WE United is a member-led nonprofit organization founded to support the sport of Working Equitation in the United States. It was formed:
- For the integrity of the sport.
- For the benefit of competitors.
- For the strength of a united team.
WE United is focused on establishing Working Equitation as a fully-recognized, all-breed discipline housed within the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and recognized by the World Association for Working Equitation (WAWE). We are committed to providing a non-partisan association welcoming of all people interested in Working Equitation.
On February 3, 2016, WE United officially incorporated as a nonprofit corporation in Oregon, and the www.WEUnited.us website launched shortly thereafter. WE United is also applying for recognition as a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public benefit organization.
WE United is a new organization, not officially affiliated with either of the two existing Working Equitation groups in the United States (WEIAUSA or USFWE), but focused on bringing together the community of people interested in Working Equitation in an official nonprofit corporation with elected governance.
Equestrians and Working Equitation enthusiasts are encouraged to join WE United in order to have an active role in shaping the sport of Working Equitation in the United States. As a representative, nonprofit organization, members of WE United will have the ability to run for office, nominate others for office, vote in elections, and volunteer to serve the organization and sport.
The power of WE United rests in its members, through their volunteerism and the votes they cast to elect Officers and Directors. WE United will hold our first Election for Officers and Directors on or before November 15, 2016. All members in good standing at the time of the election, 18 years and older, will be eligible to nominate candidates for elected office and vote for officers and directors. Between now and the first election, a small group of unpaid volunteers active in the Working Equitation community across the United States will be working as a Transition Committee to complete the application for 501(c)(3) status.
WE United membership is open to all. Initial memberships in WE United are available for individuals at $25/year as well as for families at $50/year (for up to 2 adults and 6 children). The membership dues are used to support WE United programs and initiatives to help promote Working Equitation across the country. Some of the programs WE United will be launching include:
- Horse and Rider Recognition Programs. WE United will begin tracking performance of individual horses and riders in 2016. We will be developing programs to recognize achievement, modeled after other equestrian organizations such as the United States Dressage Federation.
- Judge Training and Licensure. WE United is developing a structured program of training and licensure for Working Equitation judges. Our goal is to offer initial judge seminars taught by licensed Working Equitation judges throughout the country each year, with at least one follow-up advanced judge seminar annually taught by a WAWE judge, and a plan for ongoing judge training and licensing opportunities in the future, planned, scheduled, and advertised a minimum of six months in advance to enable people to plan.
- Certification for Working Equitation Professionals. WE United will be releasing details about a Certified Working Equitation Professionals program this spring. This program will provide a mechanism by which professional horsemen and women with experience in Working Equitation can have their accomplishments certified. Lists of Certified WE Professionals will be provided as a resource for people interested in learning more about the sport.
- Video Critique / Educational Feedback Program. WE United will be offering the opportunity for people to participate in a video critique program, to enable those who live far from competitions the chance to receive written feedback from licensed WE judges.
- Promotion of Working Equitation Events. WE United will promote all Working Equitation events happening in the United States that we are aware of. Those events being held by WE United Certified Professionals or people who have earned Working Equitation Rider Awards through demonstrated high-quality performance in the sport may receive higher-priority promotion, in recognition of the achievements and skill of those who are organizing them.
WE United will not discriminate based on the set of rules being used to govern a particular competition, but will instead leave this decision to the event organizers until such time as WE United has officially adopted and published a set of rules to govern its competitions. Once WE United has officially adopted a set of rules, this topic will be revisited by the elected Board of Directors.
WE United is committed to providing transparent financial records to our members and strives to ensure that our members’ money is invested wisely in support of the mission of our nonprofit. All income will be used to fulfill the WE United mission of developing Working Equitation in the United States. WE United’s 2016 Budget of $2000 includes the following expenses:
- $380 for website creation and hosting.
- $700 for promotional materials to be distributed throughout the country.
- $55 for the initial creation of the nonprofit corporation.
- $995 for filing for 501(c)(3) status.
Income for 2016 is anticipated to come from the following sources:
- $1000 from personal donations. The WE United website will include a “Donate” option. All who donate $100 or more will be listed as WE United sponsors. Donations will not be tax-deductible unless/until WE United receives 501(c)(3) status. This process is anticipated to take a minimum of 10 months.
- $800 from memberships. A WE United membership drive will be ongoing, with those hosting WE United events (clinics, seminars, competitions, etc.) encouraged to provide substantial discounts to members, to encourage people to participate fully in the WE United organization.
- $200 video critiques from the forthcoming Video Judge Feedback Program offered to WE United members. The majority of funds collected from people requesting video critiques will be provided to the licensed judges providing such critiques; however, a small fee for administration of the program will be retained to help cover some of WE United’s basic costs of doing business.