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View Full Version : "Master Rider" age of 40 ridiculously young!



denny
Jul. 18, 2011, 05:02 PM
"Master Rider" forty? Come on, get real, that`s younger than half our Olympic squad riders some years. That`s my children`s age.

The USEA needs to get into the 21st century about their awards programs. Other sports have catagories, 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, that sort of reality based thinking.

Not all riders "retire" at 50 or 60 these days, and incentive programs give goals to aim for. Make some changes, USEA.

gottagrey
Jul. 18, 2011, 05:26 PM
Agree!
I also think that points should be given down to 8th place (if 8th places are being given) just as they do in USEF Hunter / Jumper competitions. More people might sign up and attend awards banquets.

GotSpots
Jul. 18, 2011, 05:49 PM
Denny, why not submit a rule change proposal, or reach out to USEA board members, or give Jo a call directly? I mean, it's fun to stir up disputes on the COTH board and all, but why not make a call, send an email, or submit a proposal?

denny
Jul. 18, 2011, 06:18 PM
I don`t think this is earth shatteringly important, but as the USEA is a service to its members association, I`m surprised that someone there hasn`t noticed how much that policy goes counter to modern demographics.

I have mentioned this several times, over a number of years, with no positive response. Maybe nobody cares. Maybe most riders quit at around 50. Beats me. I don`t qualify for those awards as a non amateur, so I don`t have any vested interest, except to think it might strengthen membership.

RAyers
Jul. 18, 2011, 06:42 PM
And given the true definitions of "master:"

1) Directs the work of others
2) One who holds a Master's degree from an academic institution
3) an authority qualified to teach apprentices
4) an artist of consummate skill

(from the American English Dictionary)

I object to the term "master" for a over 40 rider! Yes, I meet the 2nd definition but not the other 3.

Now I am all riled up. ;)

Reed

subk
Jul. 18, 2011, 06:44 PM
Denny you sound a bit like my grandmother. She was a national swimming champion, All American, and held many national records in the 80 and Over age group. When she was competing in the late 70s and early 80s there was zero competition in the age group. She was even asked to speak as well as appeared on Good Morning America to promote active lifestyles for seniors.

She was slower than Christmas so they'd give her and outside lane and continue on with the rest of the meet while she did her laps. She'd be entered in the maximum number of events and of course win them all, meriting national MVP honors for Master Swimming. As she got in her late 80s other seniors took her message to heart and she started to have some competition. When she turned 90 she and her team petitioned for a new 90 and Over age group. They were turned down and it always bugged her that she was expected to swim against those "80 year old whipper snappers!"

denny
Jul. 18, 2011, 06:51 PM
I enjoy beating riders 50 years younger!

retreadeventer
Jul. 18, 2011, 07:54 PM
Well...my thoughts are that my age group and many riders like me probably are the least served, at times, and the most important, at times, than any other demographic group in the organization. We're the money bags but we sure aren't treated like it. My pet peeve is paying for adult rider membership. (We already ARE the membership, why pay extra?)

I am constantly rattling cages and irritating the PTB with my kockamamie (sp.?) ideas, and this is another one with which I can go bug people. Thanks, Denny! :)

denny
Jul. 18, 2011, 08:04 PM
I enjoy beating riders 50 years younger because it ticks them off that someone the age of their grandparents can do it!!

eponacowgirl
Jul. 18, 2011, 08:08 PM
My dad came and watched me at an event for the first time... as we were riding back on the golf cart from my student's dressage, he asked "Whats the age limit for eventing?"

I looked at him and blinked... "Age LIMIT?!"

eventer_mi
Jul. 18, 2011, 08:10 PM
Denny, according to Joe, 30+ is Master, 55+ is veteran in cycling. Considering most of the top cyclists in the Tour de France are 30-37, I think the title of Master has more to do with life accomplishments than age. Just sayin'.

Toadie's mom
Jul. 18, 2011, 08:45 PM
"Master Rider" forty? Come on, get real, that`s younger than half our Olympic squad riders some years. That`s my children`s age.

The USEA needs to get into the 21st century about their awards programs. Other sports have catagories, 40-50, 50-60, 60-70, that sort of reality based thinking.

Not all riders "retire" at 50 or 60 these days, and incentive programs give goals to aim for. Make some changes, USEA.
The older I get, the more I agree:)

flea
Jul. 18, 2011, 09:14 PM
I really don't mind competing against the youngsters, but it would be fun to have an award for an older age group. One event had a highest scoring pony award. Maybe something like that? At 60 I qualify for old, but as Bn- training competitor certainly not a "master"! What would it be called then? Geriatric? Fossil?

Gryhrs
Jul. 18, 2011, 09:28 PM
I love you Denny.

whicker
Jul. 18, 2011, 09:44 PM
Oh Boy! What fun we can have with this one, Denny!
I want divisions for ALL the levels. It has been ages since I had enough ribbons to re-decorate my tackroom. I'll take any advantage that I can get, by cracky! :winkgrin::lol:

furlong47
Jul. 18, 2011, 09:51 PM
Seems to be in line with most other sports, where the Masters category typically begins between ages 30 and 40.

subk
Jul. 18, 2011, 09:54 PM
We could subtract your age from your score and lowest wins! Of course, with Denny the secretary would have to be able to work with negative numbers...

Dr. Doolittle
Jul. 18, 2011, 10:11 PM
:lol:

LOVE this thread! Never give up, people...(Personally, I am just too damned stubborn to give it up. Or perhaps simply in denial about my age and my creeping decrepitude. In either case, I feel as though we "mature riders" should be acknowledged and appreciated. AND served :D)

I have seen 40 somethings who ride like 20 somethings, and those who ride like 70 somethings. Maybe there should be some sort of physical/mental fitness and/or sanity tests given to event riders in order to "qualify" them as a Master Rider? Or maybe they should rename it "Senior Rider"? Perhaps you should be required to show your AARP card?

Black Points
Jul. 18, 2011, 10:41 PM
I certainly agree that 40 yrs old should not a Master Rider be... I was spectating at Stuart this weekend (hope to ride there next year)...and they awarded Master Riders in various divisions. They also had a Vintage award and can you believe Vintage is only 45 yr!

I thought Vintage would be at least 50 if not 60 yrs as it should be. Us older folks need some more incentive to compete.

Mary in Western NY
http://www.bpequine.com

Mtn trails
Jul. 18, 2011, 10:51 PM
I, for one, would love to qualify for an award in my age group (50+) but at this point, I'm no where near being a "master", however, I do hold a masters degree in aerospace engineering. I think people "our age" should be recognized and given our due and be able to compete against others in the same demographic.

millerra
Jul. 18, 2011, 11:38 PM
IThey also had a Vintage award and can you believe Vintage is only 45 yr!

http://www.bpequine.com

Oh good lord, that hurts. I do NOT feel vintage (nor master, for that matter).

Now I feel old.... must make hair dyeing appt tomorrow...

chizzle
Jul. 19, 2011, 12:17 AM
Well I guess Masters at 40 is a tad better than some of the unrated horse trials "Galloping Geezers" division (open to riders over 40)... I think I would rather be a Galloping Geezer or an over 40 Master than a Pre-Adult like they have in the hunters. Now Pre-adult is not age restricted but...

denny
Jul. 19, 2011, 07:28 AM
I guess that what induced me to start this somewhat ridiculous thread was that when I go to events, there are usually quite a few riders easily 50 plus, and an increasing number well beyond 50.

And 40, in horse sports, is kind of prime time, not anything like some sports where it`s normal to retire at 35-40, like pro football, baseball, etc. Check out the ULRs, many are in their 40s, Phillip, Karen O`K (over 50), Amy T., Stephen B, Dorothy T, Kelli T, hardly washed up!

So "Masters", or "Vintage" should be well beyond that, something that makes you say, "Wow, that`s a tough act to follow."

Like Walt Gervais, who moved UP to prelim at 72, and did his first long format 3-day at 75. That`s vintage, and worthy of real admiration. Forty is nothing, still a kid to someone like me (70 next month).

And I rode 3 at Huntington a couple of days ago, and it was no big deal, truly, compared to what I got used to seeing Walt accomplish.

frugalannie
Jul. 19, 2011, 08:17 AM
Oh yes, Denny. I once won a Master's division when I in no way felt even grown up! Now that I require as much maintenance as an 22 year-old horse, I think that some acknowledgement is in order.:lol:

It would be interesting to subtract age from scores for the adult ammy riders and see how that shook out. Could be good fun!

cindylouwho
Jul. 19, 2011, 08:49 AM
Does anyone have the numbers?

Starters over 40 compared to the total starters? It might also be interesting to look at it at each level!

fordtraktor
Jul. 19, 2011, 09:01 AM
I propose a new USEF classification, Jack Benny/Mae West Eventing. During your dressage tests, all us whippersnappers have to stand by the side of the ring, whooping, hollering and yelling things like "NUMBER 83, YOUR HONOR!!!" and "THERE'S YOUR WINNER!" amongst more obnoxious things with which we can all surprise you onsite.

OTTB FTW
Jul. 19, 2011, 09:05 AM
And given the true definitions of "master:"

1) Directs the work of others
2) One who holds a Master's degree from an academic institution
3) an authority qualified to teach apprentices
4) an artist of consummate skill

(from the American English Dictionary)

I object to the term "master" for a over 40 rider! Yes, I meet the 2nd definition but not the other 3.

Now I am all riled up. ;)

Reed

hmmm, I consider myself to qualify for all 4, especially #1....guess I am a "master" :winkgrin:

Ajierene
Jul. 19, 2011, 09:28 AM
40+, pshaw....we need a division for 30+!

At that age, your working long hours plus trying to find time to ride and compete - that's an accomplishment!

Older people are retired, living 'the life of luxury' and doing what they want - don't try to deny it, I see you retired folk runnin' the block!

Seriously, ever since I was a mid-20's amateur, there has been no 'special' division for me. I just compete with everyone else, so I see not big deal in having or not having a special division for any age group. It is just an extra ribbon and if the USEA wants to make it a 40+ ribbon, have at it.

Also, I have a Master's degree, so according to Reed's definition, I could, concievably qualify..

JP60
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:17 AM
Not all riders "retire" at 50 or 60 these days, and incentive programs give goals to aim for. Make some changes, USEA.

Holy Saddle Soap Batman, I'm 50 and only starting in this sport. Unless the economy forces me to retire I plan to roll on as long as I can. I kind of like the title though "Master Rider". Yeah, definitely a name dropper at the parties so long as I don't have to show off my labeled prowess. If you added the age of me and my horse we'd be classified as centenarian :) This is why I love Eventing.

vineyridge
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:43 AM
Denny, this is a great idea.

Mark Todd--55
KOC
Blythe Tait
Ian Millar
Ingrid Klimke (over 40)
Dibowski (over 40)
Mary King (over 50)

These are true masters in every sense of the word. And they are still beating younger whippersnappers, thanks to being riders.

So if TPTB want to make a distinction between those who are no longer able to be internationally competitive because of age and those who are younger, maybe the Master category should be limited AT THE MOMENT to riders over 70.

CANTEREOIN
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:48 AM
And not the awards, ribbons or points....

Seriously, I told my mom, when she was lecturing me about quitting because of my age (50) and that I was too old... blah, blah, blah, that she needed to take a look at the folks riding. That if she looked closely, the demographics are me.

Whatever the categories are... master, vintage... it doesn't matter to me. The only distinctions I love and support are the Amateur and Rider divisions. And, if they are not available... Open is good enough for me.

I tend to be happy to do well... I'm not thrilled when I place higher than a younger rider.. I don't know their story and they may not know mine. I'm just happy that I did well....

And after getting badly hurt, completing my next one is going to be my goal... not beating a younger rider.

Grey623
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:50 AM
How about starting something like The Century Club that the Dressage Foundation offers?

"The Century Club recognizes Dressage riders and horses whose combined age totals 100 years or more. Horse and rider perform a Dressage test of any level, at a Dressage show or event, and are scored by a Dressage judge or professional."

http://www.dressagefoundation.org/To_Honor_Senior_Dressage_Riders.htm

Grey

Dezi
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:54 AM
I qualify for the AARP division, if I ever can get the time to make it to a horse trial!

Between a full time job, 3 kids too young to drive yet, house and farm work I might get to one yet this year. I would guess that 80% of the people that I used to ride with are no longer riding, and it makes me sad. I might not get to compete much, but I still enjoy the training process and time with the ponies.

Mtn trails
Jul. 19, 2011, 11:33 AM
Retire? Who the heck can afford to retire? I'll be working until I drop dead and they have to cart my body out of my cubicle.

tle
Jul. 19, 2011, 12:06 PM
Retire? Who the heck can afford to retire? I'll be working until I drop dead and they have to cart my body out of my cubicle.


Especially if you're still riding/competing!! Seriously... I dont' see me retiring ANY time soon. Granted, I'm barely over the Master age limit, but still. Between work, farm, family and non-horse friends... and even *gasp* a few non-horse interests ... there's no way I coudl afford to retire if I wanted to (and I'd LOVE to be a block-controlling, riding all the time retiree!).

colorfan
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:11 PM
I could go for fossil......

Yeah, there should be more focus on the older folks. Esp the entry level older folks.
Can see this, havent won a ribbon yet, must be over 50.....

The young riders are always raising money cause they don't have any of their own but the olders folks might.
And if they are involved might spread some of that money around.

flea
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:20 PM
Ajerene-I hope you were teasing! At 60 you are still working, babysitting grandkids, and helping with elderly parents. And...you have to factor in the extra time it takes to get up and down and such things. That being said probably not enough geezers for much in the way of awards. Maybe a special award like a bottle of Geritol for highest scoring ancient one or something would be fun. 60 or 70 age?

frugalannie
Jul. 19, 2011, 01:38 PM
Ajerene-I hope you were teasing! At 60 you are still working, babysitting grandkids, and helping with elderly parents. And...you have to factor in the extra time it takes to get up and down and such things. That being said probably not enough geezers for much in the way of awards. Maybe a special award like a bottle of Geritol for highest scoring ancient one or something would be fun. 60 or 70 age?

Flea, as to the first part of your post: true that!

And as to the last part, I think an appropriate prize would be a large bottle of the winner's favorite NSAID and a wine bottled the year of the winner's birth.:yes:

Dezi
Jul. 19, 2011, 02:31 PM
Frugal - wine bottled in just about any year (or month for that matter) would be the best prize evah!!! :)~

merrygoround
Jul. 19, 2011, 03:27 PM
Holy Saddle Soap Batman, I'm 50 and only starting in this sport. Unless the economy forces me to retire I plan to roll on as long as I can. I kind of like the title though "Master Rider". Yeah, definitely a name dropper at the parties so long as I don't have to show off my labeled prowess. If you added the age of me and my horse we'd be classified as centenarian :) This is why I love Eventing.

Amazing, you are riding a 50 year old horse!!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

JP60
Jul. 19, 2011, 03:50 PM
Amazing, you are riding a 50 year old horse!!!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

Okay you got me :lol: I was fudging the age by converting her age from horse years to human years. At 22 she can look like a young filly in moments, but has an attitude of a Grand Dame of 65 (65+50 = 110), but for full disclosure (50+22 = 72). It's like statistics, you can interpret results different ways :)

We did a Dressage/CT show couple of years ago. Mercedes is a full blood, old school Trakahner standing 16h, but long, big, dark bay, and solid. We're waiting for our turn to do Intro A/B surrounded by all these cute young ladies on their cute little ponies. I overheard someone way "what's the old guy on the big horse doing here?" Man, I would have loved to turn around and say "We're here to run over little ponies like yours so you better get out of my way!". Instead we just went in and rocked our test. Mercedes retired from Eventing, but not life nor the need to still train me. We still do dressage while Sterling (11), my Lipizzaner (in his mind) takes his turn at carting me around jumps.

Age is not the primary factor in limitations, it is the mind. My body aches more, breaks more these days, but the mind keeps me fresh and wanting more. That's living!

Mtn trails
Jul. 19, 2011, 04:23 PM
My doctor told me to quit riding because I have arthritis in my lower back. Quit riding? That'd be like quit breathing. I told him, that ain't gonna happen. I'll be 52 in two weeks and planning to acquire a new prospect within the next year so plan to be competing for (hopefully) the next 10 years. I really want to make it to prelim!

JER
Jul. 19, 2011, 04:36 PM
I had no idea there was a Masters category in eventing. I didn't know we made such distinctions.

In swimming, Masters starts at 18. Seems odd to go from Juniors to Masters but there it is.

OTTB FTW
Jul. 19, 2011, 07:11 PM
Denny - I think it should be called "still acting like kids division"

I galloped by you at the finish of my XC at the starter trials at GMHA a couple weeks ago. Had a s*^t eating grin on my face. I'm guessing you chose that lovely place to park because either you were late, or more likely because you got to watch people cross the finish line - because that was what you were doing as I went by.
My grin was just the same as when I crossed the finish line as a kid on my pony doing XC for the first time. It never gets old, and I always feel the same way. You looked at me and then had the same look on your face after seeing mine. I know you have that same feeling.
Still Acting Like Kids Division would include any adult who understands it, and would cover a few different bases. It would also honor my father, (and probably many other parents) who thought I would "grow out of it". :D

Besides, I'm definitely not a "Master" of my mare, rather, we have an understanding.

merrygoround
Jul. 19, 2011, 08:10 PM
I guess that what induced me to start this somewhat ridiculous thread was that when I go to events, there are usually quite a few riders easily 50 plus, and an increasing number well beyond 50.

And 40, in horse sports, is kind of prime time, not anything like some sports where it`s normal to retire at 35-40, like pro football, baseball, etc. Check out the ULRs, many are in their 40s, Phillip, Karen O`K (over 50), Amy T., Stephen B, Dorothy T, Kelli T, hardly washed up!

So "Masters", or "Vintage" should be well beyond that, something that makes you say, "Wow, that`s a tough act to follow."

Like Walt Gervais, who moved UP to prelim at 72, and did his first long format 3-day at 75. That`s vintage, and worthy of real admiration. Forty is nothing, still a kid to someone like me (70 next month).

And I rode 3 at Huntington a couple of days ago, and it was no big deal, truly, compared to what I got used to seeing Walt accomplish.

Him, I envy!!

I feel as though I did my best riding in my 50's an 60's. Losing a beloved partner then slowed me down, but it wasn't til early 70's that age, infirmity and old injuries became frustrating enough for me to hang it up. I could still ride, but serious training wasn't happening.

But Masters at 40? Nonsense! Our brains only start working then. :lol:

fordtraktor
Jul. 19, 2011, 09:32 PM
Just wanted to say you guys are my heroes. I plan to be riding my jumpers around as long as the weight of the rope it takes to tie me on isn't too much for my horses to carry.

2ndyrgal
Jul. 19, 2011, 09:55 PM
And for what it's worth, I love the fact that he can still take the young ones to school. Of course, Denny, if you have an "off" day and happen not to beat riders some 50 years your junior.. there's always that "age" excuse.

I didn't have any idea that "Master" rider starts at 40.. technically means that I could poke around at Novice and because, much to the surprise of both my parents and most people that know me well, I've lived to be 50, I'd actually be eligible.

There should be both age and skill/level requirements to "master", before you hold the title, and should not matter if you are a pro or not.

If they want to make it a "senior" rider, then pick an age that won't offend those it describes.

Personally, for Denny, Jimmy and a short handful of others, I think there should be an award just like the CMA has.

Living Legends.

I'm just saying.

xitmom
Jul. 19, 2011, 10:09 PM
Maybe most riders quit at around 50.

That's kind of funny. My goal was to buy my first horse before I REACHED 50. Did that! At GMHA in June I met a really cool woman who was looking forward to competing in the 'century' class with her horse where the age of the rider and the horse combined had to equal 100 or more. Soooo inspiring. I hope to get there some day myself.

Madeline
Jul. 20, 2011, 12:41 PM
Comparatively, eventing is an "old People" sport. You turn into a master racer at 18 in skiing...

nataliegallops
Jul. 20, 2011, 01:34 PM
I am totally in love with this thread. Taking a huge hiatus from riding at my age, I didn't think it would be easy to get back into it in five or ten or maybe even twenty years down the road. I guess I just see way too much coverage of the young stars out there and I've never seen the demo of the game as being 40 or 50+. But thank goodness! I can say with certainty that I'll be back some day!

Carol Ames
Jul. 20, 2011, 01:42 PM
I would LUV to be 40 again! I had yet to ride in my first 3de at that age!:yes:

denny
Jul. 20, 2011, 01:50 PM
Supposedly 2 90 year old Supreme Court justices, Oliver Holmes and Felix Frankfurter (or something like that) were sitting on a Washington, DC park bench, as all the secretaries came strolling by on their lunch hour.

One turns to the other and says, "Gosh, to be 75 again!"

bigbaytb
Jul. 20, 2011, 02:24 PM
I think there should be a "senior moment" rider prize...works for any age...good for us who like to TE on course for forgetting where we are supposed to go!

RAyers
Jul. 20, 2011, 03:13 PM
Hey, a friend of mine, Martha McDowell, just did her first Rolex at 50 this year. That is my plan (except maybe when I am 51-53 and have a horse capable and ....).

Reed

subk
Jul. 20, 2011, 04:04 PM
Supposedly 2 90 year old Supreme Court justices, Oliver Holmes and Felix Frankfurter (or something like that) were sitting on a Washington, DC park bench, as all the secretaries came strolling by on their lunch hour.

One turns to the other and says, "Gosh, to be 75 again!"
I can't resist.

This 70 year old guy is bragging to his friend about his beautiful new 20 year old wife. When his friend asked how he managed to get a 20 year old to marry him he told them he lied about his age. His friend said, "but you look every bit of your 70 years!" The newly wed said, "Yeah, I told her I was 90."

PortPonies
Jul. 20, 2011, 05:06 PM
Hey, no complaints here. I'm an adult re-rider going on 35, and if five more years means I'll get some mastery in the sport, I'm lucky! The category might be the only mastery I achieve :)

INoMrEd
Jul. 20, 2011, 06:49 PM
Retire? Who the heck can afford to retire? I'll be working until I drop dead and they have to cart my body out of my cubicle. In my case it's an office but I so agree with you!

Rainier
Jul. 21, 2011, 11:10 AM
In nordic ski racing, we are Masters at 25. Not surprisingly the National Masters or World Masters comps are filled with many olympians.