USPRE Annual Meeting 2011–A Night to Remember!
This year’s 2011 meeting is now a memory, but the impact of the weekend will continue for a long time in the hearts and minds of those who were able to come and enjoy the two days of seminars and festivities. The very hard work of a small group of dedicated members and PRE lovers resulted in an unforgettable evening of celebrating the PRE Horse with the Wellington Dressage Community and their influence will be taken around the world in the memories of our guests.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Board of Directors of USPRE met at Hampton Green Farm to review the year’s activities, and to approve new programs which would be presented at the General Meeting. The USPRE Board is a committed group of PRE breeders and owners who take time out of their busy lives to participate in something they believe in, and their combined efforts, from the farthest points across the country, have resulted in programs that continue to promote the horse, sponsor shows, encourage competition, attract new riders, and educate the public. The Board Of Directors is excited about upcoming announcements regarding USPREs heightened role in providing Stud Book services to PRE breeders on behalf of ANCCE and Spain, as well as continued promotion of the PRE via a now-established and verdant media network that includes print, internet, radio, and live-streaming.
On Wednesday evening, the members were hosted to a reception at the Player’s Club and many attended the dinner and Dressage Under the Stars Freestyle competition hosted by Player’s.
Thursday morning began at Windsor Stables with two excellent seminars which will be re-broadcast on TopIberian.com in the near future. USPRE member, Pan Am medalist and internationally acclaimed Grand Prix rider Yvonne Losos de Muniz worked with two riders and horses on relaxation and connection for the baroque horse, ways to improve the gaits through better use of the back, a discussion of what judges sometimes perceive who are not familiar with the PRE and how to offset misconceptions. Following the mini-clinic, Tom Reed provided a demonstration of young horse and stallion management from the ground, how to handle an unruly youngster, training of the ground manners and safety, particularly with women handlers in mind. His demonstration and transformation of a rambunctious 5 year old was outstanding and at points amazing. Our thanks to both of our Clinicians for their valuable teaching!
Thursday evening began with the General Meeting of the membership. A summary of the year’s activities were read, including the following:
–Over 1000 inscriptions and revisions in 2010.
–Courtney King Dye clinic in February 2010.
–Sponsorship of 4 Breed Shows: ERAHC, Dressage by the Bay, Woodside Dressage and Dressage at Devon.
–Sponsorship of 12 USPRE High Point Challenges, and the introduction of the High Point Challenge Series in CA.
–Awarding of three Dressage Scholarships in 2010: one Professional, one Adult Amateur, and one JR/YR.
–All Breeds Awards winners in 12 categories with excellent scores.
–Highly visible sponsorship of Dover’s World, Robert Dover’s radio show which has over 250,000 listeners. Radio interviews with Alexander Zilo, Kim Boyer, and Katharina Braren of TopIberian.com brings PRE news and issues to the mainstream Dressage media.
–USPRE website usage showed close to 20,000 visits in 2010, 10,000+ unique visitors, and an average of 1650 per month. We produced over 60 articles on the website during 2010, and our peak day was September 21 when it was announced that Courtney King-Dye was back working with horses.
–All US O Judges (Olympic level) were provided with the PRE Horse Book, a gift from USPRE in 2010.
For 2011, the BOD has approved the appointment of Regional Directors to facilitate the established programs and to provided additional assistance and information to regional members. At the conclusion of the meeting, the USPRE Year End awards were presented to Rachel Chowanec and Embrujado (Horse and Rider of the Year), Rigoberto Sanchez (Breeder of the Year), Lendon Gray (Special Recognition), Erin Lohec (Member of the Year), and Katha Braren (Special Recognition). Mare and Stallion of the Year will be announced in a separate article.
Following the General Meeting, USPRE again this year hosted the 2011 PRE-Show Party to the exhibitors and members of the Wellington dressage community. Held at the lovely Jim Brandon Center on the Thursday evening of the Wellington Classic Spring Challenge CDI, USPRE again provided dinner and entertainment to over 300 people, including this year the distinguished International Dressage Officials Club (IDOC), an international group of judges of the highest level who were meeting over the weekend together. The judges were seated in the VIP tent with our membership and their guests, and all were provided with materials and information about the PRE Horse and experienced up close the evening’s performances and testimonials. A wonderful Spanish Fiesta meal was accompanied by a schooling session to music of some of the best PREs in Wellington, from Junior level through Grand Prix. After introductions and welcome, Robert Dover spoke about his love for the PRE Horse and his commitment to them for upper-level competition. He was then presented with the USPRE Equestrian of the Year award for his promotion of the horse on his radio program, www.doversworld.com. Robert was followed by Lendon Gray, who taught 2 young riders on their PREs and spoke of her confidence in the horse for all levels of riders for their sensibility, sensitivity, and athletic ability. Yvonne Losos provided a demonstration with her own 7 year old stallion that has been making news in Wellington as an up and coming important horse. She also discussed the training/showing issues unique to these horses and the methods she developed while training alongside the Spanish Team in Germany. The evening concluded with a wonderful freestyle by Rider of the Year Rachel Chowanec.
Our thanks to all who helped make the Annual Meeting and the PRE-Show party so enjoyable to all. There is no question about the level of dedication and pure love this group holds for their PRE horses and the passion is contagious!