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Letter to the Editor - Joan Hamilton

Dear Chairpersons,

Thank you for your response.

Your letter dated February 6, 2004, offers much insight into the history of the “Munford Rule” change, but little to explain why you chose to force this issue to a vote before it could be discussed and presented in an open forum at the ASHA Convention, then voted on by their board of directors.

In an organized fashion the “Munford Rule” change proposal was moved to the open forum at the UPHA Convention, then moved onto its board of directors. It is my observation that you did not move this rule change proposal to the open forum at the ASHA Convention and its board of directors, even though you had received notice that this had not been done. Clearly you were aware ASHA was interested in and affected by this rule.

By your actions, you denied ASHA members the opportunity to express their opinions, ideas and concerns. In addition, you missed an opportunity to gather information which could contribute solutions to many of the problems you are addressing. What disadvantage is there in letting these proposals be presented in an open forum at the ASHA Convention? If this rule change would have moved onto the open forum at the ASHA Convention it would have had the potential to reach its final destination, the USEF Board of Directors, one year later. If it is good enough to be adopted in 2004, it should be good enough in 2005.

As you pointed out, your committee is charged with the responsibility and the right to make decisions regarding the rules of competition. I have not suggested that you violated any rules under which your U.S. Equestrian Saddlebred Committee must conduct itself. I am suggesting that it is unwise, unfair and unacceptable to exclude the ASHA members and its board of directors from the rule making and changing process. In your honest attempt to work through difficult and controversial issues you did not treat ASHA with the same respect you showed UPHA. I am encouraged that you now recognize the strong interest that ASHA has shown and I hope you will present new rules and rule changes to ASHA as you do with UPHA.

I look forward to a more constructive approach to solving problems in the future.


Joan A. Hamilton

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