President’s Report – 2023

November 2023

Well, that’s a wrap on another season. And what a season it was. It wasn’t without its
challenges, but overall things went well. We put on five successful rides that were well-attended, bringing in riders from all over Manitoba and Saskatchewan. We had riders from different disciplines try out distance riding, and probably more diversity in the breeds competing than I’ve ever seen before. We brought in new riders and had riders move up distances. More members reached for their first 50 and successfully completed, and I’ve heard chatter of more first-50 goals for next season. It’s exciting to see the growth of the sport from both within and without.

I want to take a moment to thank the board–including our past presidents who have been invaluable mentors and advisors. Each and every one of you has been a pleasure to serve with this past year. Each of you brings a strength to the board and to this club, and your passion for the sport is clear in the time and effort you’ve given to the club. Time and again, members of the board stepped up to make this season a success. So, thank you. I, for one, couldn’t have done it without you.

Of course, the season wasn’t without its challenges. Finding ride managers was probably our biggest challenge. We had the same ride manager and day manager take on three of our five rides. This is a lot on two people. And the other volunteer roles are often the same. We have incredible volunteers, but I can’t help but think there must be a better way. A way to share the workload across more people. How do we bring in both new riders and new volunteers? I think this is the biggest problem the club will need to solve in order to continue to grow and thrive.

I think we’ve got an amazing group of people in our club. From riders to volunteers to vets and support people. One thing I’ve heard in talking with new and casual riders in our sport is that we’re very warm, welcoming and down to earth. When I first started riding with DRM in 2019, that is exactly how I felt as well.

I’ve been able to see the club from many different viewpoints now: as a rider, volunteer, board member, and now president. The support of everyone for everyone is palpable. When a rider was injured and a horse missing, the club pulled together to ensure both horse and rider were cared for and got home safely. When a horse is pulled, the disappointment is shared by more than just the rider. When a goal is reached, the win is celebrated by everyone. It is truly an honor to be a part of this club.

Here’s to a fantastic season and making next year even better.