Eleven of the fifteen members of the Board of Directors of the USHJA Foundation – including the President and the Chairman of the Board – have simultaneously resigned following apparent disagreement between the USHJA and the USHJA Foundation.
The following directors have vacated their positions:
Jennifer Burger (President)
Craig Dobbs (Chairman of the Board)
The mass resignation follows failed negotiations between the Association and the Foundation over proposed amendments to the bylaws of the organization regarding how the USHJA and the USHJA Foundation relate to one another. The USHJA Foundation is the charitable arm of the USHJA which manages grants and scholarships for the U.S. hunter/jumper community. The non-profit organization also provides emergency financial support to horses and horsemen that apply for aid.
“Since October 2016, the USHJA has been working with the leadership of its foundation to correct structural and governance issues which were fundamental to the continued successful operation of the USHJA Foundation,” a statement from the USHJA reads. “Throughout that time, the USHJA requested that the Foundation bylaws be restored to language more aligned with the original bylaws under which the Foundation operated when established by the Association.”
Jennifer Burger, former President of the Foundation, told Heels Down Magazine: “The Association wanted a level of control that we were advised by legal counsel was not required and in our opinion was not in the best interests of the Foundation, its donors or mission. The potential of litigation prevents me from discussing this subject further.”
“Our top priority is doing what’s best for our members, supporters and our sport,” said Mary Babick, USHJA Board president. “We regret that despite our best efforts, these members of the Foundation Board of Directors decided to resign. We thank them for their service.”