This year’s annual meeting was another success with an excellent turnout, great speaker, fantastic Silent Action and wonderful prizes. On behalf of the Area, thank you Melissa Beardsley and her great crew for making this happen. Again. Her crew included Claudia Morgan who was instrumental in helping with planning; Anni Grandia our MC Extraordinaire who also gathered all the awards pictures; Barb Barke and Cynthia Bayles for an exceptionally successful Silent Auction; the Young Rider and the Adult Rider groups for their respective awards; Nancy Rodriguez for the graphics; Devin Robel for organizing the Hawley Bennett Clinic; Lorilee Hanson who’s work as Treasurer started long before the meeting started and continues long after everyone else is back home riding their horses; all the people who donated to the Silent Auction and everyone who bid so generously on the Auction which pays for the meeting and awards. There really are so many people who contributed something, somewhere, to make this joint effort a success.
To encourage a little friendly competition in our fundraising, this year we introduced the Ruby Slipper Perpetual Trophy donated by Meriwether Saddlery. You may already know its twin, The CanAm Dismounted Games Golden Boot Trophy. Each year the Ruby Slipper will go to the single Silent Auction item donated by a member or members from Area VII. Several barns and groups rose to the occasion with some beautiful baskets and useful items. The winners were Diane Snow and Patti Cameron of Gallops Saddlery who put together a wonderful basket won by Megan Toth, with Talisman Farms a close second. Diane and Patti will keep the Ruby Slipper for the year and return it for next year’s Silent Auction. Next year we hope to see even more contenders for the Ruby Slipper. Stop by Gallops if you would like to see it.
Barb and Cynthia may have set a record with the Silent Auction receipts this year which topped $8,000. Our Silent Auction raises money to pay for the Annual Meeting and other projects directed by the Area Council.
We want to recognize two of our local tack stores Gallops Saddlery and Olson’s Tack Shop for their continued and extremely generous donations. I know many people will be visiting Gallops to order the many custom items they won, notably a Charles Owens helmet, or cash in their prize gift certificates. Mike Akers of Olson’s donated 100 $10 gift certificates as door prizes as well as a beautiful bridle. Please take a moment to thank these folks, as well as all the other generous sponsors, for their support of Area VII.
Annual Meeting Clinic with Hawley Bennett
Canadian Olympian Hawley was our guest speaker and clinician this year. Organizer Devin summarized the clinic, saying “Hawley challenged every rider, immediately picked out what we needed to focus on, was positive and fun without being easy on us, and we all got plenty of jumps in! Everyone in the clinic was gracious, well prepared, respectful of the group, and I didn’t see anything but smiles.” She thanks Terri Niles for putting together a great lunch spread for auditors and riders. Killer Tiramisu!
One of the industrious auditors, Jo Niehaus, contributed this summary of her Tips from the Clinic with Hawley.
With the change of Area Chair there is a change in the Area Council. The Council provides guidance to the Chair as well as leading the projects and tasks of the Council. It is designed to provide continuity of leadership, cooperation between the various elements of Association and our sport, and just get things done.
I’ve been asked how our Council is formed. All members of the Council are unpaid volunteers. Some serve at the invitation of the Chair and some are predetermined. The Chair serves for 3 years and the new chair is selected by the Council in the third year. The Chair does not necessarily come from the Council, but is someone who has already been active in area affairs. Area Members who serve on the USEA Board of Governors, the Adult and Young Rider Coordinators, the Area Treasurer, and the Organizers’ Rep are automatically seated. These are Louise Leslie, Mark Hart, Sarah Kelly, Maggie Rikard, Malcolm Hook, Lorilee Hanson, and Jonathan Elliott. The Chair also selects a few other area members to round out the council to help deal with the upcoming challenges. With the recent changes in the lot lines for the Area and the addition of new events, we can expect some growing pains. Melissa Beardsley, Kevin Baumgardner, John Camlin, Brenda Mittleider, Jordan Linstedt and Diane Snow have agreed to serve on the Council.
If anyone is interested in becoming more active in keeping Area VII a wonderful place to event, we could use some willing and capable volunteers to help with Area Communications, Area Championships and also with the next Annual Meeting. Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
John Meriwether – Area Chair