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Copyright 2003-2004 BSEA
Billings, Montana

February 2004 Meeting Minutes
February 12, 2004


  • Diane Erhart
  • Sheila Ruble
  • Barbara Ramlow
  • Cliff Knighton
  • Kerri Reno
  • Scott Reno
  • Sue Knighton
  • Christy Lovegrove

The minutes of the previous meeting were accepted as posted on the web site.

Kerri quickly went over the 2003 profit and loss statement. We started 2003 with 706.12 in the checking account, and ended with 2137.50. (A copy of the 2003 profit and loss statement is available to all members by contacting Kerri Reno.) We also have a $1000 CD that rolled over in September 2003. Then Kerri presented the current profit and loss statement. Our checking account balance as of 1/1/2004 was 2137.50. We’ve brought in membership money, but paid for insurance, MSEA dues, USDF dues, postage and printing costs and our Montana non-profit fee. We’ve earned a little on the web site, selling classified advertisements to try to offset the cost of the domain name and the web site hosting service. Our ending balance as of 2/12/04 is 2413.47.

The door prize was awarded to Sue Knighton. It was a $10 gift certificate to Fuddruckers.

The March 11th meeting will have a guest speaker – Dianne Stanley. Members are encouraged to contact her with questions about dressage so she is prepared to discuss them at the meeting. Dianne Stanley's email: [email protected] phone: 652-4061

The April 8th meeting guest speaker will be Sheila Ruble on the biomechanics of the horse in relation to what dressage judges are looking for.

Diane and Sheila talked about the dressage symposium they’ve been working on (with Kelli Dempster) for BSEA for 2005. They hope to start a series with Heart Mountain Dressage, with each club sponsoring a symposium every 6 months or so. They are hoping to get Melanie Tenney for both clubs and each symposium would build on the previous one. The initial plan was for Heart Mountain to have the Fall 2004 symposium, BSEA to host the spring 2005, and so on for 4 successive symposia. That schedule will probably change however. Kerri brought up that it would be better for BSEA to host a fall symposium, because then more riders who don’t have an indoor arena may be available as demo riders.

Kerri explained that WECC, Inc. wants to offer BSEA the option of paying 50% of the profits of each event held at Warfield Park in lieu of rental fees. The WECC board thought that this would be beneficial to BSEA so that events that make little or no profit wouldn’t incur a loss because of the rental fees. But then events like the horse trials would pay a lot more, to make up for the low rentals on smaller events. There was much discussion of whether this would be good for BSEA, or whether we should just pay a flat fee. Sheila wanted to know whether WECC would have the park ready for events (such as mowing the cross country course, etc) or whether BSEA would be responsible for that. WECC doesn’t have that completely worked out and Christy Lovegrove brought up that we don’t know what the flat fee would be, so events for 2004 were tabled until we know what are options are for renting Warfield Park.

Sue said that she’d be willing to put on a Pair Pace or something in April, and Kelli Dempster had sent an e-mail the she, Sue, and Kerri would be willing to put on 3 combined tests during the summer. The first would be in June, and would be a dressage/stadium CT, the second would be in July and be a dressage/XC CT, and the third would be in August and would be a stadium/XC CT. All of these events would be inexpensive, and would allow cross-country schooling afterwards.

Barb brought up the web site and had high praise for Kerri’s work. There was a lot of discussion on how to make the web site come up high on search engines lists. Sue is going to contact her ISP, because they helped her push her web site to the top. She said her ISP told her that having links on other sites helps you to come out close to the top, so then we started talking about having guidelines for what links we’ll allow and what links we won’t. Kerri will come up with guidelines.

Membership drive: There was a lot of discussion about how to increase our membership. The reasons are two-fold. We think there are people in the area, especially juniors, who don’t know BSEA exists, but would like to become part of English riding. The second reason is that we need more members who work. The same few members do most of the work before, during and after events, and keep the club running smoothly. They need a break once in a while, or this club will fail. Diane suggested putting an ad in the Thrifty Nickel. It’s only $9.00/week. Cliff moved to place an ad twice a month for April, May and June. Kerri seconded. Diane is going to check into the Gazette’s ‘Montana Happenings’ so that our meetings and events are in the paper. Barb said that the Gazette is talking about having an ag/livestock section, so Diane will check into that too. Sheila also suggested checking into the ‘Outpost’. Christy commented that we should contact 4-H leaders to let them know that BSEA is here. It was discussed that we should try to get into the 4-H Newsletter, and possibly sponsor a 4-H day. Sheila will contact the 4-H. There was discussion of posting flyers at local businesses and looking into a booth at the Nile. Cliff & Barb said the Nile was expensive, and they didn’t know if they gave deals to clubs. Kerri volunteered Kelli Dempster to create a poster for BSEA to try to get memberships and Diane said she’d get people who live in Billings to post them.

In another attempt to promote memberships, Diane suggested that we have a $10 non-member fee for non-sanctioned schooling events. Kerri brought up that all events held at Warfield Park will have a $10 WEP non-member fee also, so we might turn people away if we have two fees. In the end, we decided to have a $5.00 non-member fee. Scott made a motion, Sue seconded.

Diane announced that Kelli Dempster is working on event posters, and she already has the one for the horse trials done. She will print them in July to give to people to distribute in August for the September horse trials. Kelli will also do posters for other BSEA events, so the organizers should contact her

There was a lot of discussion regarding the Newsletter. Since we’re trying to cut printing costs, Kerri gave the group a few options for putting the newsletter on the web site. Those who’ve requested paper copies will still get them via US Mail, but we’d like to send the rest of the members something electronic. Sheila does our newsletter on her Apple Computer and Kerri said if she could send the file in a RTF format Kerri could put it on the web site. Then Sheila told us that a lot of the things that she gets from USDF are clipped from the document she receives and glued to her newsletter before being taken to Kinkos. Kerri said she could scan those in if Sheila sent them to her. Kerri said the other option would be Adobe Acrobat. She said that Diana Vagneur of MSEA has Acrobat and maybe she wouldn’t mind scanning our newsletter for us. Barb said that BSEA should buy Adobe Acrobat to use for the newsletter. Kerri said she’d find a price on Acrobat, and the discussion was tabled.

During 2003, BSEA donated 90% of our profits to Warfield Park. That was the decision voted on by the board at the end of 2002. At the 11/7/03 meeting, we discussed giving a smaller amount to WEP, but Sheila thought that since we’d voted on the 90%, we couldn’t go back and change the vote. She said that all we could do is ask Warfield Park to refund a portion of that money to BSEA. Tonight we discussed formally requesting a refund from WECC, Inc. Sue said that she didn’t think it was a good idea because we’d be possibly endangering WEP’s future, and could lose all that we’ve worked for. Barb commented that she didn’t think WECC could donate money to BSEA because their charter requires them to protect WEP first and foremost. The consensus was that this discussion should be dropped.

Diane closed the meeting.

Board decisions since last meeting:

BSEA board decided to abandon our affiliation with the Montana Horseman’s Journal because of increased costs and decreased quality. We will send all communication out to members directly, either through e-mail or US Mail. We’ve sent postcards to members to ask which mode of communication they’d prefer.

BSEA was also asked if we’d like to co-sponsor a Kathy Kelly clinic with Beartooth Pony Club. The BSEA board decided that there was no benefit to BSEA co-sponsoring the clinic, but we’d be happy to advertise the clinic to our members and mailing list so that their clinic would be full.

Respectfully submitted,
Kerri Reno

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