POACHER HARNESS CLUB
NAME AND OBJECTIVES
1. The Club’s name shall be the Poacher Harness Club
2. The Club aims to promote the art of carriage driving, by holding events, shows, lectures, demonstrations, drives, training sessions and rallies.
3. To promote the safe and enjoyable use of horses, ponies and other driven animals.
4. The well being of the horse shall be above the demands of breeders, trainers, riders, drivers, owners, dealers, organisers, sponsors or officials.
MEMBERSHIP AND CONSTITUTION
5. On receipt of a written application for membership which include full details of driving experience and a successfully completed Safety Inspection an applicant may be allowed membership, unless objections to membership are correctly put forward and upheld.
6. All new members must be appraised by a designated person, for safety and suitability of turnout.
7. Membership fees shall fall due on January 1st of any year and may be revised at the AGM. Membership will be void if the fee is not paid by 1st March in any year.
8. There shall be the following types of membership: Driver, Day Members, Nominated Groom and non driving Friends of the Poacher member. Fully paid up Driving members and their nominated Grooms of 18 years and over may vote at, or make representations to the AGM, and shall each have one vote, and may be elected to committee. Voting rights will be restricted to those members present at the AGM. Day visitors are not members and do not have a vote nor are they eligible to be elected to committee.
Entries will be accepted from non-members without extra fee providing they are members of a Club that is affiliated to BC and are Associate Driver (or higher) Members of BC.
9. The AGM shall take place in November of each year, and 14 days notice shall be given to all voting members. The committee may convene an Extraordinary General Meeting upon giving similar notice. Failure to give such notice shall render any such meeting and any resolutions passed thereat void.
10. At any general meeting of the Club, voting on all issues shall be by simple majority of those present and entitled to vote. In the event of a tie on any vote, The Chairman, or in his or her absence some person appointed by the committee to chair the meeting, shall have a second or casting vote.
11. The ordinary administration of the Club shall be carried out by an elected Committee of at least five and no more than seven members, including a Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. (These last to be three separate people). There shall be a quorum of four.
12. There shall be a President of PHC who shall be elected by Committee vote to serve for a period of 3 years (unless re-elected at the expiry of 3 years). The President shall not form part of the annually elected committee. The President shall be a point of continuity and stability for both members and public but who will pass on any queries so raised with him/her to the elected Committee of the day for processing and action. The President shall also chair and assist in the forming of the new Committee at the first meeting following the AGM.
13. Elections to the Committee are to take place at the AGM by written ballot. Nominations in writing must be delivered to the Secretary not less than seven days prior to the AGM. The three candidates with the highest number of votes cast shall stand for a two year term. The remainder of the elected candidates shall stand down for re-election for the following year. To be successful each candidate must receive 51% of the vote from members present entitled to vote.
14. The Committee shall have the power to elect sub-committees or co-opt members for specific delegated tasks. Such sub-committees shall be chaired by a member of the main committee.
15. The Committee shall have a general power to use the Club funds for the promotion of the objectives of the club and for its administration and may purchase such equipment for the club, as it may from time to time consider necessary.
16. The Committee reserves the right to refuse or withdraw membership, or to refuse any entry to any event. The committee are not required to give reasons for non acceptance of membership applications.
17. The Committee’s decision on any management matters shall be final.
18. Any member of the Club who considers the Committee, or any member of the Committee, to be in breach of the Club’s Constitution and Rules shall have the right to require a meeting of the Committee at which the Chairman or Vice-Chairman and a minimum of four Committee members shall be present. The request for such a meeting shall be made to the Secretary who shall call a meeting of the Committee as soon as practicable after receiving such a written request. The member shall be entitled to be accompanied by another member of the Club.
19. The accounts for the previous financial year shall be audited and presented to the members of the Club at the AGM. The accounts shall be audited by an audit panel comprising three members of the Club elected for that purpose at the AGM, one of whom shall stand in reserve.
20. In the event of the Club being dissolved all capital and assets after payment of any liabilities shall be given to the International League for the Protection of Horses.
21. The Club is affiliated to *British Carriagedriving and may adopt BC and FEI rules for competitions and may make local variations for Club events. These rules shall be listed in the annually issued Drivers Handbook and shall stand for the period of that Handbook. Amendments to said rules shall be made by committee vote and added to subsequent Drivers Handbooks.
22. All animals that compete must be covered by a currant valid vaccination/flu regime, recorded proof to be available for inspection on request. Those animals commencing their introductory inoculations may take part in events after their second injection has been officially logged (allowing a four week period before taking part in a first event).
23. If, in the opinion of a veterinary officer at any of the Club’s events, any animal is unfit to compete or to complete that event, that veterinary officer shall have the power to debar that animal from competing. If two or more members of the Committee shall consider any animal unsound or unfit to compete or to complete an event, those members may suspend that competitor until such time that a decision is made upon the fitness of the animal in question.
24. Any two members of the Committee shall have the power to ask any member or any participant to leave an event, if, in the opinion of those members of the Committee, that member or participant is a danger to other members present, or to the public, or if the driven animal is being unfairly treated or is in distress in any way.
25. No horse or other driven animal under four years old may participate in a club fixture in a competitive capacity. The Committee reserves the right to refuse entry for any fixtures where it considers a turnout to be unsuitable or unsafe. Some types of Pneumatic-tyred vehicles are not considered suitable or safe for this club’s activities.
26. All members attending any of the Club’s events must have a competent, able groom aged at least 14, WHO MUST BE ON THE CARRIAGE AT ALL TIMES. Younger grooms may be allowed at the Committee’s discretion having regard for the size and nature of the animal(s) in the turnout, and in any case only at events which are confined to an enclosed field and NOT at drives or events using roads or tracks to which the public may have access. Younger grooms accepted in this way MUST wear a hard-hat and body protector (see rule 29) at all times whilst on the turnout, and MUST be able to reach the floor of the carriage (or a secured block) with both feet in a braced position, (NOT on backsteps). Younger grooms accepted under these conditions and allowed on events over private land and tracks, do so at the discretion of their parents or guardians and entirely at their risk.
27. All drivers must be aged at least 12 to attend any club fixture. All junior whips must be accompanied by a competent adult groom, i.e. a groom who personally is able to drive and control the turnout in question.
28. Miniature horses/ponies with only the Whip on board will be permitted to compete at events that are held in an enclosed arena.
29. Adult whip and grooms must wear hard-hats, Junior whips and grooms under 18 years of age must wear hard-hats and body protectors to standard BETA 3 (purple label) for all Club fixtures. Hard-hats should be of the jockey skull type, or have a harness attachment to secure them and should comply with the relevant current British Standard i.e. elastic attachment will not suffice. Adult drivers must wear back/body protectors for the Marathon phase and Obstacles. Body protectors of the Air Bag variety are not permitted.
30. Club drives shall be arranged in such a way that no more than THREE turnouts start the route together. The Committee member organising a particular drive shall decide how and when each group of members may start, and he or she shall have the power to ask any member to leave if he or she considers that member’s turnout to be unsafe for any reason.
WHIPS AND GROOMS
NOMINATED DRIVERS AT EVENTS
31. A paid-up registered driving member shall for the purposes of this rule be known as the Whip.
32. A groom or other person nominated to drive the whip's turnout at an event shall for the purposes of this rule be known as the Nominated Person.
33. A Whip many nominate another person to drive his turnout, provided that they meet the club's safety requirements. The Whip must be present on the turnout at all times.
34. Only the Whip may accrue league points, prizes or placings. Nominated persons will not be eligible.
35. A Whip may only nominate another driver once per season. If a Nominated Driver wants to compete more than once in any one season then a Day Membership fee will be charged unless the Nominated Driver is a member of another affiliated Club and an Associate driving member or higher of BC.
36. Each animal may only compete once per event.
ONE TURNOUT ENTERED PER EVENT
Either Whip or Nominated Driver may drive the turnout at an event, but the nominated person would be "hors concors" (i.e. would not be eligible for a prize, placing or league points from that event).
MORE THAN ONE TURNOUT ENTERED PER EVENT
A. WHIP DRIVING ON EACH TURNOUT - DIFFERENT HORSE
The first turnout to start will be the one that the league points are awarded to. Either horse can qualify for a placing or prize.
B. NOMINATED PERSON DRIVING ONE OR MORE OF THE TURNOUTS
The Whip must be present on each turnout, regardless of who is driving. If a Nominated person is driving they will be "hors concors". (i.e. would not be eligible for a prize, placing or league points from that event).
HEALTH AND SAFETY
IN THE INTERESTS OF SAFETY THE FOLLOWING PROCEDURES MUST BE OBSERVED AT ALL CLUB EVENTS :
NB: In the event of any injury to any equine which necessitates veterinary treatment the owner will be responsible for any cost incurred.
37. The Committee has taken reasonable precautions to ensure the health and safety of everyone present. For these measures to be effective everyone must take precautions to avoid accidents occurring and must obey the instructions of the Committee and all officials and stewards at all events.
38. The Health and Safety Officer of the club shall carry out a Risk Assessment prior to every Club event. Any incident or accidents at any Club fixture involving personal injury or damage to property shall be reported to the Health and Safety Officer of the Club who shall enter it into the Accident Report Book.
39. Neither the Club nor the Committee nor any Land Owner nor any Agent, Employee or Representatives of these bodies accepts any liability for any accident, loss, theft, damage, injury, illness to horses, owners, drivers, grooms, spectators or any person whatsoever, save for death or personal injury caused by negligence.
*Referred to as BC in other parts of the document
**Suggested content at end of document
MINIMUM SUGGESTED SPARES KIT:
IT IS ALSO RECOMMENDED THAT MOBILE ‘PHONES ARE CARRIED BY WHIP AND GROOM WITH ICE OR SIMILAR INFORMATION ACCESSIBLE FROM LOCKED SCREEN.
Constitution 2018 Updated 22nd May 2018