Wellington, FL - March 31, 2009 - The North American Riders Group (NARG) is pleased to announce that it is now a fully incorporated organization and is currently awaiting approval for it's 501c3 not for profit status application.
The NARG was founded to represent the viewpoints and interests of all riders, trainers and owners in equestrian sport in North America. The NARG focus is to encourage growth of equestrian sport by improving the quality of events and controlling costs. They intend to effect change through constructive criticism and positive influence on the governing bodies through committee activities.
The founding members of the group include elected President Chris Kappler, Vice President McLain Ward, and board members Beezie Madden, Kent Farrington, Jimmy Torano, and Norman Dello Joio. Jennifer Markee is the Executive Director of the group.
NARG President Chris Kappler looks forward to the group's future as they expand and gain membership. The NARG's nominating committee has solicited additional board members from Canada and Mexico and is also seeking regional representation throughout the United States.
"We are going to be finding regional representation throughout the United States," Kappler explained. "We are in the process of assigning those individuals right now and that will kick off the next set of campaigns for fundraising and awareness. The desire is to be all inclusive of the horse sport across the country and in Canada and in Mexico."
The committee is also in the process of organizing and drafting a letter to some of the winter horse show circuits to commend them on areas where they did a good job and to makes suggestions on areas that could use some attention. The NARG website now has a forum for members to post their comments/suggestions on the winter show circuits, which can be found by logging on to http://www.narg.org/forum.cfm
The NARG had its first opportunity to come together on an issue this past week when an element of a jump in the Tampa Equestrian Festival's Welcome Stake was moved after a ring drag 20 rides into the class. The mistake was not realized until 20 more horses had jumped it in the opposite position and at that point judges and riders came together to decide the best way to handle the situation. This was the first time that the NARG came together as a united group and everyone involved was proud of how professionally the group handled themselves.
"I think that this is a movement that has been a long time coming and I think that the whole equestrian community wants some unity," stated NARG Vice President McLain Ward. "I think it is going to be better for all parties involved, that is horse show management, the federation, and exhibitors in general, because it will be one united voice. We want to improve our sport on many different fronts and in a small way you saw that unity the other day with the dispute on how to score the Welcome Stake class. I think that you saw a lot of the exhibitors stick together in a great way."
NARG Board members Beezie Madden, Jimmy Torano, and Kent Farrington were also competing in Tampa when the incident occurred, and all agree that the situation was handled very well and that this group is something that will be great for the sport.
Board member Beezie Madden commented, stating, "I think it is exciting. We are kind of at a point where we are ready to actually do something and I think that last Thursday was a nice example of everybody sticking together. The spirit seems to be that uniting as riders is a good thing, for one thing when there is a controversy, but also just to help improve things in general. There can be one opinion given to show managers or the federation or anybody who needs input from the riders instead of getting scattered reports from different riders. Now there is a place that they can go to get an answer and that is what we are looking for and what we think is good for the sport."
"I think it is a good thing," said Jimmy Torano. "I think that the class last Thursday was a perfect example of all of the riders finally sticking together. Something happened that we all believed strongly about and all of the riders stuck together and we got something solved. I think that was one good step and I think a lot of people saw that, so hopefully things like that will continue."
Board member Kent Farrington also expressed his support for the NARG. "I think that the group is actually something that is long over due in the United States. They have had basically the same type of group in Europe for 40 years, so we are a little bit behind in putting it together," Farrington stated. "I am really excited to be a part of it and really excited to see it get off the ground. In any sport or any type of competition there is always going to be discrepancies or things that need to be resolved either by the judges committee or a council or some body of people. I think that the other day all of the riders came together and did what was the correct thing to do for the sport and for the competition. That is really what I think the group is all about; having the best interest of the sport and the future of the sport in mind and staying through to that interest."
The NARG is already presenting itself on a united front and it seems that all involved are very proud of how they have represented themselves. The general consensus is that the group will continue to expand and that as it does, everyone involved will work together to achieve their common goal of improving the equestrian sport for the future.
For more information on the North American Riders Group please visit http://www.narg.org
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<a href="http://www.equestrianmag.com/article/north-america-riders-forward-04-09.html">The North American Riders Group is Pleased to be Moving Forward</a> ~ EquestrianMag.com