The Haflinger Society of Great Britain
Registered Number 4548232
Minutes of the 2015 Annual General Meeting held at 11.00 a.m. on Sunday 21st February 2016 at Brownsover Hall Hotel, Rugby
Mr Tom Crane President
Mrs Emily Bambridge Chairman
Mrs Elizabeth Doran Secretary
Mr Malcolm Burton Treasurer
Mrs Hazel Davies Registrar
Claire Brown, Margaret Burton, I.M. Clemerson, Susan Crane, Kim Ginns, Jo Gleadle, Hannah Hadfield, Jon Hadfield, Lindsay Hague, Carolyn Hallett, John Hallett, Greg Hort, Jo Hort, Natasha Hort, Bobbie Houghton, Mick Ingram, Petra Ingram, Joy Irvine, Val Peacock, Emily Richardson, Diana Riley, Adrienne Skirka, AudreyWalters, Bob Walters, Sian Williams
Kirsty Anthony, Danielle Baron, Dee Baron, Helen Blair, Joanne Critchlow, Nicolar & ??? GlaserJo Hadfield, Paul Houghton, Vanessa Horne, Doug Seel, Sue Seel, Richard Snodin, Judith Stubbs, Arthur & Colin Totney, Mark Walters, Pauline & Colin Wrighton
Proxy votes were received from: Richard Snodin
- DIRECTORS REPORT AND COMPANY ACCOUNTS
- The Directors’ report was received and accepted.
- The Company’s accounts for the year ended 31 August 2015 were received and accepted.
- Petra Ingram was appointed Patron of the Society
- Kirsty Anthony was appointed as a director of the Company for a period of three years from 21 February 2016.
- Joy Irvine was appointed as a director of the Company for a period of three years from 21 February 2016.
- Hines Harvey Woods Ltd, Queens Head House, Acle, Norwich, NR13 3DY were appointed as accountants to the Company
The minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on Sunday 22nd February 2016 were approved
- Report from the Chairman
(Attached to the minutes)
- Report from the Secretary
(Attached to the minutes)
- Report from the Treasurer
The accounts continued to look healthy but it was necessary to look carefully at costs. The need to revise passports in order to comply with DEFRA requirements in the near future would have financial implications. The cost of inspections was also an issue, but raising the inspection fee to cover some of the costs might act as a deterrent. The need to attract new members and to retain existing ones was paramount.
- Report from the Registrar
(Attached to the minutes)
- Report from Breed Show organisers
After very positive feedback from the 2015 show, Warwickshire College has been booked again for the last weekend in July. A schedule will be published shortly and will be open for entries from April.
- Report from the Membership Secretary
(Attached to the minutes)
- Presentation of Trophies
Solfried Memorial Trophy – was awarded to Earendil Elentari (Tara) owned by Mark Walters
Most Improved Haflinger – was awarded to Balklands Cherrygold (Cherry) owned by Joy Irvine
- The Hobart & Otztaler Trophy – Stainz owned by Haflinger Pferdezuchtverband Tirol.
- The Stuber Trophy was awarded to Almnebel owned by Tom & Susan Crane
- The Chevin Shield was awarded to Limerick Armoy bred by John Newman
- The Simon Shield was awarded to Oxnead Schining Star bred and owned by Tom & Susan Crane.
- The Edelweiss trophy was awarded to Otztaler Macaria bred and owned by Hazel Davies
- The Breeders’ trophy was awarded to Tom & Susan Crane
- Presentation of Certificates of Special Merit
- Earendil Phoenix (Nixie) – owned by Bobbie Houghton
- Presentation of Certificate of Appreciation
This was awarded to Patricia Harrison in recognition of her many services to the Society.
- Next AGM
It was agreed to hold this on Sunday 26th February 2017. A venue will be announced nearer the time.
AGM 2016 –CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
Firstly may I extend a warm welcome to you all and thank you for taking the time to come and support the Society at its AGM.
The main focus of 2015 in the Haflinger calendar was of course the World Show. Great Britain was represented by two stallions, Sultan owned by myself and Hazel Davies and also Spring Monsoon, owned and bred by David Hurst. Both stallions were worthy attendees and were well placed in their respective classes. There was a great deal of support from members of the Society during the show and I think there were in the region of 20 plus British supporters that made the journey to Austria. For those that have never been before it is well worth the trip to see Haflinger horses in their native homeland, and take in first hand the development of the breed over the years.
Another British owned stallion, Wolontair also showcased himself extremely well in Austria when he headed the performance test in September. A considerable achievement for his owners Joanne Critchlow and Lindsay Hague.
With an influx of new lines and modern stallions I would hope that we can develop and strengthen our breeding success in the coming years. The number of registered foals has dropped considerably in recent years, mainly due to the downturn in the market and the retirement of some of our key breeders and larger studs. Responsible and managed breeding is important not only to those that chose to breed but also to the vast majority of our membership who wish for leisure and competition haflingers.
You won’t have your next riding horse unless you support those that are breeding them, the two go hand in hand.
The Committee over the last year have been talking about rebranding the Society and giving us a more uniform look throughout. We have recently overhauled the website, and we will continue to add to that in the coming months. We also have to update our passports so we will be looking at new covers and a new logo. We hope to print another run of leaflets with promotional content and information to go to new members, and it was suggested that larger yards and studs would have a supply of these leaflets to give to visitors and prospective purchasers. We will also be looking actively at the promotion and marketing of haflingers.
I must thank the Committee for the work that they do, many long hours go into some of the key officer roles, many of whom also have full time jobs, please remember that we are all volunteers and a word of thanks or appreciation can mean a great deal.
Thank you to our retiring director and acting Vice chair, Mark Walters he has been a great support over the last 3 years. We look forward to welcoming our new committee members and their contribution to the Society.
We have also decided to appoint a new Patron for the Society since the death of the Duchess of Devonshire. We are very pleased that our new patron has come from our membership and is someone that many of you will be familiar with from the Breed Show. We are delighted that she accepted our invitation to undertake the role, and I am sure she is going to a be a fantastic representative for the Society, please welcome Petra Ingram as our Patron.
For those that do not know Petra, she is the CEO of Brooke Animal Charity and works tirelessly with her high profile ambassadors travelling the world to promote better welfare standards.
Once again thank you all in anticipation of your ongoing support during 2016.
SECRETARY’S REPORT TO THE AGM – FEBRUARY 2016
This is going to be a rather brief report as the year has mainly been about consolidating and building on previous changes.
We were delighted to have 3 new trustees join us this time last year – all of them first timers onto the committee. It is always good to have new eyes and fresh ideas. This trend seems to be continuing with another two new members joining us in 2016.
As part of the Society’s continuing review of good governance we have conducted an analysis of the work of the Membership Secretary. Rules and regulations regarding membership are now clearer and various anomalies have been removed. There are clearer processes in place along with safeguards to ensure that any data is held securely and regularly backed up.
The Society wishes to provide good value for its members and since the beginning of the year has been looking at ways to enhance the benefits of membership. The first stage of this was an agreement to invest in a rebuild of the Society’s website. Our aim is to make it more user-friendly and easier to update. Many thanks to Dani Baron who master-minded this process. There have been one or two teething problems and this is still very much a work in progress.
Annual General Meeting – 21st Februray 2016
Report from Breeding and Stud Book Management
Over all a busty year for Sian and I an number of key developments in our area
A change of format for 2015 saw us at Houghton Hall. We were delighted to welcome Lukas Scheiber and Lothar Zebisch who as well as inspecting the 8 fillies presented also ran a training session for all the attendees, especially for the British judges and also ensure that the feedback on each horses presented was shared. A question and answer session was also well received
Feedback on this format from both the owners and those attending to spectate has been excellent.
Of the fillies presented we saw an average height of 148.3cm and average points of 7.4. No colts were assessed in 2015.
Once again we are back at Houghton Hall, this year on 9th April. We are delighted that Lukas Scheiber is returning to judge for us, this time with Robert Mair. Everyone is very welcome to join us and we know you will learn a lot thanks to the collaborative style of both Lukas and Robert
We are making a few changes to the elite scoring this year after a review with our colleagues in Austria. The mark for the elite status in Austria is 7.9 for the mares and they award the status to around 10% of their mare population in any one year. Last year we awarded 50% of our mares elite status with the score required at 7.5. We are clearly a little low.
Marks for our horses are improving which us just great to see, with visiting judges from Austria we are also now completely aligned with no variation as we utilise the international judging community.
The committee has agreed that we will award and International Elite status in line with the Austria mark of 7.9. In addition though we want to maintain a British Elite status and this will increase to 7.7. The pass mark for stallions and mares will remain at 7.5 and 6.9 respectively and is in line with our Austrian colleagues.
This has been a huge area of focus for our Stud Book Manager, Sian. Huge thanks must go to her for all the time and effort she has contributed on behalf of us all in the Society.
We became aware of new requirements from DEFRA around the format of passports some months ago. In conjunction with our partners at Grassroots, who run the stud book for us, we now have completely re-vamped passport pages and content which meet the new requirements of all the Passport Issuing Organisations
Passport quality and adherence to requirements is a constant worry. Off the back of the Society audit by DEFRA last year we have had to rivet all passports and we have become more and more concerned about the quality of the print within them, having inherited a very archaic process which registrars over the years have had to manage
As soon as we are advised, the new formats are ready to go and we will adhere to DEFRA regulation.
Stud Book rules
The final one from me. The current version of the stud book rules date back to 2006. Since then there have been some major changes in Austria, most notably the dispansion of the World Haflinger Federation to which our stud book was aligned.
There are some key changes to the new version of the stud book, notably:
- We are aligning our standards to our mother stud book – Haflinger Pferdezuchtverband Tirol. We remain independent from Austria and they have no power to amend anything in our stud book but whenever they make changes, the Society will consider whether to adopt those on a case by case basis
- With several resignations and changes in the International judging arrangements it has become necessary to disband the British Inspection team. With that happening we are aligning to the judging requirements of Austria. This will mean from now on we will require 2 International judges to inspect fillies and 3 International judges to inspect colts. In reality this is not a major change and over the last few years we have broadly followed this anyway. Currently we have no International judges here in the UK. Applications are in for 2 of our current judges to join that programme.
- The final key change is aligning the standard to Austria. This sees the minum heights change for the mares. The old stud book rules had minimum height for mares at 138cm and stallions at 140cm. We move this to the Austrian standard of between 140 and 150cm for both. Horses outside of the height guidelines will not be automatically declined but as in Austria each horse will be assessed on it’s merits and other factors will be taken in to consideration when marks are given
- The final large change is the closure of the part bred register. No such register exists in Austria and to be really honest we don’t offer any benefits to these horses given they cannot compete at anything which is run under Society rules. To charge to register something with no benefit seems unfair. We have not had requests to register any horses in here in the time Sian and I have been in office.
The stud book rules will be published on the website and is available to anyone who wishes to have a copy of them.
Haflinger Society of Great Britain – Membership Secretary Report
AGM – 22ND February 2016.
Up to the 8th February there have been 84 Renewals compared to 24 who renewed in January last year.
The introduction in 2015 of sending membership details and letters via email has saved the Society costs incurred for admin ie postage, stationery and ink. There are now only about 12 members requiring confirmation of their renewal by post. The Membership Secretaries expenses in upto the AGM in 2015 was £104 . This has been reduced to £22.
During 2015 I highlighted the falling numbers of memberships over the last few years and I recommended that Breeders should be encouraged to hand out literature to new owners promoting the Haflinger Society and the benefits of joining.
There were teething problems for members wishing to make payments and members paying the reduced payment after the 31st January via the new website which has now been addressed by the Web Designers