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:: Sooner ApHC Press ::

"Sharon Marshall - 2009 ApHC Board Candidate"
Territory IV, Zone B

Sharon Marshall, DVM

Dear Appaloosa Family,

My name is Sharon Marshall and I am announcing my candidacy for the Appaloosa Horse Club Board of Directors. I also wish to introduce myself to those of you whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting in person and to let you know that I look forward to that opportunity in the very near future. I live in Lexington, Oklahoma and have been a veterinarian for the past 16 years. I own my practice and have since graduating from vet school and have dealt with every obstacle that self-employment entails.

For the past 4 years, I have attended each ApHC Board of Directors meeting on my own dime. By doing so, I have taken the initiative as a concerned member to take part in the discussions. The policies and procedures of the ApHC are quite familiar to me and I look forward to utilizing this knowledge to more efficiently combine the needs of the Appaloosa community with the ApHC organization.

I travel extensively showing horses as a Non-Pro, but have learned more in the past 2 years serving on the Board of Directors of the Sooner Appaloosa Horse Club. While it is a small club, it is actively enlarging primarily through the welcoming of all members and not focusing solely on the show-based owners and exhibitors. The SAHC may sponsor the prestigious Reichert Appaloosa Celebration, but it also looks to involve the open show exhibitor, the trail rider and Appaloosa owner who simply want to enjoy their horse at home.

There are several key areas that must be addressed and addressed NOW! There is no time to waste!

We must embrace the diversity of our membership. It is only through working with every member from every walk of life from every aspect of the horse industry can we expect to survive with the registry intact. I am calling on members that do not want to show in ApHC shows or race in sanctioned races to become more vocal about what being a member of the ApHC means to you and what the ApHC can do for you. Communication is the key to success.

We must decrease the stagnation that is strangling the Board of Directors, the ApHC office and the membership. Both the economy and membership demographics have changed. We have moved from a rural/suburban society to a largely urbanized society that does not have the tie to the agricultural sector. “That’s the way it’s always been done” is no longer valid. I acknowledge that change is hard and scary. But more frightening is watching the downward spiral pick up speed.

We must eliminate the “Me, Myself and I” attitude. What is a significant problem for one region of the US or regional club does not necessarily hold true for others. There is no single program that will fit every regional club. I feel the Board of Directors should bring multiple ideas forward and trust the regional clubs to choose the best option for their specific area. In addition, the factional in-fighting must end. The beauty of the Appaloosa breed is the diversity of both the horses and their owners.

We need to increase the usage of the Appaloosa Journal as the mouthpiece of the ApHC. The inclusion of timely articles that pertain to horse-owners rather than primarily show-based members will help the ApHC become more inclusive of the entire membership.

If a concerted effort is put forth to run the ApHC as a business, then it should be able to weather the current economic crisis. When a specific program is under-performing, the question becomes is it under-utilized, under-funded or mismanaged.

Oklahoma and Louisiana members are and should be my main focus. I encourage the use of my cell phone and email for all members, not just my zone or territory members. I am, again, actively calling on all members: let your directors know what being a member of the ApHC means to you, what the ApHC can do for you, what concerns you have and most importantly, what potential solutions you see.

I look forward to the challenge to come.

Sharon Marshall, DVM

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