New Governance Structure Takes Root at the USHJA Annual Meeting


December 7, 2012

Miami, FL – Changes to the governance structure of the United States Hunter Jumper Association highlighted this year’s Annual Meeting, held Dec. 2-6 in Miami, FL and presented by the USHJA Supporting Winter Circuits of Zone 4.

In elections held on Tuesday December 4, Bill Moroney was re-elected as President. Other officers elected included: Mary Babick, Vice President of Hunter Discipline; David Distler, Vice President of Jumper Discipline; Larry Langer, Secretary; and Dianne Johnson, Treasurer.

A mandate under the new bylaws—available here on the USHJA website—includes three At-Large Directors who bring expertise outside of the horse industry to the Board of Directors. These new members are: Debbie Bass, entrepreneur and professional membership management in the automotive industry; Susan Harding, MBA, profit and non-profit marketing and management; and Cheryl Rubenstein, MBA, finance and marketing.

Bob Bell, Britt McCormick, Skip Thornbury and Julie Winkel were also elected as At-Large Directors. Hunter Working Group appointments to the Board include: Colleen McQuay, with Liza Boyd and Shelley Campf selected as the athlete representatives. Jumper Working Group appointments to the Board included: Anne Kursinski; with Margie Engle and Candice King chosen as the athlete representatives. Lori Cramer and Streett Moore were appointed to the Board as Affiliate representatives.

Lynn Jayne was also appointed to the Board as the current president of the USHJA Foundation.

The new BOD members were seated immediately following the election and began working on Wednesday evening during a Board Orientation dinner. The new board continued their labors at the subsequent BOD meeting to finalize the recommendations to the Proposed Rule Changes that will be considered by the United States Equestrian Federation Board of Directors at their Annual Meeting in January.

“It’s really exciting that we’ve come this far,” said Moroney. “And I think it’s important that we’ve listened to the members and that we’ve evolved to have a governance structure that’s going to facilitate meeting the responsibilities of the mission statement we have as the Federation’s affiliate for the jumper and hunter sports. Everyone on the new Board is engaged and enthusiastic, as well as the individuals on the Hunter and Jumper Working Groups.”

A record number of 396 attendees gathered in Miami for the eighth annual USHJA Annual Meeting, where a number of issues were discussed, including: a new 3’3” Junior Hunter section; changing the demarcation that determines a small/large junior hunter size from 16 to 16.1 hands; the Pre-Green Hunter Challenge program; and jumper prize money, to name just a few.

The majority of approved rule changes will become effective December 1, 2013, after receiving the USEF stamp of approval during their Annual Meeting, January 16-19 in Louisville, KY.

In a nutshell, the new governance structure provides more of a balance between the hunter and jumper constituents, while also bringing in people who will provide expertise in areas outside of the equestrian industry. A Hunter Working Group and Jumper Working Group were established in September, and those members met face to face for the first time at the Annual Meeting. They will be forming and populating committees and task forces to address specific needs, many of which will be underway by early next year.

“We experienced a rotation in the Board and elections that brought new people into governance, some at a higher level who had been previously serving as committee members the past few years,” said Moroney. “Through their hard work and commitment to be directors, they’ll help lead the organization the next four years.”

Educational programming and seminars were also included in this year’s meeting schedule, including addressing the new governance structure, helmet safety, equine law, equine business practices, Pony Club and one-day show management.

New United States Show Jumping Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland (on his third day on the job) spoke about his vision for the future and reminisced about the sport’s past along with his experience as a team member in the 1970s.

The three award presentations—Stirrup Cup, Evening of Equestrians and Showcase Luncheon—featured honorees from the zone to the Olympic levels.

Highlights include: Mary Babick as Volunteer of the Year; Pam Baker and Arthur Hawkins as Lifetime Achievement Award winners; Gail Horrigan as the Amateur Sportsmanship Award winner; Harry Gill as the Owner’s Legacy Award winner; Henley Adkins as the Youth Sportsman’s Award winner; Hannah Bentz as the Youth Leadership Award winner; Julie Agar and Janet Fall as the Vital Staff Award winners; and Sissie Anderton, Keiri Kaneps and Laura Pickett as the winners of the Jane Marshall Dillon Award.

This year, two hunter riders were honored for reaching the half-million-dollar level in USHJA money-won tracking. They were Peter Pletcher ($555,312) and Scott Stewart ($617,907). Jumper Rider Money-won award recipients included Rich Fellers ($1,159,457) and Aaron Vale ($1,172,479).

The USHJA thanks its many sponsors for making the Annual Meeting a success, including Equestrian Sport Productions & FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, Texas High Performance Series, The Oberkircher Family & Southfields Farm, BHC Management Company & Blue Ribbon Ventures, McDonogh School, Langer Equestrian Group & Gold Coast & Verdugo Hills Shows, The USHJA Young Professionals Committee, Dr. & Mrs. Wallace Boston, United States Equestrian Federation, SmartPak, Bill Schaub & Over The Hill Farm, Diane Carney & Telluride, Ocala/Marion County Visitors & Convention Bureau Tourist Development Council, Maypine Farm, The EMO Agency, Inc., Don Stewart Stables, Progressive Show Jumping, Inc., & Highfields Event Center, RevitaVet Therapeutic Systems, Skidmore College Saratoga Classic Horse Show & Southbound Show Management, Blue Ribbon Blankets, Charles Owen, Inc., Crown Equine Services, Dover Saddlery, EquiFit, Inc., Hodges Badge Company, Inc., Horse Shows By The Bay, iJump Sports & ShowBiz Magazine,, Markel Insurance Company, Nutrena, Morris, Laing, Evans, Brock & Kennedy Law Firm, Roberto Rivas Custom Boots, ZetrOZ LLC.

Complete coverage of the USHJA Annual Meeting will be published in the January 2013 issue of USHJA In Stride magazine. Visit the rule changes page.

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