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Board Meeting Notes

Board Meeting Notes

Feb. 13, 2024

The new officers have hit the ground running!  President Merrilyn Ratliff initiated the process of formally switching MCTA to a 501c(3) charitable organization with the help of Attorney Kathleen Tabor.  This has many benefits for an organization like ours, allowing us to attract tax deductible support and helping with the association’s mission of education.  It requires a bit of paperwork already undertaken by Treasurer Chris Donovan and will be in place hopefully by the end of the year.  Some  requirements have already been met, trademarking the association’s name and incorporating a formal non-profit name, etc.  We have always been “Maryland Combined Training Association”, now we will remain that name in public but our official registered association will be “Maryland Dressage and Combined Training Association”, or mdcta.  It’s confusing but it’s how we had to make the change for non -profit status to be official.  The website stays “mdcta.com” and we will continue to use Maryland Combined Training Association in all our public communication.

Along with that comes new bylaws!  These will be posted on the website.  The structure of the Executive Board is now formalized and beginning in 2025, our officers will rotate with basically two year terms to enable the association to have institutional integrity and longevity.

The MCTA Handbook is undergoing a needed update and work on that is ongoing.  There will be changes to our year end awards coming in 2025; a “code of conduct” for all members added; more membership perks including education, fun learning, and socializing opportunities, a revamp of volunteer requirements and more.  Meetings over the coming year will address these issues and changes will be posted.

Membership: This is the year you will not want to miss out!  Join today – the Board is
planning a full and active year, and you’ll want to be a member to participate; many planned activities will give members discounts and Co-Vice President Ellen Kelly is actively seeking out sponsorship discounts, etc. for members.  Join now and consider sponsorship!

Co-Vice President April LaBarre is chairing the Education and Continued Learning
Committee with members Eileen Pritchard-Bryan, Holly Covey, and Ginger LaBarre.  Three new learning opportunities are planned for the coming year – stay tuned –  more information will be provided!  These will be open to ALL members and designed for every level of rider.  At least one will be a trail ride at Shawan for our non-competing members!

Recognized horse trials update:  MCTA will be adding the new Starter division for all those who would like to qualify for the AEC’s.  Our dates (June 1-2) will be under the AEC qualification deadline!

Jan. 14, 2024

The MCTA End of Year Awards Banquet Brunch was held Jan. 14, 2024 at Summit Manor in Hereford, MD.  Over 80 members attended the annual affair, this year held during daylight hours to the great delight of those who watched the snow flurries out the windows during the brunch!  Over delicious waffles and omelets, we heard a fantastic talk from Meadow Woods Performance and Wellness and awarded a ton of wonderful trophies, ribbons, and prizes to our members and their cherished horses.  Congratulations to all the winners!

MCTA also elected a new Board:
President Merrilyn Ratliff
Co-Vice President Ellen Kelly
Co-Vice President April La Barre
Treasurer Chris Donovan
Secretary Melissa Fieldhouse
Board member at large:  Eileen Pritchard-Bryan

We also awarded educational grants to four members:
Kathi Law
Brooke Powers
Heather Vinson
Shari Young

The following volunteers were recognized as having contributed exceptionally in 2023:
Rebecca Barber
Holly Covey
Susan Hart

Finally, MCTA awarded the very special Ruth Frey MCTA Volunteer of the Year Award to Mardi Herman!  Mardi’s dedication to MCTA is incredible and inspiring!  Thank you Mardi!