BVRC Bylaws

Bull Valley Riding Club, Inc. Bylaws


These bylaws have been revised to incorporate all amendments up to March 3, 2017


Article I: Objectives


The Bull Valley Riding Club (BVRC or “club”) is a not-for-profit corporation incorporated March 26, 1965, under the laws of the State of Illinois, for the purpose of providing and maintaining private, off-highway horse trails through the local countryside.  Toward this end, BVRC has entered into certain agreements with individual property owners for permission to establish horse trails located at the property owner’s designation.


Section 1. BVRC Area

The BVRC Area is the area described as follows: Start at the corner of Rt. 120 and Queen Anne Rd.  Go east on 120, past Ridge Rd. to the eastern border of section 30. In a line south, follow the eastern border of sections 30, 31, 6, 7 and 18. In a line west follow the southern border of section 13 and the part of section 14 that is north of McConnell Road. In a line north, follow the western border of section 14 and section 11 to where it intersects with Country Club Road.  Turn west and follow Country Club Road to Queen Ann Rd.  Follow Queen Ann north to end at 120. (See Appendix 1, Boundary Map)


Article II: Board of Directors and Duties


Section 1. Officers and Board of Directors

The Board of Directors of BVRC shall consist of Executive Officers and Directors of key club areas. The Executive Officers are: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer. Key Directors include: Membership Director, Trails Director and Property Owner Director.  All directors and executive officers must be members. Board positions may be created, combined or eliminated as the Board's discretion. Executive positions may not be eliminated.   Each board member has one vote on any question before the board.


Section 2. Powers and Duties of the Board

The Board of Directors shall have charge of all business of BVRC, shall have the power to commission ad hoc committees and shall appoint the chairmen of all ad hoc committees.  Committees need not be composed of only directors, but must be chaired by at least one director.  The Board of Directors shall have the power to fill all vacancies that occur in any office, committee or directorship during the year.  Officers and directors appointed to fill a vacancy shall serve until the end of the term held by the vacating officer or director. Each director shall prepare for and attend at least 2/3 of the regular board meetings but may be excused by request from this requirement for extenuating circumstances, by 2/3 vote of all current directors. Each officer and committee chair shall furnish an annual written summary of their past year activities and expenses at the annual meeting, to become a part of the permanent records of the club.


Section 3. Executive Committee

The Board of Directors may, by a majority of its members, designate an Executive Committee consisting of the president, vice president, secretary and treasurer of the organization and such other directors as the board shall from time to time appoint.  The board may delegate to the executive committee the powers and authority of the board in the day to day management of the business and affairs of the corporation subject to approval and ratification of the full board and to the extent permitted bylaw. The Executive Committee shall serve as a grievance forum for members and property owners. Grievances shall be decided on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval of the full board.


Section 4. Quorum

A quorum shall consist of one-third plus one, of the number of current board of directors.

Section 4.  Duties and Responsibilities of the Board

Each position described below shall develop and update procedures for the position, and be responsible for providing the procedures and other information necessary to enable his or her successor in the position. Directors may designate liaisons to assist with managing their day-to-day duties and responsibilities. Liaisons are not considered executive directors and do not participate in votes at board meetings.


A. President.  The President shall be the principal executive officer of the organization, shall chair the Executive Committee, shall represent the club in community affairs, be empowered to bind the club by signature, preside at all board meetings and shall be an ex-officio member of all committees.   The President shall be responsible for general oversight and coordination of club business and activities.


B. Vice President.  The Vice President shall assist the president in the discharge of duties as the president may direct.  In the absence of the president, the Vice President shall perform the duties of the president and, when so acting, shall have all the powers of and be subject to the same restrictions upon the president. The Vice President shall call and conduct meetings in the absence of the president. The Vice manages insurance policies,  and programs such as, but not limited to, End of Life, Emergency Trailering Program, Rescue Sling Maintenance and Team Training.


C. Secretary.  The Secretary shall keep the minutes of each meeting and submit a written report at the following meeting. The Secretary shall also keep a log of minutes, and be responsible for mailings and notices as required. The Secretary oversees the management of club documents and communications through the Communications and Newlestter liaisons.


D. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall maintain the club checking account, pay bills, and account for and deposit all revenues at a bank approved by the board.  In addition the Treasurer shall serve as registered agent and file annual reports with the State. The Treasurer gives budget reports at club meetings.


E. Membership Director. The Membership Director manages all procedures, materials and activities required for club membership.


F. Trails Director.  The Trails Director oversees all activities related to maintenance of existing trails and trail system development. The Trails Director manages a landscaping service and appoints and manages Trail Maintenance Liaisons (Trail Heads). The Trails Director ensures trails are kept safe, marked and updated on the trail maps.

            1.         Trail Liaisons (Trail Heads).  Trail Heads are assigned by colored trail sections and the point people that ensure trails are kept marked, clear and in rideable condition. Trail Heads work with the Trail Director to maintain trail assignments for riding members. 


G. Property Owners Director. Property Owner Director shall maintain list of all current property owners by name, address and PIN and act as liaison between the club and the owners.


Section 5. Other Club Liaisons

The club relies upon many people for its continued success. Many liaison positions are essential to complete activities throughout the year.


1.         Social Activities Liaisons.  The Social Activities Liaisons shall promote interest in riding and club activities. 

2.         Insurance Liaison. Works with the Vice President to advise of Insurance options and recommends policy changes to ensure the Club is adequately covered for General Liability, and Officers and for social events.


3.         Communications Liaison: The Communications Liaison reports to the club Secretary, and shall be responsible for maintaining the Club Database and club website and mailing lists.


4.         Newsletter Liaison. The Newsletter Liaison writes, edits, publishes and distributes a BVRC newsletter periodically.


5.         Other Liaison for External Community Associations. BVRC maintains connections with clubs and organizations in the community to keep current awareness of activities, opportunities and challenges to the horse community.  These liaison positions attend meetings of the designated organizations, report back minutes and share the information with the club.


Article III: Meetings


Section 1.  Regular Meetings. 

The board of directors shall meet regularly at a time and place determined by the board, but each director’s responsibility extends to execution of their duties between meetings as well. Directors shall receive no compensation for the execution of their duties as directors.


Section 2. Annual Meeting 

The club shall hold one membership meeting annually for the purpose of elections and committee reports, with time and place to be determined by the Board of Directors. All members in good standing shall be invited to attend.  Notice of the annual meeting shall be published in the club newsletter at least thirty days prior to the meeting.


Section 3 Special Meetings

A. Special Meetings of the Board.  The president or any two directors may call special meetings of the board of directors.  Written notice of special meetings shall be given at least two days prior to the meeting, except for emergency sessions of the executive committee.  Minutes of special meetings of the board shall be inserted by the secretary in the minute’s book.


B. Special Meetings of the Membership. The president or any two members may call special meetings of the members.  Written notice of special meetings shall be given at least five days prior to the meeting and shall indicate the purpose of the meeting.  Minutes of special meetings of the members shall be inserted by the secretary in the minutes book.


Article IV: Nominations and Elections

At least five (5) weeks before the annual meeting in an election year, the Board of Directors shall appoint three (3) members to act as a nominating committee to nominate a slate of candidates for open positions, and present the names of the nominees at the Annual Meeting.  Any member at the annual meeting may nominate other candidates for the open positions. The vote on contested positions shall be by confidential ballot and tallied immediately after the vote by two board members who are not running for the contested office.  Directors  elected shall serve a two (2) year term. Terms shall be staggered to provide better continuity of directorship.


Article V: Membership


Section 1. Membership

A.        Membership Defined. Membership by one adult member of a family shall be deemed to include the individual, spouse and children of any age who live in the same residence. Membership in this club is not transferable or assignable.


B.         Membership Term: Membership to the club is applied for annually using club provided application forms. Membership may be applied for and renewed at, and following, the Annual Meeting held prior to the start of the riding season. The riding season is typically between April 1, and November 30, weather permitting.


C.         Membership Application. Application shall be made to the membership committee in writing, on forms provided, and shall include submission of any required release(s) for the membership type.


D.        Privilege and Responsibility. The privilege of membership carries with it the responsibility to adhere to rules and policies of the club. All applicants must practice good horsemanship, have a sportsmanlike attitude and a sincere interest in BVRC and be willing to work for the success of the club.


E.         Voting. Each membership in good standing shall be entitled to one vote on each matter submitted to a vote of the members. A show of hands for informational purposes may be taken, but official votes will be counted from paper ballots handed out at the meeting. One ballot is handed out per "membership".


F.         Termination of Membership. The board of directors, by affirmative vote of two-thirds of all of the members of the board, may suspend or terminate a membership for cause after an appropriate hearing, with no refund of membership fee or dues.  The board of directors may, by a majority of those present at any regular board meeting, terminate the membership of any member who becomes ineligible for membership, or suspend or terminate any membership that is in default in the payment of dues. Cause, as used above includes but is not limited to: abuse of trail rules, disregard for rights of property owners or other members, misrepresentation of club rules and/or club philosophy to the public, or any other action or condition that is harmful to the integrity of the reputation of the club. 


Section 2. Types of Membership

A.        Riding Membership. Riding members are permitted to ride the trail system during the riding season. Riding members receive invitations to club social events.

1)         Eligibility:

a)         To be eligible for Riding membership, the applicant must live or board their horse within the BVRC area defined in Article 1, Section 1.

b)         A negative coggins test for each horse to be ridden on the BVRC Trails must be turned in to the membership chair prior to tags being released. The negative Coggins test submitted must be dated for the current calendar year of application for new or renewal membership.

c)         Riding Membership shall be limited to a number determined by the board. Property owners who have trails on their land are eligible to join as members regardless of membership limit upon payment of dues, submission of proper application and documentation, and approval of the board.

d)         Children of riding members who no longer reside in the family home, but were continuous riding members of a family that maintained a continuous membership in good standing when living with the family, may continue to be included in the family membership, and may continue to ride horses that are registered with the club and maintained on the family property or boarded within the Bull Valley membership boundaries. Non-resident children may not bring guests on the trail.  A fee for including non-resident children as riding members will be determined annually by the board.

2)         Riding Membership Priorities.

a)         Families with at least one (1) adult who rides hold preference over applicants who have only children riding, since children under sixteen (16) must be accompanied on the trail by an adult member.

b) Applicants living in the BVRC riding area have preference over applicants who board in the BVRC area and reside in another location.

c) Existing/renewing members take priority over new applicants.


3)         Sponsorship of New Members. 

All new riding members must complete an orientation to the BVRC trail system and a review of trail rules by an approved sponsor prior to trail tags being issued.


B. Group Memberships:  BVRC does not offer group memberships of any type.


C. Social Membership.  Social members enjoy all social activities of the club, but do not ride the trails and are not assigned trail maintenance responsibilities. Social members may ride as a guest following the rules of the Guest Policy. Social members who convert to Riding members without first having been a riding member are subject to the one time new riding member fee.


D. Adjunct Memberships. Several types of non-traditional member types are stored in the database along with member records.

1.         Friends. The BVRC maintains records in the database of people who are not members who are helpful and supportive of  the club for the sake of sending select communications, such as holiday cards, social event invitations and trail opening letters sent at the beginning of the riding season.


2.         Prospects. As people express interest in joining the club through the website, email, personal contact with another member, etc., we record the person's contact information in the database. This ensures the membership chair is easily able to contact the person, send membership application or an invitation to the annual meeting depending on the time of the year.


3.         Donors. From time to time generous neighbors donate money or items to the Club. We record their information to properly thank them, and not forget their gifts.


Section 3. Membership Fee and Dues

A. Membership and Reinstatement of Membership Fees. A one-time membership fee for Riding members shall be determined by the Board of Directors and submitted with the membership application. After a break in membership of more than one year, a reinstatement fee will be assessed as determined by the Board of Directors.


B. Annual Dues. Annual dues shall be determined by the Board of Directors and payable at or following the Annual Member Meeting.  Dues for new Riding members whose applications are approved after August 1 shall be half-price for that year.


C. Special Assessments.  Special assessments for major projects or improvements to the trail system may be assessed after presentation to and vote by the membership at any meeting of the membership.

Article VI:  Limited Liability, Indemnification and Insurance

Section 1. Limited Liability. No person shall be liable, and no cause of action may be brought by the club against such person for damages resulting from any exercise of judgment or discretion in the execution of that person’s duties and responsibilities toward the club unless the exercise of such discretion included acts of willful or wanton conduct. 


“Willful or wanton” conduct means a course of action which shows an actual or deliberate intention to cause harm or an utter indifference to or conscious disregard for the safety of others or their property.


Section 2. Indemnification. The club, on recommendation of the board and by majority vote of the membership, may indemnify any director or officer or member acting at the direction of a director or officer if that director, officer or member is subject to any legal action by reason of the execution of that person’s duties and responsibilities toward the club.


Section 3. Insurance

The club maintains two insurance policies:

A.  The club shall maintain Public Liability and Property Damage insurance to provide protection to property owners within the trail system.

B. the club shall maintain Directors and Officers insurance to provide protection to the BVRC Board of Directors.


Article VI: Fiscal Year

The fiscal year of the corporation shall be from January 1 through December 31 of each year.


Article VII: Bylaws Amendments

 These Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of directors present at a regular monthly meeting.




Appendix 1

Boundary Map