Important AGM to be held tonight

2009-01-29 00:00

Congratulations to the following hard-working KwaZulu-Natal Horse Society (KZNHS) members who were elected to the various South African National Equestrian Federation (Sanef) technical committees: dressage — chairperson Vicki Mostert, members Anita Ardendorff and Sue Horne; showjumping — chairperson Sandy Cox, member Grant Ketteringham; eventing — members Priscilla Young and Peter Thomas, with James Arathoon as an additional committee member to specifically look after the province’s interests; driving — members John Plummer and Ken Poole. There was no vote required for equitation, vaulting and the para committees.

The annual general meeting of the KZNHS will be held this evening in the Tongaat Hall at the Royal Showgrounds in Pietermaritzburg at 7 pm.There is an important proposed amendment that needs discussion. The amendment is to allow parents of minor members to have a vote by giving all parents the option of paying the difference between their child’s membership and an adult membership. This amendment has been suggested as more than half the current members are minors and their parents are unable to have a vote on their behalf unless they are full members themselves.

There are a number of other matters that need to be raised. One of the issues is the date of the annual general meeting. Holding the AGM at the beginning of each calendar year is causing problems from a voting point of view. If a postal vote by the members is required for either the executive committee or any of the discipline committees, it seems to be hopeless posting out the voting slips on December 17 to be returned by post in early January. The KZNHS office is closed from mid-December until the second week of January, so if members do not receive their voting slips, they are unable to request a duplicate timeously. Also, many members are away on their annual holidays during that time and are, therefore, unable to check their mail. This means that many of the members’ votes are ineligible to be counted due to time constraints. The society’s financial year-end is on July 31 each year, so it would seem to make sense to hold the AGM towards the end of each year, before the holidays start. Another option is to us an electronic format for voting.

Another issue is the high cost of entering some of the affiliated weekend shows in this province. For example, to enter one 11-year-old child and his or her pony in two showjumping classes costs a staggering R399 at one venue. It costs R75 per class, which includes the Sanef and KZNHS levies of R13 and R4, respectively, medics at R1 000 per day and a course builder’s levy of R2. Prize money is then paid out at 40% of the entry fees less the levies. Then further levies are asked for on the entry form — an equipment levy of R15, a show levy of R65 and a temporary membership for the particular showgrounds of R60. None of these levies are included in the original class entry fee as happens in other provinces in line with Sanef rulings. For the same child and pony to compete in two dressage tests at this same venue costs R379 and this is currently the only KZN venue offering affiliated dressage for children. Of course, competitors can elect not to ride at this venue; however, the matter becomes more complicated because KZNHS members have given and lent money to this venue in the past. They therefore feel they have are entitled to ride at the venue at a market-related price.

Another venue in the midlands charges a total of R180 for one 11-year-old child and his or her pony for two showjumping classes. This venue’s expenses are identical to the above venue, so why is the first venue double the price of the second? If you look at entering a weekend jumping or dressage show at the Gauteng Horse Society’s impressive showgrounds, you pay R120 per class, which includes all levies, so a day out jumping the same classes there costs R240.

Spurwing Horse Feeds are holding a showcross day at the Karkloof Country Club on February 22. Inquiries: Jill Arathoon or Cindi Moncur at 033 330 3373. The postponed Canterbury affiliated showjumping show has been rescheduled for February 21 and February 22. Inquiries: Rob Martin at 082 905 4912. Martin Minett (082 307 1318) has held a successful showjumping show in sand arenas and hopes to make these shows a regular occurrence.

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