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View Full Version : Who the "he double hockey sticks" is Penelope Ayers?



Summit Springs Farm
Nov. 26, 2009, 09:53 PM
Ok, Sorry but why is she giving her opinion in the COTH? Amateur Issue?

Why is her opinion is the one that should be published in the COTH?

Who decided she can speak for us?

I am thinking if she gets the press why doesn't anyone else's view have equal time?

Her account of the past is SO not what I remember.

Back in the day, Fox hunting was the main focus of "hunters".

Trainers were a product of wealthy families who could afford "trainer" who would bring along young horse to become fox hunters and then horse showing. Which was the next by product of fox hunting.
Trainers were not the focus at all like is is today. I mean trainers worked for the wealthy and the ones that could not afford trainers did it themselves, called amateurs, as they were.
Now your opinion....

ALOHA
Nov. 26, 2009, 10:12 PM
Penelope is a A/O rider with the Lobel's, in NJ, she also has something to do with the ASPCA? I believe. Did not read the article yet as I have not received the magazine as of today. She has had and has a lot of really nice A/O hunters, she has grown as a rider. She has spent her time and dues in the Amy div. Would I have picked her for an article probably not sure, she spends the MONEY and that seems to be the primary concern as of late for horse showing.

CBoylen
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:08 AM
I haven't read the article, but your topic title is rude. Penelope Ayers is a very well known person who has been in this business a long time. She supports the sport, gives back her time and effort, supports the professionals with nice horses. She loves her horses, loves to show no matter what color ribbon she winds up with, and is a polite and gracious competitor. Exactly everything an amateur should be, in my opinion.

I'll have to get to the article when I can, but your comments don't make sense to me. I don't know how far back in the day you want to go, but my mother has had show horses since the fifties. They were never being produced as foxhunters. Dave Kelley was her trainer, he made them up and they went to the ring. They even had the beginnings of a winter Fl circuit by the early sixties. I can't see it as as far removed from what we have today as you seem to be implying.

ShotenStar
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:17 AM
Anyone is free to submit an opinion article to CotH. She took the time / made the effort to write. You could do the same if the topic matters to you this much .... just saying.

*star*

findeight
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:26 AM
Well, perhaps she was asked by COTH because of her lengthy experience? I have not read the piece yet, have not got to the magazine and have had trouble logging into the online version.

Sorry, I don't assume just because I don't know somebody I can ask who the hell they are and demand to know why they were quoted and I was not. That is pretty rude.

I've only been in the Hunters for 17 years and little has changed. Started Western on the west coast in the 60s though and all the disciplines showed together on the old AHSA circuit. There were some nationally known Hunters and they had no more fox hunted then the Western horses had ever seen a cow. There were were lots of trainers around too, most of the ammies had to work to much to start a youngster, even back 40 years ago.

Who decided OP speak for us?

Lucassb
Nov. 27, 2009, 09:39 AM
Penelope Ayers is a member of the USHJA Amateur Committee and an active rider in the amateur divisions. I haven't had a chance to read the article in question but agree with CBoylen that your topic title is rude and uncalled for.

I very much doubt that Penelope is speaking for anyone but herself, and she is as entitled to her opinion(s) as anyone else. COTH frequently publishes articles outlining the thoughts and opinions of various people involved in the sport, and has done so for many years.

If you disagree with whatever she wrote, write a letter to COTH outlining your point of view. They are very good about publishing multiple opinions and promoting discussion.

Oh and by the way - there have been show hunters around for many more years than you seem to acknowledge. You have only to Google any of the old historic shows to find accounts of classes held 100+ years ago.

findeight
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:43 PM
OK, I actually read the article...

It is NOT an article. It is a reader submission to a feature called The Forum-all readers are invited to submit their thoughts, ideas and/or questions to COTH for inclusion. Kind of a beefed up Letters to the Editor feature.

So Ms. Ayers was not selected, she just sent it in.

Oh, and the subject is leaving the Owner in the Amateur Owner-apparently there is a rule change on the table to remove the ownership requirement. One that was not run by the Amateur committee she sits on.

She makes a good case. I don't necessarily agree with her but The Forum is the place where something like this is properly presented.

The Forum feature welcomes submissions from all readers-perhaps if OP submitted something? Her view would have equal time? And she could stop with the why was this person selected statements and the innuendo she was left out?

chunky munky
Nov. 27, 2009, 12:53 PM
If you don't know who Penelope Ayers is you most likely don't show much. This is extremely rude. Everybody can have an opinion. And by the way, who the H*** is Summit Springs Farm??? :-)LOL

Va2Ga
Nov. 27, 2009, 02:29 PM
Summit.... She shows in Ocala in the winter. Im sure you have seen her when you have been down there. :)

SueL
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:02 PM
I've known "Penny" for quite a while - may be longer than any of us would like to admit. The bottom line is she loves the horses and she loves the sport. I'm glad she spoke up with her opinion.

She's one of the good 'uns. MHO.

Sue

EAY
Nov. 27, 2009, 03:50 PM
For those of us who do not have access to the article (or opinion piece) would it be possible for someone who has seen it to give us a quick summary? It sounds interesting.

findeight
Nov. 27, 2009, 05:43 PM
For those of us who do not have access to the article (or opinion piece) would it be possible for someone who has seen it to give us a quick summary? It sounds interesting.

USHJA has a rule change proposal to drop the ownership requirement from the Ammy Owners and, I guess, just make it 3'6" Ammies. As I said, they did not submit it to the amateur commitee first but it will be on the agenda at the upcoming convention.

She argues it will hurt overall as the ability to buy the made one and put anybody on it as opposed to selecting a green one and bringing it along with the Pro in the First Years and yourself in the A/Os hurts both exhibitor and their trainer. Fewer will go for that greenie so fewer will go to the trainers. More will lease or borrow or catch ride a made horse and there will be less advantage to ownership.

She has a point...I do know some very, very successful A/Os and they all start with a Pre Green and bring them along.

Anyway, not sure I agree but she makes a good point. Worth some thought.

shawneeAcres
Nov. 27, 2009, 06:00 PM
And who the h*ll are YOU and why should we care what YOU think?!

Va2Ga
Nov. 27, 2009, 06:54 PM
Shawneeacres............. are you serious? Must we all be so nasty it is the holiday season

shawneeAcres
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:08 PM
Shawneeacres............. are you serious? Must we all be so nasty it is the holiday season


Sorry but I don't much care for the tone of the OP's title or post, regardless of who she or the person in question is. Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I've actually been in the MOST marvelous mode this week, until I saw this and it just turned me off.

Peggy
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:26 PM
The current rule proposal is to take the "O" out of the AO jumpers. Her concerns are that this was not vetted by the USHJA Amateur Committee (of which she is a member), that this will end up getting extended to the hunter division, and that amateurs will lose the incentive to buy a young horse and bring it along (or have it brought along). A quote from the article regarding this last concern: "If this rule passes why should amateurs spend time and money on young horses we we could simply lease a made horse and trade it in when it no longer suits the purpose."

She states her position clearly and non-inflammatorily (if that's a word). I definitely agree with her first concern. The second one I consider a non-issue b/c I think things might be better with the O out of the AO hunters (my opinion, to which I am entitled, just as she is entitled to hers). The third one I don't agree with b/c it seems that ammys buy horses to bring along and show in the AA's or eq where ownership is not a requirement.

Lucassb
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:30 PM
I noticed they sent a three question survey around via email - must have been to the USEF membership - asking for opinions on this issue with respect to the A/O jumper division, and also asking whether a change in the ownership requirement for jumpers would impact the hunters as well.

It's an interesting topic, for sure.

My own opinion ... A/O horses are pricey, whether hunter or jumper. It seems unfair to limit participation in those divisions only to those who can afford to own outright. There are plenty of riders who have the skill and desire to move up out of the adult ammy ranks... I think they should be able to, even if they don't own.

I think the worry about not bringing along the nice young horses is unfounded; there will always be a market for a nice amateur horse, and even if people want to catch ride or lease or whatever... those horses have to come from somewhere. There is no shortage of nice horses in the adult ammy divisions; I believe the same would be true of an amateur not-necessarily-owner division.

MHM
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:44 PM
I noticed they sent a three question survey around via email - must have been to the USEF membership - asking for opinions.



Really? When did that survey email go out?

Just wondering if I got it and didn't read/remember it, or if it didn't go out to all USEF members.

Peggy
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:55 PM
Really? When did that survey email go out?

Just wondering if I got it and didn't read/remember it, or if it didn't go out to all USEF members.It was in a USHJA update email that I got on Nov 24. Pertinent text reads as follows:

Amateur Owner Rule Change Survey

The USHJA Amateurs Committee would like your input on rule change proposal JP117 tracking number 523-09. If you are an amateur or have an interest in the amateur owner rules please fill out this short survey. (Link to survey, which may or may not work, b/c I already took it and thus was referred to a page that said I had: http://www.surveymonkey.com/Home_Landing.aspx?sm=3JQyQYU83CUKqM5zsRAajg%3d%3d)

Your input is appreciated. For questions concerning this rule, please contact Sterling Berry at sberry@ushja.org or Tracey Weinberg at tweinberg@weinbergharris.com.

snaffle635
Nov. 27, 2009, 07:55 PM
I just took the survey a minute ago. I think it was in the USHJA newsletter dated Nov 25.

MHM
Nov. 27, 2009, 08:24 PM
Ah. Thanks. I hadn't read that newsletter yet.

Midge
Nov. 28, 2009, 03:20 PM
Ok, Sorry but why is she giving her opinion in the COTH? Amateur Issue?

Why is her opinion is the one that should be published in the COTH?

Who decided she can speak for us?

I am thinking if she gets the press why doesn't anyone else's view have equal time?
.

Pay attention, dear. She wrote an opinion piece in The Horseman's Forum. You could try it too, if you have something serious and coherent to say...

Void
Nov. 28, 2009, 04:19 PM
My own opinion ... A/O horses are pricey, whether hunter or jumper. It seems unfair to limit participation in those divisions only to those who can afford to own outright. There are plenty of riders who have the skill and desire to move up out of the adult ammy ranks... I think they should be able to, even if they don't own.



My AO horse is no clunker, and I got him for $1.25. I worked him through the AA's and once he was decent we switched to the AOs. If you're willing to put in the work an AO isn't pricey. I would hate to see the Ownership taken out (which is why on the USHJA survey I voted no).

There is already an AA division. Mod J/Ams which at most 'B' rated shows is the same exact height as the AOs. (I know its not neccesarily the same from show to show and not in the A's but you know..) Ammies that don't own a horse can show in all the Open divisions too. When I started out as an Ammy my goal was to have an AO horse.

Ruby G. Weber
Nov. 28, 2009, 05:15 PM
Why, in the name of modernizing the sport, if that is where some of these rule change proposals are coming from, (not just this one) do the powers that be insist on burying all that is tradition?

In reality, my intuition tells me this rule change proposal from the Jumper Committee is born of the Amateur rule change effective Dec. 1, 2009. That rule attempts to harmonize the Amateur rule throughout the Hunter/Jumper discipline. This proposal is directly in opposition.

Should "owner" be deleted, that, IMHO, opens up, not a can of worms but a bucket of snakes. To start with every "dealer" is going to have the current "hot shot" amateur rider showing his horses in the "amateur" division. Worse yet, horses are going to be leased for a week, a circuit, whatever and returned as if they were a very used rental car.

This proposal is not for the benefit of the horses nor those with limited finances, it is for the benefit of the special interests.

Before you know it the Hunters and Equitation will be run under the rules of USEF/USHJA and all the jumpers will be FEI.

Be careful what you wish for!

CBoylen
Nov. 28, 2009, 05:35 PM
To start with every "dealer" is going to have the current "hot shot" amateur rider showing his horses in the "amateur" division. Worse yet, horses are going to be leased for a week, a circuit, whatever and returned as if they were a very used rental car.

Absolutely.
Not to mention that many amateurs that want to go to indoors or devon will get there by putting a catch rider on their horse for as many shows as it takes to get them enough points. And there is, at least currently, no limit on how many a/o horses one rider can show.

Invite
Nov. 28, 2009, 05:48 PM
I am a dressage rider, but even I know who Penelope Ayers is...not personally, I've just seen her name a lot. I read her piece in COTH and agree completely. Although any change would not affect me, I would hate to see the O taken out of the A/O division. People who think there is a shamateur problem now should just wait. Riders will build their careers on riding A/no O horses. I think the change would set up the hunter world for a whole host of problems. This is just a very humble opinion floating in from the world of dressage.

3Dogs
Nov. 28, 2009, 05:51 PM
Absolutely.
Not to mention that many amateurs that want to go to indoors or devon will get there by putting a catch rider on their horse for as many shows as it takes to get them enough points. And there is, at least currently, no limit on how many a/o horses one rider can show.

yes, it is a most dreadful idea. Soon, all horse shows will consist - at the 3'6" level and above - of the "professional" amateurs and the professionals. That is a truly horrible prospect. Might make the show managers happy - can get a BIG division of A/Os - Sally X rides 5, Sandy Y rides 5, Bob Z rides 5. All superstar juniors in there time, not "quite" professional ;) but like a certain AA rider for hire, can come in and sweep the win spots.

Gad, all the changes seem geared to make HS TRULY the sport of the uber rich. :no:

poltroon
Nov. 28, 2009, 08:36 PM
Should "owner" be deleted, that, IMHO, opens up, not a can of worms but a bucket of snakes. To start with every "dealer" is going to have the current "hot shot" amateur rider showing his horses in the "amateur" division. Worse yet, horses are going to be leased for a week, a circuit, whatever and returned as if they were a very used rental car.

Is this happening now in the adult/amateur divisions?

Trixie
Nov. 28, 2009, 11:21 PM
I am an amateur without money. I ride a good horse, but I can't afford to pay all of his bills - which, in the NOVA/DC area, add up exorbitantly. I lease him, I have put in the work, brought him along, but he is not presently for sale and may never be. I work a 45+ hour work week and ride at night. I consider myself lucky to be able to do that, and I am most certainly an amateur. I can afford to show some, not much.

I’m told by the USEF and now, by some of you, that if I want to have a chance to move him up in the hunter divisions that I am otherwise eligible for, I shouldn’t have that opportunity due to the fact that I cannot afford to keep a horse, unless I want to ride against professionals in higher open divisions… because… you’re afraid of better riders swooping in? Seriously?

I’ll probably never beat most of you. But I’d like to have the opportunity to compete. The way it’s set up now, I don’t have a chance even to try over a 3’6” fence against my peers. And I’ve watched horse shows where the A/Os have very few entries. It makes the horse show world seem very unfriendly to those without means, indeed.

PonyPenny
Nov. 28, 2009, 11:50 PM
I know that in California, there is one very good amateur rider who catch rides many horses in the Adult Amateurs. She certainly has the talent to show in the A/O's, but does not own a horse. I am sure many trainers would love to have a competent amateur show horses in the 3'6" amateur hunters if such a rule change is implemented.

Sebastian
Nov. 29, 2009, 01:17 AM
I am an amateur without money. I ride a good horse, but I can't afford to pay all of his bills - which, in the NOVA/DC area, add up exorbitantly. I lease him, I have put in the work, brought him along, but he is not presently for sale and may never be. I work a 45+ hour work week and ride at night. I consider myself lucky to be able to do that, and I am most certainly an amateur. I can afford to show some, not much.

I’m told by the USEF and now, by some of you, that if I want to have a chance to move him up in the hunter divisions that I am otherwise eligible for, I shouldn’t have that opportunity due to the fact that I cannot afford to keep a horse, unless I want to ride against professionals in higher open divisions… because… you’re afraid of better riders swooping in? Seriously?

I’ll probably never beat most of you. But I’d like to have the opportunity to compete. The way it’s set up now, I don’t have a chance even to try over a 3’6” fence against my peers. And I’ve watched horse shows where the A/Os have very few entries. It makes the horse show world seem very unfriendly to those without means, indeed.

Well said, I agree completely. The A/O division is archaic and elitist. None of the "fears" that the proponents of A/O divisions proclaim have occurred in the AA divisions.

There is NO division above 3'3" for an amateur that is not an "owner" division (in the hunters). AND, if you're a jumper rider, don't plan on going above 3'9"...unless you're willing to ride "open" -- which I, thank goodness, can -- and do.

But, I feel for the Hunters riders as all of the open divisions at 3'6" or above are on a time limit. So, really -- unless you have a 4' horse -- you're just screwed cuz the rich girls don't want you to play in their sandbox.

Sorry, but this whole thing just makes my blood boil.
Seb

Haalter
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:12 AM
I haven't read the rule change proposal, so forgive my ignorance, but wouldn't it make sense to simply put a limit on the number of horses one can ride in this division at any one show? If one could ride, say, two horses, that would effectively limit the "professional amateurs" from getting a zillion catch rides...and I don't think there have historically been many A/Os who ride more than 2 horses in this division, so it shouldn't really affect that contingent. Or what about requiring that the qualifying points for Devon/Indoors are for a horse/rider team, not just the horse?

I can definitely see both sides of this issue - really, there are folks who "play fair" who are going to have legitimate issues with the rule as it is as well as how it could be with the change.

Madeline
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:27 AM
Since when is the function of the A/O division to provide pros with business and nice horses to ride? Really? Are the inmates running the institution?

S A McKee
Nov. 29, 2009, 10:48 AM
Well said, I agree completely. The A/O division is archaic and elitist. None of the "fears" that the proponents of A/O divisions proclaim have occurred in the AA divisions.

There is NO division above 3'3" for an amateur that is not an "owner" division (in the hunters). AND, if you're a jumper rider, don't plan on going above 3'9"...unless you're willing to ride "open" -- which I, thank goodness, can -- and do.

But, I feel for the Hunters riders as all of the open divisions at 3'6" or above are on a time limit. So, really -- unless you have a 4' horse -- you're just screwed cuz the rich girls don't want you to play in their sandbox.



But if you don't own the horse you'll still need to get access to a 3'6" horse to show in A/O's.
These horses are expensive to lease.
Everyone agrees that they are expensive to buy.

Unless you are the hot 'shamateur' of the week this isn't going to open up the sandbox to many people.

In the A/A 3' divisions some trainers have found that having a few good 3' horses for clients to show works out well from a lease or rent for each show basis. They use these horses in lessons, some can do 3' equitation. But I'm not sure the investment in a 3'6" horse for lease or rent is worth it.

Remains to be seen if this would increase entries or not. If it passes it will take a year or two to measure the impact.

If I have a sale horse I'm not sure there is value in having an Amateur show it as compared to having a pro campaign it.

mvp
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:30 AM
This rule will change (or not) as it suits trainers' bottom line.

When rich ammy ladies could afford to buy the young 'n and watch from the rail for 3 years until the pro had it ready for her, shows were structured that way.

When we run out of ammies who will buy and wait, or buy ready-to-go A/O horses, trainers will ask for rule changes that keep clients interested and buying and showing.

Perhaps this proposed rule change really indicates that trainers are starting to lose money because too many clients are walking when their budgets impose a 3' ceiling. Maybe there are many ammies who would like to keep showing, stay in training and lessons if they could just figure out a way to swing a leg over a 3'6" horse.

Void
Nov. 29, 2009, 03:08 PM
Is this happening now in the adult/amateur divisions?

I've seen it.

poltroon
Nov. 29, 2009, 04:48 PM
I've seen it.

At a level that makes the division meaningless?

Roxy SM
Nov. 29, 2009, 05:07 PM
I am an amateur without money. I ride a good horse, but I can't afford to pay all of his bills - which, in the NOVA/DC area, add up exorbitantly. I lease him, I have put in the work, brought him along, but he is not presently for sale and may never be. I work a 45+ hour work week and ride at night. I consider myself lucky to be able to do that, and I am most certainly an amateur. I can afford to show some, not much.

I’m told by the USEF and now, by some of you, that if I want to have a chance to move him up in the hunter divisions that I am otherwise eligible for, I shouldn’t have that opportunity due to the fact that I cannot afford to keep a horse, unless I want to ride against professionals in higher open divisions… because… you’re afraid of better riders swooping in? Seriously?

I’ll probably never beat most of you. But I’d like to have the opportunity to compete. The way it’s set up now, I don’t have a chance even to try over a 3’6” fence against my peers. And I’ve watched horse shows where the A/Os have very few entries. It makes the horse show world seem very unfriendly to those without means, indeed.

Your point is certainly valid, and the situation certainly does not work in your favor, but if they do open those divisions up to people who don't own the horses they are riding, what the previous posters have said about shamateurs coming into the divisions WILL happen, no doubt about it. Then the real amateurs will be complaining and want to find a way to keep them out of the divisions. As a junior I was a working student and was fortunate enough to show many of my trainer's clients/horses. Often, however, the horse's owner would show it in the junior or amateur divisions, so I would show them in the open division to prep them. I am no amazing rider or anything but I won plenty competing with the pros, and it also felt like more of an accomplishment when I did so. I am now an amateur, and if I have access to a horse capable of doing the 1.30s or 1.40s that isn't mine, I won't stick to the 1.10s and complain about not being able to do the A/Os, I will just ride in the opens and feel that much more successful on the occasions that I win or place well.

Trixie
Nov. 29, 2009, 05:50 PM
Roxy, exactly how am I supposed to get the experience to move up into the opens, if the horse is not green? He’ll probably never be a 4’ horse but who knows.

So, from 3’, maybe 3’3”, I have NOWHERE to show in a hunter class until 4’. And in previous threads, people were complaining and complaining about the “enormity of the difference” between just 3’ and 3’6”. So much so that they made an owner-based move up division at 3’3”. So those who could afford to own and show could move up slowly - those of us who cannot wind up having to jump an entire foot higher if we want to move up. Or, as it would seem, stay out of the sandbox.

And you’re telling me this is okay, because if we don’t run things like this better riders will come in and win too many ribbons?

Frankly, the cheaters cheat no matter what the rules are. If they want to do the A/Os, they’ll find a way.


But if you don't own the horse you'll still need to get access to a 3'6" horse to show in A/O's.
These horses are expensive to lease.
Everyone agrees that they are expensive to buy.

Unless you are the hot 'shamateur' of the week this isn't going to open up the sandbox to many people.

As far as I know, I’m no superstar. I’m an average rider with a good, willing horse that can go around a 3’6” course. 3’6” isn’t THAT high. It’s big, but not impossible. Horse shows used to start over jumps around 3’6” for horses.

We’ve had multiple threads on here complaining about all the classes for 2’6”, and how no one is ever going to improve and move forward to the upper levels if we keep making such accommodation for 2‘6“. Yet, we don’t make a path for people without means to move up whatsoever.

Lucassb
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:04 PM
Anyone who thinks the current rule prevents shamateurs from competing in the 3'6" ranks is impossibly naive.

Cheats will cheat no matter what the rules are. Unfortunate, but true.

I am fortunate to own my hunters, so the proposed elimination of the ownership requirement doesn't particularly benefit me. If it passes, I assume a lot of great riding ammies who *don't* currently own will swell the ranks of the 3'6" classes. I am thinking basically that means I am going to get beaten more often.

So be it.

I think classes restricted to amateurs should be open to ALL AMATEURS.

Not just the ones that can afford to own their horse outright.

CBoylen
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:32 PM
Everyone is looking at these ideas from a very personal standpoint.
Personally, I think it would be great. I would love to have more horses to show. And if you take out the owner, then you have to take out the stipulation that you can't ride anything else you don't own in any other division, so hey, I can ride more horses in other divisions too. Cool.

However, taking a step back and not thinking about how it might benefit me, then I return to my position that it's a terrible idea. The a/o division is stacked with lots of talent and very, very special horses. The leveling factor is that everyone has to find eight jumps, whether they're on a million dollars of horse or not. If everyone can "hire" someone to do that for them, that isn't much of an amateur division.
If all the special sales horses are in that division to up their price tags even further by coming pre-qualified, well, then you're going to need an even better horse than you do now to get a ribbon.
Of course it happens in the adults. Every sales horse I know showed at at least one show this year in the adults. But it's not a qualifying division. It's not a division where amassing a big record means a much bigger price tag. It's a nice way to demonstrate a horse is ammy-friendly, the sales horse goes in the ring a few times, and it shows up on the horse report and looks nice. People don't keep campaigning them in the adults for points.
And yes, people do now cheat and sell the horse for a dollar and it goes in the a/o. But, that restricts the actual owner to one rider, and it has to be a rider they trust who is constantly on call. Many people balk at those restrictions, even if they don't balk at breaking rules.

If, as Haalter brings up, restrictions could be added, it may be workable. However, to keep it on par with the juniors you'd have to restrict the number to 4 horses instead of two. The qualifying stipulation has me on the fence because, while it would remove a lot of problems, it would also penalize amateurs who legitimately want to sell (or buy) a horse with points.

Sunday Best
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:32 PM
This year will be my first year as an amateur, and after leasing a horse for the juniors, it is very disappointing knowing that since I am not allowed to continue showing this horse next year due to the AO rules, I may not have another opportunity to show in the 3'6 hunters for a very long time......

S A McKee
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:34 PM
As far as I know, I’m no superstar. I’m an average rider with a good, willing horse that can go around a 3’6” course. 3’6” isn’t THAT high. It’s big, but not impossible. Horse shows used to start over jumps around 3’6” for horses.

We’ve had multiple threads on here complaining about all the classes for 2’6”, and how no one is ever going to improve and move forward to the upper levels if we keep making such accommodation for 2‘6“. Yet, we don’t make a path for people without means to move up whatsoever.

Ok, let's say the rule change passes.
What will it mean to you?
Will you be showing in this section?

Trixie
Nov. 29, 2009, 06:58 PM
However, taking a step back and not thinking about how it might benefit me, then I return to my position that it's a terrible idea. The a/o division is stacked with lots of talent and very, very special horses. The leveling factor is that everyone has to find eight jumps, whether they're on a million dollars of horse or not. If everyone can "hire" someone to do that for them, that isn't much of an amateur division.

And plenty of these horses are ridden by the pros as it is. Is every amateur in the A/Os training and prepping their own horse? Isn’t there some element of “for hire” already in place? Further, the very first sentence of the Amateur rules is that they aren't about skill, only receipt of remuneration.

As you said in your post, it’s ALREADY filled with lots of talent and very special horses. Do you really think that riders who win in the A/Os now - who can outride half the pros in the country as it is, and who are spectacularly well-mounted - are going to get the pants beaten off them? Somehow I doubt it.

The cost of a winning A/O horse (one that is already winning) is out of the question for MOST of America as it is. However, we’re told over and over again that horse shows aren’t fixed, aren’t necessarily political - have a horse that’s better than the others and you will win. If you work hard enough, with some luck, you can be every bit as good as those that bought their way. And yet, the USEF still says, if you don’t have the means, you can't compete against your peers.

I’d support limiting the amount of horses that one is allowed to show, but that probably doesn’t help the USEF’s bottom line.


Ok, let's say the rule change passes.
What will it mean to you?
Will you be showing in this section?

If there is a 3’6” Amateur Non-Owner Hunter at a horse show, I will enter, provided my horse stays sound and I’ve got enough money in my pocket to pay my rent and the entries. I can’t afford to be out there every weekend, but I could afford to play a couple of times per year. And I would gladly make a point to enter in that first year the division was running.

Roxy SM
Nov. 29, 2009, 07:15 PM
And plenty of these horses are ridden by the pros as it is. Is every amateur in the A/Os training and prepping their own horse? Isn’t there some element of “for hire” already in place? Further, the very first sentence of the Amateur rules is that they aren't about skill, only receipt of remuneration.

As you said in your post, it’s ALREADY filled with lots of talent and very special horses. Do you really think that riders who win in the A/Os now - who can outride half the pros in the country as it is, and who are spectacularly well-mounted - are going to get the pants beaten off them? Somehow I doubt it.

The cost of a winning A/O horse (one that is already winning) is out of the question for MOST of America as it is. However, we’re told over and over again that horse shows aren’t fixed, aren’t necessarily political - have a horse that’s better than the others and you will win. If you work hard enough, with some luck, you can be every bit as good as those that bought their way. And yet, the USEF still says, if you don’t have the means, you can't compete against your peers.

I’d support limiting the amount of horses that one is allowed to show, but that probably doesn’t help the USEF’s bottom line.



If there is a 3’6” Amateur Non-Owner Hunter at a horse show, I will enter, provided my horse stays sound and I’ve got enough money in my pocket to pay my rent and the entries. I can’t afford to be out there every weekend, but I could afford to play a couple of times per year. And I would gladly make a point to enter in that first year the division was running.

What about the jumpers? You mentioned in reply to my post that you'd have to leap from 3'-4' because of the A/O rule, but if you switched to the jumpers, there are open classes at every height almost every day of the show. Although the wealthy A/Os might have a bit of an advantage if their horse is a point and shoot with Grand Prix scope and your horse is a difficult ride or at the top of his scope, you can absolutely beat them plenty if you out ride them. In my post earlier the point I was trying to get across is that no matter what people will be unhappy with the rule. If it stays as it is, people will complain they can't move up if they can't afford to own a better horse. If it changes, people will complain about the huge increase in shamateurs coming in and taking all the top prizes. As others said, as it is now people find ways to cheat, but if they take out the owner clause so many people would do it the divisions might as well be combined with the pro divisions anyway.

Trixie
Nov. 29, 2009, 07:39 PM
To once again make it personal, my horse isn't a jumper. That being said, we've had the opportunity to show him in the 3'6" jumpers this year and it's been a positive experience for him, although I won't ride him quickly.

But that's besides the point - there's a move up IN THE HUNTERS - for those with means, but not for those without.

Frequently, it seems like around here at least, the AOs aren't exactly overfilling on a frequent basis.

Void
Nov. 29, 2009, 08:36 PM
Who says you need an amazingly expensive horse to compete in the AOs? As I've said before I got a horse really cheap (ex-track horse) he isn't the fanciest horse, but he isn't a clunker either and he does well for himself. It's all about finding 8 fences on a horse that can get around.

Horse ownership can be expensive, especially if you want all the perks. I'm not a trust-fund baby, I'm only 24 and I work really hard for what little I have, which includes a horse because I decided a horse was something that was really important to me and my own well being. So I can't compete with the big guns every weekend. But if I can play once a year I want my division to be there, or else what is the point of me owning this horse (aside from the fact that I absolutely adore him)? It would be so much easier on my pocket book to lease a horse for the summer shows or just ride whatever sale horse that comes through the barn.

In California the divisions fill at all the shows I've attended as a competitor and as a spectator. You know what doesn't fill very well? Mod Jr/Ams, which is a shame because I like that division too.

To make it personal I started in the AA after I aged out, and I rode around there for a while, hoping for the chance to one day do the AOs, now that I have the AO horse I figure I'll stick around in the AOs for a while and my goal is to have a Hunter Derby horse.

Here is the chip on my shoulder. Why do Juniors get all the Divisions and Ammies don't? Why do Juniors get all the interesting and cool classes, programs and opportunities and Ammies don't? Cut some of there divisions add more on our side of the table. (yea right I know hahaha).

Ehh.. maybe I just sound stupid anyways or incoherent. Baseline, don't get rid of the AO's, add another Unrated Division if the demand is truly there and don't allow cross-entering.

jn4jenny
Nov. 29, 2009, 08:37 PM
Ok, Sorry but why is she giving her opinion in the COTH? Amateur Issue?

Why is her opinion is the one that should be published in the COTH?

Who decided she can speak for us?

The next time you feel like showing your short attention span in public, try Googling it first.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=penelope+ayers+horse

ponies123
Nov. 29, 2009, 09:47 PM
The next time you feel like showing your short attention span in public, try Googling it first.
http://lmgtfy.com/?q=penelope+ayers+horse

:lol:

Haalter
Nov. 29, 2009, 09:48 PM
However, to keep it on par with the juniors you'd have to restrict the number to 4 horses instead of two.
Actually, it would more accurately reflect the junior division if the riders were limited to 2 horses, unless you want to also divide the A/Os by size of the horse and let them ride 2 small and 2 large...Or I suppose like the juniors, if the divisions are split by rider age only, it would be 3, right?

Chef Jade
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:12 PM
I think you guys are onto something...

Why not limit the number of horses you can show NOT owned to 1, with no limit on horses you can show if you DO own? That will let the small timers compete while still promoting ownership for those that can afford it.

Sebastian
Nov. 29, 2009, 11:56 PM
Everyone is looking at these ideas from a very personal standpoint.
Personally, I think it would be great. I would love to have more horses to show. And if you take out the owner, then you have to take out the stipulation that you can't ride anything else you don't own in any other division, so hey, I can ride more horses in other divisions too. Cool.

However, taking a step back and not thinking about how it might benefit me, then I return to my position that it's a terrible idea. The a/o division is stacked with lots of talent and very, very special horses. The leveling factor is that everyone has to find eight jumps, whether they're on a million dollars of horse or not. If everyone can "hire" someone to do that for them, that isn't much of an amateur division.
If all the special sales horses are in that division to up their price tags even further by coming pre-qualified, well, then you're going to need an even better horse than you do now to get a ribbon.
Of course it happens in the adults. Every sales horse I know showed at at least one show this year in the adults. But it's not a qualifying division. It's not a division where amassing a big record means a much bigger price tag. It's a nice way to demonstrate a horse is ammy-friendly, the sales horse goes in the ring a few times, and it shows up on the horse report and looks nice. People don't keep campaigning them in the adults for points.
And yes, people do now cheat and sell the horse for a dollar and it goes in the a/o. But, that restricts the actual owner to one rider, and it has to be a rider they trust who is constantly on call. Many people balk at those restrictions, even if they don't balk at breaking rules.

If, as Haalter brings up, restrictions could be added, it may be workable. However, to keep it on par with the juniors you'd have to restrict the number to 4 horses instead of two. The qualifying stipulation has me on the fence because, while it would remove a lot of problems, it would also penalize amateurs who legitimately want to sell (or buy) a horse with points.

Chanda -- your points are valid, BUT... They are all based on business and financial gain.

My desire is for the division to be open to all AMATEURS. The horse's value should not be the determining factor in keeping the "owner" divisions. That's a BUSINESS concern.

I think if you all were to take a good look at the "step children" :winkgrin: that are called Eventing and Dressage, you will see that the simple divisions of Open and Amateur (at all levels :eek: ) are quite sufficient.

And, limiting the number of rides any individual could have at a given show would be a reasonable (although I really believe unnecessary) restriction.

Seb :)

poltroon
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:16 AM
Although the top AAA winning A/O hunters are certainly pricey, a horse that can jump around at 3'6" isn't all that rare, and it's fairly common for people in urban California to do half-leases for expenses only, with two working adults splitting the riding time and the bills.

Kestrel
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:20 AM
I like Chef Jade's idea - limit each rider to 1 non-owned plus one or two owned horses. It lets the moving-up, limited budget riders in, but somewhat limits the shamateur churning horses through. Maybe also a limit on the number of non-owned horses shown in that division each year, so a rider can't show a different sale horse each week.

S A McKee
Nov. 30, 2009, 08:53 AM
Chanda -- your points are valid, BUT... They are all based on business and financial gain.

My desire is for the division to be open to all AMATEURS. The horse's value should not be the determining factor in keeping the "owner" divisions. That's a BUSINESS concern.

I think if you all were to take a good look at the "step children" :winkgrin: that are called Eventing and Dressage, you will see that the simple divisions of Open and Amateur (at all levels :eek: ) are quite sufficient.

And, limiting the number of rides any individual could have at a given show would be a reasonable (although I really believe unnecessary) restriction.

Seb :)

The value of the horse may be related to the success of the horse. Removing Owner from the rules isn't going to change the quality of the horse needed to win. And it isn't going to make the entry fees or stall fees go down.
If Shamateur's are used to qualify horses the quality of rounds may increase, driving up prices again. A horse that can win consistently at A and AA shows costs a lot.
Owners will not trust their horses to a random Amateur that would like to show their $$$$$$$$ horse.

One person on this thread in favor of the change has said she may show once or twice a year if the rule passes. I'm not convinced there are a lot of non Owner, non Shamateur's with access to a quality horse.

I think what will happen if the division is changed is a number of exhibitors will try their 3' Adult Amateur horse in the division. Many can jump a 3'6" course but that doesn't mean they will be competitive. They may find that their horse isn't the winner in the 3'6" ring. If they aren't competitive the increased entry fees may deter them from continuing. Lots of possible outcomes.

I really don't think you can use Eventing for any kind of comparison. There is little value in Eventing to being an Amateur for awards. And if you enter an Event you can't even decide what division you will compete in. The Event secretary assigns you to a division based on overall entries.

monalisa
Nov. 30, 2009, 09:14 AM
Penelope is very active on the Amateur Committee. She has a right to an opinion just like the rest of us. There is also the "Letter to the Editor" route where anyone can voice their opinion. Or better yet, if you have a strong opinion go to the Annual Meetings and vote with your feet.

Trixie
Nov. 30, 2009, 09:35 AM
I work really hard for what little I have, which includes a horse because I decided a horse was something that was really important to me and my own well being. So I can't compete with the big guns every weekend. But if I can play once a year I want my division to be there, or else what is the point of me owning this horse (aside from the fact that I absolutely adore him)? It would be so much easier on my pocket book to lease a horse for the summer shows or just ride whatever sale horse that comes through the barn.

I sincerely hope you’re not suggesting that those who cannot afford to own are less serious about the sport (why else own a horse). But really, how would your division be any LESS there for you if it were open to those that don’t own?


One person on this thread in favor of the change has said she may show once or twice a year if the rule passes. I'm not convinced there are a lot of non Owner, non Shamateur's with access to a quality horse.

I think there are quite a few of us out there. That being said, if there were a division I desperately wanted to show in at “A” shows, that were open to me, I might reprioritize my show schedule to include more rated shows and less schooling shows – heck, I want the better pictures! I’d also imagine there are plenty of folks out there for whom leasing a horse of A/O quality is viable but purchasing is not.


I think what will happen if the division is changed is a number of exhibitors will try their 3' Adult Amateur horse in the division. Many can jump a 3'6" course but that doesn't mean they will be competitive. They may find that their horse isn't the winner in the 3'6" ring. If they aren't competitive the increased entry fees may deter them from continuing. Lots of possible outcomes.

Again, why is this such a problem? It’s perpetuating moving up, and this board has had constant threads about people staying in low divisions forever and a day and perpetuating mediocrity. We’ve had shows around here where the AOs have 3, 4, 6 horses in them. I don’t think it’s so awful for someone to try moving up if they want to – the best riders and horses are still going to win.

I think eventing is a fine comparison. Even if we place more emphasis on amateur for awards, they seem to get along just fine without “owner” included. How is that not valid?

Summit Springs Farm
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:21 AM
OK Guys, It was tongue and cheek "Who is Penelope Ayers?

Of course I know who she is, what I meant was why was her opinion printed, now thanks to one post I realize it was an opinion sent in, but mission accomplished as I said in the OP what's you opinion!;) Got you all going about this hot topic!

PS No need to be hostile ladies

Summit Springs Farm
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:33 AM
I think you guys are onto something...

Why not limit the number of horses you can show NOT owned to 1, with no limit on horses you can show if you DO own? That will let the small timers compete while still promoting ownership for those that can afford it.

Not a bad Idea!

magnolia73
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:35 AM
However, taking a step back and not thinking about how it might benefit me, then I return to my position that it's a terrible idea. The a/o division is stacked with lots of talent and very, very special horses. The leveling factor is that everyone has to find eight jumps, whether they're on a million dollars of horse or not. If everyone can "hire" someone to do that for them, that isn't much of an amateur division.

IMO, amateur does not mean "rides poorly"- the only thing amateur means is "does not get paid". Trixie and I are both amateurs. Trixie is a better rider than me, ergo, she will likely ride better than me and beat me. That's OK with me- I don't think it is fair for me to say "Well, I own a horse- lets exclude Trixie" (who would be eligible if she owned a horse anyway regardless of how good or bad she rides, as long she does not get paid).

It sounds like the problem is not with horse ownership- its with the enforcement of amateur rules. Why shouldn't I be allowed to let Trixie ride my horse for me- as long as I am not paying her? Again, we have chosen to define amateur as not paid- not as an inferior quality rider.

I can understand how changing the rules will provide more incentive for "shamateurs" to manipulate things and get re-imbursed for showing- HOWEVER if they are playing by the rules, and their only "sin" is being a good rider, we can't get too angry- all we can do is improve.

Midge
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:10 PM
but mission accomplished as I said in the OP what's you opinion!;) Got you all going about this hot topic!


Congratulations. :rolleyes:

Because of course just posting about the rule change and the writer's opinion would have made it fly under the radar.

Void
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:35 PM
I sincerely hope you’re not suggesting that those who cannot afford to own are less serious about the sport (why else own a horse). But really, how would your division be any LESS there for you if it were open to those that don’t own?


Of course not. You can infer whatever you want I'm just saying that I own a horse and do what I can to insure I can afford him. I'm sure there are people out there who are MORE serious then I am. who do MORE work then I do. I'm just pointing out that if my horse were to die tomorrow (*knock on wood*) and the AO division disappeared, I would seriously consider not buying another horse when I could get by riding sales horses that come through the barn (as a legit amateur). Heck I could probably show more

S A McKee
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:48 PM
I'm just pointing out that if my horse were to die tomorrow (*knock on wood*) and the AO division disappeared, I would seriously consider not buying another horse when I could get by riding sales horses that come through the barn (as a legit amateur). Heck I could probably show more

Yes, but in that case you'd need to be careful about not violating the Amateur rules.
Riding a horse that belongs to your trainer brings up all the stuff about not getting to paid to do that ( lessons, cash, share of sales commission etc)
Much more scrutiny than when you are riding your own horse.

JinxyFish313
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:54 PM
What's good for the "industry" - meaning the trainers, agents and dealers - isn't necessarily what's best for the "sport" IMO. I feel like improving the sport would necessitate screwing the trainers for awhile until an adjustment is completed.

I don't have any AA riders who stick to AA because they don't own, they all do but step down for their own comfort or because they are bringing a horse a long, its new, whatever...but I personally wouldn't be opposed to dropping the O because to me it literally just means "for people who can buy expensive horses".

I'd rather see an "Amateur Hunter" division split into Low, Med and High sections where the horse and rider may do any single height, or low and med, or high and med. An "Amateur Jumper" division could follow the same template. This would take care of the 3'3 AO's and the modified jumper sections. That's just what makes sense to me :)

Void
Nov. 30, 2009, 12:55 PM
Yes, but in that case you'd need to be careful about not violating the Amateur rules.
Riding a horse that belongs to your trainer brings up all the stuff about not getting to paid to do that ( lessons, cash, share of sales commission etc)
Much more scrutiny than when you are riding your own horse.

All you need to do to be legit and riding sales horses is pay for everything you would normally pay for i.e. lessons, hotel, entries, stall, hauling etc etc and not get paid or a commission, hardly something to be careful of not violating. As long as I'm clear I still have to pay, I'm still a legit Amateur.

S A McKee
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:07 PM
All you need to do to be legit and riding sales horses is pay for everything you would normally pay for i.e. lessons, hotel, entries, stall, hauling etc etc and not get paid or a commission, hardly something to be careful of not violating. As long as I'm clear I still have to pay, I'm still a legit Amateur.

It's not just getting paid, it's any renumeration. And it's pay for anything from the trainer, not even horse related when you are riding his/her horse.

If you own the horse and sell there is no question about a commission, it's your horse you get the money. If you are riding your own horse you aren't getting paid to do it.

But if you become the 'barn amateur rider' then there are lots more opportunities to step over the line. And be prepared for lots of questions to get asked.
Almsot every month in USEF magazine there is someone being set down for an Amateur violation, usually in situations like this. Sometimes it's just as simple as getting free lessons that causes a violation.

Void
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:11 PM
It's not just getting paid, it's any renumeration. And it's pay for anything from the trainer, not even horse related when you are riding his/her horse.

If you own the horse and sell there is no question about a commission, it's your horse you get the money. If you are riding your own horse you aren't getting paid to do it.

But if you become the 'barn amateur rider' then there are lots more opportunities to step over the line. And be prepared for lots of questions to get asked.
Almsot every month in USEF magazine there is someone being set down for an Amateur violation, usually in situations like this. Sometimes it's just as simple as getting free lessons that causes a violation.

And thats why you pay for your lessons even if its on a sales horse. It's not that hard to NOT break the rules. You just don't take anything and you keep on keeping on like you would if you owned the horse minus monthly board, feed, vet, farrier.

JinxyFish313
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:12 PM
Like Void said, if you know the rules and make sure you continue to pay for everything, its easy not to break the rules. If you're going to be the barn ammie rider, you have to do it purely for the extra saddle time.

Trixie
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:22 PM
I'm just pointing out that if my horse were to die tomorrow (*knock on wood*) and the AO division disappeared, I would seriously consider not buying another horse when I could get by riding sales horses that come through the barn (as a legit amateur). Heck I could probably show more

This then actually BENEFITS the USEF, as they'll get more of your entry fees. You owning and showing only once a year because you're paying board doesn't do them as much good. Besides, it's not like your division would GO anywhere - it would just be open to more people, some of whom do not have the opportunity that you do.

SA McKee, I've never had any trouble not accepting remuneration for catch rides. You just don't accept remuneration. It's not that hard. On the few occasions where someone has volunteered to pay me, I've simply said thank you for the offer, and declined.

Sebastian
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:25 PM
The value of the horse may be related to the success of the horse. Removing Owner from the rules isn't going to change the quality of the horse needed to win. And it isn't going to make the entry fees or stall fees go down.
If Shamateur's are used to qualify horses the quality of rounds may increase, driving up prices again. A horse that can win consistently at A and AA shows costs a lot.
Owners will not trust their horses to a random Amateur that would like to show their $$$$$$$$ horse.

One person on this thread in favor of the change has said she may show once or twice a year if the rule passes. I'm not convinced there are a lot of non Owner, non Shamateur's with access to a quality horse.

I think what will happen if the division is changed is a number of exhibitors will try their 3' Adult Amateur horse in the division. Many can jump a 3'6" course but that doesn't mean they will be competitive. They may find that their horse isn't the winner in the 3'6" ring. If they aren't competitive the increased entry fees may deter them from continuing. Lots of possible outcomes.

I really don't think you can use Eventing for any kind of comparison. There is little value in Eventing to being an Amateur for awards. And if you enter an Event you can't even decide what division you will compete in. The Event secretary assigns you to a division based on overall entries.

I'm not sure how your first paragraph is even relevant. For a moment I thought you were implying that judges were actually pinning the more expensive horses -- but we know that would NEVER happen. Sorry, just a little friendly sarcasm... :winkgrin:

Seriously, I still don't see how the "value" of the horse has any relevance to AA vs AO. The bottom line is there should be a level playing field among amateurs in the land of Hunters and Jumpers. And, as long as we have "owner" divisions, it's not.

And, as for people trying to move up their 3' horses...that happens already. It's not right for every horse and rider. So what.

And, just because a nice Eventer doesn't cost as much as a nice Hunter, does NOT negate the point of my example. A nice Dressage horse DOES cost as much as a nice Hunter, and they're not having all the "nightmare shamateur" issues you all are so convinced will take place... AND, the Event secretary does NOT assign divisions. We make our entries the same as anyone else. Based on the RULES set forth.

JMHO,
Seb :)

findeight
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:34 PM
If I have a sale horse I'm not sure there is value in having an Amateur show it as compared to having a pro campaign it.

:eek:
Oh my. Having an "ammy" show it is like having a child show a sale Pony.

The market is flooded with Green horses and Ponies the average ammy/kid cannot ride. Get ammy/kid results and it gets easier when you are marketing to ammy/kids...and I well know the buyers don't look too close at how ammy that ammy really is and ignore the fact the Pony jock also shows a Junior Hunter.

Results in the intended division can help get them sold.

I have mixed feelings on this issue of taking the O out. That requirement did keep me out of the 3'6"...but I could lease one.

Maybe work it out to restrict leases to a minimum of 1 year registered properly with USEF. And only the person who is named on the lease can show the horse or earn points on the horse.

Much as I would like to see it open up, I sure do not want to see another division like the AA where anybody and everybody can ride whatever, including getting it qualified for any applicable finals or year end awards.

Will people cheat? Yeah. Sure. No reason not to explore opening that up a little-it does not fill well or at all at many less prestigious shows- without ruining it completely.

chunky munky
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:37 PM
Contrary to popular belief, a judge is not given a list at the start of each class stating what each exhibitor paid for their horse. Nor does each horse walk in the ring with a price sticker on its butt. But it does walk in with a quality of movement, quality of jump and ability of the rider to acheive a quality performance. I know many judges are thrilled when an "underdog" performs well enough to win. I know that because I have owned many!!LOL

Tex Mex
Nov. 30, 2009, 01:53 PM
I often have the opportunity to catch ride in the A/A division. It's fun and I feel confident doing it at 3' (I don't know that I'd hop on any strange horse and jump it around 3'6). I would love to move up to the A/Os but will likely never have the money to buy and maintain a suitable horse. I would lease one if I could show in the 3'6, but I don't see the point in leasing one to show in the A/As when I can get those rides without paying board, training, etc.

I know that probably annoys people who DO pay for their own horse, and I'm sorry about that. But I've been riding my whole life and we can't afford $3K a month to pay for a horse, plus $3K a week to show it. So this is the only way I can do it. I personally would love to see the "O" restriction removed.

Also, as far as sale horses and entries go, I don't see how it will make much of a difference. As it is now at most A shows- a 3' sale horse gets catch ridden by a good ammy, a 3'6 sale horse gets catch ridden by a good jr. It's the same amount of horses at the shows, they may just go into different divisions depending on who the trainer has available to ride them.

findeight
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:47 PM
Unfortuate bottom line is the A/O Hunters do NOT fill at many, many shows below the top circuits.

Don't think it is out of line to think about doing a little tweaking...but, again, it is also reasonable to restrict who rides it to a long term lease or half lease partners when both are carded Ammies and both recorded.

poltroon
Nov. 30, 2009, 02:54 PM
SA McKee, I've never had any trouble not accepting remuneration for catch rides. You just don't accept remuneration. It's not that hard. On the few occasions where someone has volunteered to pay me, I've simply said thank you for the offer, and declined.

The trick is more in doing it semi-accidentally, like agreeing to hack a horse for one of your fellow amateur friends, and then braiding the horse for money later.

Dooner
Nov. 30, 2009, 03:16 PM
Maybe work it out to restrict leases to a minimum of 1 year registered properly with USEF. And only the person who is named on the lease can show the horse or earn points on the horse.

This has always seemed totally workable to me, particularly if horses could only be leased out to 1, or max 2, lessees in one competition year.

If micro-chipping was required it would even keep horses from being shipped around the country to break the rules, but I'm sure the vast majority of folks wouldn't want to go to the trouble even with the current registration rules. It takes a significant motivation away from leasing if you have to hide the fact that this is "XYZ fancy horse", or if the owner has to hide it's record from perspective buyers.


The trick is more in doing it semi-accidentally, like agreeing to hack a horse for one of your fellow amateur friends, and then braiding the horse for money later.

No doubt you have to be careful, but it's not rocket science.

mvp
Nov. 30, 2009, 05:25 PM
To those of you arguing that judges are totally unaware (or unconcerned) with the price of horses coming into the hunter ring, I think you are wrong.

Many are concerned because they are trainers who are part of the buying and selling game. They know "comp horses" and want to know them so they can price their own stock or purchase intelligently for investing owners.

I also think that price and quality are pretty tightly correlated in the hunters. We can't drug a bad mind into quietness as we did in the 1970s. We want even quieter than we did then. With that in mind, the horse must be a spectacular athlete to lope (and I do mean "lope") around a 3'6" with the long, slow, walking stride that makes him competitive.

In short, it takes such a nice horse to win that most people selling hunter prospects know what they have. Now that TBs are unfashionable, it's harder to go snag your own OTTB hunter prospect.

I always like to hear about the under-dog exceptions to the rule that you buy your way into a very nice hunter. But admit that the odds are long "even if horses don't enter with price-stickers on pasted on the butt." Please.

CBoylen
Nov. 30, 2009, 05:42 PM
Ironically, even though I'm taking all the heat for wanting to consider the business ramifications, I don't agree that price equals quality. It might, if you are talking about what it would take you to purchase that horse as it comes out of the ring today. Otherwise, quality equals quality and with time and luck and patience (and maybe a lot of those, and maybe some blood, sweat, and tears, too, if we want to be realistic) anyone can have a competitive a/o horse. The point is to have a horse that LOOKS like you spent a million dollars on it. The easy way to do that is of course to actually do so. But that's not the only way.

Moesha
Nov. 30, 2009, 05:53 PM
This is a really tough one. On the one hand I can seen the many, many legitimate reasons for keeping the "owner" in the divisions for both hunters and jumpers, however I also see the flip side. But why does it have to be so extreme? What I mean is why all or nothing? It is like throwing the baby out with the bath water in regards to keeping amateur rules. In the A/O Jumpers we already have many "suspect" individuals who are really professionals and who compete and win Grand Prixs regularly. In addition most people buy the horse for a dollar and show for their trainer for the year while the horse is for sale. "Getting around the A/O rules and yet following them at the same time is already out there" So why add more fire to it? I am torn, but I personally thought about it after the survey and wonder why we can't start with something to open the division up to true amateurs more.



How about only allowing recorded with the USEF leases only and only those riders leasing the horse or actual immediate family members of the owners are allowed to show the horse in the A/O division? After all when you record a lease you are the owner as far emtry blanks, results, etc for the duration of the lease so why not start here?

I am sure many amateurs will gladly pay the recording fee and move up...technically they way the recording is set up you are listed as owner for the duration hence following the owner intent to more degreee than just opening the division up.

In addition limit the number of "leased" horses allowed to one or possibly two...actual owners can show whatever they want as has been the case?

Again I can't reiterate how interesting this new idea is to and to any amateur who shows I think it is a big deal and something that should be discussed, just not sure what the right answer is and also agree with whomever, forgive me for not remembering, said this is like a bucket of snakes.

For what it is worth I thought her article was great.

Noctis
Nov. 30, 2009, 05:53 PM
To those of you arguing that judges are totally unaware (or unconcerned) with the price of horses coming into the hunter ring, I think you are wrong.

Many are concerned because they are trainers who are part of the buying and selling game. They know "comp horses" and want to know them so they can price their own stock or purchase intelligently for investing owners.

I also think that price and quality are pretty tightly correlated in the hunters. We can't drug a bad mind into quietness as we did in the 1970s. We want even quieter than we did then. With that in mind, the horse must be a spectacular athlete to lope (and I do mean "lope") around a 3'6" with the long, slow, walking stride that makes him competitive.

In short, it takes such a nice horse to win that most people selling hunter prospects know what they have. Now that TBs are unfashionable, it's harder to go snag your own OTTB hunter prospect.

I always like to hear about the under-dog exceptions to the rule that you buy your way into a very nice hunter. But admit that the odds are long "even if horses don't enter with price-stickers on pasted on the butt." Please.

THIS. So well said MVP. :yes:

MHM
Nov. 30, 2009, 05:57 PM
The trick is more in doing it semi-accidentally, like agreeing to hack a horse for one of your fellow amateur friends, and then braiding the horse for money later.

Honestly, I don't think the USEF rule book has become a document the size and weight of a door stop due to people who break the rules "semi-accidentally." Rather, they keep writing more and more complicated rules as the deliberate cheaters find more loopholes.

My new rule book arrived the other day, and for a second I wondered who had put a 4 pound salt block in my mailbox.

To those of you arguing that judges are totally unaware (or unconcerned) with the price of horses coming into the hunter ring, I think you are wrong.



I beg to differ.

Any good judge is looking for the best trip in the class, period.

It doesn't matter if that trip comes from a horse you just paid a fortune for last week, a horse you got off the track for $500, or a horse you rescued from a neighbor's field of mules.

And yes, I have seen (and judged) all three of those horses. The horse from the field of mules went on to be champion at Washington.

poltroon
Nov. 30, 2009, 07:04 PM
Honestly, I don't think the USEF rule book has become a document the size and weight of a door stop due to people who break the rules "semi-accidentally." Rather, they keep writing more and more complicated rules as the deliberate cheaters find more loopholes.

Yes, but in the process, they catch a lot more innocent fish too, people who are within the spirit of the rule but not the letter.

For example, a friend of mine keeps her 25 year old QH in my back field. If I get on his back, and walk him around on a long rein, and I accept money for board, I'm a professional - even though this horse is never going to another horse show at anything more advanced than leadline ever again. Even though all I'd be doing is going for a nice walk with an old friend. Even though no one would see but me.

I totally appreciate why the rule is there, why it is written that way, and why it's important to keep people from "boarding" horses for rates that bundle in the training. I support it. But it requires thought sometimes from the rest of us, who aren't looking to cheat. As with tax law, mere intent to be honest isn't sufficient.

When I was a boarder, there were a bunch of us adults, and if one of us had to travel on business, we might ask the friends to ride rather than pay the pro, because we were all at the ends of our budgets. But then if I braided that horse for money - because I was the most reliable braider we had - technically I'm a pro again.

Is anyone going to find out? Probably not. Still, I'm very, very careful not to do those things, having thought about the amateur rule quite a bit more than your average USEF member.

The changes proposed last year included that an amateur could not appear in an advertisement. That was meant to catch cases of shady sponsorship, but as written, it seemed also to apply to a rider advertising her real estate business with a picture of her and her horse, or to a horse for sale ad, or to a trainer bragging about students. Not so simple.

mvp
Nov. 30, 2009, 08:25 PM
And talking about everything:

Read the rest of my post about judging and horse prices. I repeat: Most hunter judges and sellers are savvy about the correlation between price and quality. Since so much of the modern hunter comes from his built-in athleticism, I think it's really reasonable to point out that, more often than not, the more expensive horse wins.

Does the judge know the horse's price? No.

Does the judge care? Only if he is also in the buying and selling business as well.

Can you win with a horse bought for a very lucky song? Absolutely.

My point was that those are few and far between, so cheap winners are the exception to the rule.

Linny
Nov. 30, 2009, 10:45 PM
Price doesn't always equal performance but there is a correlation. Also, if you are buying a horse for the A/O's you can pay now or pay as you go. It's all fine to say you got your A/O horse off a killer truck or a racetrack but getting him to the A/O ring wasn't free. Unless you are an exceptional rider you paid a trainer thousands over several years before your first 3'6 trip on him. Training, showing, grooming fees plus vets, farriers etc cost almost as much in the end as buying the made horse.
Leasing is somewhat of a middle ground. I can't afford to buy a 3"6 horse, I don't have the time to raise one and yet I might be able to find one for lease, and pay as I go.
I leased a 3'6 horse for years but never showed in A/O's because of the "O." Years ago on a thread like this I posited that a recognized lease with certain restrictions could encourage more riders to try the 3'6. Limit the # of horses that may be leased and limit to 1 the number of riders that may show that horse in the Amateur 3'6.

Moesha
Dec. 1, 2009, 10:24 AM
Linny brings up an excellent point that I think many people seem to forget when talking about equality, and fairness and opportunity. Sure to make change with such ideological reasoning seems great, but in the end how many of "those" you idelogically wanted to help even take advantage or use the system versus the people who are true users who now have to deal with the practical and real outcome? The people who show in those divisions and those who REALLY will show in those divisions are the ones stuck with the rule, a rule that could have adverse effects in many directions.

I say this not to burst anyone's bubble, but just because the division is open to non-owners does noto mean it is suddenly going to cost any less to show? You still have to have the money to show, trains, ship, etc....All of Linny's points are something people loose track of when talking in theory, on paper a OTTB in re-training and a seasone 3'6" Dutch Warmblood will have the samer basic bills, the earlier will have even more to get him to the point of being a competetitor at 3'6"

I said in my earlier post this rule really interests me because I truly see it from both sides, but I am seeing that my initial positive feelings towards this are not as great as they intially were.

The A/O Jumpers show from 1.20-1.45 meters depending on section....what I could see happening is a creation of a new professional amateur rider a niche is right there, just play by the rules, some creative accounting and voila you have a new type of career where you don't have to own the horses, call yourself an amateur, maybe a branch of an existing professionals business and there you have it....do people already do things close to this...sure....but many people do not and the numbers would increase greatly.

That is why recorded leases are the way to go, pay the fee record the lease only the lessee gets to show, limit it to one or two and then you have opened up the division with at least some limits and boundaries and most likely in the closest spirit of what the ideology for taking the O out will ever get.

Same thing with the A/O hunters....besides first year green there are no rated 3'6" hunter divisions except the A/O's and the Juniors....many horses no matter how nice may not be able to step up into the second years 3'9"or workings 4' and now with the Hunter Derby craze....I can see this becoming a mess as well...

Not that opening things up is a mess....but creating a sub professional amateur divisions based on selling and trading horses...really is not what the Amateur divisions are about....and to me that is a mess.