President’s Report.

Before outlining the projected programme of events established by the 2017 -18 Branch Committee, I would like to pass on the sincere condolences of all our State members, to Jan Pierce and Family upon the passing of their husband , father, grandfather and good friend, Bob.
Bob Pierce was a dedicated Clydesdale Breeder and exhibitor. He held the office of State President and current Federal Vice President with utmost dignity and forthright determination. Bob was a hands on Clydesdale man who never lost sight of the historic purpose of our Clydesdale Breed. His keen interest in heavy harness, historic implements and working horses was a credit to all the acknowledgements that he and Jan received over his many years of involvement.
Bob brought to the State Committee a no nonsense approach to management. His most current input at a Federal level was as a member of the Federal Council’s Sub Committee developing the new National CCHS Constitution that will bring all State Branches to a common management platform. Again, his long involvement in management within the NSW Railway industry was evident in his effective input into this document.
Bob and Jan have enjoyed many successes at a regional and State level. In recent times they have been ably assisted by Amanda Taylor in showing the Headlands Clydesdales. No doubt this will continue as Jan and the family are determined to continue Bob’s legacy. There is an excellent article on the Headlands Stud in the June/July edition of the ‘Highlife Magazine- Country Life in the Southern Highlands of Australia’, that I would recommend to everyone.
Bob remained ever determined to overcome his failing health situation. May his determination to fight on be remembered. May we also remember the good laughs, the funny times shared within our Heavy Horse fraternity and the true friendship that sustained all of us. Thanks Bob.

The NSW Branch was also saddened by the news of the passing of Chris Burgess of the Macintyre Stud at Gunnedah. Chris was a State and Federal Committee person and successfully showed throughout the decade of the 1990’s. Notably with his stallion Dakota James 5712, who was depicted on the front cover of our Green edition of our Resource Book. James was the Supreme Champion of Sydney Royal in 1990 and 1992. Again winning the Supreme Champion of the Brisbane Royal in 1990, ’91 and ’92.
Our sincere condolences to Julie and family.
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The incoming State Committee has seen some changes following the 2017 AGM . Two outgoing members did not seek re election- Tim Peel and Paul Brooks. Erin Lewis, Paul Cooper and Cai Thomas have been elected to Committee bringing new skills to the management and support of our State members. The remainder of previous Committee members were re elected.
Thankfully our outgoing President, John Drinnan who declined retaining his position, has remained as our Treasurer and Public Officer. Many thanks John. You have provided excellent leadership over your Presidency and we are all most grateful for your continued assistance. To Tim, who has held Office for many decades within our State and Federal Council, we thank you for all your efforts and hope to continue accessing your knowledge and skills in the future.
Similarly, a big thankyou to Paul Brooks, who took on the organisation of a most successful Foal Show programme at The Hawkesbury Show in early May. Again, we will be calling on Paul for his continued assistance throughout the year.

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Several Activities have been completed and organised for the next few months.
On the 6th of August Elizabeth and Erin Lewis secured the expertise of Ann Gilbert in providing a hands on Seminar on preparation , ring etiquette and harness presentation at the Camden Bi Centennial Equestrian Centre. This was a well attended event and participants’ response and feedback was most positive.
On the 20th of August 25 members attended a morning presentation at David Searle’s Central West Vet Clinic in Orange. David is a leader in AI and embryo transfer.His presentation and the discussion that followed, attested to this new era in our Heavy Horse Industry. The main theme of David’s presentation was his emphasis on effective preparation of the mare prior to the breeding season to ensure a far greater conception rate earlier in the season. Younger females are generally of no concern, but as the mare ages, increasing difficulties occur. AI by either chilled of frozen semen is a viable option in both time saving and cost savings, given transport and agistment expenses with natural serving.
Cai and Emma Thomas will be providing a series of tutorials in the Southern Region and ACT , continuing their skills development with newer members and bringing more experienced members to share their skills and expertise with others. The first of these will be held at Sutton on Saturday the 7th October.
Dean and Esmay Rheinberger are currently organising a Harness and Presentation Seminar for our Northern members at Singleton, the following weekend, Saturday the 14th of October. With the growing numbers of people exhibiting a keen interest in our Clydesdale Breed in the Hunter, we must cater for the distance factor by ensuring a wider dispersal of events.
A full summary of our Foal Show and Sydney Royal will be included in this Newsletter. It is hoped that a similar Foal Show Programme will be held in 2018, again at the Annual Hawkesbury Show and that our attendance at our Royal, will again consolidate our dominance in this great event.
There has been preliminary discussion of holding a 2018 Heavy Horse Event at the Sydney International Equestrian Centre in June. The 2017 Show was exceptionally well organised and again provided an opportunity for members to show their stock in tremendous surroundings and facilities. Establishing and securing a date has been difficult. The SIEC site is considered the best available in the Sydney Region and will need obvious support and sponsorship at all levels to organise. June is a little later than normal, but preliminary discussions have indicated a keen interest from potential Led and Harness exhibitors. Many thanks to Heather Oxenham for all her efforts in securing this event.

Colin Brown.