AERC Board of Directors Meeting. November 14, 1992.


Twenty-two directors met at the Radisson Clayton Hotel, St. Louise at 8:00 AM November 14, 1992, with Maggy Price presiding. Present were: Maggy Price, Susan Kasemyer, Jan Worthington, Louise Riedel, Mike Tomlinson, Vonita Bowers, Jim Baldwin, Byron Meredith, Richard Hayes, Ronald Waltenspiel, Courtney Hat, Earle Baxter, Barbara McCrary, Les Carr, Randy Eiland, Mark Dees, Lynn Wittle Goleman, Crockett Dumas, Dean Jackson, Terry Dye, Joe Long, and Dane Frazier.


Maggy explained that discussion would follow the format of the questionnaire which had been circulated to all AERC members (754 members had responded.)


The president commented on the lateness of our auditor’s report for 1991. it was the consensus of the Board that our treasurer should inform the accountant that we wish to have our 1992 report in ample time for the study before the convention in March.


CONVENTION: Richard Hayes reported on the progress of convention plans. To date eighteen exhibitors have signed up for the trade show. A proposal was made to raffle a pickup truck by selling 300 tickets at $100 apiece. It was decided to discuss this issue later in the meeting. Regional directors were asked to determine which of the award winners from their region would be present, and to be prepared to pick up the awards for those no present.

The tentative schedule is: Friday afternoon, March 12 – committee and board meetings; Friday evening – Get acquainted party with cash bar; Saturday- convention program; Saturday evening – dance; Sunday – convention program; Sunday evening – banquet and awards; Monday – board meeting.


INSURANCE: There is a need for a Board of Directors and Officers policy as well as a liability policy to be available to rides. (17% voted “yes” and 70% voted “maybe” for AERC to offer an insurance policy similar to AHSA’s). Mark Dees will have a presentation ready for convention.


LIABILITY: An AHSA-type release statement to be part of entry blanks was discussed. It was suggested that a release statement also be included in the membership application. Referred to the legal committee for consideration at convention.


DRUG TESTING: (72% in favor of drug testing at at least some rides – 72% would be willing to add $1.00 to the rider fee at each ride to fund such a program). Mark reported on an AHSA drug hearing which he had attended. He commented on the procedure itself as well as the litigation involved and stated that unless AERC is prepared to follow the complicated (and expensive) procedure used by AHSA he would not want to see AERC attempt to discipline someone for drugging his horse because it will not stand up in court. It is necessary to inform the members exactly what costs are involved concerning testing and litigation. Mark will write an article (with consultation with the Veterinary committee) for Endurance News explaining the problems of implementing a drug testing program.


Discussion followed concerning the possibility of AERC membership in AHSA which would cover such problems as insurance and drug testing.


HIGHER RIDER FEES FOR NON-MEMBERS: (54% in favor) It was felt that this did not indicate a mandate for adding non-member rider fees. Discussion included making riders “AERC members for a day” for insurance purposes; non-members specifically mentioned on releases; new or prospective members required to join before their first ride; giving first time riders a reduced membership fee.


PAY A NOMINAL FEE PER CALL TO PHONE AT ANY TIME TO GET UPDATED COMPUTER INFO ON POINTS OR MILEAGE.  (52% in favor) Question may have been misinterpreted. What was envisioned was a 900-type number. It was pointed out that setting up such a system is extremely expensive.


Crockett Dumas asked for approval of Hall of Fame committee membership consisting of Jim Baldwin, Jan Worthington, Dean Jackson, Lynn Goleman, Byron Meredith, Susan Kasemeyer and Mike Tomlinson. Mark Dees moved to approve. Motion carried.


DEGREE OF SATISFACTION WITH AERC SERVICES: The majority of responses showed “very satisfied” or “somewhat satisfied” with a moderate percentage of “service not used” and a small minority showing “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied”. Complete statistics will appear in Endurance News.


WHERE SHOULD PRIORITIES LIE? The questionnaire showed preferences in the following order: 1. Local rides 2. Regional competitions 3. National championship series. 4. Multi day rides 5. Special event rides 6. International rides


NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES: (present system encourages a broader range of confrontations – 27%; prefer only one 100-mile event – 18%; top riders compete at least once nationally – 51%; in favor of present qualifications – 62%; in favor of AERC putting on a ROC-type ride – 82%). In 1992, 290 horse-rider teams qualified for the series; there were 149 entries in the 8 rides of the series.

Lengthy discussion ensued regarding putting on one championship ride to replace the series, or retaining the series and also putting on a ROC-type ride. Crockett proposed a “window”-type system of scheduling the first two rides of the series whereby regional directors could select an existing ride in their region on any date. The final ride would be held in the fall. Riders could still on choose two rides preliminary to the final ride.

Mileage qualifications for both types of rides were discussed. If the “window”-type of scheduling were implemented it would be necessary to change the cut-off time from the present Aug 1 to July 31 dates.

Mark moved, Mike seconded to implement the 1993 championship series, with flexible dates. Qualification will remain at 400 miles per hose-rider team, with credit for miles ridden between December 1, 1991 to the time the rider enters his first championship series ride. Subsequently qualification must take place during the previous ride year. Motion carried unanimously.

Joe moved, Randy seconded that AERC put on a high profile, championship level 100-mil-one-day ride in 1994. Mileage qualification for this ride to be 1000 career miles for the horse with 400 of those miles to be with the horse-rider team. Chairman to be appointed to report to convention. Motion carried. Lynn Goleman was appointed as chairperson.


VETERINARY PROGRAM TO INCREASE HORSE PROTECTION: Dr. Ridgeway reviewed the 8-point program as  formulated by the Veterinary Committee. Mark Dees responded from the viewpoint of the legal committee, recommending that the provisions be referred to as Guidelines. He also recommended strengthening the statement concerning rider responsibility. Maggy asked the veterinary and legal committee representatives to meet together during the dinner break to arrive at a consensus.


STANDARDIZED RIDER CARD:      Mark moved that the association mandate a uniform rider card for all sanctioned rides. After discussion the motion was withdrawn. The veterinary committee was asked to produce a rider card to be used on all sanctioned rides. An announcement in Endurance News will ask managers to send sample cards.


NECROPSY:  The following notice of a proposed rule addition will be published in the Endurance News prior to being voted on at convention: In the case of a horse death, if the cause of death is not readily observable, ride management or the veterinarian may ask for a necropsy to be performed.


VETERINARY QUALIFICATIONS: Dr. Ridgway spoke of the inconsistency of veterinary procedures from ride to ride. He mentioned the importance of supplying all the information asked for on the rider cards and also spoke of the efficacy of the cardiac recover index when properly used. He suggested that veterinary education could be furthered by seminars held in the regions and that continuing education credits could thereby be earned.


Dr. Ridgway announced that he is resigning from the position as chairman of the Veterinary Committee. He received a standing ovation with the thanks of the Board.


Susan moved, Joe seconded to adopt the Guidelines to promote the Safety of Horses at AERC Sanctioned Endurance Rides. Carried unanimously. These guidelines will appear in the Ride Managers, Veterinary, and Riders Manuals.

1.      The individual rider bears primary and ultimate responsibility for his or her own welfare and that of his or her horse in a ride and assumes all risk of death or injury in connection therewith. The rider also must recognize the difficulty of providing timely emergency services in what are often remote and inaccessible areas.

2.      Adequate veterinary staff should be provided to take care of emergencies as well as to provide appropriate veterinary control to the ride.

3.      A casualty plan should be cooperatively set up by the head veterinarian and ride management. That plan should be descried in the pre-ride riders’ briefing.

4.      The head veterinarian should assign a veterinarian at every checkpoint whose duties will shift from control to treatment in case of emergency. Should there be only one veterinarian, treatment shall take precedence over  control.

5.      At least one vehicle should be available and equipped in a manner consistent with the treatment needs of sick or injured endurance horses.

6.      The management or veterinarian of every ride should establish contact with a veterinary facility where horses can be taken in additional care is required after in-field stabilization.

7.      Every practical effort should be made on every ride to provide adequate communications to locate and identify emergencies and to direct emergency and ancillary help.

8.      ride management should take reasonable action, considering the terrain, format, and staff available for the ride, to monitor the progress of competitors, so that people and/or animals in trouble or unable to complete the course within the time limits can be furnished help if necessary.


WHICH TREE RULES SHOULD BE MODIFIED OR ELIMINATED: Matty reported the numbers of votes received to eliminate each rule. The greatest number was 13, who are opposed to rule


WHERE WE ARE AND WHERE WE ARE GOING: The average years of competition are 8. Percentages reflected that in all except two categories (sportsmanship and BC evaluations) the “Worse” evaluation was under 10%.


WHO WE ARE: Statistics on the profile of AERC members will appear in the December Endurance News.


Maggy asked if the Board would approve a policy that riders in pictures on the covers of Endurance News must be wearing a helmet. No action taken.


The Executive Committee had approved the opening of a checking account for use of the Convention committee, especially with regard to the trade show. Richard moved that the name of the signatory on this fund be changed from Georgia Bailey to Lois Finlay. Crockett seconded. Motion carried.


RAFFLE OF TRUCK: a choice will be offered of a Ford or Chevrolet pickup to be obtained at cost from dealer Ray Price with 300 tickets to be sold at $100 each. If we fail to sell enough tickets, the raffle winner would be offered the opportunity to use that money as a down payment. The percentage retained by AERC would be one-third of the proceeds, whether or not the full amount was obtained.


Some of the trade-show exhibitors have paid with credit cards, which the office is not set up to handle. It was decided that Richard would notify these people that we would need payment by check.


The following was moved by Joe Long for the Rules Committee: To be added to Rule 2.1.7: A veterinary control point is any location where horses are stopped on the course an devaluated before being allowed to continue. Such evaluation will include a stop for pulse and/or respiration, trot by for any stop for partial or full metabolic or soundness evaluation. Motion passed 19 to 3. It was suggested that rule changes be printed in italics in the rulebook.


Joe moved that all evidence (documents, affidavits, etc.) relating to an official protest be kept on file at the AERC office for at least five years from the date the protest is resolved, open to inspection by an AERC members. Seconded by Richard Hayes. After discussion Joe moved to table the issue until convention. The motion to table was defeated. The original motion was defeated 18 to 3 with one abstention.


The question arose as to the need for change in the Protest and Grievance procedure. Any such proposal should originate from the committee, with consultation with the Legal Committee. Lynn, as chairman of the Protest committee feels that we should continue with the present system for now.


Louise questioned Rule, which deals with Limited Distance, and states “a horse with an irregularity of gait consistently observable at walk and/or trot under all conditions, and that irregularity is though to cause pain or threaten the athletic future of the horse, will be disqualified.” In line with finishing criteria in rule 6; this should read “immediate athletic performance”.


Byron Meredith had circulated a very comprehensive statement concerning Limiting Litigation and Expense, and membership Agreement and Release. He inquired whether the Board is interested in pursuing this matter. It was decided to put this on hold until convention.


Meeting adjourned at 11:30 pm.

Louise Riedel, Secretary.