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Response to National Championship $20.00 per Rider fee and AERC

In response to the Rules Committees motion on a $20.00 fee per rider in the National Championship in order to use AERC good name.
The membership in a survey a few years back overwhelmingly voted that we wanted a National Championship Ride. In response to that, Randy Eiland (then president) went to work in trying to put on an AERC National Championship Ride. He was able to obtain a sponsor for the next 2 years for this ride. This past year our club The Daniel Boone Distance Riders put in a request to manage the ride for the next 2 years. We were told AERC would pay up to $1500.00 in loses in the ride or if we made money they would get 50% of the profit. But the money was taken out of the budget before they were to vote on it (unbeknownst to us) so our club were on our own. We thought that would be fine as long as we could go get our sponsors for the ride. BUT no, we were not allowed to do that either, AERC wanted to get all the sponsors and give the ride the first $5,000 that was brought in and then AERC could keep the rest. But guess how much was brought in from them as of 2 months before the ride? None, zero, nothing. At that time we were really getting worried wanting to put on a first class ride for us, “the members.” So then AERC turned us loose to go get our own sponsors. At that late date we were not able to obtain hardly any, (only $200.00). The ride cost $10,000 more than what the riders fee brought in to us but it cost AERC nothing. This year we are asking the AERC BOD to turn us loose and for us to be able to obtain any sponsors we can get. We would like this to be a first class ride, that you can be proud to call your National Championship. We're wanting it even better than it was this year. Yes, AERC did let us have a page in the magazine, BUT it was for the AERC National Championship Ride – “OUR” – the membership Ride - in our the members magazine. I am sure the cost of the magazine add which Vicki Rutter quoted was the retail cost not actual cost to AERC. Why can't WE who put our board of Directors in office have a say on what WE want. This is our National Championship! This ride can be a goal which can be obtained by any of us that are AERC members, it not for an elitist group, it is for us – the AERC members. We tried extremely hard to keep the ride fees down, yes we thought we would lose money, but as a club we were willing to lose money to make this ride we thought we as AERC members deserved. Unfortunately AERC was not willing to take the chance, luckily for the regular AERC member, there are endurance clubs like ours out here that have more faith in our Championships than certain members of the BOD. Now there is one committee that is wanting to charge an extra $20.00 per rider fee in this ride. ( We had to pay AERC $692.00 in rider fees this year) We want all extra the extra money we can get to go INTO this ride for us-the AERC members-who chose to ride in their own National Championship. We do not want this ride to become expensive like the Race of Champions or the Pan American that has fees of $350.00 or more. Our fee was $110 or $210.00 depending on which distance you entered. Each rider also had 3 separate meals provided with this fee, even the 50 milers if they came early enough got to have all three meals. Everybody received a canvas briefcase as their rider’s packet, and finishers received an embroidered polo shirt and a winners circle photo. We thought for the money and in comparison to other rides each rider was well taken care of. It is too bad that some of the BOD is not willing to have our own championship and that WE (AERC members) have to seek out other more expensive FEI types of championship rides. Most of us want our own championship, that have weight divisions that put us on a playing field with rules that we are all accustomed to and feel it lets AERC be the focal point of the National Championship. We are not asking for money from AERC to manage their National Championship Ride but they should not be asking for money from people who are willing to manage them or participate either. We provided some very nice awards at the ride site. First place in each weight division in the 100 received an engraved leather halter, $400.00 coupon towards a saddle and a $140.00 saddle pad second place also received a halter, first place in each weight division in the 50 received a leather engraved halter and biothane Halter/ Bridle, second place also received halter. Everyone won something in the big drawing we had. It would be nice if AERC would take up for their National Championship and offer an award or plaque of some sort to the top 5 in each weight division. The Bod needs to show us, that they support our National Championship Ride as much as we – the AERC members-want it. Let them know how you feel, thank you, Connie Caudill, 2001 AERC National Championship ride manager

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