A cutter lobbying for changes to National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) bylaws is planning a question-and-answer webcast.
Whit Davis will host the session at 6 p.m., Oct. 7 from the South Point Casino & Hotel.
Although the Q&A will be held during the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Futurity, which starts this week at the South Point, Davis said the meeting is not affiliated with the show, the PCCHA or the NCHA.
Recent Rule Changes
The question-and-answer webcast is related, in part, to dissatisfaction some NCHA members expressed in the wake of the association’s August decision to limit the number of horses an individual can show in a class. The short-lived regulations were rescinded by the Executive Committee about a month later, but not before they sparked an immediate and intense reaction among some in the group’s membership.
During the webcast, Davis plans to outline current NCHA bylaws, explain how parliamentary procedure works, detail his proposed changes to the NCHA’s bylaws, hear any bylaw changes other members think should be made and explain how members can propose changes during a special general membership meeting the NCHA scheduled for Dec. 7.
The informational aspect of the question-and-answer webcast is important, Davis said, because he believes many members don’t understand how rules are made or changed in the NCHA.
“I’m going to explain the bylaws and what the bylaws mean to the structure of how we work and where the membership committees come in,” Davis said. “So I’m going to say — knowing that’s how it’s supposed to work, how it’s written — we want to rewrite them because [the NCHA] did these things in August and changed everyone’s life for five weeks.”
The plan is to offer the Q&A as a live webcast at southpointcutting.com for those who are unable to attend in person.
Seeking A Meeting
In the weeks leading up to the webcast, Davis solicited signatures from NCHA members on a directive to force NCHA President Ron Pietrafeso to call a general membership meeting.
Article III, Section Two of the NCHA bylaws states membership meetings of the association may be held whenever called in writing by the president, by a majority of the Board of Directors “or by the written direction of not less than ten percent of the members in good standing.”
As of Wednesday, 10 percent of members in good standing who are able to vote would be 1,164. Given that Pietrafeso scheduled a general membership meeting for Dec. 7 — a decision announced Wednesday morning — Davis no longer needs the directives to force the issue.
Pietrafeso said Wednesday afternoon that he scheduled the special general membership meeting for Dec. 7 on the advice of a special governance committee and attorneys serving as its advisors. The special committee was tasked with exploring possible bylaws changes to NCHA, which will be presented to NCHA directors at a meeting on Nov. 30.
He had no comment on Davis’ efforts.
“I put that task force [special governance committee] together as what I think is a very neutral group of people. They are not people that are on the EC [Executive Committee],” he said. “They’re two attorneys who know the rules and regulations as good or better than anybody else, and based on what their suggestions are, is why I am making the decisions that I’m making.”
As of Wednesday, Davis planned to keep collecting directives as a backup in case the proposed Dec. 7 meeting is cancelled. He said he was pleased Pietrafeso called the special general membership meeting during the Futurity.
According to the NCHA, the meetings are to hear and discuss any changes put forth by the special governance committee, which was formed last month to explore any needed changes to NCHA bylaws.
“I’m grateful that they did it [called the general membership meeting] and I just regret that it took so much effort to compel them to do it,” Davis said. “But, I’m grateful they’re going through the process now and they are fully focused, it seems.”
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