As the end of 2014 approaches, it is my tradition to send a season’s greetings to our membership and summarize our year at USPRE. I am happy to report another landmark year of growth in our membership, signs of strength in the PRE market, and success in our various programs and services, both old and new.
In 2014, Membership continued its strong growth trend, increasing by over 30% since January. Over the past two years, we have added close to 300 new members, primarily studfarms, equally representing the various communities of PRE breeders across our country. I want to personally welcome all new members and hope that you will call in and let us get to know you better.
From our LG staff we report another year of increase in service requests, particularly for Inscriptions, which is indicative of a good future. We believe that 2014 will be the last year that we will be cycling through the decreased numbers of the recession and we expect Revisions to start to more closely match Inscription growth in 2015. LG Director Tanya Duffey, recently returned from LG training in Ecuador, will report full year-end statistics to the Board in January, which will be included in the subsequent report of the Annual Meeting.
Our theme in 2014 was improved Customer Service, and we hope that we achieved that goal for all breeders who use our services. We increased the LG staff with a second full-time person, and added a new Director of Operations, Sally Rodriguez, who also stepped into the Member Services role formerly held by Ricardo Nigaglione. New software was added in 2014 which has improved ticketing and tracking of pending services, and allows us to have a complete on-line history of more complicated cases. Processing times are monitored closely and we have seen a decrease in wait times for normal services.
The Breeders Executive Committee (BEC) sponsored two Ferias, four TRC-preparation clinics in Florida and California with Tom Reed and Spanish presenter and morphology judge Sebastian Bastida Porras, and a dressage clinic in New York with Juan Manuel Munoz. The first BEC elections by the Voting Membership are being conducted this month. Voters have been sent a paper ballot which we encourage you to fill out and return via fax or mail at your earliest convenience. We have a dedicated group of breeders who desire to serve our association on this important committee and we would like to have the membership’s endorsement. I also want to thank those breeders who served the past two years, bringing about many new programs specifically to benefit PRE breeders across the country.
One such program that originated with the BEC was the organization of the Qualified Tribunal (TRC) in the US in September. This event brought out a delegation from ANCCE to identify Qualified Breeding Stock. From 20 applicants presented in Paso Robles in September, 8 horses were given Qualified approval. This program is costly but resulted in 8 additional outstanding breeding exemplars in our country. Most of these horses, as well as many others, will be featured in a new and updated USPRE Catalogue of Breeding Stock, to be unveiled in January at USPRE Week.
Another highly popular new program in 2014 was the Copa USPRE. This Breeder’s Cup is for FEI-level dressage horses and riders, and the winners’ results showed that PRE riders in the United States are competing at a very high level with excellent results. We will be following our USPRE Dressage Team throughout 2015, while the Copa runs for a second year. More information about this program can be found in the Dressage Menu on this website.
USPRE continues to have a presence at major equestrian events. In 2014 we again were title sponsors of the Global Dressage Festival in Wellington, FL, where our USPRE Party brought out over 600 people to enjoy an evening of beautiful performances by our members on their PREs and the Medieval Times knights and horses. We also had booths again at both Ferias, Los Angeles and Las Vegas, at Equine Affaire in Ohio and at SICAB this past month. We sponsored High Point awards at 3 CDIs in Wellington and 6 CDIs in California, and a PRE breed award at Dressage at Devon.
In this upcoming year, the last of my final term as President of this association, I have a few items left on my wish list:
–An ANCCE show on the East Coast
–Reconciliation of all eligible PRE stock in the US to the LG
–Continued spirit of cooperation among PRE breeders in North America
–Continued efforts to make USPRE relevant to all PRE breeders of all backgrounds across the country
I know I speak for the Board of Directors when I say that in 2015 we will put all our efforts into building and protecting the USPRE Association, and maintaining the services that our members enjoy and trust us to manage. In prior years, the popularity of our horse was affected by division within the breeding community. I believe it is in our power now to move beyond those days to a new generation of PRE breeders that is informed, progressive and most importantly, united– together and with Spain. This will directly impact the success of our breed in this country.
I hope we will see all of you at USPRE Week next month in Wellington, where we expect another record turn-out for our USPRE Party, and feature important seminars for breeders from ANCCE representatives who will present new developments and programs in the LG that affect all breeders worldwide. Please see our website or contact Sally in the office for more information.
Finally, as we wind down this busy year, on behalf of our Board and Staff I want to wish all a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy, Productive New Year in 2015.