Dear USPRE Members,
This month marks the end of our first calendar year as the official PRE Association of the United States—and what a year it has been. In the face of betrayal, the abandonment of the genealogy of our horse, and the possibility of complete severance of all ties with the Stud Book in Spain, American Breeders stood together in an overwhelming wave of opposition to the breach with Spain and in open support for the reinstatement of normalcy and continuity with the parent Stud Book, which holds the legacy of the PRE horse both in Spain and in the United States. As we now count the last days of the year, the dust has settled and our PRE Breeders are now refreshingly in full control of the legitimate documentation of their horses.
In 2008, we welcomed over 400 new Members from all corners of the country and Breeders from outside the United States. As we’ve grown, we’ve developed an identity based on the emerging face of our Membership and on the goals that we hear you are most interested in achieving. The inception of USPRE coincided with the transition of control of the Spanish Studbook from the Cria Caballar to ANCCE. To date, the network of Breeders of PRE horses in the United States has never been stronger or more united, and Breeder services through USPRE and ANCCE are seamless and automatic. Cartas are arriving in the States on a regular basis and a record number of American-bred PREs have been accepted into the Studbook. Additionally, our performance programs are up and running and well attended by serious competitors—culminating in the participation of a Member’s horse in the USEF Olympic Dressage Selection Trials this past June.
And the momentum continues to build with plans for next year. As we start to think about 2009, I would like to report to you on the work that USPRE has done for our Membership over the past 12 months and the historic progress that is underway as we work toward our collective goal of promoting the PRE Horse in the United States.
Who We Are:
The Membership of USPRE generally consists of two groups, both of which are vital to each other: the majority of our Membership is PRE Breeders from across the nation, from large establishments with hundreds of horses to small cottage breeding farms with one or two mares. Our Breeders are knowledgeable and experienced in the standards that are required for our breed and the norms of competing within the morphological circuits. They have joined USPRE because they value the heritage of our horse, their relationship to the Studbook and to ANCCE, and because they appreciate an association where they can utilize their ideas and skills to further the place of the US-bred PRE in the American equestrian landscape.
Our second group of Members consists primarily of Owners/Riders of PREs for Dressage. This group recognizes that they are a minority in the great numbers of riders and trainers of Northern European breeds and they appreciate the support and programs sponsored by USPRE, as we seek to educate the sport horse world on the inimitable strengths of the PRE horse.
USPRE is led by a Board of Directors who are deeply committed to the welfare and promotion of the PRE Horse and who have been active in this cause for many years. The USPRE Board have met regularly and have planned and monitored the various activities and programs established in the past year. The Board is advised by an Honorary Board unprecedented in its qualifications in the Dressage, Veterinary and PRE Breed communities.
What We’ve Done in 2008:
1. LG/ANCCE Services. The close relationship between USPRE and LG/ANCCE has resulted in a resurgence of available services to PRE Breeders over the past year. Over 2000 PRE horses have been revised or inscribed since January as a direct result of the efforts of USPRE Vice President and ANCCE Delegado to North America, Alexander Zilo. US-bred stock was welcomed into the Spanish Studbook, as were many examples of horses whose owners were unable in the past to register them but who could prove their Spanish pure-bred heritage. Not only were these examples allowed to join the Studbook, but their inscription and revision allowed for generations of their offspring to also be registered as PRE horses. Through the work of USPRE leadership and volunteers, traveling across the country during weeks of valoration trips, ANCCE was convinced that the United States deserved its own branch office. In late September, an official ANCCE Studbook Services office was opened in Miami, FL. Now PRE Breeders can communicate directly with a stateside office with all of their service needs or questions.
2. Website: An interactive news and information website was constructed that features articles on all topics pertaining to the American PRE community, including ANCCE news and announcements, successful PRE horses and owners, handling and grooming articles, sales opportunities, Breeder news, profiles of USPRE Directors, USPRE mission statement, membership application, etc. Most of our new Members have joined through the USPRE website and we welcome more of their written contributions to this convenient daily tool for PRE owners.
3. Performance Programs: USPRE sponsored several competition awards this past year designed to promote the PRE Horse in sport. For Dressage, USPRE sponsored three PRE High Point Awards during the Wellington season—the Wellington Classic, the Palm Beach Derby, and the Gold Coast Finale. These awards are designed to encourage riders of PREs—whether amateur, professional or junior—to compete in Open shows alongside other breeds. (USPRE will continue to sponsor these awards in the same shows in 2009, but we would like to sponsor more High Point Awards in other locations around the country. We ask that Members who are interested in a USPRE-sponsored High Point program in their USDF Region contact us in early 2009.) In June, USPRE was recognized by the United States Dressage Federation as the official representative organization for the PRE Horse and the parent Studbook. Subsequently, USPRE established a USDF All-Breeds Program in which PREs from around the country compete for the highest scores at all USDF levels. This year we had 18 award winners and USPRE Vice-President Janne Rumbough represented USPRE at the USDF Annual Convention in early December in Denver.
4. Show Sponsorship: USPRE participated in the sponsorship of three PRE Breed Shows this past year as well: Fiesta Midwest in June in Wilmington, OH; the Feria del Caballo Español in Industrial City, CA, in August; and the PRE class at the USDF Sporthorse Breed Show at Dressage by the Bay in Traverse City, MI in July. Thanks to the sponsorship of USPRE and the collaboration with ANCCE, ANCCE representatives made two separate trips to the United States to attend PRE shows. President Javier Conde traveled in June to Wilmington with a delegation of ANCCE officials to meet with US Breeders and to distribute the first Cartas of the year. And in September, ANCCE representatives, this time headed by Executive Director Pedro Pons, traveled to California to attend the Feria Del Caballo Español. USPRE representatives were also on-hand at each of these shows for awards presentations. Winners of the PRE Breed shows were reported in the Spanish press and the winners of the USDF classes were reported in the USDF Connection magazine and the Chronicle of the Horse.
5. Clinics and Education: USPRE Sponsored three clinics this past year in California, Michigan and Florida. In February, USPRE brought Grand Prix Dressage Rider Victor Alvarez for a clinic and a USPRE kick-off reception that drew 175 people in Wellington. In May, Grand Prix Rider and Morphology Judge Ignacio Bravo presented a clinic on breeding and showing in hand at the facilities of Raul Bucio and Romiro Meija in Merced and Chino, California, where over 200 people attended. In August, Victor Alvarez returned to the States, this time to Hampton Green Farm in Michigan to give a public clinic and to participate in a fund-raiser for Dressage 4 Kids that drew over 500 people.
6. Promotion: USPRE is now instantly identified through our eye-catching and unique logo, designed and generously donated by Remi Blot of Conil, Spain. The colors of our logo speak to our partnership with Spain, and our breed’s most recognizable characteristics are celebrated in the graphic depiction which also resembles the logos of the international equestrian championships. Additionally, three magazine ads were designed and campaigned in 2008: one which featured a PRE horse in dressage tack, one which emphasized the beauty of a PRE horse at liberty, and one which listed the Breeder Members of USRE. All three were designed to emphasize the various goals of USPRE and were placed in show programs, trade publications and equestrian periodicals. Also in 2008, USPRE purchased a promotional package with Dressagedaily.com (over 1,000,000 daily readers) for press releases and have utilized this tool on several occasions this past year.
7. Press: Three articles were independently written about USPRE in nationally distributed magazines: USDF Connection; Dressage Today, and El Caballo Magazine.
8. Non-Profit Status: In August 2008, USPRE was granted its 501C3 tax-exempt status by the IRS. This means that USPRE is a non-profit organization and all distributions made to USPRE are considered tax deductions to the donor.
9. El Caballo Magazine: By now, all of the Membership of USPRE should have received the introductory issue of El Caballo Magazine, ANCCE’s celebrated glossy magazine featuring all aspects of the PRE horse—its history, development, care and training. ANCCE is generously offering the English version of this bi-monthly magazine to all Members in good standing of USPRE. USPRE Members are also invited to advertise in the US issue at very competitive rates. The US issue will also contain articles on topics of concern specifically to American Breeders, Owners, and Riders.
10. Upcoming Events in 2009:
a. 2009 Annual Meeting: Please mark your calendar for February 23, 2009. We plan to hold our first Annual Meeting at that time in Wellington FL, in coordination with a dressage clinic, rider exhibition and USPRE party. More details to follow in January.
b. PRE Horse Expo—May 29, 30, 31 2009 in Industry City, California;
c. National PRE Feria—September 11-13 2009 in Industry City, California;
d. TRC Tribunals in California and Florida;
e. More clinics with Ignacio Bravo, Victor Alvarez and others;
f. ANCCE PRE Show in conjunction with ERAHC in Virginia;
g. And much more . . .
It is hard to believe that we have done so much in just a year. 2009 looks even brighter, full of services, programs, and educational opportunities for USPRE Members and all those interested in knowing more about our wonderful horse. Be sure to attend our 2009 Annual Meeting in Wellington, FL on February 23 to hear more about upcoming programs and events.
It must be said that the progress of 2008 could not have happened without the generous donations of a small group of people who are committed to the success of our organization. Prompt and full payment of Membership Dues by 31 January will ensure that these programs are continued and more are developed.
We thank you for your commitment to the growth and development of USPRE and we especially appreciate the diverse group of PRE enthusiasts who sustain this association with their time, dues, donations, ideas, and participation.
For myself and the Board of Directors, we wish you a Happy Holiday season.
Kimberly Van Kampen Boyer