Westfalian Society Votes on New Board of Directors to Restore Confidence

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 12:12
Westfalian Breeding News

The Westfalian Society has voted on a new board of directors to restore the confidence with its members and breeders as well as to take a new, positive direction for the breed society, which got involved in public condemnation of internal missuse of power and finances.

At a general assembly in Halle Munsterland in Münster, Germany, on 23 April 2012 delegates of the Westfalian society voted on a new board. Chair Gustav Meyer zu Hartum resigned from his position and Karl Hubertus Baron of Beverfoerde got 91 votes in his favour to become the new chair. With a unanimous 92 votes Dr. Lutz Ahlswede and Günter Voss were also voted board member. The veterinarian and breeder who has worked 36 years for the stud book will replace Kai Ligges.

Old board member Klaus Scherenberg became re-elected with only 56 out of 91 votes. He strongly supported Kuckelhaus in the past. Show jumping rider Gerd Könemann ran against Scherenberg but only got 33 votes.

New comer on the board is Ralf Johanshon who will represent the pony and small horse breeders. He won the vote with 60 votes against Josef Volle. Haflinger expert Egbert Bispinghoff also became new board member.

Beatrice Baroness of Kanne was voted the first female on the Board and Karl-August Schulte-Vahrendorff completes the new board.

Günter Burgmann and Heinz Kesten have been appointed treasurers of the society.

Financial Mismanagement and Misuse of Power

The new Board will have its first meeting on Thursday 26 April 2012, during which the definite vice-chair will be determined. The meeting will also discuss the positions of Dr. Friedrich Marahrens (ceo and breeding director) and Bernd Richter (Marketing director).

The entire controversy within the Westfalian society arose six months ago when the integrity and professionalism of Dr. Marahrens and Richter were being questioned by former chair Volker Kuckelhaus, who is a tax consultant by profession. A look into the studbook's financies revealed, for instance, that Richter bought a Mercedes on the account of the society and had it registered as the acquisition of horse Dagobert.

At an earlier special assembly on 22 December 2011 the delegates voted to remove Kuckelhaus from his position instead of dealing with the financial corruption for which Marahrens is claimed to be responsible by Kuckelhaus. At this December assembly former vice-chair accused Marahrens of financial mismanagement as he rented a house for a cheaper rate via the Westfalian studbook. He also used the company car for private use and gave a credit of 151,000 euro to a member of the studbook.

Kuckelhaus' ambition to climb to the top of the board and to take a relentless new direction with the society shot down the wrong way with many members of the society. He made confidential details of the society public and after investigation Marahrens was cleared from the charges of his rent and company car. At that time 60 of the 103 delegates voted in favour of Kuckelhaus' resignation and showed their support for Marahrens, while 40 votes  (of which 3 were invalid) proved that delegates preferred Kuckelhaus to stay on board and deal with the mismanagement first.

At the general assembly yesterday Breeding director Dr. Friedrich Marahrens announced that he will retire early from his position in 2014.

Source: ST. GEORG / Horses.nl

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