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tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:05 AM
Heard thru the grapevine USEA is considering adult amateur divisions. Frankly I think it is long overdue...what do you think?

They are actually proposing Adult Amateur division like USDF vs Amateur Owner like H/J...

I vote for three classes within each division...Open, YR, and Adult Amateur/Owner then if necesssary split further by previous horse or rider experience (I.E. Like NH, NR now)...

would it increase costs? If so how? Mind you I am not suggesting they requiring an event to offer the split divisions unless sufficient entries warrant a split...

[This message was edited by tractor queen on Nov. 12, 2003 at 01:29 PM.]

[This message was edited by tractor queen on Nov. 12, 2003 at 01:29 PM.]

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:05 AM
Heard thru the grapevine USEA is considering adult amateur divisions. Frankly I think it is long overdue...what do you think?

They are actually proposing Adult Amateur division like USDF vs Amateur Owner like H/J...

I vote for three classes within each division...Open, YR, and Adult Amateur/Owner then if necesssary split further by previous horse or rider experience (I.E. Like NH, NR now)...

would it increase costs? If so how? Mind you I am not suggesting they requiring an event to offer the split divisions unless sufficient entries warrant a split...

[This message was edited by tractor queen on Nov. 12, 2003 at 01:29 PM.]

[This message was edited by tractor queen on Nov. 12, 2003 at 01:29 PM.]

deltawave
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:16 AM
Sure, why not? I'm still showing just plain "Training" not "Open Training" so I doubt it would affect me much, but anything to modernize the structure of divisions.

---------------------------------------------
"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
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canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:18 AM
Hey tractor queen, I know this will proabaly sound really picky, but is there anyway I could talk you into changing the title of this tread from "Amateur Owner" to "Adult Amateur"? We are examining ways to facilitate the offering of amateur divisions, but ownership of the horse by an amateur has not been a part of the discussion up to this point. I'm concerned that people who read the thread title, but not the thread itself, will get the wrong idea about this initiative.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:27 AM
Canterlope...I would, but I was specifically interested in feedback as to whether USEA members would prefer Amateur Owner or just Amateur...I prefer Amateur Owner as it more closely defines the peers against whom I would prefer to measure my performance.

War Admiral
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:29 AM
Definitely prefer Adult Amateur to Amateur Owner. If you want to see how well A/O will fly, do a search for it over on H/J... Probably the most divisive (and ridiculous) rule ever.

______________
"No horse with cart horse blood inside three crosses can stand an extreme test against horses bred for Epsom Downs and the Metairie Course..."
--Marguerite Bayliss, The Bolinvars

EventerAJ
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:30 AM
I'm not really excited about this idea. Part of the chaos of hunters is the whole definition of "amateur." Personally, I think our divisions are pretty fair as they are. The pros are pretty much limited to the open divisions, so why is there a need to officially declare the regular/restricted-type divisions "amateur only?"

~AJ~
I've been there...that's why I'm here.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:36 AM
Canterlope,

Do you want to do the honors on this thread or should I?

P

Gallop On
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:37 AM
Generally I have found that the current divisions place me where I should be -- competing against other A/As. For many years, I had to borrow horses to ride and didn't own any, so you might want to consider A/A rather than A/O.

canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:38 AM
Have at it, my dear. You'll do a much better job than I.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

Badger
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:39 AM
I'm not too excited about this idea either. The playing field is already leveled enough by having divisions based on horse or rider experience.

Firefox
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:43 AM
The open divisions are fine until you buy that schoolmaster and you have dabled a bit at prelim then you are in the open div no matter what.

Cindy
Be sure to always Kick On!

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:45 AM
Rule proposal is already approved by USEA executive committee. It allows organizers to offer amateur sections from Int. down as long as the participants qualify under the USAEQ standard for amateur (Rule 808 through 810)

This is a total permissive change (not forced) so anyone who does not wish to compete in amateur classes will nto have to.

As for the popular misconception that "divisions already divide into amateur v. professional" the rules do not allow this. Experience in eventing does not speak to the issue of whether a rider is or is not professional. Experientially based qualifications are now being used to divide competitiors between the levels or between regular and open divisions only. Further, current rules do not allow organizers to divide competitors by experience at preliminary and above. Rather, they nmay only split by age, and then randomly (by draw).

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:51 AM
By way of further explanation, we will be hosting an open forum to discuss the proposed rule change, discuss the rationale behind it and also try to answer any questions or concerns that our competitors might have. If you have specific questions, I can send anyone that is interested a copy of the propsoal, a survey to fill in, and other information related to the issue. But I will insist that you have a rule book in front of you when discussing as this is an extremely difficult issue to discuss without it. USe Private topics to let me know your e-mail address and I will respond instantly (almost).

Packy

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:52 AM
This is a topic close to my heart.

One of the things I have always loved about eventing is that it has avoided the whole "amateur/shamateur" issue. If you were inexperienced at a level you competed in the Novice/Training/etc "rider" division. If your horse was inexperienced, you rode in the Novice/Traiing/etc "horse" division. If you had an experienced horse/rider team, they were in the "open" division. It really makes a lot of sense.

Now, I really have to work hard to afford my horse and unfortunately, my regular salary just doesn't always cover all the horsey needs. Therefore, I teach a very limited number of basic lessons (2/week) that help buy feed, bedding, etc.

Now, if the amateur division is added, will I be forced to ride in the open division? Will there be a division for a rider like me who is just getting their feet wet at Training that doesn't pit me against seasoned professionals?

I know there are a lot of people like me out there. There is a whole group of riders who are gaining experience at new levels (and sometimes a new discipline like eventing) while passing their already gained experience (or separate discipline experience) onto other riders through lessons. Seems like restricting divisions to Open, Amateur, and YR/JR would leave us with no where to go but Open.

Would it keep me from eventing? No, but it would make the sport more "elitist" catering to the amateurs who do not need to supplement their income and professionals at the top of their game.

Please don't flame me!!!

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:56 AM
Kelly S

There will still be regular divisions that are reserved for riders with no experience babove that level.

The amateur rules will prevent any horse and rider combination from moving down two levels into an amateur section. (ie: if an amaetur goes amateur Intermediate, they will be prohibited from entering amateur Training. they may of course still enter Open raining.

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 11:59 AM
Thanks, pgm! How are they thinking of setting up the divisions versus the current YR/JR, Horse, Rider, Restricted, and Open divisions? Or will the Amateur division just be in addition to the ones already listed?

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:03 PM
KellyS:

We separate first into three general categories of competitor: Young folk, pro and amateur. Experience does not really define these categories although there is an interaction.

As for the definition of amateur, I suggest that you read a dictionary on the subject. No really. It is very helpful. The way you use the word reflects "amateurish" as in not so good. The way the USAeq rules define it, the first issue is whether you hold yourself out as someone who trains, rides, or teaches others for money (along with other issues). This refelcts the understanding that how one makes money is the most improtant factor. If you are lucky enough to earn money from teaching, holding yourself out as an expert of some kind, well I have to say that it makes you a pro as far as that definition goes. We have to draw the line somewhere.

As I said above, this doesn't mean that you are not still elligible for those divisions reserved for the less experienced competitors.
As I said above however,

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:05 PM
For the 2005 season: rules will offer the following

regular
Open
Jr. or Young Rider
Amateur

that's all.

Organizers will be free to continue to offer other section at training and below as the market dictates. (Young Horse) for example.

JER
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:05 PM
Nay.

It's not a bad idea per se, but I don't see why eventing needs it. Although I do care very much how I ride at horse trials, it doesn't matter at all to me who I'm riding with in my division.

Pol
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:08 PM
I am the epitomy of Adult Amateur Old Hag Owner. I am (for 3 weeks now) over 50, I have competed thru the (**) level, I do not get paid for any horsey activity. I MUCH prefer to compete in divisions which include the "Big Kids" of our sport. I think it makes me ride better. The 3rd place I got at my first Intermediate was better than any (Philip was 1st and 2nd!). I do not compete to win, goodness knows that is an elusive goal. I compete to do the very best I can, and to try to show off the best my horses have to offer. (That, too, is often elusive!)
If there is a choice of divisions, I will always opt for the open.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:09 PM
JER:

Surveys of adult amateur riders in eventing indicated a majority requesting the division. This is not a vocal minority talking, but more the silent majority that reqested that we investigate how to do it. Further, the change is permissive and does not require that the division be offered by organizers.

Strategic planning for the sport also recognized the immense growth in other sports, including Dressage, once divisions were created. As this is part of the mandate of the USEA, it was felt that such a growth curve would be good for the sport.

Heather
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:10 PM
Short answer, Nay.

I don't mind specific competitions, like CCi's giving amateurs trophies, nor do I I mind the USEA giving amateur trophies at the end of the year. In fact, I applaud both moves. But I just can't see us needing amateur divisions, or at least I can't see wanting them for the right reasons.

I'm an amateur rider, have ridden through the prelim level, have ridden a bunch of horses. Most people who know me would call me competitive--I like to win and like to get ribbons. But after 16 years competing in this sport, I just can't bring myself to see what an amatuer division would do for me? I tend, at present, to get put in divisions with pros, because they split them by expereince, and at Novice, I tend to fall in to the expereinced category. So, it means that I haven't brought home too many ribbons this year. Guess what? No biggie.

I mean, I just don't find that much meaning in winning a division of ten people some of whom may have half of my experience, versus being 7th in a division of 25 people, half of whom ride at the advanced level.

And there is a part at which I wonder when is it going to stop. I remember when Vicki Koss won the amateur trohpy a few years back, people freaked and she was publicly eviscerated, because "that's not what we menat when we said amateur". She owned her horses, and did not teach or train for a living. She was an amateur, the fact that she got to ride full time and has competed at badminton somehow made her unworthy.

So what, in a few years will it be "female riders on off the track horses who work at least 40 hours a week and have at least one child" divisions, and "moms over 40 who ride a horse that's half draft" divisions?

I'm all for amateur riders--I believe we need a voice at the highest levels of the sport, and deserve respect more than we often get, and should be recognized for the intrinsic part of the sport we are. But, I don't understnad why we need divisions, excpet to give more people ribbons, and I don't think that's a worthy goal for our sport.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:11 PM
POL:

That will be fine with the new rules. If you want to ride in horse trials with the professionals, then you may enter the open sections. FEI competitions are not affected.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:14 PM
Heather:

First: Read the rule book. We are not permitted to divide sections at preliminary and above by experience. As such, the practice is illegally preferring inexperienced riders to experience ones for points.

Second: Same answer I just gave to POL regarding CCI and mandatory participation.

Janet
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:17 PM
Has the rule change proposal been submitted to USAE/USEF? If so, what is the proposal number. I couldn't find it on their web site.

If not, please send me a copy- you have my email address.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:17 PM
None of you has asked for the specific proposal yet.

Why oppose something that you haven't read? We are not the RNC objecting to "The Reagans" here are we?

Please read the proposal, think about its impact, and then comment.

weezie
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:18 PM
Why can't amateurs get pinned separately, but ride in the same division (like they do now)? That's what dressage usually does. Then you will know how you stack up against the Duttons et al, but you will get your "rewards" based on your performance against your amateur peers?

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:19 PM
Janet,

I do not believe that the rule propsoal has been officially posted as the USEA Executive Committee just approved it and because the USAEQ eventing committee will be taking it up in their next conference. It will be posted on the USEA web site and there will be a press release. You are hearing it here first.

Janet
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:22 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> As such, the practice is illegally preferring inexperienced riders to experience ones for points. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> By this very statement, you are indicating that the issue is "experience" rather than "money".
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> None of you has asked for the specific proposal yet. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> We must have been posting at the same time. I DEFINITELY want to see it.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:24 PM
Weezie

There is nothing that prevents an organizer from do exactly what you describe. The new classificiation is permissive to organizers.

Since the USEA had previously prevented organizers from splitting amatuers out, the new rule merely says- you may offere these division if the competitors qualify as amateur under the USAeq Rule 808, 809, and 810.

Then we offer guidelines that say if you offer divisions specifically for amateurs, this is how it should be done.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:25 PM
Weezie

There is nothing that prevents an organizer from do exactly what you describe. The new classificiation is permissive to organizers.

Since the USEA had previously prevented organizers from splitting amatuers out, the new rule merely says- you may offere these division if the competitors qualify as amateur under the USAeq Rule 808, 809, and 810.

Then we offer guidelines that say if you offer divisions specifically for amateurs, this is how it should be done.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:30 PM
Janet:

Current rules state that preliminary sections and above MUST FIRST be split by regular and open sections, then by age, then by draw. Thats it, no other division splitting methods allowed.

This is not a pe3rmissive rule as it directs organizers to do something that in fact does not permit them to create amateur sections at all.

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:31 PM
very interesting...especially to find out that if organizers do not offer restricted divisions (NR/NH etc) and they have 100 ON entries, they can only {legally}split by age and then draw....how is that the profs get their horses "randomly" spaced so there is only one per division? So this would mean that the experience section of the entry is basically ignored other than to confirm qualifying competitions (to move up to prelim for example) and confirm eligible for restricted divisions (if offered), everybody else is thrown in the same pool?

In Area III very few competitions offer anything other than open divisions


War Admiral - didn't really see the "chaos" - can you point to a specfic thread?


As a true AA who limped thru a CCI** and now am starting over with a OTTB, I can't do the area championships (have to wait 2yrs), can't do adult team challenge, and must compete against pros for area and National year end awards (in Area III!!!). I like to have a goal each season (besides finishing on a reasonably good dressage score at each event).

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:32 PM
Heather, you said that really well!

I think my first post came off as the whiney "I don't want to ride against the big guys" yadda, yadda! Believe me, I've ridden in the horse division at events and competed against local and bigger name pros. I think it's fun!

I just really like how the current divisions look at experience (not where your moolah comes from) to place horses and riders. Is there anyway to set up divisions to be fair to everyone - of course not!

You totally hit the nail on the head with your lst sentence about ribbons and the goal of our sport. I think we have seen what multiple divisions have done for the hunters - too many classes and too many divisions just to try and make everyone happy.

As pgm put it - Where do you draw the line?

I still don't feel like I am getting my point across the right way, but I hope everyone understands what I am trying to say!

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:34 PM
Tractor:

I was serious about reading the rule book.http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif This discussion is very hard to have without it in front of you. At N and BN they CAN split by experience. But there are NO guidelines for amateur status at these levels. This left organizers free to develop their own standards and, because we are a sport overseen by the USAEQ rules, this was going to be a real problem.

gahawkeye
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:34 PM
I agree with Heather! I would rather get a "pink" ribbon in a big division that includes professionals. Even though it is nice to win every now and then. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif But winning against the pros makes it even SWEETER!

And it is true that if your horse has "won" an eventing division, there is a little more marketing value in them, regardless of the division size or your competition.

Besides we're supposed to measure ourselves against previous performances right? and if qualifying to move up is now on dressage score, cc penalties and SJ penalties, where you place in a division shouldn't be that big of a deal.

Do we continue to waterdown the competition for ribbons and show records? I like to compete against the BIG BOYS! I think its nice that in our sport you can compete against olympians. Not many get to do that. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Seems to me like much ado about nothing. Not an advocate of MORE RULES.

Heather
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:36 PM
I'm kind of tired today, so maybe I'm misunderstnading, but if the proposal isn't available yet, how are we supposed to have read it before we commented?

Additionally (again, please bear with me, very tired, horse that had colic surgery over the weekend) if I'm understanding correctly, you are saying it's illegal to split divisions by expereince? Uh, then why do most entries in the omnibus say that divisions will be divided by expereince? I may very well have misunderstood, but this confused me.

I'm happy to look at the proposal, happy to see the idea is and comment on it specifically. But on the face of it, if the question is, would I be in favor of adding seperate amatuer divisions to every competition, well, my answer is no. Not a judgement call, not condemning anyone in favor of it, I just don't think it's a good addition to the sport. Just my two cents worth.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:36 PM
Kellys:

You would be part of a minority that has set up an ideal for our sport that frankly doesn't exist. I commend your idealism but we need to respond to the needs of our membership. By ignoring the need for amateur divisions, we risk stgnancy within the sport. Change is not bad, especiallu when made in baby steps.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:38 PM
I have the proposal handy and will gladly E-MAIL It to anyone interested in asking me for it. BUT I WILL NOT GIVE MY E_MAIL OUT TO EVERYONE ON THE COTH BOARD_ SO DO A PRIVATE TOPIC WITH YOUR E_MAIL ADDRESS AND I"LL GET YOU THE PROPOSAL IN THE TIME IT TAKES TO SAY GEE WHIZZ!
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
PAcky

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:39 PM
Let me rephrase the experience part since it is different at Preliminary and above....

At the lower levels, with the old divisions, experience of horse and rider determined their division, their division was not determined on whether they were a professional or an amateur.

However, it looks as if the amateur division will be more of an "addition" to the current range of divisions rather than a total reorganization of the divisions.

Heather
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:40 PM
Also, if this is about the upper levels, my question would be what is the number of riders we'd be talking about here. I was looking at the three divisions of preliminary riders in the show Mr. heather rode in last week, and a split by amateur divisions would have made a very lopsided set of divisions--10 or so amateurs versus 40 or more pros. Realistically, what are the numbers affected we are talking about?

RAyers
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:44 PM
I'm with gahawkeye.

I am an "amateur" in every definition of the word. Almost every childhood horse friend I grew up with is now a pro with their own facilities. Thus I have always competed against the pros and have professional expectations in my riding abilities. I would rather get spanked 1,000 times by the pros than to win 1 amateur division. (O.K. that may be a bit overkill). I know the end result is that I will be a better horseman than I ever have thought.

I do agree with the heart of the rule and like the fact it does allow for flexibility on the organizer's and rider's parts. In my opinion, I will most likely stay in the open divisions. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Reed

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:44 PM
Heather, the majority of Preliminary level riders qualify already as amateurs. Whether an organizer offers the division or not is up to them. How they organize the time schedule is up to them. We no longer restrict hroses and riders by points one, so we needn't worry if someone won in a smalldivision or not. finishes clear and Dressage scores are all that matter.

Heather
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:45 PM
Zipping up flame suit really high and donning helmet.

-small voice-- But are we sure we'd want the hordes of ribbon happy people that have filled the hunter divisions in our sport? At some point doesn't this sort of cater to the lowest common denominator? Eventing and getting ribbons is and should be hard, if everyone could do it, well, you know the rest. I appreciate the need in some ay for change, and watching against stangnancy, but I think growth should be as much about what kind fo sport we want in the future, as is is about raw participant numbers.

Heather ducks, preparing to be called an elitist female dog.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:46 PM
Heather:

Thats really the issue with you isn't it? Change makes people nervous but we have to think of what our mandate is.

So prepare to get flamed!

Elitist female dog.

Or, on the other hand you can look at my reponse regarding commendable idealism.

You decide

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:47 PM
PGM -
How do we know a "majority" are for the rule if they are "silent"??? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:48 PM
Actually, they aren't COTH BBer's thats why. They are actually quite vocal at area meetings, and the USEA so I stand corrected.

JER
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:49 PM
pgm, how about posting the proposal for all to see?

I'm not sure I understand the point of all this. It seems like those behind this proposal -- pgm, Canterlope, etc. -- consider it a done deal. Or hope it is anyway.

I understand concerns about the growth of the sport. I don't understand how it is you speak for a 'silent majority', especially if they are, in fact, silent.

Really, this rule proposal matters very little to me. I'll ride in any division as long as I still get to ride.

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:52 PM
Heather, you are my hero!!!

Coming from someone who was in the hunter ranks and loves the sport of eventing due to the sheer lack of ribbon-hungry crowds. As someone told me when I got started in eventing, "just to finish is an accomplishment."

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:56 PM
JER;

A year ago, the membership was asked whether they thought this was good or not. They voted yes. Our task froce was formed to figure out how to get it done in the least disruptive way possible that would allow change to be gradual and natural.

Understand that organizers all over the east coast are already doing this at all levels, rules allowing them or not. So this is really an effort to catch up tot he marketplace. As I said above, I will be happy to correspond directly with anyone who will send a private topic, but you need to understand that the committee reports are quite long and will not fit in one COTH post.

canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 12:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAyers:
I would rather get spanked 1,000 times by the pros than to win 1 amateur division. (O.K. that may be a bit overkill). I know the end result is that I will be a better horseman than I ever have thought.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>For the most part, this type of thinking is the highest form of the art and, thankfully, one that is shared by many of your fellow eventers. To be sure, the USEA recognizes this fact which is why it plans to structure the Amateur divisions in a strictly voluntary manner. Organizers are not going to be forced to offer amateur divisions and riders who qualify as amateurs are not going to be forced to enter these divisions. The USEA whole heartedly supports the idea that competing head-to-head with the professionals is an excellent way to increase your skills as a rider and is taking steps to preserve this opportunity for those riders who subscribe to this ideal.

On the other hand, there are many other riders out there who don't embrace this type of thinking and it is the USEA's responsibility to address their needs as well. Eventing is largely supported by the "weekend warrior". This is not to say that this group is not made up of excellent riders who could hold their own against the professionals. But, in general, they are involved in our sport largely for fun and want to feel like they have an equal playing field when they participate in an event. Unfortunately, they don't feel that they get this opportunity when they have to compete against riders who make their livings out of a saddle. Offering strictly amateur divisions is one method that the USEA has to give these riders what they seek.

In addition, there is another group of riders out there that the USEA must capture the attention of to ensure the continued existence of our sport. These are riders who are interested in eventing, but have not yet participated in any form of eventing type competition. It is believed that one reason why these rides have yet to take the plunge is that they feel overwhelmed with the prospect of having to compete against an Olympic or World Games medal winner. If the USEA can use amateur divisions to entice these riders to attend an event, the sport of eventing will grow. If not, there is little chance of placing eventing in a position that will encourage expansion in future years.

It is time that eventers start expanding their focus concerning amateur divisions. To use only the hunter discipline as a basis for rejecting the idea of amateur divisions is neglecting to take into account the fact that almost every major discipline/breed now offers and has benefited from divisions exclusively geared towards the amateur. Jumpers, dressage, and reining to name a few have seen the light with regards to amateur divisions and there is no denying the fact that the advantages these disciplines have gained by doing so far outstrip the disadvantages.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:00 PM
Canterlope:

Where you been girl? I'm barely hitting singles here! you can bat clean up for me anytime!

P

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:02 PM
Still waiting for KellyS and Heather to send me their e-mail addresses so that I can send them a copy of the proposal.... http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sleepy.gif

canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:03 PM
I was off practicing my pole dancing in anticipation of the meeting in Boston. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:05 PM
Riiiiiight Ooooon Baby! (lasciviously grinning!)

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:11 PM
Here you go -

k_soldavin@hotmail.com

Canterlope, please pardon my ignorance :-), but with the myriad of divisions already offered in eventing, when would a newbie to the sport be pitted against a Olympic/World class rider? I am only really familiar with Area II, but I have yet to see an event that only offers open divisions - there is always some type of BN or N rider or restricted division or the organizer splits inexperienced riders into their own division.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:18 PM
Kelly:

I am not sure canterlope is still on, and I'll be leaving shortly to continue with bilable hours - (yes, I am chained to a desk just like some of you!)

Regular divisions are restricted to folks who have never completed the level above more than twice. That means if you go trianing twice, you can no longer go regular novice for a period of two years. This mens you will be put in the Open Novice section and you will ride against whoever else the organizer chooses to put in there- and yes, Phillip Dutton is also elligible for that division.

Signing off for now and I'll get you that report promptly.

Bensmom
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:19 PM
Nothing makes a rules junkie happier than a nice stack of papers coming off the printer to curl up with and read! Thanks for zipping the docs off to me.

I didn't really want to work this afternoon anyway http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Libby

*Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*

wanderlust
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:25 PM
KellyS, I look at the results for area 1 pretty frequently, and with the exception of beginner novice, rarely see things split Open, Rider, Horse. What I usually see at a level is 1 Open division and 3 regular divisions. So for example, Open Training, Training Section A, Training Section B, Training Section C.

So if I remember correctly... anyone riding a horse that has competed at two levels above MUST ride in the open division. Even if the person is barely competent enough to run N, but the horse was bought as a schoolmaster and had run prelim in the past. Unless the organizer is kind enough to organize into "rider" and "horse" sections, which most don't seem to be doing.

~formerly Master Tally~

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:26 PM
Kelly S - come to Area III in the spring!!!! I promise you will ride against a slew of BNR (Big-name/not beg nov http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif)no matter which division you pick and how much experience you have!!!!!! Mostly because most organizers don't offer anything but open divisions...

PGM - your a condescending sort aren't you?...I read the rule book (again) but cannot find the specific section which allows an organizer to split an ON division by experience..can you provide section/pg number?

I suggest that USEA widen their polls by placing them on the website...this will insure that you get the widest possible sampling of the membership and not just the "vocal" majority....as is, I am alarmed by all the rule changes I have not heard a whiff of until they are updating the rule book. (And I have been to two of the last three annual meetings)...what is the big deal with posting info on new proposals on the website as they are being decided??? It would appear USEA doesn't want feedback????

wanderlust
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:27 PM
Ooops, just saw Packy's post, and it is the level above, not two levels.

~formerly Master Tally~

Heather
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:39 PM
Wow. just Wow.

I'm just sitting here with my jaw open. Canterlope's response made sense to me, even though I don't agree with all of it. But it was well reasonsed, polite, and informative. Can't say the same for pgm.

Oh, and pgm, I do know who you are, in fact we've spoken face to face many times. You also know my husband pretty well.

My email is wulfrunr@aol.com--it's actually in my profile, had you looked, but send away.

I guess what I don't get is, I simply don't agree that we need these divisions. Period. Why try to convince me if you have this huge silent majority in your corner? If that's the case the rule change will go through regardless of my personal views. So, the rule change will go through, the silent majority will win, and the fact I'm not in agreement won't matter even the tiniest amount? So why all the anger and vitriol? You asked for opinions, I gave you mine? Including telling you what some of my concerns regarding it are? If you feel I'm flat wrong, that's OK, but it shouldn't be something to get angry about.

He!!, I wasn't in favor of allowing dressage whips, but that one has gone/is going through anyway. No biggie, I'm not going to quit the sport over it, but it doesn't change the fact i think it was the wrong choice for the sport. But it's a free country and I'm allowed to think that, even if the majority is tickled pink about it.

Just tone down the rage there, dude, I don't agree with you, I'm not calling for you to be publicly executed or anything.

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:40 PM
Thanks, wanderlust!

The majority of Area II events I have done alway seem to offer the restricted/rider/horse divisions. Didn't know if it was the same way in other areas.

My experience as a "newbie" to the sport has been excellent. In my personal experience, people that hesitate to get into eventing aren't put off by possibly having to compete against Phillip Dutton, etc., but are just plain apprehensive about jumping "solid fences that don't fall down"!!!

deltawave
Nov. 12, 2003, 01:42 PM
As the owner of an experienced packer, I can and do still ride in non-Open divisions. Those are now (I THOUGHT!!) predicated only on RIDER experience. No organizer has said anything to me--have entered just "Training" all year unless only Open was offered. If they stick me in "Open", I'm not going to complain, though. It's just not that big an issue to me.

I would, though, like to see the USEA rules reflecting the HUGE MAJORITY of USEA members: adult amateurs who ride and compete, likely forever, at the lower levels. This doesn't mean those of us who want to ride against the pros can't enter the divisions the pros will be in, it just allows more flexibility for the organizers and a more level playing field.

No, I'm not in it for the ribbons (good thing...would have long since given up!) but I'm not going to go around and loftily sniff that I don't even care about them. I do! I love to compete, I love to get prizes when I deserve them, I love to win. (though that is even more elusive!) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Ah, I just remembered the caveat on the rules thing...the horse can't have competed at a level above WITHIN 24 MONTHS. Gwen hasn't competed since 2001 so I think we're still legal.


---------------------------------------------
"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
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canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:08 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
Canterlope, please pardon my ignorance :-), but with the myriad of divisions already offered in eventing...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

But remember, the USEA does not recognize the myriad of divisions you are talking about. The horse and rider divisions are no longer defined by the USEA and it is left up to the individual event organizers to define them in any way they choose. As PMG said, currently the USEA only defines Open and Regular divisions. After that, the organizer can do whatever they want. Since this varies from organizer to organizer, is this creating a level playing field for some of our riders? I just don't think so.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>... when would a newbie to the sport be pitted against a Olympic/World class rider? I am only really familiar with Area II, but I have yet to see an event that only offers open divisions - there is always some type of BN or N rider or restricted division or the organizer splits inexperienced riders into their own division.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>The very first time I rode Novice, I rode against Karen with two horses, David with two horses, Mike Plumb, Charlie Plumb, Denny Emerson, Wash Bishop, David O'Brien, and several other top riders. Just being in the warm-up was enough to make me want to go hide somewhere.

This happens more than you think. With a few exceptions of offering JR/YR divisions, this year the following Area II events only offered open divisions at one or more level and in some cases, all of the divisions were only open sections:
<UL TYPE=SQUARE><LI>CDCTA<LI>DRPC<LI>Fair Hill International<LI>Fancy Hill<LI>Five Points<LI>Flora Lea<LI>Longleaf<LI>Loudoun Hunt PC<LI>MCTA<LI>Menfelt<LI>Middleburg<LI>Middletown<LI>Plantation<LI>Radnor Hunt PC<LI>Rubicon<LI>Southern Pines<LI>Waredaca[/list]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:22 PM
Since I have now been labeled condescending (Tractor Queen) and Rude (Heather) I will reiterate on epoint that I came onto the board with. Read the rule and ask for the information and I will be happy to send anyone- even people who think I am a condescending rude person, the information.

And Heather, since you know who I am, and since you have basically called me rude to my face, and think that my responses here are not well reasoned, you might want to be brave and say who you are so that I can avoid you and your husband in public from now on.

RAyers
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:27 PM
Canterlope,

I agree the sport needs to grow and that amateur divisons are one way to do it. I think it is a good idea. I just simply believe they are not good for me. I have done the A/O jumpers and the A/O hunters. The "unique thing" was that I was competing against plenty of shamateurs that made me have to up the level of my riding in that discipline, which in turn prepared me for eventing.


Reed

Heather
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:36 PM
I didn't say you were rude, I said I liked canterlope's response better than yours. The word rude does not appear in my post.

Again, I dont' understand why you are angry I don't agree with the idea of amateur divisions? I imagine your proposal will go through just fine. So why all the anger?

After speaking with Mr. Heather he pointed out that I probabyl have something of a skewed perspective here, in that I grew up riding in an area where it was considered a huge deal to have enough riders to fill out a junior and a senior division. 90% of the time there was one division at a given level, and you rode against pros, juniors, amateurs, your great aunt fanny and a dog. So from day one I've ridden against pros and names, even at the tender age of 14. it's just how it worked.

So when I moved back east, it didn't occur to me to do otherwise, or that it was a big deal. My first event on the east coast I rode against, both O'Connors, Peter Green, Bruce Davidson, Mike Plumb, and pgm http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif, and the only thought that went through my head was that their tack was a lot differnt than mine (brown bridles with brass--I had black and white DQ tack).

Is there any information available on how many areas have the entries to fulfill extra divisions? I would imagine most do at the novice and BN levels, but general statistics for the sport would indicate that those numbers drop way off at training level, and even more so at prelim and above.

My name is Heather Bailey btw, I won't out my husband on a thread he's not involved in, but if you'd like, once I recieve your email, I'd be glad to give you his name privately (I've retained my maiden name).

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:41 PM
Heather Bailey:

Fair enough. Thsi is why emoticons were invented I guess- too easy to misinterpret tone of voice. Anyway, have sent the information. not angry you disagree- just want to encourage everyone to read the rules, get up to speed on the argument and then we can talk. WOur committee has spent a year looking at every aspect of this issue and we know we are in for it in Boston. This session has been extremely helpful to both Canterlope and Myself in reherseing some of the responses that will best communicate the hows and whys of the new propsoal. This is why we even dared start the conversation when it came up four pages ago.

cweimer
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by RAyers:
Canterlope,

I agree the sport needs to grow and that amateur divisons are one way to do it. I think it is a good idea. I just simply believe they are not good for me. I have done the A/O jumpers and the A/O hunters. The "unique thing" was that I was competing against plenty of shamateurs that made me have to up the level of my riding in that discipline, which in turn prepared me for eventing.

Reed<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think this is where I come in, too. I am an amateur, but don't necessarily think that's where I would choose to ride. My choice - and as long as the rule is permissive (so the organizer isn't forced to divide that way) or a mandate (I can still choose to ride open and be a masochist http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif), I think it's a FINE way to bring new blood into the sport.

As long as it stays "amateur" and not "amateurish" - that would be a Bad Thing.

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The "unique thing" was that I was competing against plenty of shamateurs that made me have to up the level of my riding in that discipline, which in turn prepared me for eventing. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>


Reed - Reed - Reed - the definition of amateur as per USAE has nothing to do with ability http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:53 PM
Tractor wins prizes - the first line of the rule- right on!

nothing at all to do with ability, accomplishments, or experience.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:55 PM
Cweimer rocks too for the "amateurish" comment. Often, the most difficult division to win in IS the amateur section. Those hroses are broke to death and not the greenies that a pro might bring to the same level. Watch to see if the level of horsemanship actually increases as a result of instituting these divisions.

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 02:58 PM
pgm - still waiting for a reply

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> PGM - your a condescending sort aren't you?...I read the rule book (again) but cannot find the specific section which allows an organizer to split an ON division by experience..can you provide section/pg number?

I suggest that USEA widen their polls by placing them on the website...this will insure that you get the widest possible sampling of the membership and not just the "vocal" majority....as is, I am alarmed by all the rule changes I have not heard a whiff of until they are updating the rule book. (And I have been to two of the last three annual meetings)...what is the big deal with posting info on new proposals on the website as they are being decided??? It would appear USEA doesn't want feedback???? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

ohhh don't forget -- http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/dead.gif

RAyers
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:15 PM
My point had NOTHING to do with the USEA. It was an explanation of why I feel I will stay on the open divisions in eventing. In the h/j world, the definition of amateur is so blurred, pros ride as amateurs on a regular basis (why I said "shamateurs"). As matter of fact when I finished 3 in Zone 8 in the A/O jumpers, the only 2 people ahead of me were pros that just never declared they taught and rode others. Because of this I was forced to ride as well as the pros in order to compete. In so doing I learned to ride against the pros no matter the discipline.

The rule as written is what I think the rule should be in the h/j world, but that ain't happening.

pgm, the idea of broke horses helping riders is a double edge sword. I know many folks in the h/j, and dressage worlds that ride at high levels but have no idea of what real riding or horsemanship is because they hop on these push button horses and pose away. Yes, a rider can gain unbelievable confidence and experience riding a broke horse but it has to be tempered with knowledge of how that horse came to be that way.

Reed

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:18 PM
Sorry About that- I was busy condescending to my secretary about something that was actually billable- she slapped me for it.

Tractor: this issue is not new to the USEA or the USAEQ. As I explained above, the proposal is not ripe yet and is being propsoed for 2005 season, not this coming. So commments from the membership will be more than taken into consderation in the up coming cycle. Further, the USEA executive committee did not want this rule change to be dead on arrival so we formulated a very experiecned group to dosome work on it over the last year. The committee is made up of amateurs and professionals, organizers and USEA types. We were very careful to consider all view points when creating a proposal.

As it is only a proposal, you have the opportunity to give feed back. But with this issue that is a real bee's nest if you haven't looked at the specific rules that already exist and the realities facing our competitors and organizers.

Too oftyen, people react without having all of the facts surrounding this uissue and simply assume they know what the relevant facts are. (Reference the rules about organizers being allowed to divide preliminary levels by experience.) We are trying to anticipate the arguments for and against this rule change that are not based in fact. If someone stands up in the convention context and whips the crowd into a frenzy using falsehoods and exagerations, we need to respond, right then with factual information that is realiable.

Why have you been missing the rule change propsals, mainly because you are assuming that the USEA is the primary rule making body for eventing. They don't make or enforce the rules. It isn't and never has been. The USAEQ is the primary rule making body and if you want to know what is going down, log on the rule change propsoals and get copies.

As I explained above, this particular rule proposal isn't there yet because ists brand spanking new.

JER
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:25 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Our committee has spent a year looking at every aspect of this issue and we know we are in for it in Boston. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

pgm, if you are, as you say, speaking for a 'silent majority', why do you know you're 'in for it' in Boston? ANd what exactly is it you're in for?

If you're so sure you're in for more dissenting opinons like those expressed on this BB, it sound like you're doubting the support of your silent majority. Or are you saying that everyone who will speak out at the USEA annual meeting is from the vocal minority?

Why is this particular rule proposal such a big deal? If it's happening already in the east and if the organizer can choose whether to include these divisions, what could possible be so contentious about this?

And like I said, I don't really care about divisions, as long as the course is the same amount of fun. Or maybe it's just that I bristle at being called an "adult" and/or an "amateur". Maybe I don't collect a paycheck but I work pretty darn hard.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:28 PM
JER - you said a mouthful.

See my last post to Tractor Queen.

asterix
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:42 PM
OK, I don't want to get mowed down here, and I've been reading this hoping I will pick to ride against the BNs and get smushed rather than go for my RIBBON if amateur divisions are offered... http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif
but...
for what it's worth, this sounds pretty innocuous to me, since it will not preclude any of the current divisions being run as they are...
but I would put in a BIG plug for making sure that the many, many folks I know who teach some up-down lessons, or huntseat lessons, etc. do not get squeezed out later on...these are not "eventing" pros, just working grownups working off board at their barn.
that is, retain the "regular" division, don't jettison it. I know all current divisions are envisioned to stay, but...
if there is a consensus in 2 or 3 years that we now have too many divisions and sometimes tiny divisions, etc., seems "regular" would then be the first to get the axe...

frugalannie
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:45 PM
Maybe it's me, but if I'm right, "permissive" can also be taken to mean "optional". So organizers don't have to offer amateur divisions, but they will now be allowed to if they wish.

I think it's worth trying for a couple of years. The rules can always be changed again. That's what committees are for, right? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I expect I will continue to choose "Open" divisions, if they are offered, depending on where my horse is at any given time. But I have long recognized that some people really don't want to ride against the pros for any of a variety of reasons, and that's Ok with me.

We all (I hope) recognize the value of expanding our base and drawing in more members. If doing something like this, which preserves the integrity of the actual riding test, will accomplish it then I'm all for it. I would be far more concerned if we were "dumbing down" the riding tests.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Pol
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:46 PM
Wowee, what a grumpy group. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif

Heinz 57
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:48 PM
I may be off the mark here...

But, if this Amateur division is a) just another option for organizers to include as a division and b) the real amateurs in each division aren't required to enter in only amateur divisions....

This will be another one of those rules that floats off into NowhereLand, because when organizers do choose to include it, there will be some absurdly small number of entries due to the fact that there are, in most of MY local events, already a limit to some 200 or so entries; these events start at BN. The organizers I know aren't going to exclude the Horse/Rider class of each division just to include Amateur; so, I see it turning into for example, Novice, Open Novice, Novice Horse, Novice Rider, Amateur Novice. IMO, if this rule goes through and any organizer decides to use the ammy divisions, they are going to wind up with a handful or so of entries in a division where it is MIGHTY easy to win a ribbon.



I still retain my opinion that this division rule will float off into nowhereland. Then again it doesn't even affect me (yet) because I'm still a junior. To pgm, or whoever it was that remarked about having to compete against Karen, David, and numerous other pros in their very first event ever:

I wish that could be me. I would've relished at the chance to compete against such awesome riders; I would have relished at the chance to say I even rode in the same DIVISION as them. I'd pay big money just to be able to compare my scores to theirs and watch some REAL pros compete in my very division. Not even to think if I got a score within twenty points of theirs.
I'll still compete in Open's, even after I'm not a kiddy anymore. BUT, I bet by that time we'll have integrated a system that has as many divisions and classes as H/J land, just to cater to all those who MIGHT want to event.


Just 'cause I CAN have a whip in dressage doesn't mean that I EVER will. I actually hate dressage whips, just as I hate divisions and segregations. Junior, Adult, Amateur, Pro, Owner, working-class or gold-grilled. Life already has enough segregations and divisions; I am just a six-figure number on someone's list; a girl, a Junior, a minor, a horseperson and a GPA. For now, I'd rather be just like everyone else. A rider. A competitor. A horseman.

Riding (Eventing) is not about how level the playing field is; its about how well you play.

Flame suit close at hand.
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

"So here's to second chances, broken hearts, and new beginnings." - Taryn

Gry2Yng
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:49 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>If you're so sure you're in for more dissenting opinons like those expressed on this BB, it sound like you're doubting the support of your silent majority. Or are you saying that everyone who will speak out at the USEA annual meeting is from the vocal minority?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just to defend pgm...of course he is in for more dissenting opinion. This is a hot topic. That doesn't mean she doesn't have the support of her silent majority. It just means that we are ALL in touch enought to know that many members have a strong opinion on the topic.

I am like tractor queen
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> a true AA who limped thru a CCI** and now am starting over with a OTTB, I can't do the area championships (have to wait 2yrs), can't do adult team challenge, and must compete against pros for area and National year end awards (in Area III!!!). I like to have a goal each season (besides finishing on a reasonably good dressage score at each event). <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Even on my CCI** horse, it would be nice to come home more than one weekend a year and tell my family that I won a ribbon. No the ribbons aren't that important to me, but I think my employers and my in-laws sometimes wonder why I spend so much time and money to do something "so badly".

Sure, we all know that finishing 10th in a divison against Bruce Davidson and Lion King, Holly Hepp and Lester, Karen and David, etc is great. But somehow this just doesn't come through to the greater population that wonders why I don't take up golf and spend more time with my family.

As a member of Area IV, I also wonder how the AA's on the east coast feel about the top amateur awards. In Areas II/III I would imagine points are much harder to come by when you have to compete against the O'C's, Phillip, etc, but in Area IV we can go to many events that are not dominated by pink coats. Thus, I think we have a better shot at points and AA awards at year end. Doesn't seem fair.

FWIW, I don't care either way. I love the sport and will continue to play and treasure the one ribbon I bring home every year. But I would certainly enter an amateur division if it was offered. I recognize that at I and A, there might not be many entries, maybe just pinning AA's separately would be nice.

I love riding against the BNT's but sometimes it would be nice to be recognized for what I am.

[This message was edited by Gry2Yng on Nov. 12, 2003 at 06:14 PM.]

GotSpots
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:51 PM
OK, in between my own search to maintain the billable hour requirements, I reviewed the proposal. Here's my one thought, and please forgive me, I'm only a litigator from a midwestern state school and so not particularly clever: Why do we need this division when we have the "regular" or "not-open" division? If Joe Weekend Warrior Ammy runs in the "BN", Karen O'Conner can't be in his division under the current rules. In fact, anyone who has run Advanced is not eligible for P, T, N, or BN: as I understand the rules, they must enter in OP, JYOP, OT, ON, or OBN. So the average Weekend Warrior who wants to run and avoid the big boys can do so any time the P, T, N, or BN is offered.

Now, I understand that people have a concern that generally organizers only offer open divisions. But if the new "amateur" division is permissive and not mandatory, than how is that any different? How will we "make" organizers have an amateur division when they don't have a regular division? The only thing that I see that dividing line making different is to ensure that someone who teaches the occasional lesson but has never competed above training level have to compete in the OT. Before, that person could compete in the T division.

Could someone please explain? If it could be done in words of one syllable, very simply, that would be appreciated.

Oh yeah, and Gry? PGM is pretty definitely not a "she". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

RAyers
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:52 PM
Pol, of course we are grumpy. The season is over, my horse looks like the yaks next door, the weather sucks, it is half way through the work week and the sun sets at noon. What's the point of it all if you can't just gripe. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Reed http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

subk
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:54 PM
Actually, I think Amatuers in this sport are long over due for some recognition and applaud the committee for attemping to in some way address the issue!

For the record I, think the prevailing thought that you are some kind of holier than thou rider who practices a higher form of the art simply because you're an amatuer who prefers to compete with the Big Boys (and Girls) is the biggest wheelbarrow of muck out there. In our sport, unlike, say, tennis you don't compete head to head so therefore are NOT "honing your skills" against the competition. Phillip Dutton's performance is rarely if ever going to change because YOU are in the division. So why other than some physcosemantic B.S. is your performance going to change because he's in your division?

In the end it's all about ego. You get a bigger ego trip from riding against Phillip and someone else gets a bigger ego trip from getting a nice ribbon against people with similar limitations.

As an honest to goodness AA whose competed thru the ** level, I for one would be delighted to compete in an amatuer division. It is a much more acurate comparison of my and my horse's ability as well as the committment of time I'm able to make. In fact a competition is just that--a comparison--and if I'm an apple I can assure you that Phillp is an orange. The definition of an unfair compition is exactly that: a comparison of unlike things.

pgm--pragmatically speaking if these new desigantions are voluntary what is the likelihood that the organizers of events which tend to have a goodly number of professionals (i.e. the exact kind of event the AA would like to have a separate division) are going to implement the divisions? These are the same H.T. that the organizers NEED multiple open divisions to put the professionals who are riding more than one horse so they can work the schedule.

My preference as an upper level AA would be not to change the divisions but to require/encourage organizers (as well as publications) to recognize the top placing AAs in any given Prelim- Advanced Open division. The points awarded would not be affected by the AA results. Did the committee do any research/inquiries on this concept?

cweimer
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GotSpots:
Why do we need this division when we have the "regular" or "not-open" division? If Joe Weekend Warrior Ammy runs in the "BN", Karen O'Conner can't be in his division under the current rules. In fact, anyone who has run Advanced is not eligible for P, T, N, or BN: as I understand the rules, they must enter in OP, JYOP, OT, ON, or OBN. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I used to compete against a pro in Colorado who - during the five years I spent there - never competed above BN. But she rode a lot more than I did, rode horses for clients, etc. She had more rides in a typical day than I did in a week.

I think at the lower levels it's less about the really big names and more about the average sized names. As you progress up the levels, you're more likely to hit the really BNT. But that's just my interpretation.

subk, I like your solution (recognize the top-ranked amateurs without necessarily creating a separate division) - interested to hear if it was considered.

3dazey
Nov. 12, 2003, 03:58 PM
Ooooh Reed, I was all set to jump on my grumpy high horse and enter the fray, then you have to jump in and sum up everything that's wrong with my attitude these days. I'm just a damn crabby adult amateur with seasonal affective disorder. Where in h*ll is my division?

Elghund2
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:05 PM
I think one of the great things about eventing is that you can compete against the big boys. I think the sport already has too many divisions and is heading toward hunterland.

I personally don't understand when someone competes in anything but the open division. You are running the same course and doing the same test. I'd rather take the chance of beating a name then beating some Mary Downtheblock.

"I thought I was dead once but it turns out, I was only in Nebraska."

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:07 PM
3dazey: "Am I gay, am I staright? No I'm just slutty. WHere's my parade?" Margaret Cho.

Gry2yng: Okay for the record, only my friends are allowed to switch gender pronouns on me Ummkay, girl friend. I am not a her, I am a him.

Second, gotspots, the rules restricting experience are VERY RESTRICTIVE. so you can be a total amateur, even ride amateurishly, and if you have two events at training in the last twenty-four months, you are relegated to the open section of Novice.

Third, Gotspots: Organizers in area II and II already offer these division without having a uniform standard for defining amateur. And this may speak to the young lady from Oregon's concerns about the rule going into neverland - the rule is permissive so that western areas are not "required" to divide divisions that are already too small to support the distinction.

There is no questions that the divisions will be well subscribed in the east, they already are.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:07 PM
3dazey: "Am I gay, am I staright? No I'm just slutty. WHere's my parade?" Margaret Cho.

Gry2yng: Okay for the record, only my friends are allowed to switch gender pronouns on me Ummkay, girl friend. I am not a her, I am a him.

Second, gotspots, the rules restricting experience are VERY RESTRICTIVE. so you can be a total amateur, even ride amateurishly, and if you have two events at training in the last twenty-four months, you are relegated to the open section of Novice.

Third, Gotspots: Organizers in area II and II already offer these division without having a uniform standard for defining amateur. And this may speak to the young lady from Oregon's concerns about the rule going into neverland - the rule is permissive so that western areas are not "required" to divide divisions that are already too small to support the distinction.

There is no questions that the divisions will be well subscribed in the east, they already are.

canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by GotSpots:
Why do we need this division when we have the "regular" or "not-open" division? If Joe Weekend Warrior Ammy runs in the "BN", Karen O'Conner can't be in his division under the current rules. In fact, anyone who has run Advanced is not eligible for P, T, N, or BN: as I understand the rules, they must enter in OP, JYOP, OT, ON, or OBN. So the average Weekend Warrior who wants to run and avoid the big boys can do so any time the P, T, N, or BN is offered.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>GotSpots, I'll try to make this as quick as possible. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif

The rules as they stand right now state that competitors in the regular divisions may not have completed more than two Horse Trials at the next level or higher with in the previous twenty-four months. The open divisions are for riders who do not meet this restriction. Notice that it says nothing about the horse's qualifications. It is based soley on the rider's experience.

So, let's say I am an amateur adult at the Novice level. I ride at several events, then decide that I want to try Training at the end of the year. I try it, complete, but have a bad experience and decide to move back down the next spring. The next year rolls around, I event for half a season and decide to try Training again. I do and it turns out the same way. I complete, but have another bad experience and decide to finish the rest of the season at Novice. Guess what? I now am no longer eligible to enter the regular Novice division and must compete against the pros not only for the rest of the year, but the next year as well.

And the situation compounds itself if I get a new horse during this time. I can't enter the regular Novice divisions with him either and must compete against the pros on a new-to-me horse.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:10 PM
elghund

Is she related in any way to Joan Bezwing from new Jersey?

deltawave
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:11 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by subk:
i think the prevailing thought that you are some kind of holier than thou rider who practices a higher form of the art simply because you're an amatuer who prefers to compete with the Big Boys (and Girls) is the biggest wheelbarrow of muck out there. In our sport, unlike, say, tennis you don't compete head to head so therefore are NOT "honing your skills" against the competition. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Ah, thank you...well said!

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>You get a bigger ego trip from riding against Phillip and someone else gets a bigger ego trip from getting a nice ribbon against people with similar limitations<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Exactly. You don't HAVE to ride in an amateur division if you want to tell your mom "I beat David O'Connor" or whatever. Jeez, folks, we all do this sport for different reasons...why are reasons other than our own "bad"? (rhetorical question: the answer is "because we are human!") http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

---------------------------------------------
"If you think your hairstyle is more important than your brain, you're probably right." Wear a helmet!
Pictures! (http://www.deltawave.homestead.com/photos2.html)
Helmet Nazi, Bah Humbug, Mares Rule, Breed Your Own and Michigan cliques!

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:14 PM
You go Delta!

ponygrl
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:23 PM
I'm technically not an amateur so it wouldn't affect me anyway, but I don't mind playing with the big dogs. To me a 4th behind 3 trainers is better than a 1st ahead of people who only ride 2 or 3 times a week at max (myself included!)

Laura

canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:28 PM
P.S. In Area II, many of the events offer separate JR/YR divisions. Using the "riding against the pros will raise my level of riding" theory that many of you feel is important, does this mean we are creating a situation where our younger riders are being denied to opportunity to raise their riding level by placing them in separate divisions where they are not competing against the pros? Plus, why is it considered acceptable to separate out the JR/YR into their own divisions, but not do the same for our Adult Amateurs?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

wanderlust
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:30 PM
canterlope/pgm... when did it change that the requirement to compete in the open division is based only on the rider? Guess I've spent a couple too many years in hunterland...

~formerly Master Tally~

tractor queen
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Even on my CCI** horse, it would be nice to come home more than one weekend a year and tell my family that I won a ribbon. No the ribbons aren't that important to me, but I think my employers and my in-laws sometimes wonder why I spend so much time and money to do something "so badly".

Sure, we all know that finishing 10th in a divison against Bruce Davidson and Lion King, Holly Hepp and Lester, Karen and David, etc is great. But somehow this just doesn't come through to the greater population that wonders why I don't take up golf and spend more time with my family.

<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

well said gry2yng http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif I too have to endure the the well meaning coworkers (who now know if I am not in the office, I am competing) that want to know how I did...explaining you ride against Olympians and are just doing it for fun only goes so far, they can't even fathom paying away serious $$$ (let alone valuable vacation) to compete, with absolutely no hope for a "prize" other than a ribbon and a warm fuzzy! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif. It is a serious time and financial commitment and I would like a little recognition if I do well, as well as have an (attainable) goal to work towards...

As far as multiple divisions for pros, why is it so bad to have a pro on two horses have both horses in the same division...they don't split divisions at three days.. There are plenty of ways to work the schedule to incorporate multiple rides...they just won't be able to place in the top 5 on all of their horses (even if they are all at the same level)...

I think it makes a big difference which area you live in...Area II and III cater to profs - Area III in the Spring and Area II in the fall - gearing their horses towards a three day...that's fine but excludes the majority of USEA membership. If we can have a young rider's division then why not an adult amateurs division??? Why is YR OK, but not AA?

canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by wanderlust:
canterlope/pgm... when did it change that the requirement to compete in the open division is based only on the rider? Guess I've spent a couple too many years in hunterland...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>December 1, 2001

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:42 PM
tractor queen, you are definately catching onto the nuances of the change quickly. The flexibility this gives organizers is interesting. Right now we have over subscription problems at event sin the east. If Open divisions were scheduled on Fridays, this would leave additional spots for more ntries in regular, amateur and jr divisions on the weekend. Plus, our trianers would not be riding at the same time so they could actually coach us, and then the sport might be made safer...Gee whiz. Hmmm.

Of course that is pure speculation. We don't actually know what the change will do which is why we decided that we needed a very benign change that allowed the market pklace to go in whatever dircetion made sense.

EventerAJ
Nov. 12, 2003, 04:58 PM
pgm and Canterlope-- you have very valid points, I do see the need for a division for that sort of "in between" levels idea.

Maybe I'm wrong (no "holier than thou" intentions!), but here's my thinking: our sport is different than hunters, dressage, jumpers, whatever. You have to be involved to enjoy and succeed in our sport; the majority of eventers are dedicated to their horses and the sport. Some people can afford to be more dedicated than others. Some people do it for a living, some people can only manage riding twice a week. We have "super Pros" and we have weekend warriors. But I think there is a large gray area.

Yes, the weekend warriors should not be forced to compete with BNTs. But what about the training level rider who has taught a handful up/down lessons? She's a pro, technically. What about the prelim rider getting paid a tiny bit to exercise her trainer's horses? She's a pro. What about the college student working off her horse's board, which may or may not include basic teaching/riding other horses? She's a pro. But I highly doubt these people are in the "Pro" (BNT) league. Technically, according to USAE rules, they are professionals.

I don't have any problem with the Ammy division, so long as the "regular" divisions are always offered. I'm not going to sit here and pretend to tell you that "Oh I'll always enter the Open divisions because I LIKE competing against Karen/David/Bruce/Phillip every weekend!" I'm still a YR, I enter the JYOP divisions (so this means I compete against the likes of Will Coleman, etc... big difference, LOL http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif). But generally the YRs are about my experience, maybe more, maybe less. When the J/Y division isn't available (ie Red Hills) I enter the regular P divison, instead of OP. If regular division was replaced by Ammy, I would have to enter OP, because according to technical definitions I am pro. Now, I don't think that would bother me; I'm experienced at prelim, riding against BNTs doesn't scare me. But my first season of prelim? That wouldn't have been fair.

Like you've said, experience does not correlate with money earned. It might come "closer" to having a relationship in other disciplines, but I think many eventers, even at lower levels, are "working" riders.

Just MHO.

~AJ~
I've been there...that's why I'm here.

Gry2Yng
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:11 PM
Geeeeeeeeeeeeeezzzzzzzzz pgm! I stand up for you and you get bent out of shape because I get your gender wrong...Sorry, I have corrected post above.

I like subk's idea for the upper levels, just recognize the highest placed Ammy. But then AJ points out that if you teach up downs (which I don't) you are not an ammy. Maybe it really is an ammy owner thing. The riders that own the one or two horses that they ride, not the riders that own none of the six or seven they ride, are my peers.

Perhaps we could have an Ammy affadavit on the back of our entries..."I hereby certify that Iwork all day, commute an hour to the barn, make my so cranky and my co-workers crazy to do this sport. I pay for the horses I ride, don't have a trust fund, my car smells like dirty tack and I unload my own trailer on Sunday night. Therefore, I am an adult amateur."

[This message was edited by Gry2Yng on Nov. 12, 2003 at 07:21 PM.]

[This message was edited by Gry2Yng on Nov. 12, 2003 at 07:22 PM.]

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:31 PM
Gry2yng

You aren't the first to make that mistake, And you you won't be the last, your were just next.

And for the record, if I had been bent out of shape, your computer would have been burning!

PGM http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:34 PM
eventer AJ

I am a former member of the USET. I am a professional. I Teach a lot. The last event I competed in was in 2001 at the advanced level. I went clear and placed.

I am now qualified to ride in regular Novice. Does anyone else besides me have a problem with that?

EventerAJ
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:36 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Gry2Yng:

Perhaps we could have an Ammy affadavit on the back of our entries..."I hereby certify that Iwork all day, commute an hour to the barn, make my so cranky and my co-workers crazy to do this sport. I pay for the horses I ride, don't have a trust fund, my car smells like dirty tack and I unload my own trailer on Sunday night. Therefore, I am an adult amateur."
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

LOL!! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

pgm- No, that isn't fair. Perhaps redefine the experience rules rather than imposing the $$ rule? Such as, you are inelligible for regular novice if you have EVER competed *above* training. Isn't that how the old "Rider" divisions worked? You couldn't have competed 2 divisions above what you entered? ("rider" only) Maybe there was a date attached to it, I don't remember.

Perhaps I'm being idealistic, but I think many (most?) eventing Pros of your status are respecful enough to enter the "right" divisions. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Would the ammy divisions have any restrictions other than money-earning status? Such as, if I never make another horse-related dime, am I (a rider who has completed two one-stars) elligible to compete in the novice ammy division? (not that I would, but could I?)

I guess I just don't see much point in dividing divisions soley based on whether you make money in horses (LOL, there's an oxymoron! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif). I think dividing by experience just makes more sense. Sure you can have an ammy division if you want, more power to ya. But of itself, I don't think it would create a level playing field either.

~AJ~

ps- if there's a rule, that means it must have some enforcement. I don't know the logistics of things like this, but it must be nice for most organizers not to worry about "is this person really an ammy?" From what I understand, tracking down qualifications and memberships is laborous in itself. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

[This message was edited by EventerAJ on Nov. 12, 2003 at 07:48 PM.]

Gry2Yng
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:45 PM
I probably should have put a http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif after "bent out of shape". I am almost always tonge in cheek, except when they talk about doing away with the CCI.

I am now obsessed with figuring out who you are pgm! Maybe it is obvious. Many claim that my grey hair is as close to blonde as one can get...

Janet
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:54 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:
eventer AJ

I am a former member of the USET. I am a professional. I Teach a lot. The last event I competed in was in 2001 at the advanced level. I went clear and placed.

I am now qualified to ride in regular Novice. Does anyone else besides me have a problem with that?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Doesn't bother me. If it bothers you, then just don't enter "regular" Novice.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Elghund2
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:55 PM
This discussion is sounding like a lot of the ammy vs pro discussions on the h/j board.

I also think that while the idea of having the open divisions on Friday sounds good consider where you are going to get the people to staff the event.

"I thought I was dead once but it turns out, I was only in Nebraska."

Gry2Yng
Nov. 12, 2003, 05:57 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Doesn't bother me. If it bothers you, then just don't enter "regular" Novice.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I think the point was that he CAN, not that he would.

wanderlust
Nov. 12, 2003, 06:00 PM
Gry2Yng, check your PTs.

~formerly Master Tally~

pgm
Nov. 12, 2003, 06:10 PM
Wanderlust- Are you telling Gry2yng who I am?

geez- ther is no such thing as ananymity anymore is there! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

And I still can't spell!

Janet
Nov. 12, 2003, 06:12 PM
I think the INTENT is basically good. While I have no problem competing
against Buck, Phyllis, Nina, etc. in the lower divisions (I have seen
them get the big E plenty of times), I can see that it might be
intimidating to new riders, and those crossing over from h/j land.

And there is nothing forcing me, JER, Heather, etc. to enter amateur divisions if they are
offered, or forcing organizers to offer amateur divisions if there is no
interest., so that part is fine with me too.

My concern is the UNINTENDED consequences.

By going with the existing USAEq rules (and I agree it would be a bad
idea to try to come up with a competing definition), you define as "not
amateur" a large number of people who do not, to use your wording, "hold
themselves out as professional horsemen." KellyS who posted here, and many others who find themselves
"defined" as not amateur by the precise wording of the rules, even
though they are clearly amateurs (holding down a full time desk job,
only riding a couple of times a week, not with great skills) in the
SPIRIT of the rules.

IF (and I realize these are big ifs) the organizers offer the amateur
divisions, AND most of the riders who qualify as amateurs enter the
amateur divisions , then there will probably not be enough entries to
fill a "regular" division, and the only options will be "open"
and
"amateur". That will make it even MORE intimidating for people like KellyS, and crossovers from h/j who are "technically non-amateurs".
It is one thing to be in a division with Buck and Nina AND a bunch of
never-done-it-before riders. It is much more intimidating to be the
only never-done-it-before rider in with Buck and Nina, and so on.

IF we end up with "open" and "amateur" as the divisions for
adults
(which your letter seems to think is desirable), THEN doing something
that makes you technically non-amateur will be seen as undesirable. This
will be fine for those that can afford to pay for training, etc., with
money earned in another field. But it will have a negative effect for
those who can only get that training by bartering their limited horse
skills for lessons. Bartering those skills, while limited, will still
in many cases make them non-amateur under the rules. I am afraid that
this will cause at least SOME riders to forego that training because
"they don't want to do anything to lose their amateur status". I don't
think that is good for either the riders in question or the sport as a
whole.

Finally, after having read through all the documents, I fail to
understand what is wrong with the current open vs regular split (aside
from organizers not offering "regular", or offering "regular, but
then
making them all "open" divisions "because Buck has 3 horses at training,
and we only had enough entries for 3 training divisions, so we made them
all open" - this was actually given to me as the reason at one event).

Yes, with the "regular vs open", amateur riders who have competed at
Prelim have to go in open Novice against Buck and Nina et al. But that
seems a much "lesser evil" than making Kelly S and others like her go in the same
division as Buck and Nina et al.

Yes, with the "regular vs. open", the never-done-it-before amateurs in
the "regular" division have to compete against "real" Pros who
happen
not to have competed at a higher level recently. But that seems a "lesser evil" than the
never-done-it before amateurs competing against amateurs who have been
competing at Prelim for years, just not on this horse.

If all events were offering "open", "regular", AND "amateur",
I would be
less concerned. But if the "amateur" division drives out the "regular"
division, I think it would be a "bad thing".

I think the "regular" vs "open" split, when offered, is MORE
inviting to
the never-done-it-before riders than the amateur vs pro split.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

wanderlust
Nov. 12, 2003, 06:24 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:
Wanderlust- Are you telling Gry2yng who I am?

geez- ther is no such thing as ananymity anymore is there! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/sigh.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_cool.gif

And I still can't spell!<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Don't worry, "anonymity" is a tough one. Says the girl who lost the 5th grade spelling bee on "flamingo." Completely forgot about that darn "n". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

And as if you really want anonymity... it isn't me who signs half my posts with my first name! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

~formerly Master Tally~

canterlope
Nov. 12, 2003, 06:44 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> By going with the existing USAEq rules (and I agree it would be a bad idea to try to come up with a competing definition), you define as "not amateur" a large number of people who do not, to use your wording, "hold themselves out as professional horsemen." KellyS who posted here, and many others who find themselves "defined" as not amateur by the precise wording of the rules, even though they are clearly amateurs (holding down a full time desk job, only riding a couple of times a week, not with great skills) in the SPIRIT of the rules. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>My concern with this is if a person is doing an activity that excludes them from being an amateur, even if it is only part time or minimal, why should they be not be considered a professional? Especially in the case of teaching riding lessons and particularly if it involves beginner riders. If any group of people need guidance from a professional, this group does.

If you are willing to take on that kind of responsibility and take those riders' money as well, you owe it to them to hold yourself out as a professional. The same holds true if you are taking money to train someone's horse or any other situation where you represent yourself as someone who has a greater knowledge and/or ability than those who have employed you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

Janet
Nov. 12, 2003, 07:00 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If you are willing to take on that kind of responsibility and take those riders' money as well, you owe it to them to hold yourself out as a professional. The same holds true if you are taking money to train someone's horse or any other situation where you represent yourself as someone who has a greater knowledge and/or ability than those who have employed you.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> OK, a couple of different examples.

If I pay someone to do trot sets on my horse once a week, they are not "representing themselves as someone who has a greater knowledge and/or ability than those who have employed them." They are representing them as someone who can trot and read a watch. But that person is non-amateur under the rules.

I know a rider who has never jumped higher thatn 2'6". She has a "working student" arrangement with a pro to work off lessons. Mostly she feeds and mucks stalls. But once in a while she longes a horse in trianing (under supervision), or takes one on a hack (under supervision). She certainly is not not "representing herself as someone who has a greater knowledge and/or ability than her employer." But she is defined as a non-amateur by the rules.

If I were to ride (even just at a walk) one of the horses in training with my sister, I would be defined as non amateur, even though I would not be "representing myself as having greater knowledge and ability" than anyone, and I wouldn't even be employed by anyone.

If I hire someone to muck stalls, and allow them to ride my horse once, as a favor, they become a non-amateur under the rules, even if they have never sat on a horse before.

I could go on and on.

I recognize that none of these are the INTENTION of the rules. But they fall under the letter of the rules.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

KellyS
Nov. 12, 2003, 07:28 PM
Hey! I just got home from work, a meeting, and finally the barn. Eventer AJ and Janet, thanks for your viewpoint. You have said what I was trying to say, only better!

I can't but help take canterlope's post as coming across slightly condescendingly, considering that I held myself out as a "less experienced" event rider who taught a few lessons in my first post.

Would you like to know my background - I get up and ride my horse at 6 am in the morning, clean stalls (my husband and I have our own barn), and then head to a full time job as an editorial assistant at a magazine. When I finally get home at night, I do the barn again, bedcheck my boys, and go to bed. As my one trainer says, I fulfill every definition of an amateur in this sport.

As for what I hold myself out for as a professional - I happen to have had great success in the hunter world as a sidesaddle rider and teach one lesson a week to a friend. But, I'll tell you right off the bat, it gives me absolutely no advantage when it comes to the sport of eventing! My other lesson - a little girl who is friends of the family whose barn we rent - giving her one lesson a week is part of the deal in renting the barn (and we get a great deal - if we had to move out we would not have (and could not afford) a home for our two old geyser horses (15 & 20) and the fat pony!

Now, I kind of resent the phrase about "holding myself out as a professional" Yes, I am one by the rules and I won't argue with that. However, I look at it as giving back to the horse community. Maybe this is a drastic way to look at it, but by limiting people to amateur and open divisions (depending on if the regular one fills) many people will be detered from giving back to the horse community. While I wouldn't give up my two weekly lessons (they are the high points of my week) to move into the amateur ranks, many people would.

I am not really referring to the rule change here, but the either your a "professional" or an "amateur" stuff ruffles my feathers. I just hate to see money start defining our divisions.

Jeannette, formerly ponygyrl
Nov. 12, 2003, 08:37 PM
Has this alleged groundswell of demand come from N/T riders, or P/I/A ones? I have sympathy and respect for the latter, and strongly commend special awards for the highest placed amatuer (whatever that might behttp://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif ) in those divisions.

As Janet so clearly put it, the intention of the USAEq Amateur rule versus the reality are two worlds apart. I don't know the solution. But seeing the myriad bizarre scenarios in the hunter worl, I am DEEPLY suspiciious of introducing that segregation, however optionally, into our sport.

My only thought is all ribbon presentations should be done by Sue Smithson, who I had the pleasure of watching give out awards to a Training division (Open was all that was offerred) a year or so ago. She gave 5th place to Mike Plumb, then for each ribbon above that (4th went to an amateur, quite possibly just out of the Jr ranks) she said, (and wrote on the back of the ribbon) "You beat Mike Plumb" http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

That'll encourage amateurs!

Seriously, one unintended consequence I wonder about is multi-ring shows and which judge will be assigned to the amateur Training division, the big R who judges the Prelim and Open divisions, or the l graduate who judges the restricted divisions? Once you get people seeking out the amateur divisions - as I'm sure some will - you get a grup accustomed to to learner feedback on their flatwork, rather than liscenced feedback.

I don't feel terribly articulate right now - just worried that unintended consequences can have long arms. Heather, Janet, and KellyS (and others!) have said it better than I can.

Just hope I don't have "shamateur" nightmares tonight, eek.

canterlope
Nov. 13, 2003, 05:17 AM
Condescending!?! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_eek.gif I'm sorry if you took my post that way, but that was so not what I was trying to convey.

Please bear with me on this one. I know it may sound totally irrelevant in the beginning, but I hope I can tie it into the point I was trying to make.

I am a certified SCUBA diving instructor. Although I don't exercise this right, I am licensed to teach basic underwater diving, sport diving, open sea diving, relic diving, and underground diving. During the certification process, one of the requirements for passing was that you could not receive a grade below 75% on any quiz, exam, practicum, etc. Just one grade of 74% or less and you were out of the program.

Needless to say, this put a lot of pressure on me and my fellow students. Once, when I was almost to my breaking point because of the stress of having to maintain a 75% or better score on everything I did, I asked one of the instructors why the program had such a strict requirement. His answer was, "Well, diving is a very dangerous sport. Would you want to place your life in the hands of a person who has less than 75% of the knowledge required to keep you safe, but who presents themselves as someone in whom you can put your total trust?"

For me, the issue of "holding yourself out as a professional", especially in the sport of eventing, comes down to the same thing. If I want my daughter to take riding lessons, I hire an instructor, and pay them for the knowledge and guidance that they give my child, I want to know that this person sees themself as something more than just a person who is teaching lessons in order to make ends meet. I want that person to have the skills necessary to teach her properly and keep her safe. I also want them to view their position with a certain level of professionalism and be willing to step up to the plate and accept all of the consequences that go along with it. In other words, I want them to be totally committed to the position in which they have placed themselves.

I honestly believe that a person who offers their services for money, but is not fully committed to the professionalism that goes along with this, is doing a disservice to the people who have put their faith in this person's abilities. It says to me that this person, while they are willing to accept up to 75% of the responsibilities of their position, they are not willing to take on the remaining 25%. And, if the reason for this is soley because they don't wish to be classified as a professional by the rules of the USAEq and lose their privileges as an amateur, the matter only compounds itself.

KellyS, I truly don't mean this in a condescending way, but if you are getting paid for teaching lessons, what are you "giving" back to the horse community? To me, giving means that you are offering your services and receiving nothing in return. If you are receiving compensation for what you do, you are, for lack of a better term, selling your services and it is not possible to give them away as a result.

Janet, please take a look at the USAEq rule on amateur status that I have pasted below. If you closely read all of the subparagraphs of this rule, you will see that some of the examples you used will not cause a person to be classified as a professional. For example, if you ride one of the horses your sister has in training, this will not automatically classify you as a professional. Going through each subparagraph one by one, a) through d) would not apply because you mentioned nothing about Gillian paying you in any capacity. Subparagraph e) would not apply because no prize money would be involved. Subparagraph f) would not apply because you would not be riding that horse in competition, as would subparagraph g) for this reason and the fact that you would not be giving instruction to a person. And, subparagraph h) would also not apply because, again, you would not be receiving any form of renumeration.

Now, I will be the first one to admit that this rule does classify some people who are clearly amateurs as professionals. But it also works the other way around. There are people out there who are clearly professionals, but who have positioned themselves in a way where they are classified as amateurs under this rule. Is this fair? I don't believe so, but I also believe that there is no way to write any rule that will address every possible situation and correctly classify every rider as either a professional or amateur. To those riders who are adversely affected by this, I send my most heartfelt condolences and my thanks for taking one for the rest of us. By being willing to accept the consequences of your actions, you are helping to maintain a system that, while not perfect, is the best method we currently have to treat our amateurs in an appropriate manner.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Article 808. Amateur Status.
1. Regardless of one’s equestrian skills and/or accomplishments, a person is an amateur for all competitions conducted under Federation rules who after his/her 18th birthday, as defined in Art. 107, has not engaged in any of the following activities which would make him/her a professional (for professionals wishing to be re-classified as amateurs, see Art. 810.2.1):
a) Accepts remuneration for riding, driving, showing in halter/in hand, training, schooling or conducting clinics or seminars.
b) Accepts remuneration for giving instructions in equitation or horse training. (Persons acting as counselors at summer camps, who are not hired in the exclusive capacity of riding instructors are excluded and persons giving instruction and training to the handicapped).
c) Accepts remuneration for employment in other capacity (e.g., secretary, bookkeeper, veterinarian, groom, farrier) and gives instruction, rides, drives, shows in halter/in hand, 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.
d) Accepts remuneration for the use of his or her name, photograph or other form of personal association as a horseman in connection with any advertisement or article to be sold.
e) Accepts prize money in equitation or showmanship classes. Prize money may be accepted by amateur riders in Dressage.
f) Rides, drives or shows in halter/in hand in competitions, any horse for which he/she or a member of his/her family or a corporation which a member of his/her family controls, receives remuneration for boarding, training, riding, driving or showing in halter/in hand.
g) Gives instruction to any person or rides, drives or shows in halter/in hand in competitions any horse, for which activity another person in his/her family or corporation which a member of his/her family controls will receive remuneration for the activity.
h) Accepts remuneration, as defined in Art. 808.2.d, for selling horses/ponies, acts as a paid agent in the sale of horses/ponies or takes horses/ponies on consignment for the purpose of sale or training other than those owned wholly or in part by him/her or by a member of his/her family or farm/ranch/syndicate/partnership/corporation which he/she or a member of his/her family controls.
i) For Amateurs in Jumper Sections, See Art. 2716.1.
2. The following activities do not affect the amateur status of a person who is otherwise qualified:
a) The writing of books or articles pertaining to horses.
b) Accepting remuneration for officiating as a judge, steward, technical delegate, course designer, announcer or participating as a TV commentator, or accepting bona fide remuneration for services as a veterinarian, groom, farrier, tack shop operator or breeder, or for accepting bona fide remuneration for boarding services.
c) Accepting reimbursement for expenses without profit.
d) Accepting a token of appreciation, other than money, for riding, driving or showing in halter/in hand. (Note: Horse board, prize money, partial support or objects of more than $300. are considered remuneration, not small tokens of appreciation). (Also note: accepting any amount of money, whether more or less than $300., is considered remuneration.) Prize money won by an amateur-owner rider/driver/handler in any class (other than equitation or showmanship) is not considered remuneration.
e) Having the occupation of veterinarian, groom, farrier or owning a tack shop or breeding or boarding stable in itself, does not affect the amateur status of a person who is otherwise qualified.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

AM
Nov. 13, 2003, 06:01 AM
Anyone over 18 can have an amateur card from USA Equestrian. This includes those who are still competing in young rider competitions. If holding an amateur card is the ticket to this new division, how does that keep the young riders from taking all the prizes? You couldn't just put an age limit on the division because there would be riders of the same age as the young riders who are amateurs in the same sense as the other adult amateurs you seem to be describing who would not want to compete against the full time professional young riders. Also would foreign competitors (Canadians) have to join USA Equestrian and obtain an amateur card to ride in this division?

LisaB
Nov. 13, 2003, 06:03 AM
It kind of sounds like you want a certification program in place for eventing instructors, Canterlope. Rather than a pro/aa division at horse shows. I do agree with certification programs for especially people who teach the beginnings of eventing. It would knock out a lot of rif-raf.
But I would have to be one of the nay-sayers on the division split at events. I do not believe there are sneaky people out there who are pros and seek ribbons. I also think that regulating the pro card and aa card stuff is a real bureaucratic PITA and would cost us more money. I also believe that I find great pleasure in attempting to come close to the David and Karen's of the world in scoring in the same division. It gives me something to aspire to. Separating them out would give me less aspirations.
We have the awards and ATC's which are great fun. And around here, the dr scores for the AA's who really want to win are far better than a lot of pros who are taking greenies up through the ranks.
Nope, leave it as it is. Let's work on certification programs for teaching instead.

asterix
Nov. 13, 2003, 06:31 AM
This is EXACTLY what I was worried about -- I have no problem with making the sport more inviting and offering divisions for amateurs per se, but this idea that you are "not committed" to the sport or to the safety of your students because you don't want to ride against Buck and Karen is really an insult.
I used to teach lessons at my old barn. I was good at what I did, and I was VERY COMMITTED to the safety and progress of my students. I worked hard at it and took it seriously. But I taught kids how to canter, and how to jump crossrails, and how to ride on trails. It's quite important that this be done right, and the horse industry in the US has NO certification program that addresses this area. I think some students get good instruction, and some don't. We've all seen that.
But does this make me an eventing pro???? I've done one recognized T in my life. I am a reasonable Novice rider with aspirations for T and P, horse willing. I did NOT teach people how to ride cross country; I do not consider myself qualified to do that. That is a different skill set than teaching a student how to canter in a ring.
It no longer makes sense for me to teach, logistically, so unless there is a time limit I think I would fall under the proposed amateur rule, but I think that the comments from canterlope on this subject suggest that the regular division WOULD be the first to go if things get crowded under the new rule. After all, if you teach someone how to post the trot, you should be ready to ride against Olympians, right?

frugalannie
Nov. 13, 2003, 06:38 AM
Honestly, I think what is needed is a redefinition of "Amateur" at the USAEq level, which sets a maximum dollar amount for income derived from horses. Heck, if one makes less than $1000 a year from an activity (or pick another number), how can one possibly be considered a professional?

I'm going to throw another wrinkle into this discussion. Several states (Massachusetts being one) have enacted equestrian activity liability laws which specifically protect "equine professionals". Average barn/property owners are protected under the laws if they "sponsor" an equine activity. But in practice, one is more likely to receive protection in court if one has received some monetary compensation for facilities or services. I have been advised to contribute to the electric bill at the indoor I ride at to provide the landowner that protection. Does that make her a professional? If I take a minimal fee from people riding on my property to protect myself, does that make me a professional? If I ride someone else's horse for a month and charge them $10 to get the statutory protection, am I now a professional?

Believe me, in no way do I hold myself out to be a pro, and any one who knows me would laugh at the suggestion. But if I take the issue of amateurism seriously, I have to balance the USAEq definition against the statutory definition and the threat of liability claims.

It was so easy to enter horse trials without having to hassle that!

By the way, it's fascinating that this thread has been so busy. Clearly an issue people want to discuss. Thank you for bringing it up!

Lisamarie8
Nov. 13, 2003, 06:50 AM
I love eventing, not because i kick ass, but because it's fun. The ongoing joke when I was growing up was that second to last place was just RESERVED for Whiskey and I after dressage ... and sometimes longer http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif It was funny because it was true http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif I evented him for over ten years and I can count the ribbons i got on one hand. That's right we were THAT good http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif But we had fun.

I understand that there a LOT of people out there who are uber competitive, and that i am a minority. That to some people it's about who you beat (say it's pgm http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif or Wendy Weekend-Warrior), not how you did, and there is NOTHING wrong with that. Different Stokes n' such. I Just want to do better than the last time out. Even now that i've got a horse that i could actually be competitive on. So all that said divisions don't matter a WHOLE lot to me. Sure it's been nice when Ozzy and I have gotten a ribbon (mostly because it's such a new thing for me...who knew they were so pretty http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif ), but it's not why i do it.

But all that said, Here's my question (bolded so you can skip past the babble if you'd like http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif )... How in the world is this going to affect anyone who is against it? Seems to me that it's a GOOD thing for the people who want it and a totally benign thing for the people that don't. The regular division will still be there, the open division will still be there, and now an Amateur division will be there for the people who want to take advantage of it., so how will this affect the rest of the people?

--- "We're putting you on what we call sudden death academic probation."

Gry2Yng
Nov. 13, 2003, 07:20 AM
I have always really like the "regular" P and I divisions and enter them when they are offered. Poplar Place had I at their May event and it was similar to riding in an amateur division, no pink coats obvoiusly.

I also think it is fair that I can no longer ride in P, as I have gained greater experience, but it bums me out a bit that I can't do Adult Team Championships, etc. I am still an amateur even in the USAEq definition. Many shows in my Area don't offer I and I ride OP quite a bit. I would have liked to be on a Team this year, for the first time I had enough friends going P that we could have done it. Sigh.

flutie
Nov. 13, 2003, 07:31 AM
To paraphrase a bumper sticker I saw recently, "Don't like Amateur Divisions? Don't enter them!"

Flutie

Lisamarie8
Nov. 13, 2003, 07:58 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flutie:
To paraphrase a bumper sticker I saw recently, "Don't like Amateur Divisions? Don't enter them!"

Flutie<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Flutie, you managed to sum up my entire post in a bumper sticker http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

--- "We're putting you on what we call sudden death academic probation."

KellyS
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:12 AM
Okay, a good night's sleep has given me some perspective on the issue. There are really two separate issues at play here:

1: The whole amateur definition. At this point in time, ANYONE who makes any money as defined in canterlope's post is considered a professional. I, for one, would like to see that change AND the idea of putting a cap on income (as one poster said) might help redefine the term. Of course, everyone will say that this is really the honor system and there is no way to police income to determine professional or amateur status. However, isn't today's system an honor system? Why has the whole term "shamateur" come about - because people cheat the current system as it is.

2: Divisions offered at events - seems that a lot of events are missing the boat so to speak by not offering the right divisions (whether that be amateur, "rider", etc) to cater to the individuals competing. Will adding a specific amateur division solve this problem - Well, the diverse set of opinions on this board asnwer that question. HOWEVER, in the effort to make everyone happy (and for everyone to come home with a ribbon) we will need to seriously consider the definitions and realm of any division added. (Lest we end up with maiden eventer, shortest stirrup eventer, short stirrup, long stirrup, etc!) :-)

All right - I've tried to say my piece and in the spirit of our previous "troll" threads and since the feelings here have been getting heated (I would hate for the other boards to think that we eventers can't get along), I think it is time to kick back and pop open that beer!!! Man, and its only 10:00 in the morning. When I get home tonight I am going to work on flipping over my horse and then stuff some sand in his mouth. Maybe that will give me the edge I need when I compete in the open divisions!!!!!!

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Subparagraph f) would not apply because you would not be riding that horse in competition, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I guess we are reading f) differently.
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> f) Rides, drives or shows in halter/in hand in competitions, any horse for which he/she or a member of his/her family or a corporation which a member of his/her family controls, receives remuneration for boarding, training, riding, driving or showing in halter/in hand. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I read "in competitions" as applying just to "shows in halter/in hand". But I can see how it can be read your way too.

But the details of my particular situation aside, the rules define as "non-amateur" lots of people who are in no way "skilled" or even "proficient", amd certainly not "holding them self out as professionals".

For instance, d), which makes no mention of "in competition" defines as "non-amateur" all sorts people with no particular skill level. An adult student who mucks stalls to pay for her lessons, and then rides a school horse in lessons is- by the letter of the rules- "non amateur"

By the way, I agree with you about needing standards for "pros", which is why I use the somewhat awkward structure of "non amateur" to refer to the people excluded by the amateur rules.

No system is perfect.

But I have a very strong opinion that the "amateur/non-amateur" system is a whole lot LESS PERFECT than the recent-experience-based "regular/open" system.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Hilary
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:29 AM
Holy moly! I just read this whole thing and flipflopped my opinion on the topic about 4 times.

Here are my 2 cents.

First, please don't make it an ammy OWNER division. I've been allowed to ride other horses in a lease situation over the years because I could not afford to buy my own. (I do now own one, btw) I find this discriminating that I might have to own my own horse to compete.

Also, this may be only relevent in area I, but events here are frequently oversubscribed in the lower divisions - there is no dearth of people wanting to try out the sport at BN! Other areas may be looking for recruits, but up here, we have a problem of people not able to event at some venues (at Training and lower) because they can't get into the event.

This is a different thread/rant altogether, but I'm not buying the argument that we need an Amateur division to attract new people.

bambam
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:36 AM
Deeeeeeep breath- jumping into the fray here
Frankly, I think Janet hit the nail on the head for me (and quite eloquently I might add http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif).
If it were simply a matter of- choose to do an ammy division if it is offered or go in another, then sure- what is the harm? But there are those unintended consequences.
Canterlope- your statement to those for whom it is harmful to taking one for the team would be fine, if in fact I saw the advantages to this. I frankly see no advantage (given the often inequitable consequences that the ammy USAEq definition has).
First, if the goal is to offer the person who is not as experienced the option of competing against those with whom they are closer in skill level, well then that is what the Reg/Rider/Open division distinctions are for. They would seem to me to do this more equitably than an amateur division that could include full time riders with trust funds and who have gone advanced and exclude riders who muck stalls to pay for their board but have never competed above Beginner Novice (and I know many people who fall into that). So if equitability is the goal, I do not see this new division reaching it.
If the goal is to encourage new riders by not forcing them to compete against the Karen and Philip, etc. This new division does not necessarily accomplish that either. First, lets say we have an accomplished h/j or reigning or dressage or whatever rider who teaches up/down riders in their discipline but would like to try eventing (because there is always hope they will see the light and ride in the best discipline ever http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif). Well guess what? This person who has never done a x-country course before is now riding against Buck and David and Kim. I see the current more experience-oriented divisions helping those riders more if the intimidation factor is the issue.
I guess I just do not see what it offers other than a subset of ammy riders having a better shot at a ribbon (which don't get me wrong are great to get- not that I would know from personal experience http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif), and that would be fine I guess if there were no disadvantages, but I think there are.
One thing that confuses me about the rationale behind this rule is that one of the reasons for it (and correct me if I mis-interpreted this) is that the current divisions do not offer sufficient protection because they are not often offered. I just do not see why an organizer would offer an amateur division if they were not willing to offer an Rider or Horse division. Is there some basis for that assumption?
Because I do not see why an organizer would offer an amateur division when they do not offer Rider or Horse division, what I am concerned will end up happening is that the orgnaizer will opt to do an amateur division instead of a rider or horse division. This will put the stall mucker "professionals" out in the cold and not serve really any purpose (as I already said I don't really see the advantages).
In the end I think that experience and not necessarily professional v. amateur status are the better indicators of a level playing field and to the extent that organizers are willing to offer them, we alreay have that (and I guess I do not see the inequity in excluding a rider who has done prelim from going in a Novice Rider division- they certainly do not have the same skill set of a person who is just that "a novice rider"- they should go in Open- assuming I am not incorrect on who qualifies under the current divisions)
Now in the interests of playing nicely in the sandbox- I would like to make clear that I am not angry, I am not attacking anyone, I just do not agree http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif (I had no idea an eventing thread that did not involve trolls, the tb/wb debate or the loss of the CCI format could get this long this fast)
In light of KellyS's suggestion I will now go in search of some Bailey's to put in my coffee (sorry to early for beer for me- does this mean I cannot event at all no matter the division?)

Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

[This message was edited by bambam on Nov. 13, 2003 at 10:46 AM.]

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:40 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flutie:
To paraphrase a bumper sticker I saw recently, "Don't like Amateur Divisions? Don't enter them!"<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I quite agree with you for the people who fit the definition of amateurs.

But this doesn't help the unskilled riders who are excluded from the amateur division by the details of the USAEq amateur rules.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

flutie
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:55 AM
"But this doesn't help the unskilled riders who are excluded from the amateur division by the details of the USAEq amateur rules."

To play Devil's advocate, if they are as you say "unskilled," maybe they shouldn't be billed as "professionals" and should derive their income elsewhere. Would you go to a Doctor considered to be "unskilled?"

Just a thought.....and to philosophize further, are we in trying to legislate for the weakest link?

Flutie

mellsmom
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:59 AM
Yeah.

I think it's appropriate that organizers be able to choose this option or not. FOr some events this will be a lovely feature, for others not. Organizers for the most part have a feel for who their competators are and whether or not this will fly.
Those of you who want to ride against the BNR's can choose the open divisions... those of you who want to ride in an ammy division can have the likes of Canterlope kick your a** just as well there ;-) Of course, which is the more valuable feedback.... scoring 10th out of 40 in a BNR group on green bean horses, or scoring 3rd out of 20 in a group of AA riders who have 3-5 years of experience in their partnership??? I dunno but I figure that a 38 in dressage is a 38 no matter who earns it on what horse. A double clear xc and stdium is just that a double clear. Your performance is YOURS alone no matter what group you are in. Would you be happier with a second place ribbon in a BNR group if your score was a 45 or a second place in an AA group if you have a final score of 32.
I just don't really understand why people are so worked up about the divisions we ride in, I mean I thought that we were there to compete against ourselves and our own performances? I guess I just find myself to be my greatest critic and motivator. I don't need a BNR to motivate me. .

"I've got a holiday, a paid holiday, I've got a holiday in my head"

Don't like my riding? Call 1-800- phh- fftt

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by flutie:
"But this doesn't help the unskilled riders who are excluded from the amateur division by the details of the USAEq amateur rules."

To play Devil's advocate, if they are as you say "unskilled," maybe they shouldn't be billed as "professionals" and should derive their income elsewhere. Would you go to a Doctor considered to be "unskilled?"

Just a thought.....and to philosophize further, are we in trying to legislate for the weakest link?

Flutie<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>Flutie, I am referring to the person who mucks stalls to pay for lessons, and then takes lessons on a school horse. BY THE LETTER OF THE RULES, this person is "non amateur". In no way, shape, or form is this person "billed as a professional". She almost certainly DOES derive her income elsewhere. But BY THE RULES she cannot be classified as an amateur.

And there are lots of people who fall into that and similar categories. They don't classify THEMSELVES as professionals. I wouldn't call them professional. But something they do causes them to be clasified as Non-Amateurs by the USAEq.

No. I wouldn't go to a doctor I considered unskilled. But I have no problem with having stalls mucked by someone who is skilled at mucking stalls, but unskilled at riding, and who is taking lessons in the same stable.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

NMS
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:20 AM
I would be interested to hear about this from an organizer's point of view. I know around here there are pro's with 5-6 BN/novice/training horses and without putting them in different divisions it would not allow sufficient time. Many events have BN and N on the same day.

Any thoughts?

Nanc

www.canterohio.org (http://www.canterohio.org)

Heather
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:25 AM
BamBam that was just brilliant. I think it's the best sum up of the thread. Well done!

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:29 AM
I am reminded of the Bishop Gene Robinson: "the question is not whether I am the first Gay Bishop, i am simply the first that is out."

Although many of you want to argue whether to add amatuer divisions at all, that cat is already out of the bag, the horse is already out of the barn, Elvis left the building (insert favorite cliche here). Organizers are already offering amateur sections, we have a national amateur trophy, and we have an amateurs leader board. Organizers will continue to offer these sections because their customers are asking for it. So if you want to continue to debate the issue of whether to institute the rule proposal, then you have to address the need to curtail the unauthorized establishing of amateur sections at those shows now offering them. And that, you naysayers need to realize, will be like pushing water uphill. (Just Ask Flutie, she'll tell you how easy it is to influence the organizers!)

So rather than ask if we should allow amateur sections, we have asked how should we allow amateur sections. This effort addresses HOW to institute a uniform policy with respect to amateur classes without upsetting the entire apple cart of rules. Organizers have no guidance within the Rules for Eventing with which to set standards and can and do change them at will. This rule proposal establishes uniform standards that will simply allow them to do what they already are doing, and will allow the competitors to further decide how they wish to participate in the sport. If the demand for amateur classes is not as we believe, the rule will have no affect whatsoever, and organizers will stop offering the sections.

In formulating our proposal, we adopted the "Keep it simple stupid" (KISS) rule. Use the rules that are already in place and enforced in other disciplines. We tried to set generous experiential standards for horse and rider combinations that reflect how people actually compete (playing at two levels throughout the year). We looked at the easiest and least expensive way to enforce and monitor the rule. And we have done this with no extra cost to the competitor or organizers.

So, why is this a bad thing for the USEA to be doing?

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:36 AM
pgm- and since organizers can combine sections at will, any time a separate "amateur" division causes scheduling problems for the multi horse pro, all divisions will be "open".

So maybe (I HOPE) we are arguing over something that will never materialize.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:42 AM
Janet,

Having scheduled several thousand rides in my time as organizer and official at dozens of events, I can assure you that there is no need to run each section as a unit. Think outside the box. Suppose, for example that you get 35 entries in Amateur Preliminary and Young Rider, and only 10 in Open. These ten are ridden by only four professionals- two with three each, and two with two rides each. I would run all 45 rides in front of the same judge, folding in the open rides with the amateur rides. My two professionals with three rides each will go first and second, 22nd and 23rd, and 44th and 45th. This is, of course, just one example of how to organize the rides to suit the divisions, but trust me on this. Where there isa will theres a way- it can be done.

Simply because the competitors are all in the same division doesn't mean they have to run consecutively as a group.

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:55 AM
I agree that it CAN be done, but often it ISN't done. Just my experience in entering "Training", but finding when I get there that they have made everything "Open Training".

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 09:57 AM
Wow... I take off work for 1 day and look what happens. A VERY long thread to read before I can rightfully respond. What are you guys trying to do to me!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

First, pgm... eventer@bright.net Thank you

Second, my feelings on the AA divisions waffle a bit. I can see both sides and personally, I love competing in open divisions... but I do enjoy seeing AAs get SOME recognition! There is currently an AA trophy that is given out at a fall CCI* where the definition of Amateur *for that trophy* is totally squewed from the norm to "someone who hasn't competed at X level. Just an example of how Amateur can get turned around for whatever purpose... also an example of my ramblings.

When you say the committee has been working on this for a year, I too wonder why I haven't heard of it til now? And DON'T tell me to look at the USAE website or you'll get Aunt Ester's purse upside your head for such a condescending answer (one which you gave often in this 7-page discussion). I'm an active member within my area, an AA AND am the AA on the active rider committee for my area and I've never once heard this even mentioned. Which, since I don't live in area II or III, seems to me boils down to your "majority" being from those areas... especially in light of the statements that AA divisions are already being offered in those areas. I can guarantee you that not one single event in Area VIII has offered an AA division split AFAIK -- and we're talking about the 3rd largest area here.

The point you make about this just firming up something that's already happening is fine. That's a very valid point, but I think that could have been the first point in your argument rather than the last. Telling people that it IS happening already, reporting on the numbers in each division at that event AND making a part of the rule that they cannot allow an AA division split without first offering a regular division split would have gone far in your argument for the rule change... much farther than simply telling people to read the rules and YES being condescending about the whole process. Not all of us are ignorant fools. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:12 AM
Tle

Quite frankly, Canterlope and I went into this thread basically as a sort of Moot Court preparation for Boston. It's working.

Why haven't you heard anything about this? because until now, we had no policy changes to proposed, had not gotten approval to promote the rule change and simply put, the issue wasn't ripe for the membership to comment upon. Now it is almost there.

No argument from me on that last point re: why the rules are necessary. It should've been the first point out of the box. But sometimes even condescending rude, poorly reasoned old me can be overly obtuse. It frustrated me that I could not understand why the discussion centered on whether to standardize amateur classifications and not How to standardize them. I thought about this a lot last night driving home and realized this basic fact: while the national organizations have moved to recognize amateurs, the indivdiual areas that people are familiar with haven't all moved in that direction. Area II and Area III have, and perhaps Area I. So we will probably lead with this point first in Boston.

Other things we've learned (and Canterlope should chime in here whenever...) I have to be careful not to let my own bias come into this discussion, pushing it in directions I think it should go without hearing the comments from the floor. Further, there is a contingent of eventer fundamentalists that are afraid that instituting amateur standards will hunterize the sport. These are the true beleivers within our sport and that attitude is commendable and should be passed along to each and every amateur soming into the sport. But I like hunters so this doesn't worry me in the least. (How eventing will ever be like the hunter ring is beyond me. Its a waaaaaaay different sport, with waaaay different appeal to waaaaay different people. So am I worried that the negatives of the show ring will creep ionto our sport? No way.)

Anyhow, still rereading these posts to determine the most respectful, well-reasoned, least condescending and rude way to address each concern and I want to personally thank everyone who has participated for giving their two cents. By page 8 here, we've gotten at least $1.22 of ideas.

P

flutie
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:19 AM
"Simply because the competitors are all in the same division doesn't mean they have to run consecutively as a group."

Oh my God, PMG, logic! Wadda concept!
Will it play in Peoria?

Flutie

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:25 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Area II and Area III have <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Just curious, do you have any figures on how many events in area II and III are offering AND HOLDING amateur divisions? I admit I don't enter a whole lot of events each year, but the only event I have entered (or even carefully read the omnibus listing to THINK about entering) where I have seen it was the Championhip levels at Seneca. I know that, several yeas ago, CDCTA offered an amateur division, but ended up combining it because there were only 2 entries.

If there really are a lot of events HOLDING amateur divisions, I agree it puts a very different light on it.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:28 AM
Janet:

By Boston, I will have catalgued each and every instance that amateur status is set out from Professional in the competitive context. My failure to have these figrues immediately handy aside, even you must admit that the USEA has an amateur championship and leader board.

Heather
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:32 AM
I understand that the idea is that amatuer "stuff" is here, so why not the divisons (the how versus the whys), but see here's the thing. The year end amateur trophies (and the ones offered at CCI*'s) are often/usually based on perfromances based on open (or at least "regular") competition. So while it does give amatuers recognition for their perfromances, and the associate sacrifices, it doesn't make a fundmenatal change in the sport. If I'm fifth five times againt open company, that still may mean I win the amateur trophy for that level, because that could still represent the best point winning opportunites for amamteurs.

On a related issue, as I've done some more criitcal thinking on this, and think about fairness and the year end trophies, I wonder if adding amateur divisions in a sport where the numbers of competitors varies so wildly from area to area, if it won't basically be telling people in smaller areas that they are S-O-L on ever winning a year end award. Because, let's say, Areas I, II, III, who have lots of participants, all offer AA divisions, Sally Jones enters, and wins them all with X scores. But out in all the other areas, they don't have the entries to support them they aren't offered, and Joan Smith enters the same numbers of events, gets the same scores but ends up getting 4ths, 5ths, thirds, etc. So she is de facto out of the running for a year end trophy before the season even starts.

I am NOT saying I think focusing on winning and trophies should be a key factor here, just pointing out another inequity I see as an unintended side affect of this proposal.

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:41 AM
GRRRR... I had a good, albeit long, post and my system ate it!! I hate it when that happens.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Why haven't you heard anything about this? because until now, we had no policy changes to proposed, had not gotten approval to promote the rule change and simply put, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Perhaps it is my "definition" (for lack of a better word) on what constitutes the majority of the sport wanting this AND the committee looking into this for a full year, both points you've stated a few times. Perhaps it was my assumption that given we are still a relatively small sport that A) word would get around because competitors talk about stuff like this to gain support for things they want (as to organizers) and B) word would get around because the committee would be talking to competitors and organizers OUTSIDE that area of the country that is already offering such a thing.

Anotehr point that I can't help but mention is this "majority" issue. It is a pretty well-known fact that the squeeky wheel, no matter how small, gets the grease. Point in case is the recent adoption of the dressage whip rule. I know for a fact that I and several others on this board were in fact at teh rules forum last year when this was discussed (for the anti-change side) and there was a large majority of posters on this board representing membership from all levels across the country also in the anti-whip category. As malcolm can atest (should he have recovered enough to be reading this), those of us there who opposed the rule were almost too scared to say anything as a VERY vocal few people wouldn't let us. In fact, I was point blank told by a former area chairman/current organizer that because I was never in pony club ... "oh, well, that explains it." I hear the "you're afraid of change" comment but no one ever says anything about those who want change just for change sake.

And speaking of which, exactly what is this rule going to accomplish (aside from stirring an 8 page discussion) that the current rules don't? You say the new rule will give the organizers the option of adding an AA division. Um, hello... the current rules already do that! If the MAJORITY of the membership around the country is so GUNG-HO about wanting a separate AA division at the lower levels, why is it that we're only seeing (hearing) about it on the East Coast? Is what you're proposing THAT much different than what is given in the rules now? If so, there's something I don't understand obviously because none of the arguments have presented it. If not, why the hell are we even talking about it? Why did a committee of people take a full year to figure out that organizers have the option of adding an AA division -- THAT'S ALREADY IN THE RULE BOOK! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

LisaB
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:50 AM
Hey Packy, if someone was so inclined to go for an AA trophy, isn't there something where they have to register as an AA with the USEQ? Something of the sort. I do agree with giving AA's some recognition(personal, of course). But my main concern is too much bureaucracy which drives up my cost to the USEA. And then I will eventually have an extra fee for it.
But I can see differentiating pros from aa's in the certification of instructors. I am for having the certification program in place so Joe Schmoe can have correct instruction. But I would leave it up to the instructor to get such a certfication and let the buyer beware if they don't ask potential instructor about it.
But I think regulating this is just extra paper work. If I want to go enter in Nov AA or Nov. Horse or Nov. Rider, it's up to me. I qualify for all of them.
I don't think someone brand new to the sport is going to enter in prelim and see the likes of Phillip. Yes, I've competed against some of the BNR but basically we AA's just want to ride better, train better, and have a good time. If we start in on separating us from the pro's then we will eventually get the ribbon chasers and we will get the instructors specifically for the ribbon chasers then we will get the Custom Made's of the world competing novice against my Amish cart horse. Then I will get perturbed and go do endurance riding or something.
And then the poor folks are not in Area II can't compete with us for year end awards because we have these AA divisions left and right and they only have a few.
I say, we get our AA card if we are so inclined, enter in nov. horse, rider, open, whatever and keep track of our points. Less bureaucracy.

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:57 AM
I'm reading (and making comments on) the documents now -- thank you for sending them.

One question I do have which has yet to be answered... If i get my AA card (which until this year I had since I was actively competing at Prelim) with my USAE membership... will this new rule proposal/change/whatever mean that all participants must be USAE members? I'm not up on how the USAE distributes AA cards... someone help me here please.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 11:07 AM
tle,

ONE of the documents, I think it is the one in the form of a letter, says that they will have the option of EITHER having an amateur card from USAEq, OR signing a section on the entry form in which they certify that they meet the USAEq rules for amateur status.

In fact, this is probably the biggest "change" in the proposal.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 11:25 AM
Tle: Um hello??!!! the rules DO NOT allow organizers to divide by a standard definition of amateur status at all at Intermediate and Preliminary, and there are no definitions of hwho is and is not an amateur that would guide or standardize how division might be split for novice and training. This is why I have been begging each and every one of you who feels compelled to comment on this issue to study the rules so that we do not spend valuable time discussing falsehoods.

The USEA does not make it a policy to check with each and every one of its members to get permission to Propose rule changes. The membership is given a chance to comment on the propsal. Further, the fact that a very experienced group of people was formed to look into this issue should, and I may be wrong here, give you some comfort that we aren't going off half cocked.

As for the "majority" issue, no we didn't take a vote of the entire membership. This effort was born out of the scull sessions that we, as a group, engaged in at the convention last year and at the adult riders meeting it was overwhelmingly supported. Other efforts that came from these sessions were the event rating task force (heard anything from them yet?) So I have it on good authority from the membership, as exhibited at last year's convention that the majority view is that it is long overdue. Prove otherwise and I'll be glad to admit that an entire year of my volunteer time was wasted on folly.

Heather- 1st - CCI's are not allowed to separate by amatuer v. professional. That is an FEI division and is NEVER split unless by age group. So that's a dead end comparison. Second - You of all people should understand that we are not trying to encourage ribbon chasing with this rule. We are trying to get the rules to reflect the facts on the ground as we understand them. As for how year end awards are tallied, the western areas are already handicapped by the lack of competition opportunities - so no difference there. It is my understanding from the USEA that, for now at least, points won are points won- no matter which division you are in and that you will not be required to have won within an amateur section for inclusion in the national Amateur leader board.


LisaB- your concern about cost was a primary concern of mine as well. Because we have utilized a definition of amateur that lies within the general rules of our national governeing body rule book, the USAEQ will enforce the amateur rule, just as they have in the hunters, jumpers and dressage. No cost to you or the USEA will be incurred and no additional beaurocracy created.

By the way, you all realize that we are the last of the major FEI disciplines to do this, right?

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 11:50 AM
(edited) http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_mad.gif

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>the rules DO NOT allow organizers to divide by a standard definition of amateur status at all at Intermediate and Preliminary, <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

No kidding. I can read ya know. I thought we were talking about the MAJORITY here, and last I heard over 75% of our membership competes at Training and below. The addition/availability to split for an upper level event is new, I realize that. That is, however, not what I was referring to, per the way the rulebook is written.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>and there are no definitions of hwho is and is not an amateur that would guide or standardize how division might be split for novice and training. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You're wrong here. The rules are written and enforced by USAE. USAE does in fact have amateur status written out, per your own admission later in your post to LisaB ("Because we have utilized a definition of amateur that lies within the general rules of our national governeing body rule book, the USAEQ will enforce the amateur rule, just as they have in the hunters, jumpers and dressage. ")

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>This is why I have been begging each and every one of you who feels compelled to comment on this issue to study the rules so that we do not spend valuable time discussing falsehoods. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Which is why I DID look up teh rules before I commented. Geez, and you wonder why people are calling you condescending.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The USEA does not make it a policy to check with each and every one of its members to get permission to Propose rule changes. The membership is given a chance to comment on the propsal. Further, the fact that a very experienced group of people was formed to look into this issue should, and I may be wrong here, give you some comfort that we aren't going off half cocked. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

A) then why does the proposal START with "Two additional rule change proposals would modify these classifications slightly but will not take effect until December 1, 2003." Obviously you can't get many comments if you EXPECT it to take effect in less than 3 weeks. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

B) Very experience in what way? Knowing the vast differences between east coast and other areas? Competing at more than the upper levels? Sorry, but the way you have presented this, I'm not at all "comforted"... I do however, have strong faith in canterlope... so perhaps that IS a comfort.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> So I have it on good authority from the membership, as exhibited at last year's convention that the majority view is that it is long overdue. Prove otherwise and I'll be glad to admit that an entire year of my volunteer time was wasted on folly. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I was at that convention, and many others in the past. HOWEVER, I absolutely REFUSE to naively think that representation of people at an annual convention is a good representation of the members of this sport as a whole. First of all, I don't know of 1 single person from my local association who is attending this year's convention due to the high cost between travel and hotel accommodations. That in and of itself limit your "sampling" to a minority. Second, while I don't have the exact numbers in front of me and actually have not seen any, I would venture to guess that last year's convention was not as well attended as year's past... making it again a limit of your sampled group compared to the wishes of teh whole body.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>By the way, you all realize that we are the last of the major FEI disciplines to do this, right?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

You yourself I believe somewhere in this discussion has claimed how different we are from other disciplines... so tell me why the hell what other disciplines do shoudl affect us? That's about as stupid a reason as "because the FEI changed it's rules" when we change Novice rules (ie: the changes to penalties in SJ). http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

bambam
Nov. 13, 2003, 11:54 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:
By the way, you all realize that we are the last of the major FEI disciplines to do this, right?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
Oh well if the FEI says it is okay, it must be. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif Oh wait aren't these the people approving the loss of the CCI long format (smacks forehead).
Sorry pgm- There have been valid points made here to defend this proposal,(not that I agree with you yet http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif), but this ain't one of them. The fact that "everyone else does it" does not hold weight with me.

Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:01 PM
Bam Bam: Re read the last post - as I said, FEI divisions are NEVER split into amateur v. professional. What I said was that of the three major segments (Jumpers, Dressage, and eventing) eventing is the only discipline that does not offer amateur classes at the national comeptition level.

RAyers
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:08 PM
pgm,

You got $1.22's worth of ideas. How much do you want? $10? http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif What's an idea worth?

Seriously, what input are you looking for? Weaknesses in the porposal, people's perceptions, a general survey of attitudes?

This topic has bounced around from personal attacks to trying to define what the implications of the rule. What do you and Canterlope want from us, the entry paying public? As an attorney, I know you know that random discussion can only provide a small amount of real preparation for presentations. In my career I am very specific about the input I need when doing proposals to NIH, NSF, NASA etc. (By the way delta, obviously the spontaneous death proposal didn't get submitted because the semester started and I am still gathering infomation from all sorts of vets, doctors, trainers, etc. in this).

Reed

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:14 PM
pgm... a specific question regarding the inforamtion you sent out. What exactly is the "survey" for and who thought up those questions? Please tell me you can't be serious with that.

On another note, I would HIGHLY suggest taking out the word "young" from teh following statement/belief as listed in the proposal (and "survey"):

"The USA Eq. rules would curtail participation amongst young people who need extra income to participate to make money from teaching and training."

I know many people who aren't "young" who need extra income.

At this point, I have to agree with Reed. What exactly do you want?

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

caballo_saltando
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:20 PM
I was originally not in favor of this idea but I've changed my mind primarily b/c of the impact I see it could have on a) opening up levels that are currently oversubscribed (T and N) and b)it making a clear distinction between who can and cannot enter restricted divisions.

I like the idea that the Open divisions run on the Friday of the HT, opening up more space for the ammies on the weekend days. There are always around 10 people (at least) waitlisted for the N or T divisions in II and with this change those people would get to ride. And, as Packy said, this change would free up trainers who are competing at same level to actually coach students the day of the students' competition, and I can't see anything wrong with that. My only concern is feasibility in terms of volunteer-recruitment - it's hard enough to ask a volunteer to take a weekend day (or two) to sit at a jump all day long, can't imagine having much success asking for them to give up a vacation day from work to do it!!!

Anyway ...I also like the non-fuzzy nature of the distinction that it sets up - that if you enter into the amateur division, there is no way that you are going to be competing against a pro, period. So those sandbaggers that we all know of (or personally) who ride 5 different clients' horses per day and who compete them up through T but never beyond are not going to be eligible to ride in the amatuer T divisions - this makes the field a little more level for those folks who want it be more level ...

And if you still want to ride with the pros, you can still do so ...

In terms of improving the sport's marketability - I agree with the other posts that it seems that most H/Jers that don't event maintain their opinion that galloping down to solid obstacles is crazy, so this change isn't necessarily going to make such an expected improvement in USEA membership numbers. Furthermore, this argument seems flawed to me b/c where in the hell are organizers going to fit any more lower level newcomers in to our lower divisions at these events in II that area already all waitlisted before closing dates?

Maybe I've just talked myself out of my change of mind on this ... I'm confused.

But at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter to me as long as I get to run my horse in at least enought HTs per season to get me qualified to achieve my goals - this can be done at any of the divisions within the level.

LisaB
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:20 PM
Okay, while we are bending the ears of the folks going to the USEA convention and are part of the organization, can I stand on my soapbox and ask you guys a question?
Okay, there are the dimensions and questions for every level in the rule book. When measuring some of the jumps, even from a guesstimated point of take off, the jumps on x-c are obviously much larger(by 2-3") than the dimensions written. I was told these are 'guidelines', not rules. Now, if you were to take a newbie and they went to their first event and came across some of these obstacles, they would be much more intimidated from that than going against the OCET.
And some of the questions asked, even in stadium, for the given level, are well above the max height and complexity of the level.
Sure, you can state, 'come prepared' and all of that but these guidelines are there for a reason. How about governing these events to keep them within the guidelines?
Then when I mention this, the saying goes, well, these are guidelines and the lower levels are intros to go on to bigger levels. I don't buy it. I want the events to be fair given the level stated in the rulebook. Sure, my horse can jump 3'6". But do I want to do it at an event given that he's a greenie? No way! I don't want to overface him or me when I think the level is supposed to 'A' when it's 'B'
Thanks,
Off my soapbox.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:21 PM
Ideas, as stated above, are worth two cents as in "my two cents worth. It was a joke.

As stated above, all comments are appreciated and helpful- they have in fact pointed out some wording problems, and concerns that people have.

I have some experience as a member of the entry paying public member myself and have been having spirited conversations like these for some time and on this issue. So many people feel passionately about this issue that hearing the arguments for and against, however unspecific it may seem to you, is actually exactly what I needed to hear and react to. So while I appreciate the advice, i am nothieless happy with this discussion.

Some folks will never agree that this is a good idea. They will attack me personally and will attempt to devalue the contribution this committee has made simply because they disagree. I too am not above that kind of attitude. But if this proposal has any chance of success of being adopted, we had better patch the holes in the presentation. (How many people want this change- justify why we need it, show why the rules do not already meet these needs, show how this will benefit and not hinder the growth of the sport.) all valid points that could use some support. But lets face it, some people will always resist this effort, if for no other reason than I am the one carrying it forward.

JER
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:22 PM
Have the organizers weighed in with any comments in all your discussions, pgm? The rule proposal seems to have the biggest impact on them -- the amateur card or affadavit means more paperwork, more things to check up on, more people to chase down for incomplete entries, and of course, more complaints from AAs who feel cheated because the Amateur division isn't offered.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:26 PM
Tle: Return the survey to me please, we are using it within the committee to assist us in preparing for our presentaiton. The questions are written in a lioghthearted tone to make it less mind numbing. If you do not appreciate that the please ignore it. And for the record, Conterlope and I worked on that together.

As for the statements that we asked the reader to agree or disagree with, these are actual quotees from members of the uSEA that commented to us over the last year. That particular one came from a very well know member with CDCTA.

And as far as what we want- reeactions - thats all, we are trying to oprepare for anyand all wquestions that may be lurking out there and we are making absolutely certian that all possible factors have been considered. So just react to the proposal any way you want. Its all valid.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:31 PM
JER- Yes they have. The committee consisted of tghe following:

Lafreda Williams: Organizer through Advacned Levels, Amateur rider through preliminary
Patrick McGaughan: Organizer through FEI levels, rider threough FEI, trainer, official
D.C. McBroom: Amateur, Area II Chairman
Cindy Deporter: Official and amateur rider
Shelly Lambert: Organizer extrordinaire
Kyra Stuart: the best organizer in the world.
Jan Zwak: USEA Board of Governors.

JER
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:36 PM
pgm -- care to share what y'all had to say?

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:36 PM
Regarding additional paper work - None required.

The USAEQ will issue the cards to its members. Organizers need only check that the entry is signed. Signature block certifies for non-members and the membership will self police through challenges to someone's stated status.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:37 PM
JER- its in the papers that we preapred and the proposal. If you give me your e-mail I will send them to you

Heather
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:38 PM
Acutally I think you misunderstood me. I know the FEI has no amateur divisions, but most CCI's do offer an amamteur trophy. based on the score they recieved in open competition (lowest amateru score wins). Similarly, for year end awards, you gets points based on placing and division numbers (ribbons in big divisions worth more points than smaller ones). Because now divisions dividied on expereince is the norm, it is more likely that every potential winner of the trophy at a given level, has faced a similar level of competition to get there, ths it's a fairly "fair" way to achieve points. Does that make more snese? I wasn't implying that FEI offers amateur prizes--I know that's not the case. My point is that there is a system in place to reward amamteur achievments, without altering our sport in such a drastic way. I will grant it's a system that could use MORE publicity (for instance, how about a profile of every CCI AA trophy winner in Eventing magazine?) but there IS that system.

And I think tle has hit on something--the difference between the lower level riding majroity, and the mid and upper level riding minority. If you are a prelim or above amateur in areas other than I, II, and III, yes, you are already handicapped in your ability to compete as frequently as someone on the east coast. However, I would hazard that just about any area has equal opportunities to compete at BN, and N, and probably not disparate differnces at Training (actually, In area II, it's difficult to find early and mid spring opportunities to compete BN and N--especially if you have prelim or above horses to schedule--out west I could have done 4 Novice events by the time I can do 1 here). So it DOES make a difference, for those riders,compared to the current system.

If this is a proposal to help those upper level riders (of which I hope to be one again soon, and which Mr. Heather, another amateur, currently is, so don't think I'm discriminating), that's fine and worthy of exploration, BUT let's be honest about it. The majority of riders, ESPECIALLY AA's, ride at training level and below. And the fact that are provisions in place for divisions for those riders at present may in fact be why so many of us are like, Whu? Why do we need this. If we need rule changes for amateurs at prelim, intermediate, and advanced (and indeed we may), fine, let's talk about that, but why alter divisions that are already working?

And I agree that neither the FEI nor other sports should be our "arbiter of taste" so to speak, in terms of our own decision making process.

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>But lets face it, some people will always resist this effort, if for no other reason than I am the one carrying it forward.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It's not that it is a specific person, but that when questions and issues are raised, the response given is less than amicable. Regardless of WHO was "carrying it forward" you're going to be greeted with less than enthusiasm if that's how responses for suggestions are being treated. Plus, there are simply those people who have yet to see much if any merit to the change.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>The questions are written in a lioghthearted tone to make it less mind numbing.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Lightheartedness I can handle, but many of the questions are written in such a tone as to poke fun of the person answering them.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>JER- Yes they have. The committee consisted of tghe following:<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

what about organizers OUTSIDE those areas that have oversubscription problems and are already offering AA divisions? I realize that not everyone can be on the committee, but aside from teh Cleveland convention, how were opinions outside those areas (organizer and/or riders and officials) given input prior to the development of this proposal.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

bambam
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:40 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:
Bam Bam: Re read the last post - as I said, FEI divisions are NEVER split into amateur v. professional. What I said was that of the three major segments (Jumpers, Dressage, and eventing) eventing is the only discipline that does not offer amateur classes at the national comeptition level.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
I suggest you re-read my post- I also said "everyone else does it" is not a good reason for the proposal (which was the point of your statement and which I still firmly believe is a bad justification for most things including this).
My statement about FEI was based in part on the fact that you seemed to be making a distinction between FEI and not FEI (you did not say "every other english discipline does it") and inferring that the FEI label entitled them to some extra credence (apparently I was wrong on that). It was in other part a superfluous potshot at FEI because I am still irritated about the whole CCI/short format thing http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

caballo_saltando
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:40 PM
This board really has gotten out of hand with the emotion-laden rude personal attacks and outbursts from "certain" members. I am really sick of it - please stop attacking PGM here - you're going to run him off of this board and I for one (and I'm not alone here) have enjoyed having his input in these discussions. If you don't agree with him (or anybody else) then could please phrase your comments in a civil manner - read them before you send them and think about whether you would want to be on the receiving end.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:45 PM
Heather

Area II has over 70 events reconginzed and another 70 or so unrecognized, with the majority of events offering P and below. AREA VI has sixteen events, total - the whole year. Area V has fewer. The state of Maryland has about 20 recognized and another 30 or so unrecognized each year all on its own. (Canterlope will have exact fiugures.) The east coast v. west coast sports are as differnet as night and day on the number of opportunities. This is why the proposal does not say that anyone Must do anything. That way, the west coasters can continue to offer what they are able to offer, and the east coast organizers can offer what their comeptitors are asking for. Further, the west coast season is at a different time than Area II. We do not have N and T because the weather doesn't allow for it until Middletown in late March.

And by the way, some of the west coast events are really really great events.
And I say again, the fact that this board "appear" negative on this issue does not make the opinions here the majority. Why would you bother weighing in on this discussion unless you disagreed with this proposal?

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:48 PM
I think I've read many comments that "appear" positive.

As for the make-up of this board, I'd really like to know where you're going to get a BETTER sampling of the entire USEA membership than here?? Certainly not at a convention... especially one held ON THE EAST COAST. What you'll get there is a very skewed input from that area's membership.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:51 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> But lets face it, some people will always resist this effort, if for no other reason than I am the one carrying it forward. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>YOu give yourself too much "credit". http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:53 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I am really sick of it - please stop attacking PGM here - you're going to run him off of this board and I for one (and I'm not alone here) have enjoyed having his input in these discussions. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I think things would have to get a LOT nastier than this to drive him away. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:54 PM
tle: answer the survey or not, I don't care. The survey was not intended to insult or poke fun at anyone and frankly I apologize if you are offended by it. fore the most part, the survey has been well received. But it is not an official USEA docuemtn and was intended only to assist us in learning more about the preconceived notions that people might have on this issue.

caballo_saltando
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:55 PM
I think a mailed out survey (postage-paid) is a better sample; also a telephone survey - USEA has phone numbers for all members - and I don't think you'll run into issue of not being representative in terms of having phone or not as I am making an assumption here (and I swear I'm not being sarcastic) that if you can afford to event and joing USEA you can afford to have a phone and most likely do have one. This would be much more representative of the USEA membership as I'm sure a significant % of the membership with opinions on this do not frequent the internet (or, if they do, they don't read this board). So this board is really not a good representation of the usea membership (I guess Stats 101 was not all for naught at university!!!)

EventerAJ
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:55 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:
Bam Bam: FEI divisions are NEVER split into amateur v. professional. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Organizers have the power to create divisions based upon age, and experience, right?

At Midsouth Team Challenge CCI* there are 3 divisions (not listed as such in omnibus but on the day of competition). There is Jr, Open, and just "CCI*" (I think it doesn't have another name). Those under 18 are in the Jr division. The pros end up in the Open division, and as far as I know, all the adult amateurs end up in the "regular" division. It isn't classified as "Ammy" but that's pretty much what it is, without USAEq definition. A friend of mine is a working student who just completed her first one-star there this fall. She is over 18, and was in the "regular" division. Technically, she isn't an amateur (she works at the barn part time to help with board, in addition to her full-time non-horse job). But as a first-timer, would it have been fair for her to compete against pros like Dorothy Crowell, Becky Douglass, or Cathy Weischoff?

I don't care if there's an amateur division or not, so long as the organizers/secretaries have the final say to make their competitions as fair as possible.

~AJ~
I've been there...that's why I'm here.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 12:58 PM
Janet is right:

I am like mold. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> "Two additional rule change proposals would modify these classifications slightly but will not take effect until December 1, 2003." <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Unless they (USEA) can justify it as an "emergency" change, I don't think it can go into effect until December 2005.

The last date for USAEq committees to submit rules change proposals to go into effect in December 2004 was sometime in Sepember 2003.

Unless it is an "Emergency Rule Change", a rule change proposal submitted by the eventing committee now would be aimed at the the 2006 rule book which goes into effect December 2005.

Do you know if the eventing committee is planning to present this as an "Emergency" rule change? If so, what is the "emergency" nature?
(Yes, I read the rule book.)

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:02 PM
Janet- no intention to have this go into effect until 2005 - I don't recall that 2003 date in the actual proposal do you? It may be in the discussion paper?

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:06 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> That particular one came from a very well know member with CDCTA. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Not me, I PROMISE.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

EventerAJ
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:11 PM
I think this thread could win the award for Fastest Growing Topic! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif 10 pages in 26 hours, that could be a new world record for the Eventing bb. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I don't think the troll threads were this "hot," or even the "tragedy/sport-bashing" threads! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_rolleyes.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Way to go Tractor Queen for starting such a buzz! http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:11 PM
Janet- It was ET

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:20 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What I said was that of the three major segments (Jumpers, Dressage, and eventing) eventing is the only discipline that does not offer amateur classes at the national comeptition level. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> And, IMNSHO, one of the things that makes Eventing the MOST attractive of these disciplines, to me.

I don't think that amateur classes are all that common at most dressatge shows I am familiar with- may be a regional thing.

Ad what you neglect to mention is that the division with the biggest amateur divisions is HUNTERS, which is NOT an FEI discipline. I will have to check my history, but I am pretty sure the amateur division FIRST appeared in the HUNTER divisions. It then spread to the jumpers, probably because the hunters and jumpers compete at the same shows.

It has only recently spread to dressage, and then only spottily.

To my mind this is NOT A REASON to follow suit.

Does anybody know if any other NGB splits their national eventing competitions amateur/non-amateur?

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:25 PM
France does.

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:28 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I like the idea that the Open divisions run on the Friday of the HT, opening up more space for the ammies on the weekend days. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> I REALLY hope this DOESN'T happen.

The correlation between "not an amateur according to the rules" and "doesn't have a Mon-Fri desk job" is EVEN LESS than the correlation between "not an amateur" and "highly skilled".

There are LOTS of people who can only enter "open" (whether the alternative is "amateur", or "regular") who WORK on Friday.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:29 PM
The December 1, 2003 date was the first sentence under the 5th paragraph of the Background section of the proposal (Amateurs.doc).

AJ -- the "ammy" division of the MidSouth CCI* doesn't use the amateur definition that we're all used to (ala USAEq). It has something to do with the trophy they are awarding which defines amateur as an adult who hasn't competed at Advanced (I think). This was teh division I was in in 2001 when 2 of my local pro friends placed (6th and 7th) and I specifically questioned their definition of Amateur -- and that's the response I got. I don't know why your friend wasn't in the Jr/Yr division. My first thought is that she isn't a US citizen as not only are all adults who don't qualify for the "ammy" trophy in Open, but so are all foreign competitors -- again, I think that has something to do with the Jr/Yr trophy qualifications for that division.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

EventerAJ
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:35 PM
tle- my friend is over 18; the "Jr" division did not include YRs.

If the Midsouth organizers defined the open/regular division on experience (ridden Advanced, or not) then that's completely different from "ammy" vs pro.

Why does fairness have to be so darn complicated? LOL

~AJ~
I've been there...that's why I'm here.

tle
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:39 PM
Ok, since I'm not in that category (by several years), I wasn't sure if it did or not.

Why complicated? I dunno. I think in that particular case using another word, something other than Amateur, would make life a LOT easier. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 01:40 PM
tle:

The Mackay Smith trophy was instituted at a time when all Olympians were in fact amateurs. They tried to come up with an alternative definition that would meet the needs. I think that the USA EQ missed an opportunity there to adopt the standard definition. But this is yet another example of how diverse the definition of amateur can get and why it should be stated by the eventing rules that 808 applies.

As for the December 2003 date, this paper was an attempt to look at many aspects of the argument to stimulate discussion within the committee. Not all committee members, or myself for that mattter agreed with its conclusions. However, it was a good jumping off point to begin conversation. While we had thought that 12/1/2003 would be possible - we too had not yet read the rules and as such, found out later that 2005 is the soonest that this can be implemented. Further, the actual proposal is the letter to Charles Lloydd. So the 2003 date is erroneously stated in the longer report.

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 02:29 PM
I have no problem with adding a rule to allow organizers to add an amateur division.

However, like Janet, I'm concerned about the fallout - that it will lead to the loss of the Regular divisions (as opposed to open).

I grew up in the hunter/jumper ranks. The amateur rule is, IMHO, problematic at best. In particular, the problem with the way the amateur rule is implemented there is that open vs. amateur is associated with certain heights. So, if you are 18 and teach beginner lessons, and you have an older 3' horse who is nice but not incredible, now you effectively have no place to show without breaking the rules. And so, there is a lot of incentive for adults in this range to keep their amateur card, and people in general look the other way.

I realize that this is not what is proposed, just giving a little background.

The amateur rules are what they are, and I don't have a way to write a better one. But, the fact is that there are a lot of people who ride full time who count as amateurs and there are a lot of people who once in a while are paid to hack a horse for exercise who are classified as professionals.

So, pgm, not unlike your example of a former USET rider who qualifies for the Regular division, it's just as possible to make the USET on your trust fund account and never teach a lesson. Oh, and if you have taught lessons, you can always petition to convert back to amateur - so you could abstain from teaching for two years and there you go. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I have often used the Eventing method of someone's prior competitive experience as a model that would be appropriate for hunter/jumper. I personally feel it works much better. If you've moved up to training, then want to come back to novice, so what if you have to go open? I don't see that as a hardship. But if this isn't working, perhaps the exact requirements should be rejiggered a little.

I also think that perhaps part of the problem is semantic. "Regular" just doesn't give the right connotation. I liked the old designation of "Restricted Novice" (even though it used to mean something different) vs. "Open Novice" because it made it clear that "restricted" did indicate a protected division. People like the word "amateur" because they think it means "people who aren't so good and don't do it full time" even though neither of those concepts are in the USA Eq amateur rule.

My view maybe slightly skewed compared to that back east, because while we ride against trainers and some very skilled pros, we don't have the same density of former Olympic riders out here in California for eventing.

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 02:39 PM
I think it's important to recognize that there are many ways to become a pro "innocently" - that is, not someone who hangs out their shingle as someone with skill. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

I am a busy amateur. We have great grooms who are paid to take care of our horses. Most have riding experience, but most don't have horses now. My horse needs riding... they deeply miss being in the saddle. But even if I am not charged for her riding my horse, technically hacking my horse around makes her a professional. This is true even if I am doing a favor for her in letting her ride my horse.

Note that the amateur rule doesn't discriminate with respect to activity. Thus, if I teach some saddleseat lessons, I am instantly a professional for every discipline, including eventing.

I note that a lot of eventers live out in the boonies, where even though they may not be the greatest, they may well be the best available instructor for someone in their area just getting interested in eventing. There are a lot of these casual instruction arrangements - more like mentoring than instruction - and I'd hate to see that discouraged.

It is pleasant to not have to worry about these scenarios as an eventer.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 02:40 PM
I like "restricted" also. I think fromt he organizer's point of view it would be nice to say in the omnibus somethinglike this:

Divisions offered - N, T, P (all open sections)
In the event that entries warrant, divisions will be divided into Jr., Amateur, open, Young Horse, and Restricted sections. Please indicate which of these divisions you wish to be placed into if entries warrant such divisions.

I would then define each of these sections in the rules so that we all knew what to expect. Competitors would know that their classes might be split if entries warrant, and yet the division need not be split if entries are too light.

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 02:48 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Janet:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What I said was that of the three major segments (Jumpers, Dressage, and eventing) eventing is the only discipline that does not offer amateur classes at the national comeptition level. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> And, IMNSHO, one of the things that makes Eventing the MOST attractive of these disciplines, to me.

I don't think that amateur classes are all that common at most dressatge shows I am familiar with- may be a regional thing.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Here in California, we have amateur divisions at most dressage shows - but usually only at 3rd or 4th and below. It's not common to see the FEI levels have amateur classes - and California dressage does have a pretty serious density of Olympians. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif IMHO, this is roughly equivalent to the current situation in eventing with the restricted divisions at Prelim and below.

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 02:48 PM
Under that scenario, it would be nice if there was an option to COMBINE "restricted" and "amateur" (if supported by the entries), which would include those riders who listed "amateur" as their preferred division AND those riders who indicated "restricted" as their preferred division.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 02:54 PM
Poltroon:

I agree that we need to look at the close calls in this rule context. This actually is a major piece of the puzzle that this discussion has helped push into the open. How is the rule enforced and how is the rule interpreted? This will matter as many of the examples given in resisting this move cite individual situations that may not ever really get challanged. Because none of us has actual experience with the enforcement of this rule, we assume that the letter of the law is upheld without consideration for extenuating circumstances. This might not in fact be the case.

To that end, I have asked the USAEQ hearings committee for some factual information regarding the types of challenges that are upheld, and which ones are not. While the cases are not perfectly documented, I expect that we will find that the rule is less black and white than we think.

Also, remember that the rule is self policing. Amateurs turn in other amateurs. This means that we all operate as each other's judge and jury. So if someone starts winning that shouldn't be there, their "peers" usually are pretty diligent about getting rid of them. And already, the amateur leader board has proven to be VERY effectively policed by our USEA members. For the most part, though, I have found that the other amateurs will let many "innocent" activities that they observe slide. But, the minute a hot shot starts winning AND engages in these activities - BAM theres the challenge and that amateur is either benched for the season or riding 9 to 5 on weekdays for money.

We'll see what the actual result of my research produces for us to mull over. I do not think that the rule is as stident as it would appear just from wording- but this perception may be wrong also. Don't know yet.

AM
Nov. 13, 2003, 02:57 PM
Yes, I have read about the ratings committee in both Eventing and Practical Horseman. I think that is also a stupid idea.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:01 PM
AM - Intersting thing about that is that Darren gave thos interviews without ever holding a single meeting with his committee. Doesn't sound like that committee is prepared to meet the challenge yet.

I admit that I am indifferent to the idea as long as the area chairs do their jobs regarding scheduling well. But a "stupid idea?" Why do you say that? Are there no advantages to rating events over the current system?

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:09 PM
So AM- You think amateurs are a stupid idea too eh?

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:12 PM
I am not so concerned about what actually gets enforced.

I am more concerned about the CONCIENTIOUS, RULES READING competitor, who says "oh dear, because I do X, I am not allowed in the amateur division, even though I have never competed at this level before" and therefore enters "open", while she would be much happier (and competing against her "peers" in every sense except the letter of the rules) in "amateur" (if those were the only options given).

She is never going to KNOW that
a) no one would protest her
and
b) if protested, it would not be upheld.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

flutie
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:16 PM
Someone asked for input from an organizer's point of view. When and if - and that's a big hurdle - the definition of Amateur is agreed upon, I feel that it is a great idea with one caveat - organizers are given the CHOICE of whether or not to use it. This year, we ran over 80 Prelim horses here in mid summer in remote Chicagoland. We probably would have split into an Ammy division along with YR, Open and plain ol' Prelim had the criteria been out there. As it was, I didn't want to get into the inevitable hair splitting before there was anything to back up the definition.

As for the rest of the organizers in the country? They haven't been polled, but I tend to believe that they would think the division just peachy as long as they wouldn't HAVE to offer it, as long as their specific Area/time of year/anticipated numbers would allow for it , and as long as there was a defensible definition.

Complicated? Yes...

Flutie

Badger
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:16 PM
Heather's paragraph below pretty much sums up my read on this:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If this is a proposal to help those upper level riders (of which I hope to be one again soon, and which Mr. Heather, another amateur, currently is, so don't think I'm discriminating), that's fine and worthy of exploration, BUT let's be honest about it. The majority of riders, ESPECIALLY AA's, ride at training level and below. And the fact that are provisions in place for divisions for those riders at present may in fact be why so many of us are like, Whu? Why do we need this. If we need rule changes for amateurs at prelim, intermediate, and advanced (and indeed we may), fine, let's talk about that, but why alter divisions that are already working? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

It sounds like there may well be a need at the upper levels to have some way for new-to-the-levels to compete against peers instead of Olympians. I would prefer to see experienced-based guidelines (similar to what happens at the lower levels) used instead of occupation-based guidelines. For example, a Restricted Intermediate division might mean the rider has never competed in a three-star.

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:33 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:
Poltroon:

I agree that we need to look at the close calls in this rule context. This actually is a major piece of the puzzle that this discussion has helped push into the open. How is the rule enforced and how is the rule interpreted? This will matter as many of the examples given in resisting this move cite individual situations that may not ever really get challanged. Because none of us has actual experience with the enforcement of this rule, we assume that the letter of the law is upheld without consideration for extenuating circumstances. This might not in fact be the case.

To that end, I have asked the USAEQ hearings committee for some factual information regarding the types of challenges that are upheld, and which ones are not. While the cases are not perfectly documented, I expect that we will find that the rule is less black and white than we think.

Also, remember that the rule is self policing. Amateurs turn in other amateurs. This means that we all operate as each other's judge and jury. So if someone starts winning that shouldn't be there, their "peers" usually are pretty diligent about getting rid of them. And already, the amateur leader board has proven to be VERY effectively policed by our USEA members. For the most part, though, I have found that the other amateurs will let many "innocent" activities that they observe slide. But, the minute a hot shot starts winning AND engages in these activities - BAM theres the challenge and that amateur is either benched for the season or riding 9 to 5 on weekdays for money.

We'll see what the actual result of my research produces for us to mull over. I do not think that the rule is as stident as it would appear just from wording- but this perception may be wrong also. Don't know yet.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

PGM, I can tell you as someone in the trenches that I KNOW the rule is not enforced as written. There is a lot of looking the other way, even between amateurs. If someone teaches up-down lessons on Saturday morning to be able to pay board or vet bills for her horse, whether she is my friend or not, I'm not going to call up USA Eq to out her, even if she beats me every weekend.

Why not?

Because the rule, as written, is in the end not effective in mingling the SPIRIT/intent of the idea of an amateur, and the real-world ACTUAL of being an amateur. (Not that I know how to make it better while relying on the essential premise of MONEY rather than competitive experience.)

On the other hand, people who don't need to make money but who can ride full time and do so with considerable skill proudly declare themselves amateurs, even though they do not differ in any way other than bank account from their professional brethren. Even if they've competed at the highest levels.

I appreciate your comment that the rule is not enforced to its draconian conclusion, but I still object. Fundamentally, we expect people to read the rules and respect them. How is a wink/nod approach to an "amateur" who gives up/down lessons better than a wink/nod approach to a BNT who drugs his horses with a substance that doesn't test yet? It is reasonable for people who read the rule book to expect that the rules are the rules, and will be enforced, and should be followed.

I don't like a rule situation that encourages shady ethics. I think it is in the best interests of our sport to write rules that are as clean and clear as possible, and are enforced as written.

barbaraG
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:33 PM
http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Here in Area I one of our Organizers has a Masters Division as part of the Open Novice and Open Training Divisions.

The Rider must own or lease the horse, be at least 30 years of age, or turn 30 during the Competition year and not have completed more than 4 Events at Preliminary for Training, or not more than 4 at Training for Novice. The horse must be at least 4 years of age and Ungraded.

It's fun and helps riders compete against their age and experience peers!

We had one pair ride to a 21 flat!!

These folks Really want to play!! http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

BarbaraG
GWV/ http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:38 PM
Badger:

The discussion of who is and is not an amateur is a complicated one that we avoided by adopting the USAEq standard. This definition looks solely at income. That does not mean that experience doesn't play a part here.

That said, we tried to address the situation where an amateur gains upper level experience and when it was appropriate to stop dividing the divisions between pro and am.

We determined that because the advanced level was the international level (CCI***) and qualified people for our USET teams to FEI CCIO's and so forth, we felt that these riders needed to compete head to head, on equal footing. Go advanced and you are saying that I have the skills that are comensurate with the international championship levels.

As such, we have recommended that we cut amateur classes off at the intermediate level. (CCI**). We have also recoomnedned that any horse and rider combination that competes at the Amatuer Intermediate level may not drop back into an amateur Trianing level class, but may compete at Amateur Preliminary. Likewise, a horse and rider combination that competes at advanced, may not then drop back into an amateur preliminary class. (we oput a two year time fram on it.)

In this way we have set aside horse and rider combinations with experience from dropping back for unfair advantage. Furthermore, we recognize that amateurs build their relationships with horses over a long period of time. When the begin with a new horse, they are not restricted in any way.

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:43 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> I appreciate your comment that the rule is not enforced to its draconian conclusion, but I still object. Fundamentally, we expect people to read the rules and respect them. How is a wink/nod approach to an "amateur" who gives up/down lessons better than a wink/nod approach to a BNT who drugs his horses with a substance that doesn't test yet? It is reasonable for people who read the rule book to expect that the rules are the rules, and will be enforced, and should be followed.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>poltroon said it better than I did.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:54 PM
Poltroon

I appreciate your thoughts on that- very similar to my own actually. But still the information is important to have on hand because someone is going to ask.

As for the definition of amateur, the question for me was how to prioritize the two basic definitions that we found - Amateur= one who does it for the love, not for remuneration or Amateur=one lacking in skill as in amateurish.

Decide which one should come first and the pruinciples underlying the rule start to take a definate shape. The first line of the rule is my favorite = regardless of skill or accomplishments, a person is an amateur if....

This recognizes the basic realty of life, people change and their lives change. Our past history has seen us implement an "up or out" system with respect to experience. Grading horses, forbidding USET members from dropping back, preventing riders from competing experienced horses unless they got "special permission" are all part of our recent systems that forced peiople to move up or get out opf the sport. We have seen plenty of one-horse wonders out there that have been discouraged enough to leave the sport after they were forced into the open sections.

My point is that we have to draw the line somewhere and at some starting point. Since we cannot ask people to certify that they only do it for the love it it, we can certainly ask them if they do it without makingmoney at it.

So when Abigail Lufkin comes back into the sport, she will most likely be an amateur. She is an amateur because she shares that none-income related riding thing with every struggling computer jockey out there.

And by the way, she will qualify under the current rules to ride in every "regular" division we now offer.

wanderlust
Nov. 13, 2003, 03:55 PM
I like Janet's idea of combining restricted and amateur. That way those who teach up-downs on weekends to pay some of their horse expenses can still avoid riding against Bruce, Karen, David, Philip and Kim all in one go. Because face it, while lots here say that they'd rather get 6th place behind those 5 big names, I think that thinking 6th is probably the best you can do weekend after weekend has to get old after a while.

~formerly Master Tally~

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 04:09 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by caballo_saltando:
I was originally not in favor of this idea but I've changed my mind primarily b/c of the impact I see it could have on a) opening up levels that are currently oversubscribed (T and N) and b)it making a clear distinction between who can and cannot enter restricted divisions.

I like the idea that the Open divisions run on the Friday of the HT, opening up more space for the ammies on the weekend days. There are always around 10 people (at least) waitlisted for the N or T divisions in II and with this change those people would get to ride.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

The non-pros that we have mentioned - people who work 9-5 and then pick up money on the side by teaching a couple of lessons or who ride a borrowed horse and are paid for other barn work - would be crushed by this change.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>

Anyway ...I also like the non-fuzzy nature of the distinction that it sets up - that if you enter into the amateur division, there is no way that you are going to be competing against a pro, period. So those sandbaggers that we all know of (or personally) who ride 5 different clients' horses per day and who compete them up through T but never beyond are not going to be eligible to ride in the amatuer T divisions - this makes the field a little more level for those folks who want it be more level ...
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Oh dear. Mmm. I suggest that you spend some more time hanging out at the 'A' hunter-jumper shows if you believe this. In particular, there are a lot of legal amateurs who ride quite a bit and are simply never paid. You can buy and sell your own horses and be an amateur, for example... even enough to make your living doing so.

And then there are the people who teach or ride a little on the side, but don't advertise, and get away with it.


I really think the groundswell, as I said before, is not for the Amateur division per se, but an obvious amateur division that separates out less skilled and less practiced adults from the ones who've been to the Olympics and back. I'm very satisfied with what we have at the lower levels. We might need to rename or tinker with what we have, but I actually think it is far superior to using the USA Eq Amateur rule.

pgm
Nov. 13, 2003, 04:22 PM
Poltroon;

Again, the point really is that we are already using this designation in the east and need the rules to catch up with the facts on the ground. Whether you like it or not, the uSAEQ rule is here, its clear, and it is enforceable.

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 05:16 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:
Poltroon;

Again, the point really is that we are already using this designation in the east and need the rules to catch up with the facts on the ground. Whether you like it or not, the uSAEQ rule is here, its clear, and it is enforceable.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I agree that it is here, and I will even agree that it is clear and enforceable in the legal sense. But, http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif I will not agree that it is clear to the average competitor or that it is enforced in practice. I think that the Restricted type designations are clearer and more enforceable, and superior to Sect 808 Amateur in every way.

I believe that our current method is so good that I routinely suggest to hunter-jumper people and dressage people that they adopt it. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

However, as I said originally, I have no real objection to offering it as an option for organizers. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

retreadeventer
Nov. 13, 2003, 05:47 PM
What she said. The amateur rule is nonsensical as it is currently applied.

Horses will make a fool of you, it's only a matter of when, not if.

KellyS
Nov. 13, 2003, 06:00 PM
I'm getting the point about two things: One, whether we like it or not, the amateur divisions are coming to USEA and two, whether we like it or not, there is no movement to improve the definition of amateur.

I just can't help but feel a little discouraged. I just see it all to easily boiling down to three divisions: junior, amateur, and open. And I share the same huge concern as others - put the open divisions on Friday to make room for more "ammies" and juniors on the weekend, and eventing is out of the picture for me. Because I am your true weekend warrior - there is no way with my job to ever take a weekday off to compete.


In the effort to bring more people into the sport, please don't edge out those of us who are already part of the sport and who don't fit into one of the neatly defined categories of amateur or professional.

While it is touted that a benefit of this rule is that organizers have the OPTION of using the amateur division, they also have the option to drop a regular/restricted division.

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 06:30 PM
Can the rule be written so that organizers can combine the restricted & amateur sections, ie, run a 'restricted/amateur' and then an 'open' ?

canterlope
Nov. 13, 2003, 07:39 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by KellyS:
I'm getting the point about two things: One, whether we like it or not, the amateur divisions are coming to USEA and two, whether we like it or not, there is no movement to improve the definition of amateur.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>While it may not be apparent, based on this thread, that the statement "there is no movement to improve the definition of amateur" is indeed false, KellyS, I can assure you that the committee that spent the last year working on this proposal looked at every improvement that has been mentioned in this thread and a whole bunch more that haven't. With each, there came a whole host of issues, concerns, problems, etc. When the committee took a step back to see which offered the least amount of headaches and heartaches to the members who would be affected, the current amateur rule was clearly the best option.

The one big problem that I have with defining an amateur by skill is that this provides a disincentive for amateur riders to ride at the top levels of our sport. Take someone like Amy Tryon. She is an amateur by the current USAEq definition. If we based that definition on skill, Amy would be reclassified as a professional. She would be "penalized" just because she happened to be good enough to ride at the level she currently does.

I don't think this situation would be fair to a person like Amy. Instead of punishing our amateurs for having what it takes to make it to the top, we should be applauding them and doing whatever we can to promote their success.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
They say cats have nine lives. They would settle for one good one. Adopt a cat (or dog) today.

GotSpots
Nov. 13, 2003, 07:54 PM
Actually, I think Amy teaches a few lessons and has a few boarders or students. I could be wrong, but I thought I read something that said that.

Not to discredit her or anything: I think she's amazing, but to her or to someone in her position, I'm not sure that the "amateur" versus "professional" distinction is or should be that important. What difference does it really make in her life whether she's classified as one or the other: the big difference might be that under the new system, if she is in fact an amateur, she might be able to enter a Novice horse trial in the amateur division. But that's precisely the point that I think I read alot of people here objecting to: that the amateur/professional line is not as "fair" as the experience based line. Most of us don't think that someone who has ridden for USET or gone Advanced belongs in the amateur or restricted divisions. I'm all for celebrating those folks: let's give out the Top Amateur placing at three days, maybe even at big events. But I really don't think it would be "punishing" Amy or someone like her if after having made it to the top they had to ride in the Open divisions, regardless of how they made their living.

Canterlope, your example to me a few pages back was quite helpful in explaining the reason for the proposed rule, though I could see how that could be fixed by adding a time limit in: two rides at the level above within the past year or two years, for example. However, what I seem to be hearing in reading these eleven pages is that at least a strong percentage of folks on this board feel that the amateur/professional line is not a good dividing line.

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 07:58 PM
But, according to your porposal, as long as she continued to compete at Advanced, the ONLY "amateur division" Amy would be eligible for would be "amateur Intermediate".


And I really don't think that having Amy ride in an "open" division is "punishing" her.

In fact, I strongly suspect that if the divisions offered were "Open" and "Amateur", she would enter "open". Just as if the divisions offered were "Open" and "Restricted", I strongly suspect that Packy would enter "open", even if he were technically eligible for "restricted" be cause he hasn't competed recently.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Janet
Nov. 13, 2003, 08:01 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> If we based that definition on skill, Amy would be reclassified as a professional. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> She wouldn't be reclassified as "professional". She would be classified as "not eligible for restricted." No one is proposing that we CHANGE the section 808 rules. All that is being proposed is not using them to define a nes "officially sanctioned" division.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

poltroon
Nov. 13, 2003, 10:52 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by canterlope:

The one big problem that I have with defining an amateur by skill is that this provides a disincentive for amateur riders to ride at the top levels of our sport. Take someone like Amy Tryon. She is an amateur by the current USAEq definition. If we based that definition on skill, Amy would be reclassified as a professional. She would be "penalized" just because she happened to be good enough to ride at the level she currently does.
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Sorry, canterlope, this makes no sense to me. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Every person I know who's ever touched even the middle levels of the sport has secret dreams of having the flag on their saddlecloth. I have not met Amy, but I am quite certain that she did not qualify for and ride in the World Championships because of the encouragement she got as an adult amateur rider. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/lol.gif

[Amy Tryon is my hero whether she meets the full technical definition of amateur or not! Anyone who can ride for the Team while holding a full-time job deserves special honors!]

I absolutely do not think Eventing should make a different rule from sec 808 and call it "amateur". To do so would drive EVERYONE completely batty. No, when you say "amateur rider" we all think of the sec 808 definition, and that is as it should be. If you have an Amateur division, IMHO it must conform to the universal Amateur standard.

So either we use the Amateur definition as written, or we need another word, is all, to use for what is now the Regular division, that I have been calling Restricted.

Too bad we've already used "Novice" http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_razz.gif

What about: enthusiast, ingenue, or http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif virgin?

Elghund2
Nov. 14, 2003, 03:35 AM
One of the problems as evidenced by this thread is the "what is an amateur?" question? This comes up routinely on the h/j board and ends up with no conclusion.

There really should be no issue here. If you have made money through an equestrian activity by providing services to others or through winnings then you are a pro. Having money lmitations, etc. is like saying you aren't a hooker if you fees for sex were under a certain dollar limit.

"I thought I was dead once but it turns out, I was only in Nebraska."

Chaser
Nov. 14, 2003, 04:20 AM
Someone asked a couple of pages back what happens in other countries?

In the UK, in eventing, horses win points, and the classes they can enter are determined by this.

In show jumping, again, it goes on money won by the horse, although some classes are limited to certain groups of riders defined by their national ranking (based on the year's performance).

Dressage is more complicated. Riders compete in Open or Restricted divisions at a level depending on their own competitive performance, but horses are also graded (can be down graded).

There is no amateur/professional distinction in any of these disciplines.

AM
Nov. 14, 2003, 06:12 AM
I was busy last evening so I'm answering Packy's questions from a couple of pages ago. What I didn't like about the ratings system was it was dependent on the organizers to determine their rating and then for the TD to confirm or deny it. What I see is there are many people who are both organizers and TD's and I could just see all sorts of conflict-of-interest going on there. I thought the criteria were slanted to increase the rating of purpose-built eventing venues - many of which were new and complaining about getting dates. I didn't think it was fair to some of the older events that have supported the development of US eventing for many years.

As far as the amateur divisions, as long as it's up to each individual to declare whether or not they are an amateur, there will be people who will conscientiously follow the letter of the rule and be forced into the open division while there are numerous well-known professionals who have USA Equestrian amateur cards. I also have found that while people say they want amateur recognition at the upper levels, they don't want it enough to follow directions. One event I volunteer for has offered an amateur award for several years. Each year the Omnibus directs them to indicate this on their entry. Over five years, fewer than five people have ever declared they are an amateur. So every year I've been checking the USA Equestrian memebership database to see who has an amateur card and is eligible for the award. That's how I found out how many very prominent professionals have amateur cards.

tle
Nov. 14, 2003, 07:15 AM
Ok, here's a question. 2 years (?) ago the sport did away with the Horse/Rider distinctions. I never understood why that was done, especially since many of my area events continued to use them (as they may under the rules for the lower levels). What was wrong with the Open, Rider, Horse, Restricted division classifications... and would that solve the currently perceived problem with people not feeling the playing field is level enough?

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 08:16 AM
Those of you who think that the amateur rules are inadequate need to consider the option of proposing chanegs to it. We (the committee) have not commented on the efficacy of this rule. Does it have problems? Probably. Can we fix them? maybe. But we eventers are entering this debate after the rule has been in place, in some form or other, for over 40 years. So I think we have some catching up to do. Because we have no practical experience with the rule in this discipline, we cannot really opine as to whether the rule as currently drafted will or will not work. We are stuck, then, arguing for changes in the abstract, without suitable standing to support our views. However, I would hope that after a year or two, the membership will propose changes with a clear understanding of how the rule operates, will propose changes that really are designed to improve it.

That is not to say that we aren't capable of assisting in the evolution of the rule right now. Janet has already proposed a change in the wording of one provision that points out a serious flaw in the wording of one provision (808(f) i believe isn't Janet?). [And anyone writing a rule proposal ought to first have an editor like Janet read it.] So yes, we can work on change now. But the comment above seem to attack the underlying policies and principles of the rule itself.

Remember that any change to the amateur rule will have an impact on other disciplines. This is an extremely limiting factor on change. I think we had better understand the rule a lot better before we start trying to revamp a rule that is used by several other larger segments of the horse industry.

With regard to experiential factors as separations for classes, the question for me is not whether experience should matter in defining classifications, but whether it should be first or second or third in priority. Janet and other argue that experience should be the primary factor for defining classes for competitive purposes. And they suggest that the hunters would be better off spearating by this factor. Regardless of the merit of their argument, the practical reality looks bleak for this argument winning the day.

As stated in the discussion paper circulated to many who have asked to see it, experience is an important factor. We use experience to assist in limiting how horses and riders advance into more difficult levels of competition. And the Amateur classification proposal restricts horse and rider combinations from moving backward to gain unfair advantage. So it is already considered in a number of effective ways. But in defining amateur versus professional, the pprimary factor to consider should not be how good or bad you ride, or how much experience you have in your past. Rather, how you choose to fit riding into your lifestyle is the most important factor.

Amateur status based on income producing activities is a hugely general classification that captures the essence of the basic distinction between amateur and professional. So for my money, I start there when defining the group.

The second definition in websters says that amateur status (for sports purposes)depends on how the national governing body restricts participation among the larger amateur group. It is this definition that we are currently struggling with. Now I knwo you have all read the proposal by now, and because no one has commented on it, I am guessing that we got the Horse/rider combination restriction pretty close to right. If not, I'd like to hear why not.

The last, most pejorative, definition of amateur as not up to professional standards, (amateurish) I have no interest in. I do not see how we honor the larger group of folks who may in fact give a high standard of skill and performance by using this definition as a factor in drafting our proposal. If you believe otherwise, please say why.
Taking stock of the arguments for and against:

Regarding the negative versus psositive nature of the comments on this trhead, I did a spot check of the for amateur against amateur votes on the board- 18 for, 14 against 9 not sure. Anyone who looks at this board and concludes there is a ground swell of anti-amateur division feeling out there would be wrong. I believe that people who might support the proposal haven't commented or criticized it generally because, well, they support it.

What we then are seeing is a few folks who really really really don't like the proposal and that is fine with me and every other member of the amateur status committee that wroked on the Proposal. I fully expect that these folks will continue to stir the debate and hoepfully some good results and improvements will come out of their pushing the discussion ahead.

[This message was edited by pgm on Nov. 14, 2003 at 10:42 AM.]

[This message was edited by pgm on Nov. 14, 2003 at 10:43 AM.]

Janet
Nov. 14, 2003, 08:16 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> What was wrong with the Open, Rider, Horse, Restricted division classifications... ? <HR></BLOCKQUOTE> Me too. I want to know why they were removed from the rule book.

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 08:40 AM
Janet:

As I stated above, the history of our sport indicates that classification restrictions has been experientially based. Initially, (say 1970) the requriements were so draconian that they required riders with experience to always ride advanced. (Not so good for younger horses if you know what I mean.) This was cured by creating open versus normal division and rider versus horse divisions. Later (1978?), grading points restricted good or experienced winners from moving back in the levels. If you were to buy an experienced Grade one horse, you needed to ride Open Intermediate or Advanced unless you got "special permission." These restrictions followed a basic assumption that riders and horses would always move up the competitive ladder and would not lose their highest skill level. Move up or get out. And at a time, when 90% of people in the sport wanted to ride at the Olympics, this system reflected the majority's reality.

But we are a different sport today. We need to look at the demographics and find the most basic dividing factors that separate the competitors and horses. Should we separate by Good riders v. Bad riders? Experience doesn't equal skill so how would we do this? Should we rate the horses? If so, for what purpose?

I come at the current classifications in this way. Divide the riders first by their defining characteristics. (Age, Amateur, and Professional). Divide the horses by their experience to pre-qualify horses for the levels and prevent accidents. Because the current system doesnot recognize the basic division between amateur and professional, its foundation, in my opinion, is flawed.

Once we have a system that does these basic things well (which we don't now have) we can then let the marketplace instruct as to what other divisions and classifications might be desired. Maiden, restricted, Green, young horse, masters, and pony divisions are all interesting allowable designations that could come from this. Many of these are already used even if not allowed by the rules for lower levels. When we have grown enough to offer such products to the entry paying public, then we can add them to the national registry of standardized classifications. For now, however, we are trying to put into place rules that allow the creative organizers with sufficient entries, to customize their events to meet the needs of the competitors that are going to them.

bambam
Nov. 14, 2003, 08:45 AM
I second tle and Janet's questions above and have one of my own.
My primary concern with this rule change is that it will force out the other designations rider/horse (which I see much more often at the lower levels in Area II than the amateur thing (which I have never seen but I have not exactly been competing much this year) but that is a whole nother issue) because given my choice I would rather have the choice of Horse/Rider/Open than Open/Amateur. If I am reading correctly, that is a lot of people's concerns because unless they lose the other designations then it is basically- that is fine, I don't have to compete in the division. So here (at last http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_wink.gif) is my question- has any attempt been made to survey the organizers and ask them whether they would offer the amateur division if it is an option and sanctioned by USEA rules; if they did offer it would they substitute it for Horse/Rider or run it in addition; would they be willing to include in entries all options and run the one(s) that fill (so that if 90% of the people sending in entries want a Rider and not Amateur division, then they will just run the Rider one- or vice versa)? If you have organizers saying they will not eliminate the other divisions or that they will go with the designation of the majority of the competitors (which will tell us whether this is a majority or vocal minority movement), then I think you will shut a lot of us naysayers up (which I am sure you would love to do http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/yes.gif). If this has not been done, can it? While ideally it would be nice to survey the USEA membership, my guess is that would be a very expensive proposition, but I think surveying the organizers would be manageable.

Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time!

Ja Da Dee
Nov. 14, 2003, 08:47 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Ok, here's a question. 2 years (?) ago the sport did away with the Horse/Rider distinctions. I never understood why that was done, especially since many of my area events continued to use them (as they may under the rules for the lower levels). What was wrong with the Open, Rider, Horse, Restricted division classifications... and would that solve the currently perceived problem with people not feeling the playing field is level enough?
<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

I thought that the horse and rider distinctions were a great idea. It seems to level the playing field on the things that should matter the most and that's your ability and experience/ your horses ability and experience. Isn't that what eventing is all about? Not if you've been paid to start a friends trail horse or teach a few children how to post the trot? When I started eventing 3 years ago, I was blessed to be riding a horse with lots of experience, we won some ribbons and had fun. I was entered in SNR. If he hadn't injured himself that winter I would have started him in the spring in ON then moved to training. It made sense to me that as I moved up in experience, I moved into the open divisions.

Earlier someone discussed if you were in Training, tried Prelim once, moved back to training, tried prelim again, you couldn't go back to RT... but, if you are almost ready to move up to P, what's the problem with entering OT? our skill level is more advanced and you have experience that the rest of the Regular Training level riders don't have.

I understand that the AA division would be up to the organiser, but I would worry in the smaller areas, we could loose the restricted division where people can start eventing even though they may be experienced in another equestrian sport. Just because someone is a successful endurance rider or CMO rider and teaches a few western lessons doesn't make them a professional eventer ... just a professional horse person.

I don't think I said this well, but if you want to level the playing field, level it. If you want to give out another year end or show trophy, pull the scores from the ammy's regardless of the division they competed in.

PS, I am in every sense of the word an ammy... I've got a full time job, own and train my horse and ride at a very very low level.

Janet
Nov. 14, 2003, 08:48 AM
pgm,

I understand the problems with the "up and out" system of old.

I also sort of understand (though I still don't agree) why you want to separate "amateur".

What I don't understand, and never heard well explained, is why we went from " (Open)Novice, Novice Horse, Novice Rider" to "Open Novice, Novice".

Janet
chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle, and Brain

Ja Da Dee
Nov. 14, 2003, 08:52 AM
one more thing... having grey rules is a bad idea. If there are ammy rules, but you don't need to worry about following them... well, that's just wrong. To encourge people to act without integrety is a bad idea for the sport (and life). TO say "it's ok for you to break the rules because you won't be reported" well, how can anyone suggest that that's a good idea? And then, this person gets used to breaking the rules until some day, they win and someone says.. hey! You're not an ammy, you're a cheater.

tle
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:08 AM
Janet... don't forget Restricted Novice. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Packy, I wasn't going to pick on you any more since I am really appreciating your answers today. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif However, I have to "pick" on this comment:

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Maiden, restricted, Green, young horse, masters, and pony divisions are all interesting allowable designations that could come from this. Many of these are already used even if not allowed by the rules for lower levels.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Hmmm... that last statement isn't quite right. According to Article 1704.6.3 "Where a competition does not count as far as Grading Points are concerned, aka training and below... an Organizing Committee may offer sections that are breed or otherwise restricted..." bolding and italicized comments are mine, but it does mean that Masters, for example, IF the organizing committee sets forth what that means is completely allowable at the lower levels. So too is Amateur... thus leading to our ongoing debate of what is this committee trying to determine with this *new* rule.

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

flutie
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:13 AM
My problem with this enthusiastic, but somewhat redundant and occasionally tedious discussion is a pretty simplistic one. IF and/or WHEN the proposed Ammy Division option is put in place, then organizers can choose to offer this division - or NOT offer it. Similarly, competitors can choose to enter it - or NOT enter it. If this choice exists, then what's the big deal, choice being the operative word?

Just as the choice exists to follow this thread - or not to follow it!

Flutie

poltroon
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:15 AM
Someone asked about how h/j working students deal with this rule.

If you are in the junior division, you can be paid any amount of money to ride, teach, or train. So until you show 18, the rule doesn't apply.

A frequent sidestep is that a person may keep an amateur card quietly, and/or fail to formally declare as a professional, but elect not to ride in amateur classes while teaching or training. It avoids the red tape of reapplying for amateur status while also avoiding the worst of the ethics issues.

In some cases, working students ride only their own horses, and their work is barn work rather than any riding or teaching. These students remain amateur.

In some cases, no one protests that the rider has been hacking the client or sales horses because only friends of the rider know.

BTW - if any division needs an award for Amateur riders, it's Advanced - there Amateur riders are so rare that it would be great to see them recognized, not just for their sake but for the rest of us toiling in the trenches, who could use the inspiration. http://chronicleforums.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

tle
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:21 AM
flutie... if an AA division was opened up at Prelim for example (since it really is already available for the lower levels), given your recent Preliminary competitor numbers, can you tell us what divisions you'd offer? (since the offer of a division has to be in the Omnibus well before any of us think about what division we WANT to enter). Would you offer all choices? OP/AAP/P/YOP? or just some of them? Can you also tell us what you offered this time (as a comparison)?

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

NMS
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:32 AM
Good question TLE, would this new division replace the Novice Rider/Novice Horse divisions that are still currently used at some horse trials?

So for BN, N and T, and P you would have:

Novice AA
Novice Open
Novice YR

How would the AA be divided if necessary? By age, by rider experience, by horse experience, arbitrarily?

I would suspect that if only AA, Open and YR Divisions were used that the AA may have to be further split...any thoughts on that?

Nanc

www.canterohio.org (http://www.canterohio.org)

Heather
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:40 AM
But see flutie, I think the issue is these unintended consequences brought up on this thread. I would imagine that most organziers, presented with these options this in 2005, will offer amatuer divisions (new thing, give it a try, why not?) If many of the concers listed here come to pass, then what do we, as the competitors do? Send letters to all the organziers in our area asking them not to offer the divisions any more? Ask the USEA to repeal the divisions?

I would like to add one final thing, and I am NOT meaning this in a flaming way towards ANYONE on the committee. This has been touched on earlier, but I wanted to say it more blatantly. Don't you think it's possible that a lot of the negative reaction here is because most of us have heard NOTHING about this until now, and it is being presented to us as a done deal--put up or shut up.

I don't think the USEA has to consult me about every little thing, BUT in this case, I, and tle, and Janet, and subk, and RObby Johnson and just about every other poster on this BB is your TARGET AUDIENCE for this rule change. And none of us have even had our opinion asked, until now, and when we give it we are told we are wrong, out of touch, or that the change is going through anyway, so we just better get used to it.

I'm sure there were reasons the committee did what it did, and I don't question them. Rather, I hold this out as an additional reason why you may not have recieved the "Hooray for amateur divisions" response you were looking for.

BTW, by my count in the omnibus, Area VI has 24 events in 2004. And in a completely informal survery of the entrants at a recent event Mr. Heather rode at prelim in, in Area II there were 10 AA's, 12 junior/YR, 24 pros, and 12 who are probably pros by the rules, but would consider themselves ammy's. How would that shake out with new divisions?

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:46 AM
tle:

You are correct that the lower level reules allow us to put in amateur divisions. This is in fact what organizers have relied upon to justify it. What you may not appreciate, however, is that there is no standardized definition that would guide organizers as to who is and is not an amateur. Further, it is entirely unclear whether the uSAEQ amateur definition applies- as you may be assuming it does.

Once any new designation gets popular (young horse comes to mind) then the USEA should step in and standardize that defnition. Having standards differ from area to area is not acceptable.

Another example of how the word "amateur" is skewed, the Mackay Smith trophy is for amateurs, but defines this as a person who has never competed above X level and not as someone who is a USAEq amatyeru. What we are trying to do is standardize the definition. That's all. We are not forcing particiaption and we are not forcing organizers to offer it.

tle
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:47 AM
Ah, but see NMS, that is why I used Preliminary in my question to Flutie... because, just as organizers are still using the Rider, Horse division splits at Novice, they also ARE CURRENTLY ALLOWED to use AA. They can create a Novice Purple Horses Only division and get away with it. Those division splits are not allowed in Grading Point divisions (Prelim thru Advanced) and IMHO this is the only area that this "new" rule really adds anything. My effort in asking flutie about how she would do it is to find out if, by adding AA at Prelim as an option, are we also going to see Organizers dropping divisions... and then we can see how everyone feels about that (my guess is that they won't be exstatic over the proposition).

See... I *can* be civil. http://chronicleforums.com/images/custom_smilies/winkgrin.gif

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

INoMrEd
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:49 AM
I would like that. Especially if the Championship shows were required to separate the divisions so the adults who competed all year long and did well wouldn't have to compete against the juniors for the last show of the year.

There is a very fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness." - DAVE BARRY

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:50 AM
Heather:

There is an assumption that the "unitended consequences" will totally trash the sport of evnting. How could that possibly happen? If they do not work, the marketplace will render them immediately obsolete- no one will enter them.

tle
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:50 AM
pgm... you are correct. Since whatever is not specifically spelled out in the Eventing portion of the rule book, goes back to the general USAEq rules, I was indeed "assuming" that when one talks about an Adult Amateur in our sport that the USAEq definition is in place. That is precisely the reason I had the problem with the Mackay Smith trophy and precisely the reason I questioned the USAEq office (and the show office that day in fact) about it... because while I love my 2 friends, they are not amateurs -- and they know it. Tehy were a bit confused by the ribbons as well.

Anyway, is there anyone here who when presented with an Adult Amateur division at a horse trial WOULDN'T think that the USAEq rules would be the definition??

************
If Dressage is a Symphony... Eventing is Rock & Roll!!!

"All's well that ends with cute E.R. doctors, I always say." -- Buffy

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 09:59 AM
Heather:

I think that you will find using Robby's name in this case doesn't help you. He has known about this for some time. Whether he supports it or not I do not know but I can tell you that he stated emphatically that any changes that made it more expensive for him to compete would be unwlecome. That was seen by me and others as pretty sage advice.

We are not required to come to the COTH bulletin board to get permission to make a proposal any more that Janet was before making her recent rule change proposal. Further, getting a good sample of amateurs does not require coming to this board.

About three weeks ago, the survey was sent to all USEA adult rider coordinators in every area with the express request to send it to AA's that were typical of our target audience. We were trying, by this survey, not to disclose the content of the proposal, but to further develop the proposal prior to finalizing it for presentation at the Boston convention.

I have received over fifty completed surveys with a wide variety of responses given. Nothing we have received back from the many folks that have particiapted in this indicates that a major change is needed. Janet and others have suggested wording chanegs that have improved the proposal. For the record, I have received NOT ONE - (repeating very slowly)...NOT ONE... back from anyone who has posted to this board in the past three days.

Janet excepted - cause I sent it to her two weeks ago.

Heather
Nov. 14, 2003, 10:09 AM
I thought I was very clear that I didn't think anyone needed my or the BB's permission or antyhing else. I'm not sure how more clearly I could have possibly said that. I also made it as clear as I was able that I don't question the methodolgy used by the committee. What I said was that since you'all seem surprised by the negative reactions, that might be an additional reason. If you can't see that as a logical progression, I don't know what else to say.

I haven't sent the surveys back yet, because I thought I'd send Mr. Heather's and mine together, and he hasn't finished his yet. If we are being timed on this just let me know and I'll send mine ASAP.

I'm just about to give up and bow out of this. The decision has been made, apparently, and I can only say what I think so many ways. Whatever. Time will tell.

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 10:10 AM
tle:

Several years ago a few of us noted that we had no way of enforcing the rules through the USEA. Because lower level comeptitions weren't necessarily recognized by USAEQ, this meant we effectively had no rule book. Enforcing serious rules that dealt with issues like safety, abuse, drugs, and licensed officials, a show had to offer Preliminary or higher.

Not acceptable in this litigious society.

So we 'affiliated " all USEA comeptitions with the USAEQ. Now we can enforce the rules at all recognized USEA levels. With that change, it became possible to bring the Rule 808 definition into eventing if we want to. In order to make it apply to events we need to say "a person is elligible to compete in amateur classes for eventing IF they qualify under Rule 808 and/or...

We have not yet said it and therefore, organizers can change the rules for the lower levels as they see fit.

cweimer
Nov. 14, 2003, 10:13 AM
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by pgm:

For the record, I have received NOT ONE - (repeating very slowly)...NOT ONE... back from anyone who has posted to this board in the past three days.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That's disappointing, I did fill out the survey when my area coordinator sent it to me, and sent it right back. Perhaps she just hasn't forwarded them yet? Or were you only speaking of the ones that you sent personally?

Robby Johnson
Nov. 14, 2003, 10:14 AM
Well just bust me out, then, PGM! I'm so sorry I've not completed my survey. It has full-on been my intent, as you know. I guess I've not responded to this thread because, quite frankly, I don't care either way. Just don't make it cost more money. As I see it, I'm still going to ride the same test and jump the same tracks. I don't care who does it ahead or after me.

Robby

So I'm a sistah, buy things with cash
It doesn't mean that all my credit's bad

http://community.webshots.com/user/rbjohnsonii

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 10:19 AM
You cannot please all of the people all of the time.

No one is surprised by the negative responses on this board. We fully anticipated it. We were fully prepared for the response. We asked to go before the membership in Boston so that we could fully support those members who, like you, want to air their views. We are under no obligation to do this and could have let the proposal go without any open forum for public debate. However, because we wanted to explain the principles underlying the proposal, we felt an obligation to provide this forum. I would hope that you would bring all of the passion that you feel for this issue to that debate so that the competing amateurs in the room hear what you have to say.

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 10:21 AM
cweimer:

If you sent it to the area coordinator I have probably received it already. I have hwoever, sent out about a dozen or so through the duration of this discussion thread. None of those have come back to me and at least one recipient thought the survey in poor taste.

pgm
Nov. 14, 2003, 10:23 AM
Robby:

You give me your survey whenever you want big boy.