Meet Your Board, Part 2
By Sandra Adair

This is the second installment in a series of articles whose purpose is to better acquaint you membership with the people on the HDS Board. Hopefully after last month’s article you now know Nancy Kempe and Martha Guyton a little bit better. This month, I had the pleasure of interviewing Ann Edwards, the 1st Vice President and Advertising Chair, and Jeanette Snow, the 2nd Vice President and Membership Chair.

Ann didn’t start riding until she was 40, when she rode for pleasure in her back yard in Virginia, and although the bug bit her late, it bit her hard. A year after she started taking dressage lessons from “S” Judge, Cathy Rowse, nagging back problems threatened to put an end to her new found passion. Ann simply told her doctor “get me back on my horse”, and 5 weeks after surgery, that’s exactly where she was and has been since! In 1998, Ann purchased Lochsa, a 9-year-old SWB cross. “My husband and I have been married for 26 years, and Kirk is my best friend. But moving a lot as we’ve done, Lochsa has been my connection to life, and has helped me become a part of each new community.” When Kirk was transferred to Germany the next year, Lochsa of course went with them. Over the next 3 years, Ann inundated herself in dressage. She learned from her weekly lessons, watching the trainers, attending every show she could, and by riding for hours in the forests and fields, around castles and through the villages! After 9/11 forever changed the world as we knew it, Ann and Kirk moved back to the states and spent a year and a half in Michigan before moving to Houston. She and Lochsa have been showing Second Level and are getting ready to debut at Third.

Ann joined HDS when she moved here in January 2004, and was so impressed with Bit when she met her at the Championships that fall, she promptly joined the Board as the 1st Vice President. “Each time I move into a new dressage community, I become a member and eventually become a board member. I have learned that all dressage associations experience the same problems and frustrations, and need volunteers to move the club forward. Even when I finally get settled and life gets busy, I still look forward to gatherings with my dressage buddies and the good times I know we will share together.” To those who don’t volunteer she says, “How unfortunate! They don’t know the opportunities for fun and friendship that they’re missing!”

Ann’s response to the Member Survey: “As Chair of the Sponsorship and Advertising Committee I am personally interested in the Final Comments of the survey about “money”. I will be the first to admit I know more about money going out then coming in but since that is not my focus I listen carefully at board meetings when our many CPA’s and business leaders start talking. It seems to be an overwhelming task to figure out how to get those little red figures dyed black. It is somewhere in that discussion they turn to me and I know it is now my turn to do what I volunteered to accomplish (with the help of many others). All I can say is it sure takes a lot of money to host a recognized show and even more to host a Championship. In addition to shows, there are other events and charitable donations throughout the year that need the financial support of our show sponsorship and advertising efforts. WHEW….the financial maze is daunting. For the last few months, much of our discussion has been about what we can do to benefit the HDS member, show competitor, volunteer and still have the funds to host our many events. Since April, we have been able to implement some of these ideas at the Spring Classics, Breed Tour and the Richmond State School riding program….with hopes our membership has recognized these changes. We are just beginning and still have much to implement and develop in the months ahead. Remember, FIRST we are HDS members, competitors and volunteers and second a board member. We all have the same interest and concerns and also want to benefit from financially sound judgment.” You may send your comments and suggestions to Ann at annierides@sbcglobal.net.

Jeanette Snow cashed in on A’s on her report card for rides at the nearby stable for $5 an hour! When she had had enough of the politics in the hunter/jumper world, she bought a Saddlebred and showed saddleseat. When she moved to a barn that did a lot of eventing, she tried her hand at it, but admits she didn’t really have the heart for and she ended up taking more jumps than her horse! Her mare did give her a lovely Half-Arab foal, and Jeanette decided to pursue dressage. The move from Syracuse, New York to Panama City, Florida a few years later was quite a change in more than people and climate. There was very little dressage activity, with only 2 regional shows a year, and even those were 5 to 10 hours away! In 1996, she bought a 4-year-old ‘pasture rat’, a Belgian Warmblood Thoroughbred cross and her current Second Level partner, Romeo. Jeanette recently purchased Lalique, a 2-year-old Fresian, who is already standing 15.3!

Jeanette moved from Florida to Houston in 1998, joined HDS, and joined the board two years ago as 2nd Vice President. As Membership Chair, she has helped the club grow from its size then of 250 members to the 426 members we have today. She is also trying to reach the 60 members that did not renew last year in an effort to bring them back to the club. Jeanette also provided us with our new membership numbers and cards this year, and has established the HDS Horse and Rider List on the website.

Jeanette’s comments on the Survey: "I was glad to see a survey go out to the membership. Without feedback from people we cannot, as a board, focus on the things that people want from the club or make improvements. I would have like to see more people participate in the survey next time. Out of 448 members, we received comments from only 18% of the membership. We want to make sure that any changes we make come as a result of feedback from the greatest number of people possible." You may contact Jeanette at texassnowflake@hotmail.com.

   

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