(Ramona Billing) Due to the many concerns about the new program, I collected as many questions asked by reiners and breeders as possible and asked Mr Gerd Wilhelm for answers. Here they are.
RB: What about the new EFRHA program – are their treaties already with the NRHA USA or the other Affiliates or is all this more like a plan which is still to be discussed and might be altered?
Gerd Wilhelm: There was a meeting of representatives of the European Affiliates in march where the program was presented and discussed. After that meeting, the following Affiliates agreed that the program should be realized together with NRHA USA by sending a Letter of Intent: GBR, FRA, SUI, GER, ITA, HU and NED. NOR, DEN and SWE told us that they preferred not to take part right now as they had not enough breeders. After that, there were several meetings with NRHA USA. In May, the NRHA Board agreed to the program if there is a majority in favour of it in the NRHA European Affiliate Council (EAC). Of course, changes can still be made in the future. At the moment, some details are still open because we want to wait until we know how many associations will take part and support our decisions.
RB: Please tell us something about legitimation of EFRHA, meaning how it was set up and who will finance the office in the future?
Gerd Wilhelm: EFRHA is a governing body in which the Europeran Affiliates can be partners. There won’t be many expenses, as there will be no activities besides managing the nomination program. So there will be non employees. EFRHA will be financed by the partner Affiliates and office charges which will be added to nomination fees, which are normal with the administration of programs like that. Each partner Affiliate will have to pay a fee according to its number of members, up to a maximum of EUR 500 per year and association. EFRHA is legitimated by its partner Affiliates . Each Affiliate will send representatives according to the EAC representatives into the EFRHA board. NRHA (USA) will have two seats in the Board as well and is a full member therefore.
RB: Could you tell us what are the advantages of this program? Especially for Non Pro Riders? Or will it simply mean increases in fees for entry or box stall ?
Gerd Wilhelm: One of the most important goals of this program is to reduce costs for breeders, owners and riders. A stallion owner will only have to enter his stallion in one program, not in several ones which will especially help those whose stallions breed only a few mares. Also, breeders only have to nominate their foals for one program. If we do not consolidate the programs, we will have several nomination programs competing against each other in the future. Which will be bad especially for small breeders.
A majority of members does not have enouth time ans money to show their horses in many big shows, so they will probit from combining big events. Thus, they will save money for hotel and other costs. At the same time, there is a bigger purse in the lower levels making the shows more attractive especially for Non Pros and lower Level Open riders. With the increase in the purse, we expect to motivate more riders to compete.
The goal is to set up two major European shows like in the U.S. which will attract attention outside reining as well, and offer all European riders the chance of cometing in lower Levels at attractive prices. This should help promoting reining in general.
RB: What will the combination of two shows in one event really mean – like the Breeders Futurity and Euro Futurity – entry fees? box stall fees? There are rumours that these will rise tremdously…
Gerd Wilhelm: The goal of this program is to reduce costs, not to increase them. In combining shows, overhead costs can be saved, that would apply for each show. The costs that are saved can be added to the purse. Box stall fees are dictated by the facility and amount to what they would be for one show. Entry fees will be agreed upon by the EFRHA Board which means by the representatives of the partner Affiliates or by the showmanagement. EFRHA will not organize shows itself, but will only supply the purse. Independent from EFRHA, EAC set up a Task Force because of the reasons mentioned before to find out whether the European Derby should be combined wth the Italian Derby.
Many reiners would like to change the dates of the European Futurity and European Derby as the horses come out of the winter break and are not ready to show so early in the year, which applies especially to horses of lower Levels. The EU Derby in September, on the other hand, is at a time where many people would prefer concentrating on their Futurity horses.
If there is an advantage, then that, that for a few L4-riders, there will be fewer shows to compete. But from them, I always here complaints that there are too many shows in the schedule. A few horses that are shown almost weekly at the moment on Futurities, will profit from this as well as the majority of members.
RB: Each EFRHA partner Affiliate will get a 25% Refund – what does it mean for riders / breeders whose association is not part of the program?
Gerd Wilhelm: In contrast to today where non Affiliate gets a Refund, partner of EFRHA will get one. That is a big advantage for each Affiliate. The money which is not refunded will stay in the pot meaning it will be the purse. There is no direct disadvantage for riders or breeders. If an association is not an EFRHA partner Affiliate there will be non money for the Affiliate, that all.
RB: Especially non German reiners are frustrated. Is this only kind of German business?
Gerd Wilhelm: NRHA Germany e.V. was never closer to NRHA and the European Affiliates than now with this program. EFRHA is our common project which will intensify European cooperation. Especially the smaller associations who cannot afford a program of their own, have the chance of being part in this. Part of the resentment goes back to the times when NRHA Germany hesitated becoming an Affiliate. I’d like to emphasize again that this program (EFRHA) is supported by NRHA who have got 2 seats in the board and can influence its development.
Our information event is organized by NRHA Germany for their members and SSP owner. I guess the other Affiliates will offer similar events for their members.
RB: What is the opinion of the other Affiliates (besides Germany and Italy) of this program? As far as I know, NRHA Austria sent a letter with questions to EFRHA but received no reply so far. Should not all the European Affiliates be informed and have the chance of agreeing resp. disagreeing?
Gerd Wilhelm: I already answered the question who is part of the program so far under No. 1. We repeatedly communicated with the ARHA representative in the last months. The questionnaire necessary for the ARHA members was already answered and sent back the day it was received.
RB: What will combined events look like – will they be class in class? How will the purse be distributed in the Levels? Will they all be approved? Will there be a Breeders Futurity / Breeders Derby in the future?
Gerd Wilhelm: Of course, all shows and levels will be NRHA-approved. The distribution of the purse is the show management’s business resp. that of the EFRHA Board and the partner Affiliates and NRHA. The Breeders Derby will stay of course and will be financed by the 25% Refund. If European Futurity and Breeders Futurity are combined, maybe a new good name will be fould for this event.
RB: What are the consequences for breeders: will there only be one EFRHA Nomination Fee, and then their horses are entitled to start anywhere? Or will they have to enter their stallions in various programs plus the nomination fees of their foals?
Gerd Wilhelm: Exactly: there is only one nomination for the stallion and for the foal. So it will be cheaper for owners and breeders. The alternative to a uniform European Reining Horse Breeding Porgram for financing European Top Reining Events would be to continue with several programs limited to single events. These would have to be financed by foal nominations in the future. The consequence would be that especially small breeders could not afford to enter their horses in several programs. It is for their benefit that we would like to prevent this development.