A healthy mixture of continuity and change after our 2013 AGM

There’s no doubt it felt a bit odd gathering in earliest November for our AGM when tradition dictates that it falls in the festive December season. We’re an adaptable bunch however and the healthy number of members who attended Friday night’s meeting got on with both the official business and the business of socialising without further ado.

Damien, Cormac and Francis delivered comprehensive reports wearing their official Chairman’s, Secretary’s and Treasurer’s hats respectively. Happily we’re still in a comfortable financial position and in general the same can be said about the overall health of the club. However, Damien voiced some well-founded concerns about the decline in the success of our Friday evening activities. Lack of time and money are obvious contributing factors but we have never fallen at these hurdles in the past. Later in the meeting the point was discussed in greater detail and all agreed that more rigorous advance planning of the weekly events is imperative. If we make a habit of doing things regularly, we take it in our stride. If events don’t happen as planned, we fall out of the habit of attending and begin to believe that events will be cancelled. And we all need to adopt afresh the belief that the success of the Friday evening activities rests on our personal shoulders, not somebody else’s.

The officer’s reports nevertheless highlighted the fact that we have a very full calendar and a very active club life. There were notable achievements throughout the year, in competitive and personal terms, and we were well represented at the majority of national events throughout the country. Cormac wisely drew attention to our failure to field a team for the team dressage qualifiers and many share his sentiment. Despite the fact that we have a strong dressage riding core within the club, the logistics and finances of travelling to the qualifier (and then, heaven forbid, the National Championships!) are daunting.

A particular topic for discussion was our Derby & Dressage Show which suffered again in 2013 from shockingly low participant numbers and a whopping financial loss. Notwithstanding these problems it was agreed fairly universally that we should persist with the event. It is absolutely imperative that we run the show in May when members are still in competitive mode after the long sequence of spring events.

Moving on to the election of officers for 2014 there was a mixture of continuity and change. After two very successful and deeply appreciated years at the helm, Damien handed over the reins of the club to Enda who takes over as Chairman. Maura takes over as Treasurer from near neighbour Francis, while Cormac stays on in the Secretary’s hot seat. Amongst the lesser positions there was a certain degree of change and the full role of honour reads as follows:

Chairperson Enda McClafferty
Treasurer Maura McNicholl
Secretary Cormac McCormack
Vice Chairperson Paddy Gallagher
Asst Treasurer Libby Carton
Asst Secretary Ann Chambers
Joint show secretaries  Tanya Jacob, Nadine Gallagher
Chief safety officer Paddy Gallagher
Asst Safety officers Keary Smith, Ann Chambers, Marina Hamilton, Cyril Higgins, Jenny Coe, Damien Gallagher, Francis McNicholl
Club grading officer Audrey Jacob
Child welfare officer Orla O’Reilly
Events coordinators (NWL)
Paddy Gallagher, Christopher Pyper, Francis McNicholl
Team Show Jumping coordinators Leo Porter, Francis McNicholl
PROs Libby Carton, Louise Edwards
Website Libby Carton
Club promotional gear coordinator Jenny Coe
Prize purchaser Ann Chambers
Regional delegates Cormac McCormack, Libby Carton

There was plenty of further reflection on events in 2013 and anticipation of the coming 12 months before the official proceedings concluded with the awarding of our coveted awards for Club Member and Club Horse of the Year. The two immensely popular winners were Francis and Cool, both of whom truly embody everything that is wonderful about our club. Many congratulations. (Full awards report and photos shortly.)