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View Full Version : Amateur Loophole?



SayWhat
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:33 PM
I just moved to a new area and came across an interesting situation while looking for a barn for my daughter's horse. It was suggested that we investigate this small local barn. We made arrangements to visit this barn yesterday. The barn was nice, horses looked good, good turn out and the owner seemed very nice and knowledgeable.

What she does is lease out horses for up to $2500 a month. You then have the opportunity to ride with an instructor she brings in or sometimes she helps you. Since she does not give lessons for money, she is showing as an amateur. Has she found the loophole? You certainly could never produce a check that she was training you child.

We found another barn where my daughter really clicked with the trainer and we will be bringing the horse there but I thought the other situation was interesting.

vxf111
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:39 PM
If she is "training" people and giving lessons, even sometimes, she is breaking the rule!? I don't see how this is an end run around the rule.

bascher
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:41 PM
Geez I just wish people would stop trying to find loopholes. If you are looking for loopholes, chances are you aren't an amateur and shouldn't be competing as one. Not flaming you OP, it's just annoying at the amount of effort people put in to finding these loopholes when they could instead just ride in the division where they are supposed to be in!

CBoylen
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:41 PM
Nope. She can board your horse. She can lease horses to you. But if she ever "helps you sometimes" she's breaking the rules, no matter what you're actually paying her for.

bascher
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:43 PM
If she is "training" people and giving lessons, even sometimes, she is breaking the rule!? I don't see how this is an end run around the rule.

It sounds to me like the OP is saying that you couldn't "prove" that this person was training because there aren't any checks. So in my opinion they are CERTAINLY breaking the rule, but you just can't prove it in this case. Why can't people just follow the rules?!?!

Timex
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:44 PM
But if she's not getting PAID for the lesson, just the lease, how does that play out? When I want a spare set of eyes on the ground, I call a very knowledgable ammy to help. Does that help make him a pro? I don't pay him a cent. Same thing here, if she's not getting any renumeration for the LESSON itself, correct?

heartinrye
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:47 PM
But if she's not getting PAID for the lesson, just the lease, how does that play out? When I want a spare set of eyes on the ground, I call a very knowledgable ammy to help. Does that help make him a pro? I don't pay him a cent. Same thing here, if she's not getting any renumeration for the LESSON itself, correct?

Yes, I've leased horses from ammy friends and we may be showing at same show (sans trainer) can they not give me feed back? Can I do not the same for them?

Timex
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:48 PM
Nope. She can board your horse. She can lease horses to you. But if she ever "helps you sometimes" she's breaking the rules, no matter what you're actually paying her for.

So what you're saying is, if you're paying her for ANYTHING, she can't help, as a portion of whatever monies she's receiving could be construed as training fees? Do I have that right? If not, forgive me, I have a cold, and the most basic things are terribly confusing today. Lol

scribbles
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:49 PM
I dont think you are allowed to do anything that looks like training if you or anyone in your family is getting paid board, etc

SayWhat
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:50 PM
Yes, she just rides at the same time you do and gives you suggestions. Her words.

TIMEX - Yes, she is just paid for the lease of the horse.

bascher - Be clear that this is not about me or my daughter. My daughter is only 13 and I could barely ride the "old folks" horse at our old barn.

S A McKee
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:56 PM
Nope. She can board your horse. She can lease horses to you. But if she ever "helps you sometimes" she's breaking the rules, no matter what you're actually paying her for.
Maybe not.

Signing the entry blank as trainer does not have anything to do with Amateur status.
A few years ago another Adult Ammie was showing one of my horses. She had an instructor who did not always go to shows. I always signed as Trainer as I had care custody and control of the horse.

I called USEF to make sure this was not violating any rules. It wasn't. I owned the horse and received no remuneration for helping the other Ammie.
Not a violation. Can do anything I want at a show as far as schooling, setting up jumps in the warmup area etc. The key was I owned the horse and received no money.

If the trainer the OP mentions is the owner of the horses that her boarders are showing it may be OK.

As always, check with USEF.

War Admiral
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:56 PM
But if she's not getting PAID for the lesson, just the lease, how does that play out? When I want a spare set of eyes on the ground, I call a very knowledgable ammy to help. Does that help make him a pro? I don't pay him a cent. Same thing here, if she's not getting any renumeration for the LESSON itself, correct?

See, that's what I think. I think she *is* "legal", albeit marginally, and certainly not in line with the intent of the rule.

bascher
Oct. 4, 2009, 07:57 PM
Yes, she just rides at the same time you do and gives you suggestions. Her words.

TIMEX - Yes, she is just paid for the lease of the horse.

bascher - Be clear that this is not about me or my daughter. My daughter is only 13 and I could barely ride the "old folks" horse at our old barn.

I never meant to imply that this was about you or your daughter! I'm so sorry if it came off that way!

CBoylen
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:09 PM
Actually, reading the post again, I might be unclear on the situation. If she is being paid any board, then no, she cannot teach anyone paying her for board. However, I suppose if she owns every single horse and is just being paid a lease fee for them, then she can help a rider because she is the horse's owner.
But yes, Timex, in general you cannot pay an amateur for anything and then have them ride or train. If you paid your ammy friend to groom for you, then he could not help you with your horse. If you boarded your horse at his farm and paid him for that, then he could not help you. It wouldn't matter that you weren't paying him for training in particular.

vxf111
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:20 PM
She charges no board? Just $2500 for a nice horse and free lessons? For how long of a period? Where do I sign up?

Here's a portion of GR1306...

<<Accepts remuneration for employment in other capacity (e.g., secretary, bookkeeper,
veterinarian, groom, farrier) and gives instruction, rides, drives, shows, trains or schools
horses, other than horses actually owned or leased by him/her, when his/her employer
or a member of the family of said employer or a corporation which a member of his/her
family controls, owns, boards or trains said horses.>>

The way I read this, you cannot give instruction if you receive "employment compensation" for anything relating to the horse. So if she boards these horses, she cannot also train their riders.

vxf111
Oct. 4, 2009, 08:20 PM
Whether someone breaks the rule and whether there is proof are two different questions.

You can be guilty as sin and that can be difficult to prove. They don't necessarily go hand-in hand. Folks who deal only in cash, whether breaking the rule or not, also leave no paper trail in the form of checks. The lack of checks doesn't make/break whether the situation is kosher or not. And really funny checks for "lease fees" that make no sense might make the USEF sit up and dig deeper if someone filed a protest. You can't just call a chicken a duck than think that resolves the issues. It's more complex than that.

Lucassb
Oct. 4, 2009, 09:12 PM
There is someone in my area who does that - she built a big fancy barn and has a bunch of horses that she leases out in addition to running a boarding business. She has a freelance trainer who comes in on a part time basis (and who is the "designated" trainer advertised on the farm website) but BO also gives lessons and the customers are charged for them separately from the boarding cost. However, the bill never says "lesson with PT Trainer," or "Lesson with BO," just "lesson on x date."

She went as far as taking a few kids to some shows and charged for the training she provided there, so they could produce an invoice, cancelled check etc for proof if they chose to, I suppose.

BO has also sent out emails with her lesson schedule and soliciting lessons from other boarders, which I believe the USEF now considers sufficient proof of advertising as a professional. Quite a few people have talked about protesting her, as she rides as an A/O in the jumpers with a BNT every winter in FL, but so far no one has actually done anything and she has gotten away with it.

Jumphigh83
Oct. 4, 2009, 10:43 PM
She is cheating, period. I am getting sick of seeing these "how can I possibly squeeze through the holes in the amateur rule" posts. Protest her already or zip it.

mvp
Oct. 4, 2009, 11:03 PM
Slick.

PNWjumper
Oct. 4, 2009, 11:45 PM
To play devil's advocate a little bit.....they ARE her horses that she's helping people with, and who's to say HOW she's helping. Maybe she's just setting fences and giving tips on the horses that she knows because they're hers??? Maybe she saves the real "training" (meaning the training of the rider) for the person that comes in regularly?

It also could be that she's flagrantly "walking the line" and doing what she can to avoid leaving a paper trail. But why does everyone just assume that she's a TRAINER and trying to cheat?

There are a fair number of us who have our own farms and several nice horses....often too many to keep ridden and exercised as much as we'd like (I have a whole group of fellow independent-from-any-particular-trainer amateurs I head to shows and clinics with). I usually have a teen helper over the summers who helps me with my horses. Often that kid will get a horse to show over the summer. I'm not walking any lines myself.....no money changes hands, the kid free-leases the horse (and pays her own way through the show season), and we help each other when it comes to jumping. But seriously? Not everyone WANTS to be a trainer, and just because there are horses to lease doesn't mean that she's trying to actively TRAIN the kids who ride them.

I agree that it's a grey area, and I'm a little suspect from the fact that it sounds like she was trying to "sell" something to the OP. But really, without knowing the individual I guess I'm not ready to jump on board a shout "shamateur!" from the rooftops.

And while I'd have to call USEF to know whether she's legitimately crossing any lines or not, I don't think she is if no money is changing hands for anything other than the lease and board. I guess the only thing I would question is if the horses she has to lease out are really nice enough to pay $2500 a month for? Going off of the 1/3 the value of the horse figure, are they really horses that would be valued at $90K?

Analterpony
Oct. 5, 2009, 02:26 AM
Hmmm. Sounds familiar ... there is someone in my town who does that as well. She also confiscates show coats, tack and furniture when her clients try to leave. If it's the same person - she's got a USEF hearing next month.

SilverBalls
Oct. 5, 2009, 07:47 AM
Total bullshit! I am so sick and tired of people "crawling through loopholes"... they need to crawl under a rock where they belong. :eek:

There was quite a stir once again about an certain "shamateur" showing the A/A hunter and equitation divisions hailing from New Jersey I think... :winkgrin: Balls... brass balls! :yes: