President's Report

Dear Members,
I am delighted to be writing this to you after being able to hold our recent council meeting in person at Shetland house.  It was very good to see everyone and catch up on what has been happening in their lives.  Unfortunately Anne had very unluckily contracted COVID so was unable to attend.  I am glad to say she is now fighting fit.  I have now almost completed the fifth month of my term and I am still learning a lot.  This role is so varied and interesting, although quite intense at times.
At our recent meeting we agreed on a company to progress the new website which will operational later in the summer all going to plan.  The aim is to have a user friendly, informative and modern site.  Hopefully the process will be as seamless as possible but please bear with us in the meantime.
Council also unanimously decided that from 1st January 2024, for the purposes of parentage verification, all first foaling mares must be DNA tested.
I am pleased that the processing of DNA samples seems to be happening more quickly however there have been a few instances lately where insufficient DNA samples have been sent to the office.  It is vital that a good sample with good hair follicles is taken.  The DNA lab is now advising that at least 40-60 hairs are plucked (NOT CUT) from mane or the top of the tail.  The society magazine and Facebook page highlight what is a good sample.
The trainee Judges’ scheme is now open for applications with an assessment day planned for Sunday 18th of September at Kelsall Hill Equestrian Centre in Cheshire.  Interested parties should contact the Society Office for an application pack.  The closing date for applications is 4th July 2022.
There is also a Seminar for Panel and Trainee Judges planned for September at Buckhurst Park in Sussex, by kind permission of the Earl and Countess De La Warr, date to be confirmed.  I would like to encourage as many judges as possible to attend.  From 1st January 2023 it will be a requirement for panel judges, wishing to remain on our panel, to attend at least one continuing professional development (CPD) event every three years.
I am very much looking forward to a year of more normality, as I am sure you all are.  It has been good to see a number of events take place already with lots more to come.  The annual Breed Show takes place on Sunday 28th August at the Royal Welsh Show ground, Builth Wells so remember to get your entries in and I would like to wish the organising committee success and good weather. 
I would to express the Society’s heartfelt thanks to Mrs Jane Dennis for her years of hard work and dedication to her role as Editor of the magazine as she steps back from her role.  We wish her well for her future adventures with her ponies.
It has been good to see the photos popping up of everyone’s foals starting to arrive and I would like to wish everyone still waiting on foals much success.
Best wishes
Roselyn Fraser
Shetland Pony Stud Book Society