The Course Walk May 2011
A rough overview of the May Board of Governors Meeting topics and votes.
Activities Updates: The Championships schedule is online and entries are coming
in daily for both Championships and Education. Plans for the Festival Legends
celebration are coming along as well. Opening ceremonies will be held in the
ROLEX ARENA this year and a special ‘formation’ is planned for members as they enter the arena, so stay tuned!
• Festival Attendees—parents, youth, staff and volunteers—may sign up to receive text messages on their cell phone. These posts will be
for Emergency and informative purposes and it is not MANDATORY to sign up to
• Details were announced for the Foxhunting Certificate Program. This program
will give recognition to members who do specific activities to prepare for
hunting. Requirements include oral phase, attendance, and knowledge components.
Members will be required to: 1) attend session at kennel, terminology, hunt;
(2) pass a ‘hunt’ test, show “good morning to masters” etc., and then (3) answer oral questions. Learn about their hunt, hunt staff,
etc. Members will earn a certificate and receive a special Foxhunting pin.
• Championships 2012: At this time Championships East has been approved
(Lexington Horse Center, Lexington, VA), but plans for Championships West or
Midwest have not been set. It was noted that there is a new horse park east of
Seattle near Cle Elum that has a nonprofit board, on state land. Still need XC,
etc. Midwest facilities under exploration, in Oklahoma, etc.; no plans have
been finalized for 2013.
• Assorted rule changes and discipline clarifications were approved for 2012
Instruction Updates: a demo was presented on a new interactive knowledge game
web site that could be made available to Pony Club. We will continue to explore
the possibility of using this software platform and content on a long-term
basis. Drafts of the 2012 Standards of Proficiency (SOP) were made available to
PAC and Board members for review, with final approval needed at fall Board of
Governors meeting. Discussion was held on Hunt Seat Equitation, Western
Standards, general SOP review, manual revisions, matching SOP to new mission
statement, and should we review on a 5-year cycle instead of 3? Testing – National Examiners who qualify will receive a 10-year service pin in
recognition of their efforts for USPC. Mary Frances Detton is longest acting
NE, 32 years! There is an updated NE Handbook. Western Standards are to be
reviewed by Lorelei. Phase A in the Alpha plan for Western Discipline has been
approved and will be tested on a limited basis. Minor changes to SOP were
approved so that the D Manual can be competed: D-3 jumping height to change to
2’3” from 2’6” passed. Other requirements include adding knowledge requirement of the equine
eye, polo bandages, and stewardship.
Communication Updates: We had another very successful Rolex with good media
response to press releases and great response to our Pony Club booth. We used
social media to get the message out that our booth was in the middle of the
trade fair and had many visitors. Rolex has an outstanding audience to
reconnect with Pony Club concept; many Rolex competitors have Pony Club roots.
As part of our Marketing plan, several new names and layouts for our magazine
were created. The Communications Committee recommended the name “Pony Club News” and a masthead that could change color with each issue.
Development: Development met many sponsors at Rolex, talked with a national
equine supplements company; they are interested in sponsoring our Testing
program and educational aspects and want to be attached in a solid way to Pony
Club. Also talked with the current sponsor of Centers program and will meet
further to visit a center. Some safety air vest representatives have expressed
interest as a possible Festival sponsor. We are working on Festival
sponsorships—$10,000 so far. Now will concentrate on smaller sponsorships—jump and friend levels. Links to sponsorships information will be sent directly
to clubs. Thanks to the efforts of our grant writer and staff, to date we have
received a $1,500 grant from USDF for a musical freestyle clinic—30 participants will benefit at Festival this year. We have also applied for a
$2,500 grant for a permanent, hands-on display at the Kentucky Horse Park—two stalls in Big Barn (grooming, colors and marking). We plan to apply for a
larger $5,000 grant using the badge program to outreach to other demographics.
We have received 53 scholarship applications this year; all quite compelling.
Some have been selected; others submitted for review to the families who give
the scholarships. We want to continue to share the passion—reminding each of us why we are passionate. Leaders need to help double that
Annual Fund. Need alumni contacts as well! Friend-raising with large donors,
good concept to carry forward. Need non-equine donors. Increase sponsorship
level to above $15K.
There is a need to coordinate funding efforts, from the club level on up, so we
don’t overlap and look unprofessional. Need to make tools available to DCs to help
with good look and feel for Pony Club outreach. Discussion was held regarding
the use of the “Hall of Fame” slide show to drive renewed contacts and fundraising.
Discussion was held on using a new media application for our Facebook page. We
would receive income, and approval, not releasing contact info to company.
Clicks provide coupons. Question of whether coupons bring new customers to our
sponsors. Tentative approval requested for a contract for a trial period with a
report to be given at the November Board meeting.
The Safety Committee reported on another new air vest, Advantage Hit-Air and it
is currently being checked out.
Finance Committee reported that we have enjoyed some growth; we will make some
changes to guidelines of investment funds management (phrasing to match what we’re actually doing). We will be investigating the possibilities for a third
building on the USPC property at the Ky. Horse Park as the second building is
financially useful for the organization. We are investigating a way to offer
the Quick Books accounting program to clubs and regions to help treasurers
standardize financial statements.
Nominating: There are 7 people rotating off the Board in January (includes one
resignation). Two are in their first term so could come back for another term.
We need to add 5 new members; currently there are 3 new BoG nominations
confirmed and ready for approval. Committee will work on future year planning.
Policy: Discussed safety requirements for helmets, Policy #125 Attachment A
approved. Passed unanimously. Policy #525 equine meds wording change for
clarity; “management of horses” rather than “horse management” Passed unanimously. New references for local, regional and national levels and
should meet needs of varied member types. Passed unanimously. Policy #2122 on
PAC Passed unanimously. Policy #5650 Candidate Certification had Riding Centers
phrasing added. Remove “readiness” and replace with “eligibility.” RSs don’t want to certify readiness. No required preps, decreasing pass rates. Potential
changes such as retaking parts of riding test are in consideration. Motion
passed as amended. New Policy #721 Background checks for volunteers passed
Discussion on background checks continued, including the range of check, adding
criteria or not. Limiting number of years between checks, appeals process, etc.
We need to get the word out for 2012. Discussion of what to do on those not
checked – in process of resolving last issues.
National Youth Board – revising some materials, working to expand coverage throughout regions,
developing a scholarship, new logo, and special shirts.
Member Services/Regional Administration –1,907 new members joined year to date. A plan to combine Center Administrator
Guide and DC Guide is in the works. The RS Guide under revision. Adult code of
conduct will be available for clubs and regions to use, but it is not mandated.
Discussion was held regarding need for statistics on why people leave. Should
we have a call to leaving members? Can we offer another level of membership for
less involvement? Membership levels, how do we compare to other youth
organizations? We need to refer to Kathy Kelly’s study from years ago as her data is valuable. The Centers committee will be
checking out Centers who didn’t renew. Also suggest centers renew at a different time so they can renew
members knowing they’ll be approved to function the next year.
Updates from ad hoc committees:
Marketing – Pony Club ads have been placed in a number of equine publications and also on
Facebook. Marketing requests that all DC/CAs contacted by potential members
take the time to personally respond to them, even if membership at this time is
not possible. Plans continue to have promotional material available for club,
center and region use, with a reminders included in E-News and the magazine.
Technology – At this time, Corporate Members can renew online. Because Participating Members
(youth) registration requires an original signature, we cannot offer online
registration at this time. It is possible that youth members could eventually
renew online, however, and this is being examined by our legal counsel. To
enhance web site and database interaction, we need to pull in the other
applications and databases that we use. Next Stage: addition of backend system
for custom applications. We want to be able to do data mining, offer open use
of applications to regional and local leadership. We need to find an IT
consultant to build platform implementation and a fulltime UPC content
developer/manager. A budget will be developed to further these plans.
Diversity – We need more diverse photos and we need to market to different audiences
through some new publications we have not approached previously such as O
Magazine. It is important that we stress to potential members that “We want you to be part of our program.”