AQHA UK Council Statement with respect to the 2018 & 2019 Breed & Championship Show
AQHA UK Council have voted to run the 2018 & 2019 AQHA UK Breed & Championship Shows at Oakridge Arena. Some of this information was cascaded to the wider audience on 6th January 2018 in direct response to members requesting to know what is happening particularly in 2018. This limited information was always intended to be followed with more detail about the decision that had been made as was stated, unfortunately however, as probably should have been predicted, it sparked a furore amongst some members who felt they should be in possession of the full facts immediately.
As a Council we apologise that this fuller statement did not accompany the release of the information, it is a learning curve and a point that we have acknowledged for the future. However the limited information was released in good faith in an attempt to be helpful to those requesting to know the dates & location for 2018 particularly as many have to plan and book annual holiday leave well in advance.
The decision had already been made by Council but neither the formal announcement (below) nor have the minutes from that meeting yet been formally approved by Council due to the Christmas break and therefore are not ready for the public domain. We also apologise that some members felt our response was not swift enough, we do try to respond as quickly as possible to all queries, however we were also trying to ensure that Council members were not having to work on day to day business matters over the Christmas break as a mark of respect for the time that they put into keeping the association going for the rest of the year.
As has been noted in the recent Facebook dialogue none of us are paid for what we do and quite frankly we should not have to deal with this level of public animosity, we are human and are just as capable of making mistakes as the next person, perhaps in future our members could respect that and if they have issues they should voice them more privately so as not to damage the association that we all claim to care about. Perhaps if more members attended the AGM they would be able to voice their opinions in an open forum which would also help Council to better understand their needs.
The AQHA-UK Council announce that the AQHA-UK Breed & Championship Show will be held at Oakridge Arena 14th -16th September 2018 and 13th -15th September 2019
The decision regarding the location of the 2018 Breed Show was not taken lightly, a long and drawn out debate took place. As you will see from the statistics below there were a number of factors to consider from the outcome of the recently conducted members’ survey before a vote was taken.
Less than 20% of the association’s members actually engaged in the survey, however, of those that did approximately 70% expressed the desire to continue to rotate the AQHA-UK Breed Show between different UK venues. Council have recognised this request. Council have also acknowledged that a majority of the members responding, 65%, would also like to see economic factors considered in order that the cost of running the show, for both participants and the wider membership of the association, is not unnecessarily increased.
Based on the results of the proposals received from, what are currently, the three most appropriate venues in the UK, and in order to continue some rotation and to realise the members desire to avoid cost increases, Council has passed a motion to trial a possible two year rotation. There was a very significant financial and logistical benefit in the proposal received from Oakridge Arena, which involved a two-year tenure. Fixed venues or longer tenure enable the best prices to be gained (this is acknowledged in other parts of Europe where the majority of shows are at a fixed venue with one or two on a bi-annual rotation which works perfectly well) and clearly the show has moved from the 2017 location which was Bodiam.
Council are aware that this may not be a popular decision with all members and therefore also agreed to review the situation following the 2018 show in respect of the 2020 show and onwards. We will then request proposals from all the relevant venues again. Taking into account the members wishes, the dates and venue for 2020 (and hopefully 2021) will be announced sometime in the first half of 2019, which will give clarity to our members and enable them to plan accordingly. We will also by then be in possession of the association’s finances for the year ending 2018 which will enable us to ascertain whether we can take the financial burden of a potentially more expensive show in 2020 or 2021 and, if deemed necessary, survey the members again to ascertain whether they still want both cost and geographic location to be considered equally or if they would be happy to reduce the economic consideration, accepting that increased costs will almost inevitably result in increased show entry fees and possibly reduce attendance.
We would like to thank all of the venues asked for tendering their proposals and we would also like to thank them all for their continued support over many, many years.
AQHA-UK Council would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our members for their support in this year. We have been delighted to see a significant number of new members in 2017, the continuing growth of the GOAR scheme and the successes of both the AQHA-UK Youth and Euro Cup Teams, which have brought a lot of excitement to our association and have served as great showcases of the magnificent American Quarter Horse.
As a relatively new council team we would like to thank you for your support while we have developed new systems and got to grips with the sometimes overwhelming rules and regulations that govern us and which are inevitably involved in running our Breed Association, which is also a Limited Company formally registered at Companies House and a Charity, regulated by the Charities Commission.
As already published on our website, the AQHA-UK AGM will be taking place at 2pm on Sunday 8th April 2018 at Bulkington Village Community Centre, CV12 9JB. We look forward to seeing many of you there and to the opportunity to discuss our views for the future and to plan how best to take actions to achieve the aims of our members.
We look forward to 2018 and all of the events that will take place to unite us as supporters of the American Quarter Horse here in the UK.
Finally, should any member wish to offer support to the show team, or any other section of AQHA-UK, please do contact us via the website.