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SJI (UR) ‘Looking forward to the 2013 Season’

Following the first regional committee meeting of the new year, Ray Buchanan, Showjumping Irelands Ulster Region Chairman says that he is ‘Looking forward to the 2013 season with renewed interest’. He believes that this can be done by building further on the competition success of our members in 2012, and ‘enjoying all the attributes that our sport has to offer’

We are particularly fortunate in our Ulster Region to have an abundance of established equestrian centres with top facilities and a healthy plethora of talented athletes. Added to this we have the welcome variety of our Agricultural Shows to savour and enjoy. 2013 will be a year to remember as we embrace a number of changes. It will see international showjumping taking place for the first time in the new ‘Balmoral Park’, with its world class arena’s. This too will be the new home for the Regions own ‘National Balmoral Championships’ now in its 27th year’

He went on to add that 13 of our existing committee members were re-elected at the recent AGM, and together they bring a wealth of experience and expertise. Additionally the 12 newly elected committee members, many of them with equestrian and business acumen will each ‘bring something new to the table’. The process of nomination and election is totally democratic and without discrimination and those successfully appointed are there by majority vote. Ivery much look forward to working with them all.

With more than 250 registered showjumping days (during February to December) in our Region there is a mammoth amount of work behind the scenes that has to be carried out. Just like any other sporting organisation it is important to acknowledge and appreciate the tireless efforts of the many volunteers, who give of their time so freely for the benefit of others. These are the people who add strength, integrity and value to our sport.

Already our many sub committees have been appointed and these committees will act with prudence and diligence to best service the needs of the region. Their role will be to bring suggestions and recommendations to the regional committee so that informed and unbiased decisions for the overall good of the sport can be made.

For those who aren’t aware, as well as the 5 SJI Executive representatives (Directors of SJI), these working sub committees include, Management & Finance, Training, Pony, Juniors & Young Riders, Amateurs, National Competitions, Judges, Course Designers, Veterinary, where the Chairperson of the Regional Committee is also the Regions representative on the National Committee. There are also some Regional only Committees such as the Social Committee, and National Balmoral Show Committee.

When asked to comment on some recent negative comments to the press, the Chairman was not discouraged and on a personal level commented ‘ In my view it is not our place to make a judgement of others. Furthermore, if our membership base wish to nominate individuals, who in their truthful opinion have the experience and desire to serve the region well, then we will accept that nomination in the good faith in which it was made. For others to make judgement from afar is unkind, particularly where a debt to society has already been paid.

I would much prefer to look forward and to focus on the job in hand, that is to successfully promote the sport of showjumping for the good of our region and beyond, and if our first Committee meeting is any indication of what the remainder of the year will bring, I would have total confidence in the Committee.

Ray Buchanan