By: Barbara Price
2022 is nearly a wrap. Where did it go? It’s been a dynamic year and a privilege to serve USAWE as President. Looking back, two words come to mind: pivotal and productive.
Much work has been completed and many objectives accomplished. But there remains a lot to be done, as USAWE is relatively new and still evolving. One of my goals this year was to focus on balancing an entrepreneurial business environment appropriate to a young, growing organization, with established best-practice management tools suitable for a national association. As
USAWE continues to grow and expands its reach to the international WE community, it will become even more important to maintain a professional presence in the equine sport sector.
I believe 2022 has been a very good year for USAWE and the sport of Working Equitation in the U.S. Here’s a look at some of the key initiatives and accomplishments throughout USAWE so far this year.
- A working relationship with the World Association for Working Equitation (WAWE) was established, and in April USAWE was approved as the official WAWE organization for the United States.
- As WAWE member country, U.S.A. riders became eligible to compete at WAWE-sanctioned international competitions. This paved the way for Miguel Undabarrena to petition to compete at the 2022 WE World Championships as an individual. Much appreciation is due to Miguel for his dedication, and for representing the U.S. so brilliantly.
- A USAWE news release announcing our protocol with WAWE was picked up by several equine news outlets, and shared throughout the national and international WE communities. U.S.A Working Equitation is on the international radar!
- To assist with getting USAWE up to speed and ready for future USAWE-sanctioned international competition, an International Competition Task Force was convened to develop formal international policies and procedures.
- Here at home, USAWE had its largest competition year to date, with nearly 120 licensed competitions throughout the country. Thanks to superb behind the scene efforts by the Competitions and Awards committees, more members than ever before rode into a WE show ring, many becoming eligible for recognition award programs.
- Two U.S. Judge Training Seminars were produced and conducted by the Licensed Officials Committee, and several new educational tools were put into practice.
- By year-end two first-ever Zone Championship shows will be in the books, leading the way for even bigger championship shows next year.
- A new USAWE image ad was created and made available in print and electronic formats to show and event managers, external venues, and our membership. The ad concept also has additional templates for easy production of a future ad series highlighting each WE trial.
- A Fact Sheet was created for at-a-glance details about WE and USAWE intended for audiences outside of the organization or the sport.
- USAWE branded promotional items were produced and sent out to shows and events throughout the country.
- 32 USAWE banners have been ordered and shipped. The large color banners now hang at shows & events across the U.S. prominently displaying our name and logo.
The day-to-day running of a national organization isn’t all fun and shows (wish it could be). There’s general operations work that must be done all year.
- USAWE ends 2022 with a strong balance sheet and up-to-date financial statements.
- Financial statement summaries were completed quarterly and made available to the Board of Directors and all active members.
- USAWE banking records were distributed every month to all Executive Committee members, and made available to any member upon request.
- A federal trademark application was filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to register the USAWE name and logo.
- A priority was put on keeping all board members informed and providing active participation. Bi-monthly Board of Directors meetings were pre-scheduled in January 2022, and additional meetings added as needed. In addition to the February Annual Meeting, as of December 9 formal meetings were held to discuss and finalize USAWE business matters. (The Bylaw requirement is 4 annually).
- A professional approach to board meeting planning was adhered to whereby all board members received applicable materials in a consolidated board book no less than one week prior to meetings to review and prepare for productive meetings.
- Nine formal board motions were approved via email with the results archived in official minutes. This procedure is arduous, but provides an expedient process for less complex votes/work to be completed between meetings.
- The official United States Rules for Working Equitation underwent a large revision by the Rules Committee, incorporating a substantial amount of new WAWE updates and submitted change proposals. We also will have a new set of dressage tests for 2023 (thank you, S judges).
Now, it’s time to look forward to even more exciting times for USAWE and U.S. Working Equitation. It’s been an honor to serve USAWE these past two years, first as President-elect, and this year as President. Congratulations to the new incoming board members, and much gratitude to those who served this year. It was a pleasure to work with you all.
Work hard. Play hard. And enjoy every moment!
With much appreciation,