February 2019 - AHS Annual Meeting
Written by article and photos by Tamara Torti for AHS
Friday, 01 February 2019 04:46
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Jan.18 -20, 2019. Phoenix, AZ.

article and photos by Tamara Torti for AHS

The AHS Annual Meeting was in the warm sunshine of Mesa, Arizona. Proving to be a wonderful winter getaway for AHS members. The 3 days were filled with the perfect blend of education, discussion & celebration of membership accomplishments. Perfectly organized by AHS Dorie Vlatten-Schmitz and her wonderful committee, Hugh Bellis-Jones, Sandy Lee, Anne Sparks, Don & Dee Kapper, & Nancy Connolly with every attention to detail in ensure the members got the most out the 3 days.

Educational guests including Micheal Sorum,DVM, Anna Pesta,Ph.D, Connie Frantzke from Schleese Saddlery started off the event on Friday afternoon. Dr. Sorum spoke on Axial Skelton Diagostics & Therapy, followed by Anna Pesta, Ph.D with her talk on Nutritional Management of Equine Gastric Health with Connie ending the day’s educational session with The Importance of Saddle Fit for the Young Horse. With the afternoon session over, it was time to relax and have some fun at the very elegant Welcome Reception outside in a candle lit courtyard. It was a beautiful evening making new friends and catching up with old friends.

In the morning we were treated to a very informative and timely presentation by Etalon Diagnostics Keynote Speaker Dr. Samantha Brooks. A super presentation on Genomic Tools for the Warmblood Horse: Applications in Health and Performance. This was a very interesting topic and discussion on WFFS and more. Dr. Brooks showed us the importance of testing and how to breed around WFFS for the future of our Hanoverian sport horses.

AHS President Edgar Schutte, Dr. Ludwig Christmann, Volker Ehlers, Crystal Toogood

Dr. Ludwig Christmann shared with us the new scoring system developed for Mare & Stallion testing with his presentation for Linear Scoring. This new system of scoring is going to allow a more complete scoring with slightly different score sheets for Jumpers & Dressage. The scoring system better highlights the importance of each trait suited for each sport giving a more complete and detailed result. The AHS office is starting to use the VIT system for efficiency and accuracy. This will enable the judges to enter scores digitally with a specialized app and add linear scoring to the information for each inspected horse. AHS will have access to combined pedigree data of about 20 German registries for verification, statistical data and other purposes.

AHS members will have access to their horses’ information at any time including scores, activation and later on inspection entries, statistics on our Hanoverian and Rhineland horses, payment of dues etc. Inspection scores will be available almost immediately to you after inspection of your horse. Through VIT AHS will also start to produce passports for all registered Hanoverian and Rhineland offspring. Very good news for all of us members.

2018 Inspection Site Hosts

After a nice lunch most of us boarded a bus and headed to the Royal Andalusian Riding School where we were treated to “A Taste of Andalucia” a wonderful presentation of the Spanish Horse preceded by a demonstration of Equine Kinesiology by Dr. Michael Sorum, DVM. And then back to our hotel for a little down time before the night’s festivities.

Let the celebrations begin! Cocktails, dinner, presentations, awards & ending with a live auction & silent auction with the proceeds going to AHS promotion & the newly formed Young Breeders team. So many great memories were shared of dear friend & mentor to so many, Gerd Zuther with a wonderful video of his life & dedication to family and the Hanoverian horse. The Young Breeders shared a special presentation and their future goals, inspiring all of us to bid big in the auctions. With AHS being a volunteer based organization, our Volunteer of the Year Award is so important and this year’s award belongs to Dorie Vlatten-Schmitz, long term AHS judge, organizer of the Phoenix meeting and founder of our successful AHS young breeders group. Speaking of which, the young breeders were instrumental in organizing many parts of the meeting, including excellent handling of horses for our judges’ digital/ linear scoring clinic, setting up and helping with attendee bags and the silent auction in which money was raised for the meeting, awards and the young breeders. This year, the AHS young breeders are representing the AHS in Austria and are raising funds for their travel expenses. Please support this very vital part of our society by donating directly to them and visit www.ahsyoungbreeders.com.

AHS Volunteer of the Year Dorie Vlatten-Schmitz & AHS President Edgar Schutte

Highlights of the Awards to the highest scoring mares from the 2018 Inspection Tour. The Hanoverian mare with the highest inspection score, Laurette (Londonderry x Winnifer/ Wolkentanz I) score: 8.16 owned by Jonathan Clark & Quinnten Alston and bred by Jo Ann Thomas,Ore. HPMC Eleanor (Escudo II x Apt to Please xx/Pleasant Tap xx) is the highest score MPT with a 8.05. Owner/breeder Max Gerdes, Calif. HPMC Fatal Attraction MRF (Fuerstenball x EM Rousseanna/Rousseau) has the highest combined inspection & MPT score of 7.66. Owner/breeder: Maple Run Farm,Wis. Ondina/Holst. (Cassini I x Utina III/Caretino) is the highest MPT jumping score with 9.25, owner Fall Creek Farm.

Sunday finalized the annual meeting with reports from all the committees and introduction of the newly elected BOD who re-elected Edgar Schutte to President of AHS. A moment that deserves attention and heart felt appreciation was Hugh Bellis-Jones who gave his final report with class, grace and humor as he leaves this position of AHS Director after 23 years. Many will miss his voice at the other end of the AHS phone, but we wish him well in this next chapter of his life. The meeting ended with excitement for what’s ahead. Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook to be up to date on all the happening for AHS & ARS!

Press release provided by AHS.