HISTORY LIBRARY

The Alberta Equestrian Federation

Equestrian Sport

January 2, 1979


THE ALBERTA EQUESTRIAN FEDERATION


How it came about?

What it is?

As it is!


It seems necessary to print some data and background information to the founding of the Alberta Equestrian Federation as it relates to the affairs of the old National Equestrian Federation, the new Canadian Equestrian Federation, the present Alberta Horse Council, the old Canadian Horse Council and their interplay with the provincial government departments.  There appears to be some misunderstanding by equine members at large and representatives responsible for the sport at the provincial government level.

First, the National Equestrian Federation was formed 25 years ago.  It was in place in Alberta as Zone 3 geographically representing all of Alberta and the Northern part of B. C.

The Canadian Horse Council was formed in the early 70’s by a group of people who were disenchanted with the actions of the National Equestrian Federation as it related to the upcoming Montreal Olympic Games.

The Alberta Horse Council was part of the Canadian Horse Council until the time of the merger of the Canadian Horse Council with the National Equestrian Federation.  Then it became an independent Alberta Horse Council.

The Alberta Equestrian Federation was formed in November of 1977 to represent the equestrian sport in the province of Alberta and serve as the umbrella organization in this regard.

At the November ’76 Annual Meetings of the Canadian Horse Council and the National Equestrian Federation held in Toronto, a Steering Committee was established to work out a constitution and merge the two associations into one so there would be one voice in the equine sport nationally (dealing with Sports Canada).  The four members of this Steering Committee were as follows:

  1. David Esworthy, Vice-President of the National Equestrian Federation, Chairman of the B.C. Zone, in addition a board member of the Canadian Horse Council.

  2. Jack Howard, President of the Canadian Horse Council.

  3. John Murdock, Vice-President of the National Equestrian Federation, Chairman of the Ontario Zone.

  4. D. J. Gendall, Vice-President of the National Equestrian Federation, Chairman of the Alberta Zone.

This then was the split between the two associations and their representation on the Steering Committee.  This group met on several occasions independently and with the members from both boards putting together a constitution for the present Canadian Equestrian Federation.  This constitution was patterned after constitutions in Europe, the States and the two constitutions from the founding organizations.  This merger commencing in November of 1976 was completed in November of 1977 when in Toronto, David Esworthy was elected President of the new Canadian Equestrian Federation and the two national bodies disbanded.

On the provincial level, during the same period of time, Mr. Bill desBarres, President of the Alberta Horse Council and Mr. Gendall, Chairman of the National Equestrian Federation for the Alberta Zone, met on several occasions.  Mr. desBarres at that time wanted to have the National Equestrian Federation, Zone 3, join the Alberta Horse Council as an affiliate.  Mr. Gendall’s response was that this was not an acceptable request with the forthcoming merger of the Canadian Horse Council and the National Equestrian Federation just about complete and secondly that with paid up members at large in place for several years, a request for our association to join the Alberta Horse Council did not seem to make sense.  However, during this same period, Mr. desBarres as president of the Alberta Horse Council represented himself to the Provincial Government as the organization representing all the horse people in Alberta and became the recognized provincial body for this sport.

In October of ’77 as provided by the constitution of the Canadian Equestrian Federation, provincial elections were held electing representation in an equitable manner from the National Equestrian Federation, Zone 3 and the Canadian Horse Council (Alberta Horse Council).  This election was held in Calgary under the eyes of outside scrutineers.  These representatives then attended the National Annual meeting of the Canadian Equestrian Federation in Toronto as the Alberta representatives from both the Canadian Horse Council (Alberta Horse Council) and the National Equestrian Federation for this zone.  Mr. Gendall was elected Chairman of the Alberta Zone and later Mr. desBarres was elected Vice-Chairman representing the Western disciplines.

In the spring of 1977, Mr. Chris Jenson was elected President of the Alberta Horse Council and thus commenced the communication between the now Canadian Equestrian Federation and the still in place provincial Alberta Horse Council.  After meetings with the representatives of both groups, there was a review made to determine if the Alberta Horse Council’s secretary, Lenor Shiels, could handle the affairs of the Canadian Equestrian Federation in the Percy Page Centre provided by the Alberta government.  After several discussions, this was abandoned because of the manner in which the office and facility were being handled.  Work in the mean time for the Alberta Zone, Canadian Equestrian Federation continued to be handled by volunteers.

In the spring of 1978, Mrs. Vivian Goodrich became President of the Alberta Horse Council and once again the communication between Mr. Gendall was commenced between the current Presidents.  After several telephone calls and meetings, Mrs. Goodrich and Mr. Gandall met in July to discuss how the previous communications could be brought to some successful conclusion.  Mr. Gendall volunteered to handle the following.  He would:

  1. Provide a rough draft of a constitution for an Alberta Equestrian Federation, patterned after Ontario and New Brunswick’s constitutions as well as the background knowledge obtained in drawing up the constitution for the Canadian Equestrian Federation.

  2. Set a founding budget for this organization.

  3. Ask for selection of the name for this founding equine association.

  4. Set a Founding Nominating Committee.

  5. Set a Founding General Meeting.

In late August and early September, the rough draft of the Alberta constitution was forwarded to members of the board of the Canadian Equestrian Federation, Alberta Zone and to Vivian Goodrich, President of the Alberta Horse Council, for her forwarding to her board.  Errors, omissions and changes were received and incorporated into the constitution by interested parties from both boards.  One of the concerns of some individuals was the size of the board; therefore it was left open to run from 10 to 40 members so that all those interested could be represented.  The name was of a concern to some and the other names were reviewed, settling with Alberta Equestrian Federation as it was compatible with other names in other provinces and the national name.  There was concern that the show membership, as in the old National Equestrian Federation, could dominate the voting with their particular weighting of votes.  This was eliminated in the constitution and only the members at large receive votes.

In late August or early September, Mr. R. Coates, Mr. P. Graham and Mr. G. Shaw volunteered to be the Founding Nominating Committee and contacted those people who would let their name stand for election to the Founding Board of the Alberta Equestrian Federation.

The First General Meeting was held in conjunction with the last General Meeting of the Canadian Equestrian Federation’s Zone 3 meeting, so that time and funds could be kept to a minimum for those people involved.  The first annual meeting had the largest representation of attendees to any annual provincial meeting.

At the general meeting, the proposed first year budget was presented.  In addition, the full time secretary was introduced who would provide services for the Canadian Equestrian Federation, Zone 3, until such time as the Alberta Equestrian Federation affairs were in order.  The funding for which would come from membership fees, donations at large, government grants, special events and other sources of income.

In summary, we submit the Alberta Equestrian Federation as the umbrella organization to represent the equine sport in Alberta.

We would anticipate that when the Profile and submissions are made to the provincial organization, it will meet the criteria which they have laid out for a governing sport body. If members at large do not feel the board adequately represents them, there is enough latitude to change and make elections to the board.  If changes in the constitution need to be taken care of, this can be changed by the board.  The Alberta Equestrian Federation, as indicated, has in place its own office, a full time competent Executive Secretary, and an established membership paying dues.

Finally, if it is to be successful, it will only be so with the continued and expanded involvement of people in the equine sport.

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