Good morning everyone and welcome to our AGM.
How strange it is to be addressing you all via a Zoom conference facility! Who would have thought twelve months on from the last AGM that we would be living the way we are now with all of the Covid restrictions imposed on us!
It has been a challenging year for every one, but we have come through it and will continue to adapt as required. For some of you it will have been particularly difficult with the loss of loved ones, for which I offer my sincerest condolances.
Through all of it the society has maintained a positive attitude, and your board have continued to work towards providing you with the best service and support possible. Meetings have taken place via Zoom which has enabled us to continue to address issues of importance. Because of the continual change in severity of the virus, it became increasingly difficult to plan anything positive as every thing ground to a halt at such a stratigic part of our show season.
How ever, I am proud to say that as we started to see some of the restrictions lifted gradually we were able to rise to the challenge and were able to offer a little light at the end of a very dark tunnel.
The clinics that were put on around the country which were free of charge to the members have been a huge success. A big thank you must be extended to everyone who offered their time and expertise free of charge, it was very much appreciated. Non of this would have been possible but for the amazing work of our new General Manager Lucy Savill who orchestrated the whole operation.
The next challenge was to try to put on some sort of show! There was no way we could put on a National Championships as we all knew it, but we put on an amazing Autumn Showing Gala while adhering to strict government guidelines which I feel was a huge success and appreciated by all who attended. This at least gave some the chance to get their young horses out and give them a little experience of the showing world, not forgetting giving us the chance to socialise again all be it from behind our masks where required! A special highlight for me was being presented with the memento marking my term in office, and being able to share the occassion with the members made it very special. Once again Lucy and her team worked their magic for which we are all very grateful.
At the last AGM the subject of dope testing arose, with some very strong views on how we should be addressing the issue. I am pleased to report that with a lot of time effort and money together with excelent legal advice we now have in place a comprehensive dope testing policy. From now on everyone will have very clear guidelines to follow and adhere to.
Who knows what the future of showing is going to look like going forward! Everyone is going to have to adapt to the new nornal, what ever that will be, but rest assured our board will be there to offer guidance and support when and where ever needed. Together we will get through these challenging times!
I have read about some county shows for 2021 who have already cancelled but I feel sure there will still be many opportunities to get out and compete and enjoy the sport we all love so very much. The way the situation seems to change on a daily basis gives us some hope of improvement which will allow us more freedom and flexibility.
For me sadly this is the end of my three year term as your president. It has been an honour and privelage to have served the society and I will continue to support you all. I have so enjoyed interacting and meeting our members old and new over this period, as well as forging many new friendships.
We have two retiring members of the board this time who I would like to thank for their dedication to the society, as well as welcoming new members to the board. I hope your term on the board will be enjoyable.
A special thank you must be extended to all of our wonderful sponsors, helpers and judges and not forgetting all of our members who have supported us especially during this very difficult year, it has been very much appreciated.
I would like to congratulate Mrs. Sue Rawding who will become your new President and wish her well for her term in office.
In conclusion as the festive season approaches, may I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy and prosperous New Year and thank you all for the personal support you have given to me over the past three years.
Let us all continue to be safe and adhere to all the government guidelines to try to overcome this awful virus! Roll on 2021.
My very best wishes to you all.
Mr President, Ladies and Gentleman,
Last year’s AGM we had finished 2019 on a high and all of us were looking forward to an exciting 2020 Show Season. Never in our wildest dreams did any of us envisage what was to follow.
2020 started as expected although we did lose our General Secretary in February when Charles Wilkerson resigned. He had been with the BSHA for 9 years and played an important part in the Association’s growth and prosperity over those years. On behalf of the Members and the Board I would like to thank him for his service and contribution.
Then, in March, came the “bomb shell” – Covid 19 – which changed our lives and caused such devastation affecting us all in one way or another. As we came to terms with Coronavirus, it seemed that any Equine Sport in 2020 was very unlikely.
Staff were placed on furlough and the Directors continued running the Association through numerous Zoom Meetings .Furthermore Board Member, Lucy Savill agreed to fill in for Charles Wilkerson when required.
As the year continued with more and more shows cancelling the BSHA organised a series of Regional Training Clinics which were very well received and I would like to thank all those involved.
The Board appointed Lucy Savill as our full time General Manager on a permanent basis – her PR, Marketing and organisational skill were soon put to good use and its a testament to Lucy’s hard work and determination that with only five weeks notice our Autumn Gala Show took place at Arena UK. It was a wonderful, friendly, two day event and the Members really appreciated the effort that had gone into making it such a popular show. With no Royal International or Horse of the Years shows in 2020, this certainly became a fitting “end of season” finale.
At the end of September our new bespoke Dope Testing Policy was launched ready for 2021. This has been well received in the Press and among the other showing societies too. I would like to thank Board Member, Nick Thompson for remaining with us to complete the task as this policy is something we should all be extremely proud of.
This brings me nicely into welcoming Nick onto the BSHA Board in his own right together with Joanne Pybus. Many of you will already know Joanne as a BSHA Judge, rider of many Champion Horses and Ponies over the years and a senior BSPS Council Member and Chairman of their Areas. Much credit must go to Joanne for getting showing started during this dreadful year through her sheer determination and bravery in setting up BSPS Shows in the North East. She is certainly a “chip off the old block “as her late father was the legendary Alan Hall.
I would like to thank outgoing BSHA President ,Tim Wiggett for representing our Association with such dignity and enthusiasm. It was such a shame that his last year in office was during this dreadful pandemic but I do know he thoroughly enjoy his last official public engagement at the BSHA Autumn Gala Show. I am delighted to announce that our longest serving Board Member, Sue Rawding, has been elected as our new BSHA President. Sue, a doyen of the Showing World, of course needs no introduction and we are thrilled that she has accepted our invitation. She commands such respect within the Breeding and Showing World and we are very lucky to have her as our President. Sue will continue to attend Board Meetings and it is certain that she will also advise on subjects close to her heart.
We have already received an excellent report from our Treasurer and yes it is inevitable that a loss would be predicted in 2020.We have been extremely fortunate to have such overwhelming support from our members and sponsors.
This year we launched a survey and judging from the response the Board is on course to fulfil the Members wishes. 2021 will see many new exciting initiatives with Covid or without Covid .Already there are plans in 2021 for more BSHA events, clinics and regional shows plus more use of our Social Media platforms. The National Championships will be bigger and better than ever and it is my view that we will see a lot of “pop up “shows next year. This Association is committed in helping as many events as possible and is already working with some of the County Agricultural Shows who wish to run an Equine Section only.
Furthermore the BSHA intends to expand its “Ride Only “ and Hunter Panels as a matter of priority as it is vital that shows have a greater selection of excellent riders to choose from.
We continue to work closely with the Royal International and Horse of the Year Shows and maintain our position as a founder member and major force within the Showing Council. As I said last year we are the guardians of the Hack, Cob and Riding Horse and this must never be forgotten and therefore it is important we retain our independence and strongly defend our Member’s interests at every opportunity.
It is an honour to be Chairman of such an amazing group of Board Members and never in all my time serving on Committees have I worked with a team that has such diversity, expertise and vision. Their appetite and courage to modernise, meet the demands of our membership, safeguard showing and the Associations future for many years ahead, is exciting and I am so glad to be part of this present team.
I would like to take the opportunity to thank my two Vice Chairmen, Sue Phillips and Ian Darcy. They have both been a rock to me during this very difficult year. Also to the Board and our new General Manager, Lucy Savill, for their continued support – you are such a fantastic team to work with and I can’t wait for 2021!
Finally to you the Members – we are a very strong showing society, fiercely independent and will remain so for your benefit. You are our priority and with this Board you have elected, we will definitely be going places.
The procedure for voting for BSHA Election of Officers:
Every year a certain number of Board Members are due to retire and may, or may not, offer themselves for re-election. Details of those Board Members due to retire can be found on Page 1 of your Rule Book; all Members are able to stand for Election.
The Board is very keen that the Members take an enthusiastic and active interest in the running of the Association and it welcomes those Members, who can bring some time, energy and perhaps skills, i.e. legal, business or industry knowledge, to the Board.
Nomination Papers will be sent out to all Members as laid out in the Mem & Arts (usually August); these will state those Board Members who are due to retire and if they intend to put themselves forward for re-election.
If you intend to stand for election, your nomination would require two other Members to support the application. Please then send by registered post or email requesting receipt to ensure it arrives at the office within the date required.
All Nominees, including retiring Board Members, are required to submit a statement, of no more than 100 words, setting out the reasons why Members should vote for them.
These statements will accompany the Ballot Paper, sent out to Members; this will be at least 21 days prior to the AGM.
The Board encourages all Members to consider standing but particularly if you possess a key skill that you feel could be of value to the Association.