Minutes of the AGM 2020

Held on Tuesday 7th January 2020 at 7.00pm

At Addington Manor Equestrian Centre, Bucks by kind permission of Chris Parker

1.  Welcome address by Jillie Rogers BHSI – Chairman.

All were warmly welcomed to this packed AGM – held downstairs in the café for the first time.  Thank you to Addington for hosting us, and Ann for organising. Both brilliant.

2.  Attendance and Apologies for Absence (Committee members in bold)

Present:  Jillie Rogers, Ann Bostock, Alison Craig, Debbie Follett, David Sheerin, Mandy Luesley, Amy Bannister-Bell, Danny Anholt via Messenger, Nicole Biggs, Ann Peate, Faith Ponsonby, Mandy Chaffin, Judith Murphy, Gemma Porter-Rawlings, Ruth Baxter, Amanda Holloway, Charlotte Tarrant, Katie Partrick, Brendan Bergin, Sarah Stewart, Kirsten Owen, Sarah Fitton, Hetta Wilkinson, Julian Campbell, Maggie Doel, Jeremy Michaels, Jen Burnett, Richard Johnston-Smith, Jennifer Ham, Sue Pimbley, Becky Johnson, Beth Boyes, Nick Gauntlett, Mark Robinson, Sophie Cox, Ernest Dillon, Sue Payne, Sarah MacDonald, Elizabeth Allen, Clare Chamberlayne, Lisa Morris, Sarah Thorne, Oonagh Meyer, Debbie Melville, Sabrina Jones, Jayne Smart, Lizzel Winter, Hilary Westropp, Sam Champney Warrener, Cherry Elvin, Nicola Greenhalgh-Brook, Annette Philpot, Annette Christey, Philly Muir, Helen Martin, Alex Hulme, Lyndsay Gammon, Ellie Halsey, Jo Chilcott, Alex Wyatt-Hughes, Alice Bannister-Bell, Sally Jackson, Melissa Troup, Dan Spencer, Wendy Suddes, Liz Eaton, Simon Somers, William Blane, Tessa Ryley, Alec Miles, Kylie Roddy, Kirsty Fontaine-Henley, Victoria Gallantree, Karen Winston, David Llewellyn, Anne-Marie Taylor, Carol Bennitt, Becky Cooper, Linda de Matteo, Eric Horgan, Micheline Horgan, Jenny Ward, Margie Craib, Islay Auty, Biddy Brasted Watts, Nikki Herbert, Eric Smiley.

Apologies:  Sam York, Tessa Martin-Bird, Fred Hodges, Candice Williams, Elspeth Watson, Victoria Hayton, Clare Sansom, Sally Newcomb, Joanna Potterton, Nick Turner, Gill Watson, Tim Downes, Grainne Sugars, Sue Ricketts, Sue Charters, Sandra Morrison, Liz Taylor, Erik McKechnie, Linda Pearce, Catherine Shine, Caroline Moon, Jo Winfield, Caro Haynes, Carole Broad, Caroline Stevenson, Cheryl Bezants, Donn Collins, Wendy Summers.  Danny Anholt – complete with ode read by Jillie.

3.  Minutes of last AGM (held 8th January 2019 at Addington Manor)

3.1 The minutes were approved as a correct record.

4.  Matters Arising from those Minutes

4.1 Following the meeting last year, the F&I “coaches” page in the British Horse magazine was successfully reinstated (JR, with help from the BHS team).  It slipped off again for the December issue following a magazine revamp – JR will pursue again.  Danny Anholt and Faith Ponsonby both writing articles for forthcoming issues.  More contributions welcomed.

5.  Chairman’s Review for the Year 2019   

5.1   Thank yous to this course’s Study Group leaders, to our Regional Reps (Ireland Faith Ponsonby, Scotland Jen Burnett, North Sue Ricketts, South West Danny Anholt, South East Mandy Luesley), and to the Committee members.

5.2  Special thankyous to departing Committee – David Sheerin and Debbie Follett. 

5.3  Welcome to the nominated replacement Committee members Oonagh Meyer and Jude Murphy (see Election of Committee below)

5.4  See attached “Review for the Year 2019” by Jillie Rogers.

6.  Treasurer’s Report for the Year 2019   

6.1  Debbie Follett summarised the training days held and the profit generated in the year of £1,520 – big thanks to those generously providing facilities free. 

6.2  We now have 210 members in total – an encouraging increase.  End of year cash balance now £20k. The financial summary was distributed – attached here.

6.3  Notable increase in events run that also generated a charitable donation to the horse industry – welcomed by all.

7.  Election of Committee for 2020

7.1 As outlined in the “planning for the AGM” document sent out to all members last year, David Sheerin and Debbie Follett both sadly stood down at this meeting.  Nominations for their successors were sought, and Jude Murphy was nominated by Faith Ponsonby and seconded by Brendan Bergin, and Oonagh Meyer was nominated by Sam Champney Warrener and seconded by Debbie Melville.  Both were warmly welcomed by all.

8.  Any Other Business

8.1  Questions have been circulating in recent months about the industry moving on, which have implications for possible changes to our membership criteria.

Firstly, the strength of the International Group for Equestrian Qualifications (IGEQ) which defines the “International Level 3” qualification – which is of course based upon our own BHSI syllabus originally.  We have now had two approaches for F&I membership under this international equivalency.  Do we admit them?  And if so, how?  It seems we should, but currently our Constitution technically doesn’t allow us to.

Secondly, the launch of the BHS Pathways Stage 5 due later this year 2020 will create Stage 5 “discipline specialists”.  Are we going to be able to admit these Stage 5 discipline specialists to F&I membership?  Again, currently our Constitution doesn’t mention a Stage 5, let alone a discipline specific one…

Both these questions raise a number of issues – of which the factual components need to be established first, in terms of actual equivalency, rigour of the exam processes, etc etc. 

Thirdly, our Constitution is already out of date in its current wording, including missing out details of our recently added Awards (Achievement, and Tom Searle).

The Chair and Committee propose that a Working Party look at both issues, consult widely, and by the autumn 2020 come up with a proposal for how the F&I Association responds to these developments and thus creates a broader and more inclusive Association.

At the end of that process the changes to the Constitution will be proposed and put to the full F&I membership with a minimum of 30 days’ notice prior to the January 2021 AGM.

This was agreed by all present as a sensible way forward.

All assistance with the Working Party’s deliberations welcomed in due course! 

8.2 To Sam Champney Warrener – thank you for running the closed Facebook page so well for us.

To Sally Newcomb – thank you for running the website so well for us.

8.3 From Chris Parker (Addington) and Ann Bostock – stabling for the Addington course next year (5/6 January 2021) must be booked and paid for by 1st January.

9.  Remembrance

All present were invited to stand to remember Dorothy Johnson – not an F&I member but many may remember her.  She died in June 2019 aged 96, having retired aged 88.  And Clarissa Dawson, one of our stalwart members who died in March 2019 after a brave battle with cancer.  Donn Collins read the eulogy at Clarissa’s funeral and F&I were represented on the day.

10. Presentation of Awards

Upstairs over dinner, between courses…  and there were 91 of us for dinner!

Tom Searle award – Brendan Bergin

Achievement Award – Ann Bostock

Pat Smallwood Award – David Sheerin

The cheers and standing ovations went on and on…  What an outstanding evening all round.

11. Date of next AGM

Tuesday 5 January 2021, at Addington, 7pm. 

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