British Riding Clubs Area 1: January 2019
First of all, I do hope that, as 2019 progresses, the trust, care, patience and perseverance you have invested in your equines over the years is rewarded!
No matter what route your enjoyment takes, it involves a great deal of time.
For some 2018 saw success at the Area Qualifiers, followed by success at the BRC Championships. Congratulations to you all. I am sure you will have seen the headline in the Rider magazine reporting the success of the North Ayrshire Juniors at the Championships. This is the first time Area 1 Juniors have experienced such publicity! It must be mentioned that the juniors could not have achieved this without huge parental support, and that of North Ayrshire Riding Club. I do hope this will encourage other clubs to support their Junior membership.
I hope you are aware the Area 1 AGM will take place on 27th January, in the Arran Room at Oatridge. This is your opportunity to meet other Clubs, elect and support the Area 1 committee for 2019. The Area Secretary will circulate the Agenda which will include vacant committee roles. I am stepping down as Chair. I have been involved with the Area for many years and will really miss the fun and being in touch with the clubs. The Area now has an excellent BRC Representative in Maggie Bunnett. Maggie, along with our exceptional secretary Jane McDowall will assist and support the new Chair.
In November 2018 the annual Area 1 Liaison Meeting was scheduled. Due to the lack of attendees it was cancelled as the meeting would not have been Quorate. This was a shocking situation, and it saddens me that I have to raise this in my last newsletter to you all. Each club can send two representatives to the meetings. Considering there is only the AGM and one Liaison Meeting per year, this is not too onerous. The Area Committee put in many hours on your behalf, so the least clubs can do is attend these meetings. The Area Committee largely run the Qualifiers, and are happy to organise training. None of this will happen if there is no support. It is all too easy to plan your activities, buy your brushing boots and ‘allegedly’ keep in touch with your friends using the internet. You do not have to leave the house. What happened to humans? What happened to debate and discussion? What has happened to the sharing of time and the involvement with others, the co-operation, the volunteering and helping others enjoy, progress and succeed. This is what your Riding Club set out to do.
Your Club is part of Area 1, which is one of 23 Areas in Britain. The Liaison Meeting and the AGM are the two opportunities to come together to share success, raise issues and be a part of the future. BRC is ‘owned’ by the British Horse Society, a very worthwhile charity, however we need to hold on to our independence within this huge organisation. The Area is your voice. Our Representative cannot raise your issues nationally if there is no discussion. We may be part of the BHS, but our Clubs remain autonomous (in charge of their affairs and finances). This privilege must be guarded at all costs. I cannot think of another equestrian organisation where the individual clubs retain such independence.
Many clubs have supported the Area in many different ways over the years. This ethos must continue and should not be dependent on the whims of the incumbent committees. There is nothing more rewarding than being part of a vibrant occasion. The learning is huge and the appreciation of the voluntary skills of BRC members is there to be recognised.
You must all come together to elect a new Chair for 2019 and put in place the workings of Area 1.
Best wishes, and thank you to everyone for the comradeship and a most rewarding experience.