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April Member Update

Dear AHR Member,

As we enter the fourth month of 2017, it looks like spring may finally have taken hold. In the Haflinger world, new foals are arriving and preparations are underway for the busy summer season, with warmer weather and more time to spend having fun with our Haflingers. During this time, much has been going on at the Registry and with the breed, so we are going to implement this member letter to try and improve our overall communication with members and keep you informed about these activities.

The restructuring of the organization continues and although progress is being made, it has not been without challenges. One of hte biggest challenges is the telelphone system and the ability for membesr to be able to talk to a person and know that some action will take place with respect to their issue. We are going to address the issue by modifying our system to increase the probability that you will talk to a person. During normal east coast business hours when you call the AHR office telephone number (330-784-0000), the first five rings will be covered by a receptionist service. This person will take your name, contact information, a short summary of your issue, and refer your call to the AHR Committee Chair or individual that can answer your question. She will not have access to AHR records. Therefore, questions about registration status, transfers, stallion licenses, and memberships will have to be logged and forwarded to the person responsible for the area to respond. If the receptionist is not available, after five rings the phone will roll to an AHR Board Member for three rings, and to a second AHR Board Member for an additional three rings. The Board Members will follow the same procedures as the receptionist in logging the calls, although in many cases the Board Member may be able to resolve the issue for you. If, for some reason, none of the three contact points are available, the phone will allow you to leave a message.

We have also changed the message system. Going forward, the voicemails that you leave can be accessed by multiple members of the AHR Board, as well as Sue Casseday. The voicemail will be monitored daily and all calls logged for referral and follow-up. We believe these changes will increase the service provided to our members and free up time for Sue to focus on processing paperwork. We will be monitoring the logs to ensure that all calls are responded to and that we answer your inquiries as promptly as possible. We looking forward to working with you as we strive to improve the service we provide to our members.

A second issue that we had considered, but thought that our communication had previously covered, is the number of different addresses for the Registry. We have transfer documents with addresses for three office moves. The problem is that the post office will not forward anything for more than one year, and only from the last address. Since we moved from those addresses over a year or two ago, the mail sent to these addresses will not be forwarded, so please check your mailings to the address on the website or in the last two magazines to make sure you are mailing to the correct address. We have had several frustrated members get their paperwork returned because it was mailed not to the last office address, but to the office two moves ago. The new address is American Haflinger Registry, PO Box 2690, Akron Ohio 44309.

Paperwork is getting caught up on Sue’s end. We had some challenges at the beginning of the year with our change in processes and moving computers, but we have most of that behind us and things are beginning to return to normal. One thing that we were not notified about that delayed registrations was a lab move and extended vacations at the DNA lab. We generally allow for a month to get DNA tests sent, processed, and returned. That timeframe extended significantly early this year as the move, vacations, and all breeds end of the year workloads converged to create a lab back-up. Again, we have seen the last DNA tests processed return to a more normal schedule. Still, allow for a month for DNA tests to be processed in your registration planning.

Congratulations to the Indiana Haflinger Association on a very successful sale weekend. The sale was successful by all accounts, and, as usual, everyone had a good time with friends and family.

Thank you to the Indiana Hoosiers who carried the Haflinger flag and represented the breed at both the Iowa and Minnesota Horse Fairs. Our members are the best spokespeople for the breed and the organization.

Thank you to the New York State Registered Haflinger Association for their support of the breed at the New York Equifest and to all the members that represented the breed at this event. The reports were that the Haflinger was well represented and received by the attendees.

Thank you to the Ohio Haflinger Association and our National Show Committee for representing the Haflinger and the registry at this event.

Last, but not least, thank you to the Haflinger Drill Teams and Walnut Ridge Farms for continuing to represent the Haflinger horse and to serve as ambassadors at all of these events. I have had the privilege to see the show that the drill teams put on for the crowd and that represent all Haflinger owners well. Their presentations are generally, and I am sure again this year, the highlight of the show. Thanks to all the riders, drivers, and their support teams for all that you do for the breed.

Preparations are well under way for a great sale next month. We have 72 registered Hafligners consigned for sale that weekend. Of course, there will probably be additions to the number as uncatalogued horses are consigned, but we are pleased that we have nearly doubled the number of horses from 2016. The catalogues are being finished and should be mailed next week to arrive in plenty of time for you to study the offerings and pick out your favorites. Watch for the new online auction capabilities and look for the horses online leading up to the show. Erwin Slabaugh and his committee have done a great job in managing the sale and trying to make the changes that our consignors and buyers have asked for in the past.

In addition to the Haflinger sale, we will have a tack auction on Friday morning, a Fun auction to support the AHR National Show in the afternoon (I am told they have some great items to buy!) and the Stallion Parade and presentation of the sale horses on Friday evening. Saturday morning starts with the Stallion Service Auction and is followed by our Haflinger Auction. So, bring your pocketbooks and bid often!

The dates and location for the 2017 Classification have been set. The inspection will take place on Thursday, July 27th at the Ashland County Fairgrounds, preceding the Central Ohio Haflinger Show that runs Friday through Sunday. The applications for inspection are available on the website and included in the Spring magazine issue, which is currently in the mail and on its way to you. The panel of judges has been announced for this year. Mr. Dave Ayers and Ms. Nicole Cable will serve as the two judges in the ring all day. The third judge will be a rotation of Mr. Ray Miller, Mr. John Dunkel, and Mr. Robert Eicher, depending on the horses presented. If you are considering having a horse inspected, get your application completed and submitted to reserve your place in the process. If you have any questions concerning the process, contact William Hendershot, the Classification Committee Chair, or any Board Member.

A little longer than I had expected, but I wanted to try and update everyone on what is going on with the Registry. We will try to do this more often via posting on social media, our website, and through emails to our members. We will work on improving communications with members we cannot reach by these methods, but in the meantime, if you know someone that does not get the message, please print it out and share. We are trying to be open to all and we must all work together to move forward.

Chuck Hendershot, AHR Board President