Policies and Procedures
Over the past fifteen years certain policies and procedures have emerged that are repeatedly followed by the Board in making decisions. In 2007 we started to gather these policies and procedures in written form. To date memories and minutes have produced the following list. While it is an internal document for the Board it is also useful as a guideline to the membership in understanding the framework within which the Board operates.
1. Legal Disputes
It was determined by the Board many years ago that it would not be involved in any legal disputes. This was a pragmatic decision resulting from an excruciating and fruitless effort to resolve one.We decided that legal disputes are best left to courts, which have powers and abilities to compel evidence that we do not.
2. Votes in FEIF
The USIHC delegate(s) to the annual FEIF Delegates Assembly shall be aware of the agenda and vote consistently with the direction of the Board. In the event that matters come up at the meeting on which the board cannot comment, the delegate(s) shall use their best discretion in the interest of the USIHC when voting. Committee chairs shall have the discretion to vote according to the needs of their USIHC committees.
3. Document storage
Each officer and committee chair is responsible for storage of documents pertaining to his/her office or committee. In the event two persons have an interest in documents (i.e., the Breeding Committee Chair and the Registrar each have an interest in the evaluation score sheets), these persons shall decide where the documents will be stored.The person not storing the documents shall be entitled to a copy of them if he/she wishes.
4. Reimbursement of Travel and Related Expenses
All travel and related expenses of Board members, Committee Chairs, or members conducting business for the organization are borne by the individual and are not reimbursed by the organization. The Congress will pay the basic FEIF Conference fee for any Board member or Committee Chair who is an active member and attends the full conference on behalf of the USIHC. Decisions to amend this policy will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Each USIHC voting delegate to the Delegate's Assembly at the annual FEIF Conference shall be eligible for reimbursement of travel expenses up to an amount of $1200.00 per delegate. The voting delegates shall be selected/approved by the Board of Directors in advance of the conference and be responsible for the USIHC voting at the Delegate's Assembly at the FEIF Conferences in accordance with FEIF Statutes 5.1.1 and 5.1.2.
Reimbursement for travel expenses will occur after the voting delegates have attended the Delegate's Assembly and have submitted all receipts to the USIHC Treasurer. Voting delegates shall be financially responsible in making their travel arrangements (example: no first class flights).
Annual committee budgets shall be projected per department by the board in consultation with the respective committee chair. The budgets will be due before the Board’s Budget Meeting which will be held no later than the March Board meeting each year.
6. Notices to the membership
All notices to the membership shall be in writing and mailed to all members.In the event a member wishes to receive such notices by e-mail, he/she shall notify the Secretary by providing an e-mail address and checking the appropriate boxes on the member profile page on the website.Members may change their notification preferences at any time. All changes shall take effect immediately for all future notices.
7. Autonomy of Affiliated Clubs
Affiliated Clubs shall be autonomous units except for such requirements as are contained in the Rules Governing Affiliated Clubs and the requirement that each club designate someone as a Youth Contact. The latter is for the purpose of naming someone from whom young riders in the area covered by the Affiliated Club can obtain information about various opportunities and activities for youth.
8. Committee Chairs.
It is preferred that Committee Chairs be members of the Board. The role of all chairs is primarily to facilitate discussion and communicate proposals formed by committee consensus. Care must be taken to include point persons and timelines for all proposals submitted to the Board for consideration. In the event that a committee requires a skill set not resident in the current BOD members, the BOD may appoint a Committee Chair outside of the BOD. In that event, however, the Board will designate a Board member to be a liaison to the Board from that Committee. The purpose of establishing a liaison is to insure that the Board will be kept informed of any matters within the Committee of which it should be aware and so that the Board will be able to communicate any requests it might have of the Committee. The liaison has no responsibility for the work of the Committee and functions simply to facilitate communication.
The Board shall appoint all Committee Chairs. The appointed chair positions serve at the will of the Board. All chair positions shall be reviewed each January and be reassigned as the Board deems necessary. In the event a Committee Chair wishes to resign he/she may recommend one or more successors to be considered by the Board.
9. Committee membership.
- Except for the Sport Committee, the membership in committees shall be open to any member of the Congress. With regard to the Sport Committee, membership is restricted to those persons who have attended certain educational seminars. A Board member may belong to any Committee without satisfying any prerequisites.
- A Committee chair may remove from membership any member (other than a Board member) who has not participated in the discussions or work of the Committee for a period of six months. The Committee chair shall give 30 days notice of the proposed removal to the member in question so that the member may provide reasons for his/her non-participation if he/she wishes to continue to belong to the Committee.
- A Committee chair may remove from membership any member (other than a Board member) who has behaved inappropriately in the discussions or work of the Committee.The Committee chair shall give 30 days notice of the proposed removal to the member in question so that the member may provide an explanation for his/her actions if he/she wishes to continue to belong to the Committee.
- Committee members shall be current USIHC members.
- Members who have not paid their USIHC dues shall be removed from committee rolls on March 1st.
10. Financial accounts of the Congress
The accounts of the USIHC shall be the responsibility of the Treasurer. The appropriate officer or chair shall review and approve bills before they are submitted to the Treasurer. The treasurer shall prepare monthly and year-to-date statements for the all Board meetings. The Treasurer shall work with the committee chairs and officers to project budgets for the coming year. The Treasurer shall be responsible for annual tax filings.
11. Dissemination of Board decisions
Minutes of Board meetings will be posted in full on the USIHC website after all Board members attending the meeting in question have had three days to submit corrections. Certain meetings (or portions of meetings) are deemed closed to the membership.These primarily concern issues involving an individual member and the purpose of closing the meeting is to protect the privacy of the individual member. Minutes of these meetings or portions of meetings are prepared and approved but are published at the discretion of the Board.
No matter for which the entire Board is answerable shall be reported to the membership until each Board member has had an opportunity to review the matter.
12. Website Calendar
The purpose of the Calendar of Events on the Website is to publicize events (such as clinics, seminars, competitions, exhibitions, etc.)put on by USIHC members as well as official events of other FEIF member organizations. The listing shall include the name of the event, type of event, date and location of the event and the name and contact information of the member or association putting on the event.
13. Midyear Membership Applications
All memberships expire on their one-year anniversary regardless of when the membership begins.
14. General Expense Reimbursement
Members seeking reimbursement for expenses incurred in performing work for the Congress shall obtain prior approval for all anticipated expenses.Reimbursement of any expenses, anticipated or unanticipated, is at the discretion of the Board.Members seeking reimbursement for approved expenses must submit receipts for all expenses for which reimbursement is sought.
15. Program Financial Self-sufficiency
All programs and activities of the Congress should be developed with a goal that they become self-sufficient. Since reaching this goal is often not possible in the initial stages of a program or activity, the responsible Committee shall develop a plan for initial financial support of programs and activities in their early developing stages as well as the plan to achieve self-sufficiency.
The budget for any sanctioned seminar shall be designed to break even.In the event a seminar generates a profit, the profit shall be forwarded to the USIHC Treasurer and retained to support future sanctioned seminars.
16. Board Meetings & Agenda
Board meetings are held by telephone conference call on the second Tuesday of each month unless otherwise agreed to by the Board. The Agenda for each meeting (including any Committee reports) should be determined by Friday of the preceding week and placed on the website for review by the Affiliated Clubs who may have an observer present on the conference call.While every effort shall be made for the Agenda to include all items to be considered, the Board shall not be limited in its ability to discuss and determine any matter it deems appropriate, whether or not it has been included on the agenda.Closed meetings or closed portions of the meetings may be scheduled at the discretion of the Board.
17. Seminar Sanction
The content and organization (logistical and financial) of seminars or programs that result in official recognition (i.e., certification or acknowledgement of completion) by the USIHC must be recommended by the Education Committee and approved by the Board.
18. USIHC Sanctioned and Sponsored Event Participation
All USIHC sanctioned seminars (Judge Seminar - Education Committee), shows (Sports Committee) and Breed Evaluations and Young Horse Assessments (Breed Committee), require all participants be given the option of becoming USIHC members prior to participation in the event, or be charged the non member fee set in Policy # 25 (2019: fee set at $25). Overseeing committee chair will be responsible for compliance verification (participants in Judge seminar, owners of horses in USIHC sanctioned Breed Evaluations and Young Horse Assessments and riders in all USIHC sanctioned shows.
19. Recognition of Foreign-trained Intern Judges
Any individual who has received judge training outside the United States and wishes to act as an Intern Judge shall submit a written request including a summary of his or her training to the Chairman of the Sport Committee.If the Chairman concludes the individual's training and experience is equivalent to the training offered in the United States, he shall forward the request with his endorsement to the Board for approval.Upon receipt of the Board's approval, the individual may exercise any privilege of an intern judge at USIHC sanctioned or schooling shows.
20. Quarterly Magazine Distribution
(Based on a print-run of 600 copies)
- Copies for Membership:
- All current members receive all issues of the Quarterly published each year as part of their membership; members can opt out of receiving the printed Quarterly and ask to receive the e-Quarterly instead.
- All FEIF officials receive all issues of the e-Quarterly published each year, as per FEIF rules; these issues are sent electronically only.
- New members get 1 copy of the most recent issue available free in their Welcome Packet when they pay their first year's dues.
- Any current member whose current address is on file in the USIHC database and seems to be correct, but who did not receive an issue of the Quarterly, gets 1 free replacement copy on request, if a copy is available. If not available in print, back issues can always be downloaded in e-Quarterly form for free from the website.
- Any current member who has filed a change of address with the USIHC within 3 months of receiving a copy of the Quarterly, but was not in time for the new address to appear on the Quarterly mailing list gets 1 free replacement copy on request, if a copy is available. If not available in print, back issues can always be downloaded in e-Quarterly form for free from the website.
- A current member whose address is incorrect in the USIHC database because the person has moved, but he/she has not filed a change of address with the USIHC, does not receive any free copies. Back issues can always be downloaded in e-Quarterly form for free from the website.
- A current member whose address is incorrect in the USIHC database because of a typo made when entering the data (either by the member or by the USIHC, if the information was submitted on paper) gets 1 free replacement copy on request, if a copy is available. If not available in print, back issues can always be downloaded in e-Quarterly form for free from the website.
- Copies for Promotion:
- USIHC and Affiliated Club members can distribute copies of the Quarterly at shows & expos and to Affiliated Club members for free.
- If Promotion anticipates needing more copies, they can order them from the Quarterly Committee in advance of printing at the per-copy cost plus postage.
- Copies for Quarterly Contributors:
- All current members who contribute an article, photograph, illustration, or paid advertisement to an issue of the Quarterly may request 2 additional free copies of that issue; they must do so before the issue is mailed so that the extra copy can be mailed at the cheapest bulk rate from the printer. The Quarterly Committee will contact each contributor in time for them to make this request.
- All non-members who contribute an article, photograph, illustration, or paid advertisement to an issue of the Quarterly may request 2 free copies of that issue; they must do so before the issue is mailed so that the extra copy can be mailed at the cheapest bulk rate from the printer. The Quarterly Committee will contact each contributor in time for them to make this request.
- The person pictured on the cover of an issue (or whose horse is on the cover) is considered a "contributor" and can get 2 free copies of that issue by asking; they must do so before the issue is mailed so that the extra copy can be mailed at the cheapest bulk rate from the printer. The Quarterly Committee will contact each contributor in time for them to make this request.
- Copies for the Registrar and new Icelandic horse owners:
- Anyone who has sold an Icelandic horse to a non-member can request that a free copy of the Quarterly be sent to that new horse owner. Requests can be made via the website or by contacting the Quarterly Committee.
- Any non-member who registers an Icelandic horse in the USIHC Registry or transfers an already registered horse into his/her name will be sent a free copy of the Quarterly by the Registrar or, at the Registrar's request, by the Quarterly Committee.
- Sale of Current and Future Issues:
- Current Issues are defined as copies of the printed magazine that are within 3 months of their print date. Print Dates are March 1 for Issue One, June 1 for Issue Two, September 1 for Issue Three, and December 1 for Issue Four of each calendar year. Future Issues are those not yet printed or mailed.
- Contributors (defined above) who receive 2 free copies can order additional copies of the current or a future issue for $5.00 per copy. This price includes postage. The Quarterly Committee will contact each contributor in time for them to request extra copies before the issue is printed and mailed.
- Anyone (readers, members, non-members) can buy extra copies of the current or a future issue for $5.00 per copy, as available. This price includes postage. If not ordered in advance of printing and mailing, these copies will be mailed by hand by the Quarterly Committee after the issue has been printed.
21. Affiliated Clubs Promotional Breed Demo & Display Stall Matching Funds
USIHC may provide matching funds for breed demonstrations or display stalls at trade shows and events across the country for the purpose of promoting the breed and organization.
- The total amount of funding for 2023 is $1750 with a maximum limit of $350 per event to be dispersed on a “first come, first served” basis.
- For every dollar spent from the affiliated club, USIHC will match 50% up to $350.00. (to receive the full $350, the club must spend at least $700)
- The funds are for the purpose of a breed demonstration OR for a display stall at the event.
- Only USIHC Affiliated Clubs may request funding for this policy. Individuals who are requesting funding on behalf of their affiliated club need to also be current USIHC members in good standing at the time of the request through the end of the event.
- Breed demo or display stall must be for promotional club purposes only, not an advertisement/sales opportunity
- Each club can only receive up to $350 per year
- Requests for funding must be submitted to the USIHC promotion committee chair no less than thirty (30) days in advance of the event. Copies of the agreement with the venue and receipts showing the exact amount paid to the expo organizers must be provided prior to reimbursement.
- After all of the above information has been received by the USIHC Promotion Committee Chair, it shall be reviewed for approval/denial of funding. If approved, the USIHC Treasurer will be notified to make the reimbursement, and if denied, a written explanation will be sent.
22. Membership Standing
In the event a member owes the Congress monies and fails to make payment in a timely manner, the following procedure shall be followed to designate said member "not in good standing":
- After 30 days of sending an invoice, the treasurer shall follow up with a certified letter notifying the member who owes the Congress money, specifying what is owed and when it was owed and consequences if not paid within 60 days of the invoice date.
- Allow the member to respond in writing within the original invoice date 60 day period.
- If no response, the member shall become "not in good standing" after the 60 day past due date and notified of such in writing.
- If they do respond, the Treasurer shall notify the Board, for further instruction and response to the member..
Once a member is designated "not in good standing" he and all individuals in his household shall be restricted as follows:
- Be barred from trying out as a World Championships team member.
- Be barred from running for or holding office.
( Constitution Article III, Section 7)
- Shall not be entitled to vote.
( Constitution Article III, Section 7)
- Shall not be entitled to to propose amendments to the Constitution.
( Constitution Article III, Section 7)
- Shall not be appointed to an election committee.
( Constitution Article IV, Section 2)
- Shall not be allowed to join or serve on any committee.
- Shall not be allowed to second any nominations for Board candidate nominations.
- Shall not be allowed to attend any seminar that results in certification.
- Shall not participate as a Congress member in a sanctioned competitions or breeding evaluations. Individuals may still participate but must pay any non-member penalty fees.
- Shall not be permitted to advertise on the website or in the Quarterly magazine.
- Shall not represent the Congress at any FEIF conference.
- Shall not advertise events on the website's bulletin board or event calendar.
- Shall not be allowed to renew membership until all past due monies are paid.
The sanctions and limitations described above shall apply to all persons associated with a membership if at least one person associated with the membership is "not in good standing". If a business is responsible for the debt to the Congress, all persons associated with all memberships held by the owners of said business shall be subject to the sanctions and limitations.
23. Errors and Omissions Insurance
The Congress purchase and maintain Errors and Omissions Insurance for the Board and Registry with a $250K level of coverage and an annual premium not to exceed $1000.
24. "Foreign Friends" Membership Alternative
The following program exists to offer a means for interested individuals to participate in Congress sponsored activities if they are constitutionally prohibited from being members of the USIHC. This alternative to membership is only offered to those who are expressly excluded from joining.
The current Foreign Friends of the USIHC membership fee shall appear on the membership application form as well as on the website with the fees for the various classes of membership. This fee is due and payable on the same schedule as the membership fees.
In exchange for payment of the "foreign friends" fee, individuals shall receive:
- A digital subscription to the Icelandic Horse Quarterly
- The ability to list events on website calendar
- The right to participate without non-member fee in any Congress activities where membership or non-member fees apply. This includes but is not limited to:
- Sanctioned Competitions
- Clinics and seminars
- Breeding Evaluations
- Stallion listings
- The ability to purchase Farm Listings on the website and in the Quarterly.
- The ability to advertise on the website
- Have written information on their farm or events on display at Congress Booth locations
While "Foreign Friends" are not members and may not exercise the rights and privileges of members, the "member not in good standing" policy applies to individuals who have not met financial commitments to the USIHC.
25. Non-member Fee Determination
Membership status for all Congress (USIHC sanctioned events, which have non-member fees (see policy # 18), shall be determined and included in the event registration materials. Any participant who is not a member in good standing shall be required to pay the appropriate non-member fee (2019: fee set at $25). The event organizer shall be responsible for the collection of all non-member fees. These fees must be submitted with the event report forms. Fees shall be paid to the USIHC prior to the release of any USIHC funding (if funding is available for the sanctioned event).
26. General Members Meetings
In order to facilitate communication between the Board and membership as well as conduct such business requiring membership approval, such as amendment of the constitution, the Board shall:
- Schedule at least one meeting per year; maximum of three.
- Hold meetings at events which usually have a large draw ( estimate of 30 members)
- Post all Officer and Committee Annual Reports on the website by February 1.
- Post selected meeting venues on the website as soon as they are selected with a minimum of 60-days notice.
- Obtain the permission of the event organizer before scheduling the meeting and coordinate logistics with the event organizer.
- Ensure at least 3 Board members be present at each meeting. Every Board member is strongly encouraged to attend a meeting not in his/her area; Board members present must be reasonably knowledgeable about reports submitted by those not present.
- Reimburse any Board member's nonrefundable travel expenses in the event the meeting is canceled.
27. Project/Event Funding
The "grant" funding model was suspended in February 2016.
All members and clubs are welcome to present ad hoc funding requests to the Board for consideration.
28. Promotional Brochure Distribution
USIHC brochures are available to USIHC members and Affiliated Clubs upon request, from the Promotion Committee Chair, for use in promoting the breed and Congress. The brochures are 8 1/2" x 11" tri-fold style and in full color. Along with general information about the breed, a listing of all USIHC Affiliated Clubs is included on the back page of the brochure. Distribution of the brochures is as follows:
- The brochures are available in multiples of 50.
- There is no charge for the brochures.
- USIHC will pay for standard USPS First Class Mail shipping of the brochures.
- Requests for quantities of 500 and above for use at events such as trade shows must be made at least 4 weeks in advance.
29. Young Horse Linear Description Financial Support - There is no funding for Young Horse Assessment in 2023.
30a. National Ranking Funding
USIHC understands the needs to provide support for National Ranking Sport Shows. In order to provide the substantial financial support needed the USIHC has decided that for 2024 USIHC will support in-person shows with $400 per judge, based on 1, 3 or 5 sport judges. 1-2 judges a show receives $400. 3-4 judges a show receives $1200. 5 or more judges show receives $2000.
- The organizer of the event must either be a member(s) in good standing of the USIHC or an official Affiliated club of the USIHC.
- The event should be open to the public.
- The event details (including dates, event location and contact person) must be submitted to the Sport Committee Chair for inclusion on the USIHC Calendar of Events.
- The procedures in the current National Ranking Show Rules must be followed and an National Ranking Show Application must be approved by the US Sport Leader ( email@example.com ).
- The event must be conducted in accordance with all USIHC and FEIF applicable rules/regulations
- All riders must be in compliance with Policy #18. Organizer must submit a list of riders for verification of USIHC membership with the show report to the Sport Committee Chair, any participant found not to be a USIHC member is subject to a $25 non-member fee due to the USIHC, see policy #25.
- The event must be deemed as successfully completed by the US Sport Leader (in his/her sole discretion).
Budget Cap: $6800.00
Distribution of Funds will be based on the order in which the show application was received (not date of event) and Funds are limited to one time per year per organizer/show venue.
After the qualifying event has been deemed successfully completed by the US Sport Leader, the USIHC Treasurer will distribute the supporting funds to the designated party. Events that have qualified, but fail to successfully be completed, will not be funded and may not be funded in the future under this program at the discretion of the USIHC Board of Directors.
30b. Breed Evaluation Funding
The USIHC understands the needs to provide support for critical programs such as breed evaluations and educational opportunities. The USIHC recognizes the great expense of a breed evaluations and educational opportunities and that most organizers do not have adequate experience in anticipating and managing the costs.
Breeding evaluations and educational opportunities in 2024 is funded for $4,500. A full breeding evaluation requires two judges, which is 500 Euros per day for each judge. If a full breeding evaluation is held, the event would be eligible for a maximum of $2,000. A breeding educational opportunity would require one judge. A breeding educational opportunity would be eligible for $500 to a maximum of $1,000.
- The organizer of the event must be a member(s) in good standing of the USIHC
or an official Affiliated club of the USIHC.
- The event should be open to the public.
- The event details (including dates, event location and contact person) must be submitted to the Breeding Committee Chair for inclusion on the USIHC Calendar of Events.
- The FEIF Application for International Breeding Shows must be submitted to and signed off (approved) by the US Breeding Leader (sent to firstname.lastname@example.org).
- The organizer must submit a request for funding by April 15, 2024
- The funds will be equally allotted to each completed request for funding.
- Up to $300 per allotted funding may be retained by the Breeding Committee to assist with travel costs to meet the USIHC requirement of a Breed Committee Member being present at each Breed Evaluation.
- The event must be conducted in accordance with all USIHC and FEIF applicable rules/regulations
- All horse owners in both Breed Evaluation and YHA, as well as participants in any instructional seminars, must be in compliance with Policy #18. Organizer must submit a list of owners and participants for verification of USIHC membership (prior to the event) to the Breeding Committee Chair, any owner or participant found not to be a USIHC member is subject to a $25 non-member fee due to the USIHC, see policy #25.
- The event must be deemed as successfully completed by the US Breeding Leader (in his/her sole discretion).
After the qualifying event has been deemed successfully completed by the US Breeding Leader, the USIHC Treasurer will distribute the supporting funds to the designated party. Events that have qualified, but fail to successfully be completed, will not be funded and may not be funded in the future under this program at the discretion of the USIHC Board of Directors.
31. Regional Club Clinic or Schooling Show Support
Policy #31 has been budgeted at most $6000 for 2024 from the USIHC to support clinics or shows (schooling or national ranking) held by USIHC regional clubs ($250-$500 per club). Funds to be distributed up to $500/club, for the calendar year 2024 subject to the eligibility requirements below.
The event details must be submitted to both the Affiliated Club Committee Chair (email@example.com) and the USIHC Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) for inclusion in the USIHC Calendar of Events no later than 1 month (30 days) before the event.(The club hosting the event must be in
good standing with the USIHC at the time of event submission for inclusion on Event calendar.)
Each regional club will be eligible for not more than one $250 or $500 grant in 2024.
Funds will be based on the number of USIHC member participants (in good standing at the time of the event). Clubs using USIHC recognized Trainers (those listed on the Icelandics.org website on Horse Trainer Page under Ride tab) or USIHC recognized Judges (those listed on Sport Judge Page, under Ride then Competition tab) would be eligible for $50.00 per USIHC member participating, for up to 10 USIHC members. Total not to exceed $500.
Clubs using a clinician not recognized by the USIHC (as detailed above), would be eligible for $25.00 per USIHC member participating, for up to 10 USIHC
members. Total not to exceed $250.
The regional club hosting the event must be in good standing with the USIHC at the time of the event.
New regional clubs formed after January 1, 2024, will be eligible for funding only if the budget allows and therefore are not guaranteed funding.
Upon completion of the event, the regional club will submit a list of all USIHC participants in good standing (names) and the total number of participants (USIHC and non USIHC) to the Affiliated Club Committee Chair.
Once the event has been approved as successfully completed, payment will be issued to the Regional Club by the USIHC Treasurer.
Suggested (but not required): Affiliated Club include a write up of the event in the Quarterly.
32. Schooling Show Support Please refer to Policy 31
34. Email Voting
If an issue is critical and a vote is needed before a Board Call, a BOD can request an Email Vote. This email should be flagged with ‘VOTE NEEDED’ in the subject line. Each BOD has 48 hours to respond. A super majority of seven positive votes carries the proposal.
If a proposal does not pass, it can be brought into the next board call for further discussion. All email votes are to be included in the next month’s minutes after committee reports.
35. Issue Handling Procedure
- The issue should be well defined in a single clear statement. This is to be done by the Board member to which the issue is first presented. This information will then be shared with the entire board. The initial receipt Board member will also immediately acknowledge the receipt of the "issue" and inform the sender of the handling procedure. (see Form letter*).
- The Board will identify a Board member who will serve as point person and oversee the procedure and provide a timeline. This may require a call for an "executive session".
- Identify all relevant individuals involved in the issue. These individuals should be asked to provide their written account of the issue that will be shared with all those involved (provide date due).
- These documents will be reviewed by the USIHC BOD, which will then conclude an appropriate action (provide date due).
- This action will be shared with individuals involved who will be given a chance to respond in writing (provide date due).
- These responses will be reviewed and the USIHC BOD will decide whether to stand by their original conclusion or modify (provide date due).
- All will be notified and the issue will be closed. Written notification shall be prepared and agreed upon by the BOD by a specified due date. Notifications will be made in the following order, first to individuals involved and second to general membership. If it is determined appropriate the written notification to the general membership should closely follow that given to the individual, within 24-48 hours.
*Form letter: Dear (first name),
The USIHC thanks you for bringing this to our attention. The board will proceed in accordance with Policy 35.
- We will assign a Board member to oversee this procedure
- The issue will be defined in a single clear statement
- Identify all individuals directly involved in the issue.
- All individuals involved, will be asked to provide their account of the issue with the knowledge that these accounts will be shared with the board and all those involved. A deadline for this will be provide.
- The board will then read all accounts and conclude an appropriate action within a specified amount of time.
- The board action will be shared with all involved and all will be given a chance to respond in writing with the knowledge that these responses will be shared with all involved. A deadline will be provided.
- The board will review these responses and decide whether to stand by the original action or make modifications. A deadline will be provided.
- All will be notified of the board's final conclusion and the issue will be closed. Written notification shall be prepared and agreed upon by the BOD by a specified due date.
- Notifications will be made in the following order, first to individuals involved and second to general membership. If it is determined appropriate the written notification to the general membership should closely follow that given to the individual, within 24-48 hours.
We hope to conclude this matter in a timely and fair manner and appreciate your patience. USIHC Board of Directors
36. Standard of Conduct (Ethics Code)
United States Icelandic Horse Congress Board of Directors Statement of Expectations
- Fiduciary Duties and General Responsibilities
Each Director shall be familiar with the general principles and practices of Board governance. In particular, each Director acknowledges the duties of care, loyalty, and obedience.
The Duty of Care.
The duty of care describes the level of competence expected of a director. State nonprofit corporate laws offer various definitions of this duty in suitable legalese, but they all come down to the importance of directors making good decisions with reasonable care. Directors need to recognize they should retain people to provide the necessary wisdom, skill, and expertise to enact the organization’s program and mission. Directors also need to establish policies and procedures to avoid risks to the organizations’ financial well-being.
The Duty of Loyalty. The duty of loyalty is the standard of faithfulness to the organization. When making decisions, a Director must put the organization first. This duty is the basis for conflict of interest policies that are designed to prevent board members from enriching themselves, their families, and their friends at the expense of the organization and from favoring one segment of the organization over another.
The Duty of Obedience. The duty of obedience requires Directors to be true to the organization’s mission. Board members can exercise their own reasoned judgment in how the organization can best archive its mission. However, they cannot act in a manner that is inconsistent with that mission. This duty is based on the principle that the membership and the public at large must be able to act in confidence that what they are told about the organization is true. If there is a discrepancy between the Directors’ understanding of the organization’s mission and that of the membership and the public at large, the result is the loss of institutional integrity.
Each Director shall have read and understand the Mission Statement, Articles of Incorporation, Constitution, and Polices of the USIHC.
Each Director shall understand the organization’s general financial condition.
Each Director shall serve on at least one Committee
Board and Committee meetings shall be conducted in a spirit of openness, honesty, and collegiality. Each Director is expected to attend at least 75% of all Board meetings and conference calls and an equal percentage of the meetings of each committee to which the Director is assigned. Each Director is responsible for following up with the President of the Board on the substance of any meeting missed.
Each Director is expected to attend the Annual USIHC Member’s meeting.
Each Director is expected to be active on the Board and assigned Committee email discussion groups. Unless prior notice is given or extenuating circumstances exist, Board members shall check their Congress related email daily
Directors shall act as advocates for the USIHC among its members. In addition, Directors shall be supportive in promoting the organization to prospective members and within the community in general. In this regard, each Director shall make every effort to attend the Annual Members Meeting and any other functions designated as significant by the President of the Board.
- Confidentiality and Communications
The work and deliberations of the Board and Committees are confidential; except to the extent decisions are publicly disseminated through the Board’s authorized process.
The President of the Board and other duly authorized persons shall be the only official spokespersons for the organization. Any Director contacted by the media or others in regard to any matter related to the organization or the Board shall not comment on that matter and shall refer all inquires to such spokespersons.
- Conflicts of Interest
The Directors shall exercise the utmost good faith in all transactions touching upon their duties to the organization and its property. In their dealings with and on behalf of the organization, they are held to a strict rule of honest and fair dealing between themselves and the organization. They shall not use the positions as Directors, or knowledge gained therefrom, so that a conflict might arise between the organization’s interest and that of any individual Director.
A conflict of interest arises in any situation in which a Director (and his or her immediate family or employer) is involved in an activity that could adversely affect his or her judgment with respect to the business of the organization or otherwise diminish the interest of the organization. When such a conflict arises, the individual with the conflict is expected to disclose in writing the existence of the conflict.
- Work Product
Any and all work product produced by a Director during their tenure on the USIHC board, shall be property of the USIHC only.
Each Director will conduct themselves professionally; follow the principles, expectations, policies and procedures of the organization. A Director is independent, objective, add value and improve an organization’s operations. Each Director will respect their peers, the membership and communicate respectfully.
- Agreements and Contracts
No Director will enter into an agreement or contract on behalf of the USIHC, oral or written, without the approval of the Board of Directors.
No Director will submit a program to FEIF without approval from the Board of Directors.
All Board of Directors members to sign in order to be active on the BOD. The Code of Ethics will be scanned, signed and returned on or before January 15th, of each year by email to the USIHC Secretary to be posted in the board email archives.
The USIHC is committed to fostering and maintaining an environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. Each individual has the right to an atmosphere that promotes equal opportunities and prohibits unlawful discriminatory practices, including harassment. The USIHC expects that all relationships among persons involved in the Congress will be free of explicit bias, prejudice and harassment.
It is the policy of the USIHC to ensure equal opportunity without discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law. The USIHC prohibits any such discrimination or harassment.
Harassment is strictly prohibited. Harassment is verbal, written or physical conduct that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual because of his, her, or their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, genetic information, or any other characteristic protected by law, or that of his or her relatives, friends or associates, and that: a) has the purpose or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment, b) has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with or affecting any individuals' involvement in USIHC activities.
Harassing conduct includes epithets, slurs or negative stereotyping; threatening, intimidating or hostile acts; denigrating jokes; and written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward an individual or group that is placed on walls or elsewhere on the employer’s premises or circulated in the workplace, on company time or using company equipment by e-mail, phone (including voice messages), text messages, social networking sites or other means. These policies apply to all members of the USIHC when engaged in any activities arising out of or relating to equine activities. Conduct prohibited by these policies is unacceptable in any such circumstance.
The USIHC encourages reporting of all perceived incidents of discrimination, harassment or retaliation, regardless of the offender’s identity or position. Individuals who believe that they have been the victim of such conduct should report any concerns surrounding these policies, or possible violations of these policies, to any USIHC board member.
Any reported allegations of harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be investigated promptly. The investigation may include individual interviews with the parties involved and, where necessary, with individuals who may have observed the alleged conduct or may have other relevant knowledge.
The USIHC will maintain confidentiality throughout the investigatory process to the extent consistent with adequate investigation and appropriate corrective action. Retaliation against an individual for reporting harassment or discrimination or for participating in an investigation of a claim of harassment or discrimination is a serious violation of this policy and, like harassment or discrimination itself, will be subject to disciplinary action. Acts of retaliation should be reported as soon as possible and will be promptly investigated and addressed.
Misconduct constituting harassment, discrimination or retaliation will be dealt with appropriately. Responsive action may include, for example, training, referral to counseling, reprimand, temporary or permanent removal from events, and / or temporary or permanent removal from membership.
38. Inclusivity / Para Classification Policy
It is the policy of the USIHC to actively promote an inclusive environment that allows for the participation of all persons passionate about the Icelandic horse. In furtherance of this, and while FEIF undergoes its own work to adopt a para-riders policy. The USIHC adopts the following as an interim guideline to help allow more persons with disabilities to participate in USIHC-sanctioned events.
- The USIHC is guided by FEIF’s September, 2023 adoption of Section G.2.1.5 of FEIF’s General Regulations, Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct, which provides: Riders classified as disabled athletes (being in possession of an official certificate) are welcome to participate in competitions in regular classes, FEIF’s Rules and Regulations apply in full. Reasonable adjustments are allowed to compensate for physical disadvantages to create a level playing field (such as a special saddle, special stirrups, two whips, helpers, etc.). A disability card, as well as a certificate with the description of function-specific and individual aids, issued by a competent body, has to be provided to the event organization at the registration to the event. The chief judge will be informed by the tournament organizer.
- The USIHC also is guided in large part by the FEI PE Classification Rules, effective 2023, found here: https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/FEI_PE_Classification_Rules_2023_clean.pdf. Recognizing that implementation of these rules may be difficult, if not impossible, in the near future, the USIHC implements this policy to help allow for greater inclusivity in the near term.
- With this in mind, and giving effect to the issues unique to the USIHC, including the size of competitions, the desire to increase and facilitate participation throughout the United States, and the great distance between events, the USIHC enacts the following policy:
- With respect to world-ranking classes, the USIHC adopts FEIF General Regulation G.2.1.5, which requires disabled athletes to present a disability card and an official certificate with the description of the function-specific and individual aids, issued by a competent body. For guidance of what constitutes a “competent body,” the USIHC defers to the FEI PE Classification Rules cited above.
- With respect to non-world-ranking classes, riders with a permanent disability are eligible to compete with accommodation in any USIHC-sanctioned competition in novice, intermediate, youth, green horse, and / or pleasure classes upon verbal approval from the chief judge at each event. Judges are asked to provide reasonable accommodations within their discretion to persons or parents of persons who represent to the judge that the competitor/participant is impacted by a permanent disability, that the proposed accommodation allows the individual to participate fully in the desired USIHC sanctioned-show class, that the accommodation is consistent with the spirit of all horse welfare rules, that the accommodation will not otherwise impact the other participants in each class, and that the accommodation will not impact the scoring or results of the competition.
- Illustration 1: A rider (or parent of a rider) represents that the competitor is hearing impaired and requires an in-ear hearing assistance device to have a spectator repeat the announcer’s instructions to the rider. Upon seeing that the hearing device (earbuds) will not impact the horse or other riders and having reasonable confidence that the earbuds will only be used to repeat the announcer’s instructions (and not instruct the rider), the chief judge is afforded discretion to allow the rider to compete with the accommodation in intermediate, novice, youth, and / or green horse group classes.
- Illustration 2: A rider (or parent of a rider) represents that the competitor has a physical disability that prevents them from being able to fully grip standard reins and requests larger stops or grips on the rein of the impacted hand or hands. Upon reviewing the proposed rein modifications, and being satisfied they do not compromise the horse’s welfare or otherwise impact the competition, the chief judge is afforded discretion to allow the rider to compete with the accommodation in intermediate, novice, youth, and / or green horse group classes.
- Illustration 3: A rider (or parent of a rider) represents that the competitor has a physical disability that limits the rider from being able to fully make use of one or both legs and requests the ability to wear spurs. Upon reviewing the spurs, the chief judge is afforded discretion to not allow the rider to compete with the accommodation based on horse welfare concerns, as spurs conflict with FEIF animal welfare rules. However, the chief judge allows the rider to utilize two FEIF-approved whips instead of one.
- Illustration 4: A rider (or parent of a rider) represents that the competitor has a physical disability that impacts the rider’s balance and / or leg stability and thus requests the ability to add an additional stabilizing block on each side of the saddle. Upon reviewing the saddle modification, the chief judge is afforded discretion to allow the rider to compete with the accommodation.
- Illustration 5: A rider (or parent of a rider) represents that the competitor has a physical disability that impacts the rider’s balance and / or leg stability and thus requests the ability to use magnets or rubber bands on the stirrups. Upon reviewing the proposed modification, the chief judge is afforded discretion to allow the rider to compete with the accommodation.
- Illustration 6: A rider (or parent of a rider) represents that the competitor has a physical disability that limits the rider’s vision and requests an exemption from the collecting ring because of sight issues. Upon considering the safety of the alternative holding location for that rider, the chief judge is afforded discretion to allow the rider to compete with the accommodation.
- Riders with a permanent disability are eligible to compete with accommodation in any USIHC-sanctioned competition in novice, intermediate, youth, green horse, and / or pleasure classes upon annual written approval from the USIHC Board of Directors. The USIHC is tasked with exercising its discretion in providing reasonable accommodations to persons or parents of persons who represent to the judge that the competitor/participant sufferers from a permanent disability, that the proposed accommodation allows the individual to participate fully in the desired USIHC sanctioned-show class, that the accommodation is consistent with the spirit of all horse welfare rules, that the accommodation will not otherwise impact the other participants in each class, and that the accommodation will not impact the scoring or results of the competition. The USIHC Board of Directors is tasked with consulting what FEIF judges and / or equine professionals may be necessary in exercising its discretion and being guided by the illustrations above.
- Riders with a permanent disability are eligible to compete with accommodation in any USIHC-sanctioned competition if they follow the FEI classification procedures in full found at https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/FEI_PE_Classification_Rules_2023_clean.pdf and submit a letter requesting USIHC Board of Director approval of the same.
- Competition hosts are welcome to offer non-national ranking, para-division classes in coordination with their participants and parents of participants. Competition hosts are directed to work with all participants and parents of participants to support the riders’ ability to participate while also maintaining participants’ desires regarding medical confidentiality.
- In the event that FIEF passes a para policy, absent further USIHC action, this policy shall become null and void and the FEIF policy shall govern.
- Unless renewed by action of the USIHC Board of Directors, this policy shall automatically expire on December 31, 2025.
Last updated 02/21/24