Ok – could someone please tell us where February went??
Well, for all of us at Save a Horse Australia, the first couple of weeks were spent in a state of nervous excitement about our biggest raffle to date, with the Olympic Royal Float and the Toyota Hilux!
People love to buy tickets at the last minute and indeed that’s what happened – we sold literally thousands of tickets in the last week and although we fell short of the 15,000 (our final ticket sales were 13,342) it was still a very good result for us!
It was also an extremely good result for our lucky winner, Heather Beard – and more on Heather and the raffle in a minute.
The last two weeks of February were spent (for management at least) getting ready for our AGM, finalising our audit so our financials could go up on the ACNC website, and as you can imagine that is no mean feat. But we managed it and the AGM of the Association was held on Tuesday 20 February with the 2017 audited financials now available on the ACNC website.
At the AGM all members of the management committee must stand down and elections held. I was re-elected as President, Suzanne Young, re-elected as Treasurer and Rachel Daniels-Fitzpatrick re-elected as a committee member. We also have the addition of Cathy Binz and Cameron Burnett joining us as committee members.
We now have a great deal of equine experience and a variety of diverse skills and talents on our Committee and senior staff. Cathy is a qualified EA Level 1 Coach, a dressage rider, and has a large amount of non-profit experience, while Cameron is a solicitor who owns several horses and has been associated with SAHA for several years. We are very excited to expand our committee and have them on board.
So as you will all be aware we have put a lot of thought recently into the future of SAHA. How do we ensure that the Charity will exist forever, and how do we create a strong financial foundation for it in order for that to be possible and for SAHA to be able to fulfil its mission statement of continuing to rescue, rehabilitate and re-home horses?
Obviously one of the things we’ve been working on is creating diverse income streams, so that the Charity is not always dependent solely on donations.
At the AGM I expanded on the plans for the future of SAHA, including the development of therapy programs to not only provide additional income streams for the charity but to provide essential services to the community and most importantly give our precious retired horses a purpose and as much people interaction as possible which helps to keep them mentally stimulated. Any horse lover knows how much horses enjoy a ‘job’, even when that job is simply being patted, groomed and walked on regular occasions.
In the next week or so I hope to be able to bring you an actual timetable for the introduction of these programs, and a fuller description of them all. Believe me, it’s all systems go behind the scenes!
To wind up the AGM business, we were all of course, immensely proud that the ACNC has recently signed off on the Charity’s improvements to policies and procedures and governance and we are now able to display the ACNC Registered Charity Tick.
As a registered charity, of course when we run raffles we need to ensure that we have all the proper raffle permits, and that everything is run by the book. We have been very fortunate that the raffle income has helped sustain us since we launched it late last year, and even once we have taken out the cost of the float and Hilux, advertising and raffle-management fees we were left with enough to pay down all our major bills and cover us for a few months into the future.
To put it bluntly though, we need several raffles a year, on top of donations and programs to ensure that we bring in the $1m plus that it costs to keep the Charity going with the ongoing daily care of over 100 horses, two sanctuaries, staff, maintenance, equipment and rent. One of the lovely aspects of running raffles is making THE call – although Heather was missing in action for a while due to a phone on silent – (!) and listening to the sheer joy when you tell them the news that they’ve won a prize worth $80,000.
Heather, who lives on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, has bred Stock Horses for many years on an agistment property, and the call came for her on what was otherwise a very sad day.
“I’d had to have my 21-year-old premier broodmare put to sleep yesterday,” she told me, “because she had massive tumours in her mouth and simply couldn’t eat, so I was very sad. It was a huge personal loss for me. Then to get the news late last night that I’d won was such an emotional high, so it was a bit of a roller-coaster day!”
Heather’s horses – ‘Maybah’ Stock Horses – are a huge part of her life. “I grew up on a cattle station near Alice Springs,” she says, “and even though I live and work in the city, horses have never stopped being part of my life – and they never will!”
On top of all of that, her tow vehicle, she said, “is a bit long in the tooth, and it’s been somewhat unreliable recently. I’ve been wondering how on earth I’d afford a new one – now I don’t have to worry at all.”
Heather’s daughter was in her final year at school last year, so Heather’s horse went on holiday to a friend’s property near Bathurst so Mum could concentrate on her daughter’s schooling. “I’m going to get my mare as soon as it’s a bit less hot,” she said, “and then I’ll be able to float her around in style.”
How wonderful the prize is going to someone who will get so much use from it. Heather has promised us photos of the Hilux, and the float once Olympic have made and delivered it.
Congratulations Heather from the Committee and all of us at SAHA.
The photo is of Heather competing at Sydney Royal on Maybah Chance in 2009 is by Narelle Wockner.
And for our most recent horse update, we’ve adopted out two horses in February, our beautiful mares Bling and London, which brings the number back down to 100 – for just a few days before our next rescue arrives!
NOT ONLY BUT ALSO we have some big news soon so watch out for another email coming in the next few days.
Thank you all for your continued support – we can’t do without you!
Candida Baker, President