was given by Howard Pike who has served as the facilitator for this project throughout the year. As the annual meeting drew to a close the USHJA Board of Directors met to review and vote on rule changes that specifically addressed hunter, hunter breeding, equitation, jumper, safety and competition standards issues. For a complete list of rule change proposals and the actions of the USHJA Board of Directors, committees and task forces please visit the USEF website at www.usef.org.

Be sure to check our website www.ushja.org for upcoming events and news. Click on the Committees toolbar at the bottom for a list of all committees. Click on the committee of your interest. Each committee has its own webpage to post contact information, upcoming events and meetings, and additional information for members.

Travel safe and mark your calendars for the 2006 USHJA Annual Meeting which will held December 4th -7th in Dallas, Texas.

Merry Christmas from the USHJA Staff.

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