Dear Committee Member,
These are just my thoughts about Area 4 Riding Clubs, as you are all too well aware one of the reasons that I am standing down is because I do not want to implement any changes, but changes have to happen as HQ introduce even more competitions.
I fundamentally do not think that the Area should be split in two, nor do I think that the outer fringe clubs should be encouraged to go into adjoining areas, for all sorts of various reasons:-
Whichever way you divide the area it will not please all the members including those on the boundaries, who will have to decide where they go to.
Similar argument to those clubs moving to another area, remember once moved that that club can not move back to Area 4 if it does not work out for them.
This might then lead to some of our clubs folding plus I know we are all proud of being in and from Yorkshire.
Question that needs looking at is what you do with the funds that Area 4 has carefully accumulated in the past 9 years if you split the area into 2, do you give clubs that join other Areas some sort of dowry as they leave.
Competitions; you have asked for shorter days as you can not get help from your members, what do you think will happen once the Area is split and there are only 10 clubs to draw help from, especially where XC is involved (it wont be long before HQ insist that we have to have a pair of FJ’s per fence).
You already know that VAT has been added to certain venues which should make the cost of entries per person rise by 20%. Area entry fees have not been raised since 2009 and long may that continue.
Your members tell you that they want to go to the big venues for their qualifiers and do not want to be in farmers fields, the suggestion put forward that the two areas would join together to keep the cost down will not work due to both areas wanting to put in as many teams as they can. This would cause long days for the officials, stewards, judges, scorers etc.
My suggestions are:-
That clubs be allowed to enter as many teams as they want to but that each qualifier should run over two days.
That the role of Official Steward be delegated so that you do not have one person having to attend for a whole weekend at every qualifier. There are at least 6 people in our Area that have been on training courses. I could even do one where I was not competing.
Carry on allowing clubs the day to day running of the competitions which should also include scoring.
The elected Officers still arrange Dressage and SJ Judges, SJ Course builders, Paramedics etc. and that the number of elected officers are increased so that there are two entry secretaries so that they can rotate competitions as they will be doing this nearly every month.
That HQ be informed that the number of teams qualifying needs looking into and that they can not just say No when large Areas are putting in such large amounts of prelim fees in. Nor can they say that their days at the Championship are too long.
If there were more hands to help lighten the load then you may get volunteers to take on the elected roles. Remember that slitting Area 4 into two groups means that you have to find two complete sets of committee members. From all our members we find it difficult to find one volunteer so how you will find two complete sets leaves me perplexed.
We have the winter dressage competition coming up at the beginning of November there has been a suggestion already that we should not run the warm up tests but hold the Intermediate Winter Dressage on the same day.
Please let your Area 4 committee know and thank you for your time in reading this.