The American Saddlebred Horse Association Continues to Work with USEF to Improve our Partnership
Published Date: Apr 12, 2019
The ASHA was part of a planning committee that brought all of the USEF Affiliates together in person for conversations and specific recommendations to help strengthen our partnership and position with USEF. We brought forth our members concerns on a variety of topics and discussed solutions. “This is a great start in making changes that will positively impact our Association and its members”, said David Mount President of the ASHA. Discussions began at the Annual Meeting for USEF in January resulting in the agreement to hold a workshop designed by the Affiliates and ran by the Affiliates to discuss areas of opportunities for both the Affiliates and USEF to form a stronger platform that recognizes the needs of each breed and discipline.
On March 21 & 22nd the Affiliates of USEF met with Bill Moroney, CEO of USEF and Elisabeth Goth, Board Vice President, to identify opportunities for both parties to become better partners. The Workshop was led by an outside facilitator and the process identified from the perspective of each Affiliate what the Strengths, Weaknesses, Threats and Opportunities are in working with USEF. All Affiliates were asked to participate and 14 of the 21 Affiliates responded. USEF was asked to participate in a similar exercise at the meeting.
The following Breeds and Disciplines were represented at the meeting:
U.S. Hunter Jumper, U.S. Dressage, U.S. Eventing, U.S. Para-Equestrian, American Hackney Horse, American Morgan Horse, American Road Horse & Pony, American Saddlebred Horse, Arabian Horse, Int. Andalusian & Lusitano Horse, and Western Dressage, American Vaulting, National Show Horse Registry, International Friesian Show Horse Association and Welsh Pony and Cob Society.
Major themes centered around four key areas:
- Governance and Representation
- Staff, Affiliates and Volunteers’ Behaviors
- Value of Membership
- Communication and Marketing Opportunities
Governance and Representation:
Affiliates expressed the need for more representation on key committees specifically the Breeds & Disciplines Council. This request was discussed at length and then communicated at the meeting with the Breeds and Discipline Council the following Monday. Recommendations are in the process of being sent to the Governance committee for changes to reflect these requests. The roles and purpose of the Breeds and Discipline Council was also addressed to ensure more relevant information pertaining to all breeds and disciplines are covered by this council.
The need for better communication between the Affiliates and USEF specifically around more consistency among staff members, better collaboration on resolving issues and the need for information to be put in writing for the Affiliates to disseminate to their members were the key issues.
The need for more visibility among the non- Olympic breeds and disciplines regarding greater presence on social media, magazine articles and various marketing efforts. It was also discussed that the Affiliates would need to provide content to achieve a greater presence.
Staff, Affiliates and Volunteers’ Behaviors
Discussions centered around ensuring processes led by USEF Staff members are non-biased and provide a level playing field for all breeds and disciplines. There was discussion around the need to be mutually respectful with all interactions between Affiliates and the USEF Staff. Additional action steps were identified to better understand the needs of the Affiliates and how the USEF Staff can provide guidance and assistance to the Affiliates.
Request to provide a more customer service approach and the Non-Olympic breeds and disciplines need to feel valued as a partner.
Value of Membership
The value of being a USEF member needs to be effectively communicated on the USEF Website and Affiliates need to promote the value to their members. Discussion of what the Affiliates value most about the USEF was discussed in length. Members of the Affiliate groups do not fully understand the value that USEF brings to the Affiliate groups.
The core functions that USEF is providing needs to continue and are valued. Those core functions include drug and medication testing, litigation-related violations of rules, management and monitoring of rules, licensing of officials and competitions, preparation and fielding of international teams, and the protection of equine and human competitors at licensed competitions.
Communication and Marketing Opportunities
Better reciprocal coordination of marketing opportunities needs to be identified between the USEF Staff and the Affiliate.
An annual report will be created by USEF highlighting key statistics showing the results and key accomplishments, trends of that year. This will act as a template that the Affiliates can use for their organizations.
Committees were formed to address key action steps identified by the Group. These groups will report their progress on a monthly basis. The next in person meeting will be in September.