I felt that the annual meeting reaffirms a couple of very important things to me.
That the USEA is continues to be a very viable organization that is made up of many people who are very interested in the sport for the sport itself. Sitting on the board meeting on Friday and looking at the Fall Survey it gave what I believe at this time is anecdotal in some ways, but the information about falls is a good start with providing a base to start looking at this data in a different manner. I provided the fall survey information to Ann Baumgardner and she will be putting it in the Adult Rider Newsletter that she will put out.
The Heart Study I found very fascinating and I am sending out a interesting follow up article that I was sent again to Ann to put forth to the paid adult rider group. This study I believe gives us a start with looking at what is physiologically going on but it also opens up the door for many more questions to be asked. I think that it is extremely important research.
The discussion about the changes in the Financial Guidelines was a tough discussion at times. I appreciated the fact that everyone was trying to come up with workable solutions that would also help us to remain within the framework of the new guidelines and also to help protect our Non Profit Status. I think that we all have to be realistic about the programs that the areas administer and I am hoping that the USEA will also continue to be reasonable with making exceptions that are appropriate.
The National Adult Rider Program is alive and well. Area II continues to be one of the most active in the US and with the Area II Coordinator position now going to Ann Baumgardner I know that it will also go in some important new directions that will be beneficial to adult riders.
The Rule Changes was a very active presentation as always. The “Return to Play” guidelines I think are an important step in the right direction. I would encourage everyone to read about them. I think that we will see these fine-tuned as the next couple of years play out and they are utilized. Of course the one fall and your out discussion came up in the open forum and I think that this will continue to be an issue in the years to come. Personally as an official I am glad it is there, there have been too many times that I felt that people were allowed to go on that should not have been, especially when they don’t even remember riding the course.
There was discussion about Officials and Evaluations and how the membership can access evaluations. All of this information is up and available on the USEA site and also on the USEF site. There are always situations where there needs to be improvement, there are evaluations that have always been there that are available to competitors or others to complete if they see fit. A discussion was why the evaluation has to be signed. They are confidential but some folks were concerned that they are not. Anything that goes to the USEF whether it is a good evaluation or a bad one is kept confidential. I know this first hand as I got a letter this year from the USEF about an evaluation that was sent in on me at a competition. It was highly complimentary, but the letter started out, that they would not tell me who the sender of the letter was even though it was positive. So I have first hand experience of getting a good letter, and it didn’t matter that the comments were positive it was still confidential to who sent it.