ESDRA board promised full openness, so here is the layout of the past months:
First of all, we needed to renew the ESDRA-IFSS contract. Truth be told it turns out to be an agreement. The agreement was extended somewhere in mid November
(on paper it had run out on 1st of October), since we wanted to make sure the ECH Snow will have veteran (master) classes.
At the end, since all ready at the GA we had agreed not to interfere with the existing contracts, it was settle that such classes shall be run, but their titles remained to be approved by IFSS (basically they were run out of the main event).
ESDRA did not pressure to have any representation of its people at the event and IFSS certainly did not show any interest to invite us.
Next thing on agenda – finding a host for the European Championship Dryland.
It's beyond our understanding, why no host had been found already in 2019 or 2018. Since when we finally had agreed on terms based on what we shall try to find a host, we got 2 applications (and further 2 showed some interest).
When extending the agreement (again), ESDRA insisted that we get guarantees there will be veteran (masters) classes. As we know, IFSS no longer has veterans in 2 their regulations.
IFSS offer was to find a host for the event and then ask it to include also the veteran classes after they get approved at IFSS GA in 2020. ESDRA board does not believe that it gives a fair chance to the possible hosts to calculate the costs of the event. IFSS and ESDRA finally agreed that IFSS either approves the new Masters regulations by end of March 2020 or reverts back to old regulations for 2020 Dryland event. We would like to remind that these regulations are in development at IFSS since autumn 2018. ESDRA board were presented with a rough draft (same regulations as the Standard, just words Elite replaced with Masters and some other obvious changes).
ESDRA replied with some comments, they were later discussed via ZOOM. Bengt Ponten came up with a new initiative to temporally approve the new draft version (that still did not include majority of ESDRA initiatives) and get a better version at IFSS GA. One of the mayor things why ESDRA declined (like setting the sanctioning fee in advance and the entry fees, announce the number of IFSS representatives in advance not make the host reserve more hotel spaces, set a list of specific technical requirements and not let them be interpreted later), was IFSS unwillingness to answer the question who will be entitled to future European Masters titles (IFSS or ESDRA) as in the new regulations it's clearly stated that they are owned by IFSS as we understand it.
ESDRA board will not give up anything of its rights till further alignment between the organizations is reached. Finally we have agreed mutually that ESDRA will include in the new ESDRA-IFSS agreement the things ESDRA wants to see (veteran (masters classes); and certain technical requirements), and the event shall be run based on this agreement not IFSS regulations, since, well, IFSS does not have one. At the moment further negotiations are taking place with two possible hosts to have the European Dyland championships at the end of November 2020.
8 of April, ESDRA Sports Director Girts Eldmanis, who is also the elected auditor of IFSS, received the news from IFSS President Helen Lundberg, that the audit has been passed to external auditor and the elected persons will not be asked to perform the audit (that goes against IFSS bylaws F.1. point 1.4.). Later on IFSS informed that the council shall decide the duties of the auditors at the next meeting (14th or 15th of April).
ESDRA board was informed of this fact and has voted to suspend the agreement talks with IFSS if they will chose not to follow the bylaws and allow the elected auditors do their work and 3 ESDRA will solely take over the negotiations for the upcoming European Dryland Championships 2020.
Furthermore ESDRA board will see what IFSS council will offer after this meeting new to the World Cup, as certain things were asked by the members at Riga meeting. If majority of them will be ignored, we will see failed promises to listed to the voice of European members as promised by the Continental Director.
Other things discussed at ESDRA GA – judge system change – nothing much has been achieved, as ESDRA board is working in some capacity as IFSS Europe Committee (we still have not seen the regulations of this committee) and any request are to go throw Bengt Pontein, truth be told he has offered to pass any requests to other committees. Privately speaking to Race Rules committee members, no changes in existing system are foreseen and are needed.
Regarding the deeper integration (or returning to it) by ESDRA and IFSS, we have not moved an inch, since IFSS council has been contacted only via Continental Director Bengt Pontein (and are asked to keep this form of conversation). Any started conversation about voting system change within IFSS (to have it closer to ESDRA) has resulted in an answer that all is fine as it is. It clearly showed also at the start of the year when the first newsletter by IFSS was sent out, where IFSS President showed praise for passing the IFSS GA confidence vote, but totally forgetting the landslide decision to keep the ESDRA open…
ESDRA board still has not managed to get access to the bank account as most of the documents from Siri Baford were handed over to ESDRA in Mid February, a meeting with bank was set up and then came COVID-19. There for ESDRA of course still is not been able to pay the Riga meeting expenses (majority of what as a zero percent loan were paid by Latvia) to its members that were promised by the last board (highly irresponsible!).
As soon as ESDRA will get access to the bank account a full open audit shall be done and all liabilities paid.
Other harsh reality of the ESDRA - any regulations are scrambled together from various sources and at the moment are not in good order.
ESDRA board will update the available versions and will submit them to members for new approval. There will be no membership fees for 2020 for existing members. 4 Questions regarding the new memberships till now were put on hold, since it was expected work with IFSS could be done more productively.
Existing regulations allow a simple application to be submitted for new members, that will be recommended to be approved at the next General Assembly.
Next General assembly – ESDRA board will update regarding this matter in upcoming months, but the most likely version would be to meet via video conference as no one can predict the COVID-19 travel restriction end.
This EGA was called to decide if ESDRA was to be liquidated or continue in a new form. Members voted in favor of ESDRA to continue its historic work.
The primary focus shall be to work in close partnership with IFSS for the development of the sport in Europe and possibly beyond that.
By one new ESDRA Board has been elected.
This board will work hand to hand with IFSS Continental Director, Bengt Ponten. The urgent matters include organizing the best possible upcoming European championships and build on better criteria and selection process to improve with every event.
The current cooperation contract with IFSS has been extended and work for more detailed cooperation contract is in works. In this new contract the communication between ESDRA and IFSS will improve including several changes are intended for the welfare of the dogs. In the upcoming months in communication with its members ESDRA board shall try to agree on the cooperation form with IFSS for the future and creating an true “umbrella” organization whats model could be debated and possibly agreed at IFSS GA level, since not all ESDRA members are IFSS members and vice versa. ESDRA will work on standardizing and improving judge education including veterinary care, better and more strict standards aimed for the development of the World Cup (that includes the European cup).
We opened our new website: http://esdra.org
As well please see our Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/esdranet
Keep safe! ESDRA board