A Successful AGM & Exciting Developments Ahead!

Manitoba Horse Council (MHC) would like to greet new members to its Board of Directors, and welcome back returning Chairs.

At the MHC Annual General Meeting held virtually on April 16, 2021, twenty-seven Member Club representatives, eight current Board members, seventeen general members, six Board nominees, and four staff met to discuss the operations of the association, looking back over 2020 activities and forward through 2021.

The meeting was Chaired by Kiirsten May (Marketing & Communications), with intern Emma Richardson at the controls. Board members ran the full slate of AGM reports. We were all amazed at how much we achieved in the past year, against all odds. Club representatives in attendance also shared their 2020 activities and 2021 intentions (keeping in mind how COVID-19 may affect their plans). It is always interesting to hear how our clubs have risen to the challenge and how they manage activities throughout these difficult times.

Interim President Geri Sweet, Chair of the Nominations Committee, presented the slate of nominees for open Board positions, one new Director-at-Large position, and the re-election of two incumbents.

Our membership is now represented by a full slate:

  • John Biron - President
  • Lana Stevenson - Vice President & Director-At-Large (Human Resources)
  • Geri Sweet - Past President
  • Hugh Crawley - Treasurer
  • Eryn Butterfield - Chair, Equestrian Facility
  • Chris Dolinski - Chair, Coaching
  • Susan Bagg - Chair, Officials
  • Sarah Biron - Chair, Industry
  • Sarah Read - Chair, Competitions
  • Kiirsten May - Chair, Marketing & Communications
  • Tamara Hupalo - Chair, Recreation
  • Jack Boughen - Director at Large
  • Tanis Jones - Director at Large
  • Angela Janz - Director at Large

We say goodbye to Marlo Glass and Gwen Donohoe, and thank them for their work and commitment during the past years.

Hearing from the nominees prior to the election, it was evident that MHC has brought on some very capable, experienced, and enthusiastic board members, and our general membership can look forward to some exciting developments in 2021 and beyond.

MHC’s Equestrian Facility is now internationally recognized through the competitions and events held there over the last 40 years and is unique in that we receive no subsidies but rely on revenue to cover our costs. Grants and fundraising do support individual events, rather than directly to the operation.  

A park facility must remain open and safe, even when no competition is allowed. Thanks to a very well-timed Federal Sport Emergency Grant, the MHC was able to continue our plan for improving the competition areas and other upgrades including rebuilding dressage ring 2, regrading and maintenance of rings 3 and 5, and footing upgrades and repairs to the lunging ring. Our thanks to Sport Manitoba for their support and advice at all stages.

MHC thanks returning users (Manitoba Hunter Jumper Association and Dressage Winnipeg, etc.) but also welcomes new users coming through for 2021 such as Central Canada Reining Horse Association, WinterFest, Manitoba Quarter Horse Association, and a new exciting Cow Horse event in August put on by three MHC associations. There is even talk about a draft horse event. Watch this space!

MHC is updating the rules of use for the Equestrian Facility, for instance, that all horses have received a specific set of equine vaccinations. Dogs will not be allowed in any buildings or barns, and feed will be banned from alleyways. We are in a provincial park and these and other measures will help deter wildlife from entering buildings and roaming the site.

Despite a spring storm, which dumped a whole winter’s worth of snow on Manitoba over three days in mid-April, the weather is now warming and riders are preparing eagerly for the chance to get outside and ride comfortably, and safely.

 Manitoba Horse Council

Photo: Shutterstock/Lenkadan