National Show Changes
Over the last few years, AHR has struggled with many aspects of the National Show. We have lost venues and had to scramble for locations. The result is show dates that conflict with Fairs, other horse events, and the start of school. Our exhibitors have been left wondering when and where the event will take place, making scheduling vacation time to attend the show difficult. Through all of this, our Show Committees have done a great job providing the Haflinger community with excellent shows.
Last year, the AHR National Show lost money for the first time in many years. Sponsorships were down, entries were down and expenses were higher, mainly due to the location that was available to the committee after we lost our dates at Robert’s Arena, because they wanted to host bigger shows. As the Board looked at 2017, we faced the same challenges. We needed to find a place to hold the event, with most arena schedules filled. We had to find dates that did not conflict with other horse shows, like major dressage events, driving competitions and, very importantly, school schedules, to allow for all of our member owners to participate in the National Show. Another consideration was the finances of AHR. We need to make sure that the AHR National Show pays for itself; we cannot lose money on the show. The Board’s objectives for the National Show are to maximize participation, to make the show a must attend event that shows the very best of the Haflinger breed and owners in a fun competitive environment, and to operate the program at breakeven.
With these objectives in mind, the Board decided the best way to achieve the goals was to forego the National Show in 2017. This is not a cancellation of the National Show program, but a reset to allow us to proactively plan a show to meet the stated objectives. We have a National Show Committee that is working hard to bring the National Show back in 2018 with a bang. The Show will be at a great location to encourage participation and to provide all Haflinger lovers a great place to meet old friends, make new friends, and to show off their wonderful horses. The Committee will be working over the next two years to put together the best Haflinger National Show yet. I have confidence that our Committee Chair, Ms. Karen Young, and her committee will provide an event that will make the wait worth every second.
Although there will probably be some disappointment in not having a show in 2017 it’s our hope that people will be positive and work together so that the 2018 show will be a great success! I believe, and the Board believes, that if we make the tough decisions in 2017 and reset our organization, we can look forward to bigger and better events and activities in the future. It will not be easy. The decisions are not easy on the Board; we are all exhibitors and competitors that love to show our Haflingers, just like you. However, we recognize that we have to make some difficult decisions and changes to build for the future. It takes all of us Haflinger enthusiasts working together for us to be successful so remember to volunteer! The more positive and productive volunteers we have the brighter the future will be for the AHR and the Haflinger breed!
Chuck Hendershot, President