In March there was a meeting with representatives of various european affiliates. The program was presented and discussed. After the meeting the affiliates from GB, F, CH, D, I, HU and NL expressed their consent with the program if it were to be realized conjointly with the NRHA by signing an acording letter of intent. NOR, DK and SWE expressed their will not to participate in the program at the moment because they didn’t have enough breeders. Afterwards a couple of meetings with NRHA took place. In May the NRHA board of directors decided to welcome the program if a majority of the European Affiliate Council agreed on it too. Of course the program will undergo future changes. Many details are intentionally left open at the time to wait for further associations to participate, so that decisions are widely supported.
The EFRHA is an umbrella association that can be joined by european affiliates. Thus associations and not private persons are members. The administrational overhead will be low because the EFRHA is just managing the nomination program and has no further activities. There will be no fix employees. Financing will be secured by joining associations and office charges for nomination fees that are usually set on such programs. Member fees are due per joining association scaled by number of members of that association but limited to EUR 500 per year and association. EFRHA takes its legitimation through the joining associations. Each joining association appoints, similar to the formation of the European Affiliate Council, representatives to join the board of EFRHA. The NRHA (USA) takes two seats in the board and is fully involved.
One of the major goals of the program is to reduce costs for breeders, horse owners and riders. Stallion owners must pay for their stallions just for one program. This is particularly helpful for owners of stallions that cover just a few broodmares. Breeders just have to pay one nomination fee per foal. If breeding programs are not consolidated, there is a big chance that there will be many competing foal nomination programs in the future. That would harm mainly small breeders. The big mass of members does not have enough time/vacation and money to participate in many big shows. That’s why they would benefit from a merger. Transportation, hotel and further costs can be saved. On the other hand these shows will be more attractive especially for nonpros and upcoming open riders because there will be more price money in lower levels. We expect that the increase in price money in the lower levels will motivate and attract riders and thus increase the number of entries as well.The goal is to build up, according to the american model, two major events in Europe, that can create attention outside of the reining scene and provide the possibility to european riders to start in the various levels at reduced costs, and thus add to the promotion and growth of reining.
The goal of the program is to actually reduce these costs. Overhead costs can be saved through the consolidation of shows. These fixed costs incur on each show and are way in the five digit numbers. These saved costs can be added to the price money and are paid out. Stable fees are defined by showground owners and are how they are for ONE show. Entry fees are defined by the EFRHA board and thus by the participating associations or the event management. EFRHA itself will not manage shows. It is only providing the price money. By the way, independent from EFRHA, the European Affiliate Council has built a task force for the exact same reason as stated above to prove that the European and Italian Derby can be merged. Disadvantage, if any, might be created for some level 4 riders, because there are fewer shows. But just from this group of riders we are regularly hearing complaints that show schedules are tough and overloaded. For some three and four year old horses that are entered almost weekly into some futurity the merger of shows will have a positive impact, as generally for most members.
Of course all shows and levels will be NRHA approved. Splitting of price money among levels is defined by the event management, respectively by the EFRHA board and thus by the participating affiliates. The Breeders Derby will anyway live on and will be financed by the 25% refund. If the European Futurity and the Breeders Futurity should be merged it is well possible that a new succinct name will be found for the event that transports the NRHA and the Breeders Futurity. Merged shows are just one single show with single entry fees, one single title per level etc. Previous titles will not be run class-in-class.
This info meeting is organized by the NRHA Germany for their members and SSP stallion owners. It is not an EFRHA event. We expect other european associations to organize similar events or that they inform their members through other channels.
The reining show calendar is pretty full and it is difficult to find appropriate dates. We wanted to provide information as quick as possible once we realized that there were many rumors and were looking for a date between Lyon and the final of the Italian Futurity,because traditionally not many germans compete in Italy. Afterwards there will be the Futurity in OKC, then christmas...And after all there is no such thing like a date that suits everybody.
We plan on organizing a second info meeting if needed. Then we expect the press to participate. And we will inform through the internet and on facebook about the event so that everybody can get an idea. Then you can find the inerview with Gerd Wilhelm on our web pages and on facebook as well as these FAQs that will be updated regularly.
Owners need to pay just once for their stallions. The same is true for foals. Thus everything is getting cheaper for stallion owners and breeders. The alternative to a standard european reining horse breeding program to finance top european reining events would be the continuation of various programs that would be limited to their respective single events that would be more and more financed by foal nomination programs. With the effect that especially smaller and more unknown breeders would not buy into multiple programs over a longer period of time. We want to avoid such a situation in the best interest of the many „smaller“ breeders. In addition it is planned to create a European Sale for reining horsea and specifically promote older horses.
These associations, as of today, have no benefit if their members pay into breeding programs of other countries. But through their participation in the EFRHA each of these associations gets a refund of 25% of the funds payed in by their members. A foreign association may organize regional futurities for instance or may use the funds for other activities.