Reflecting on 9 years as president of USPRE for my final year-end letter, it was difficult to condense so many experiences and memories into a concise summary. As this year comes to a close, so does this first chapter of our association. The change of leadership comes at just the right time. USPRE has become a strong and healthy association of breeders and owners– with positive momentum in all of our programs, a stabile financial outlook, proven leadership at all levels of the organization, and a breeding industry that is again on the rise.
I am grateful for the loyal support of our members during the founding of the association and some of the growing pains of our early years. Your trust in me, and in our board, gave us the initiative to make decisions that would determine the direction and identity of USPRE. The new members that are continuing every year to join are adding to the richness of our community. Our members come from many different segments of American culture, but I believe we are exceptional in our spirit of unity. USPRE members might be wearing a polo shirt, a cowboy hat, riding britches or el traje corto, but all mix together at our various events, united by our passion for our horses. It was the support of all segments of the PRE world that has made USPRE a truly national association, serving all communities equally.
I am also very grateful for our staff. Joan Mack, as Executive Director, and Tanya Duffey, as LG Manager, have established a level of customer service and efficiency in the Wellington office that is on a par with that of the parent studbook. USPRE is a leader among the other nations that manage LG services for ANCCE in its processing of paper in fully automated systems. For normal cases, turn-around time is minimal and for those cases with issues, resolution happens in as little time as possible. We have seen a 25% increase in 2015 of new inscriptions, changes of ownership and new breeder codes, indicators of a verdant PRE breeding sector in North America and a healthy sales market.
Our programs are vibrant and mostly now run by members. The Copa USPRE is identifying and encouraging promising FEI riders to campaign their PRE horses in top dressage competition. The Born in America awards are most coveted at the morphology shows. Our High Point contests are well attended in Calfornia and Florida, and USPRE Week is now attracting attendees from around the world. The BEC is working well, implementing new services and policies that will move our breeders forward into modern standards of horse management. The new USPRE Catalog of Breeders and Breeding Stock is on track to be unveiled in Wellington in January and will add a new dimension for the promotion of horses and breeders in North America.
All of this, and more, is the product of nine years of hard work by the Board of Directors since the inception of the association. I am very proud of what we have accomplished for the community and the promotion of the PRE horse, but there is one thing that I look back at with disappointment. That is, in spite of much personal effort on my part, I was not able to see the creation of a morphology show on the East side of the United States during my tenure. I believe strongly that without competition, the PRE horse in America cannot improve. The West Coast shows are bringing together the best livestock and breeders on that side of the country, and the community that meets at these events is helping to stimulate the economy of horses there. The other parts of the country are desperately in need of similar groups of committed breeders who are willing to work together to create the same experience for the benefit of all. USPRE is willing to assist and support a new project such as this, but the impetus lies with the breeders themselves. It is my hope that our new president will be more successful than I was in encouraging our members to create an East Coast or Central morphology event.
Finally, I ask that you all give your best support to Betsy Ketcham as she assumes her new role, and as she leads the association forward into the next chapter of growth and improvement. Betsy has been a committed and hard-working member of our Board for many years, and she brings a fresh vision and her own unique talents and passions to the office of president. She will be looking for members within our association who show leadership in their fields of interest and who are willing to help USPRE with their time and talent. I would encourage those of you who can to get involved and invest yourself into USPRE. I can tell you from my own experience and from my heart, you will never regret a moment of it.
My very best wishes to you all for a Merry Christmas, and for the promise of all good things in the New Year.