Wellington, FL – February 10, 2014 – As NARG Board Member Murray Kessler called the 2014 NARG Annual Meeting to order at 6:30pm, electing and re-electing Board members was the first order of business.
Kessler then summarized what members at large may not know NARG is working on year-round. As advocates for riders, trainers and owners, NARG now has a voice both nationally and internationally. On the current agenda are key items that effect clean sport such as new, non-standardized vaccination rules at shows and hind boot rulings, plus NARG's ongoing involvement in government. With an enduring goal of building a system that encourages growth from the grassroots up to the highest levels, NARG also diligently continues to evolve the NARG Top 25.
On an international level, NARG Board Member Kent Farrington will sit on the IJRC (International Jumping Riders Club) Board replacing Katie Prudent. As well, NARG Board Member Norman Dello Joio attended an FEI evaluation meeting in Lausanne on the banning of performance enhancing hind boots, providing a perspective that kept a conversation going on the topic, as opposed to the ban going through with unintended consequences.
The vaccination requirement at horse shows is a concern. With no standards, these requirements vary and in some cases the requirements are more than the recommended annual vaccinations. Although the intent may be to avoid a potential communicable outbreak, the results will not achieve this; plus they have the potential to cause other issues. Again NARG wants to avoid unintended consequences where not only rules are violated but more importantly horses immune systems are weakened due to adhering to the new requirements. Working with the AAEP, veterinary experts and the USEF, NARG seeks to remedy this situation before it has any serious results.
On a government level, President Chris Kappler explained that three NARG Board Members are on the newly seated USEF Board of nineteen, and NARG Members sit on two of three new councils. Both the USHJA and the USEF restructures will have a positive impact on the way our sport is governed and NARG is actively involved.
Beezie Madden spoke about NARG's biggest initiative, the NARG Top 25. The NARG Top 25 of 2013 can be viewed here. As Madden proudly announced the number one event of 2013, Spruce Meadows Summer Series and Masters Tournament, she had the honor of introducing founders Ron and Marg Southern to accept.
Although Ron Southern was accepting the award on behalf of Spruce Meadows earning #1 on the NARG Top 25 for the fourth year in a row, he in turn awarded the crowd with some words of wisdom.
His speech was intelligent, thoughtful, humorous and insightful - illustrating the passion behind the tremendous success of Spruce Meadows. NARG is pleased to offer a chance to watch Ron Southern address the group.
Though Southern was a hard act to follow, NARG Board Member Jimmy Torano introduced the 2014 NARG Riders' Grant Recipient, Anita Mont. Read more about Mont in the NARG Riders' Grant Press Release here.
Ballots were counted and Missy Clark was voted in as a NARG Board Member. The meeting came to an close, and the attendees adjourned.