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  1. #1
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    Mar. 26, 2009
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    Default Obeying USEF Amateur rules

    After reading the helpful hints thread, it got me thinking. How many people follow the amateur rules to a T? If they don't, do they typically get away with it?



  2. #2
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    Sep. 19, 2002
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    I'm an ammy & I follow the rules. If I have questions, I ask before doing it.

    Some people do get away with it. It depends how big a fish you are sometimes. If you are a nobody riding a nothing horse & not a threat, your odds of not being reported are probably better than a good rider riding a really nice horse that is winning. I notice in many instances people don't complain until it affects them directly (they are losing to the fake ammy rider).
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  3. #3
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    I follow them.
    Besides, Who would come on here and post that they didn't?



  4. #4
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    Well said, Blinky...



  5. #5
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    Or just rules in general....

    I can say I do follow the Am rule to a T... always have. As far as any other rule goes, I follow them to a T as well. I will admit there was one time I got busted for breaking a rule (a few years ago).... and while I do realize I broke the rule, at the time I was totally unaware I was doing it. I apologized and all was fine.
    They call it PMS because Mad Cow Disease was already taken...



  6. #6
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    Apr. 26, 2006
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    Although I agree that no one is going to come on here and say "I do it! I knowingly break the ammy rules!" But I also think that I know what you're asking.

    A previous poster said it as well, but I want to restate that if someone isn't winning (i.e. beating someone else who cares) they probably won't get protested no matter what on earth they are doing.

    Sometimes I wish that we could have something other than a rule, more of an "I know it when I see it" approach to professional status. I understand WHY we can't, but it does seem a shame that ammys are excluded from certain activities that would in no way make them "better" than other ammys. There can be no loopholes because people have taken advantage of them.

    Personally, I would have no problem with Amy Ammy teaching some Saturday up-downers at her barn to knock a few hundred off her board. But I do have a problem with Alice Ammy who teaches ALL the lessons. Getting paid $20 to hack out some juniors horse while the kid is studying for finals? Okay by me. Getting paid to put training rides on everything in the barn? Not so much.

    But where do I draw the line between those things? I can't define it, but I would know it if I saw it.

    But that's not really the question, that's just a sad commentary on the fact that the rule needs to be so all-encompassing because it has been abused in the past.

    As far as your specific question, I will propose a situation that I think 50% of ammys have been in that would compromise their ammy status.

    Many of us help out around the barn for a few bucks off board or lessons. We feed once a week, we clean a few stalls on the weekend. I'd guess probably half of us do something like this every once in a while. (And I'm not talking about enough work that it would be feasible to "sell our services" to the barn down the road -- I'm talking about a couple of hours a week.)

    I'd also guess that more of us -- practically all of us -- have hacked someone else's horse around or taken a lesson on a horse other than ours. Your friend goes to Bermuda and you hack her horse twice. You're not getting paid to do it, but you do swing a leg over it. Your horse has an abscess so you get a lesson on a sale horse or your friends horse.

    So if EVER these two groups of people coincide, you are breaking the rules. If I get paid $20 a week for feeding on Sunday mornings, and I hack my friends horse ONCE for her because she is busy and I am not, I am no longer an ammy. And THAT is where the rule is idocy. However, that is also why my trainer only had juniors work weekends at the barn.
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  7. #7
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    Feb. 3, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinky View Post
    I follow them.
    Besides, Who would come on here and post that they didn't?
    You would be surprised how many people will come out and admit that they violate the letter of the rules.

    It is particularly interesting when the COTH "Amateur Issue" comes out. Very often the amateur describes - IN THE INTERVIEW- doing things which are aganst the rules (e.g., being paid by their trainer in another capacity)
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    You would be surprised how many people will come out and admit that they violate the letter of the rules.

    It is particularly interesting when the COTH "Amateur Issue" comes out. Very often the amateur describes - IN THE INTERVIEW- doing things which are aganst the rules (e.g., being paid by their trainer in another capacity)
    Yeah... That's always amusing! You'd think the Chronicle would edit that if only to protect their own credibility!
    Quote Originally Posted by tidy rabbit View Post
    Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.



  9. #9
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    Mar. 20, 2006
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    PA
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    I've read the Ammy rule time and time again and I'm still not sure I understand it to a T. I'm an Ammy, 21 years old. I generally ride/show 2-3 horses a week. I own a large pony hunter (silly i know, resale project). I don't get paid to ride the horses but i'm always asked to get on and fix problem horses etc. I do it for fun. I showed in the A/O Jumpers on a horse that was not mine, but I was leasing him. The steward at the show saw a copy of the lease agreement and copies of the checks and was fine with it. Afterwards I went home and read the rules, specifically says no leasing. No one protested, thank goodness. I don't understand that rule either, some of us can't afford horses that can competently jump around the 4'6 or beautiful hunters that can dominate the A/O hunters. Why can the juniors do it on any horse but now i'm 21 and can't do it at all because I don't own my own horse? I have to show against BNR's in the level 6,7,8 and Adequans and Greens? This isn't pertaining purely to the amateur rule, but kind of. I can't grasp what i can and cannot do purely from reading that legal mumble jumble haha, can someone explain it to me?



  10. #10
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    Mar. 30, 2009
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    I have to agree with exJumper- though I do my very best to follow the rules it is so all encompassing that I really wish they would change it. Wouldn't it make more sense to have professional versus amateur status based on level of performance and ability rather than whether or not you got paid to hack somebody's horse while they were on vacation? Even if that isn't the spirit of the rule, it is written in such a way that if my endurance rider friend who gets paid $35 to ride some random person's horse on trails for hours on end were to ride in a hunter jumper show he would be a professional- despite the fact that he really can't ride to that level. It makes very little sense to me. I think it also means that raw beginners have fewer inexpensive ways to get good instruction if people who might otherwise be willing to teach basic begginer lessons for half the price of a BNT won't because they don't want to lose their amateur status. It really would be a win-win in many ways to update the rule, but I can only assume that there are some really good reasons that it is the way it is.



  11. #11
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    I would love an answer to that one to Scheibyee as I am in a similar age and financial situation...



  12. #12
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    The REAL answer (to "Why are the rules that way???") is that, at the time the Amateur Owner divisions were started, the intended/expected participants were the non working wifes of men who could afford to support thier horse habit.

    But they have kept them that way because, when one person is riding another person's horse, it is difficult to tell who is doing whom a "favor". So "riding someone else's horse" easily becomes a gray area where people can claim to be an amatuer, but are really riding the horse FOR the owner. You see a little of this gray area in the Adult Amateur classes.

    Personally, I would rather see the divisions split on some other criteria (like the highest you have competed in the last 5 years), but people seem determined to keep the amateur and amateur owner divisions in spite of all the unintended consequences in the rules.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  13. #13
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    Jun. 2, 2008
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    As much as I follow the rules to a T, there are so many folks who break them that I actually think they are a joke. This topic has been hashed and re-hashed on this board and yet the violators, some of which who have been called out ON this board, are still going strong.... So if you follow the rules, do it for yourself because the USEF has a hard time proving it and most people just continue to violate year after year. You have to live in your skin and do what you feel comfortable with and the rest will have to do the same!



  14. #14
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    I agree that the ammy rule is a bit ridiculous. I work a full time job completely outside the horse industry but still enjoy teaching a few beginner/intermediate lessons a week. Because of this I'm precluded from some of the less competitive divisions where my green bean could actually have a shot at getting both miles and ribbons. Since I maintain my integrity to not ride in ammy classes I show against the local pros who have 4, 5 or more horses in a class and get paid to ride those horses. I'm hoping to do a few A shows this year, but seriously debating whether it's even worth the cost since again, I don't want to break the rules. It's very tempting to do though since I would be a nobody on a nothing horse and probably not get caught. Perhaps a ruling within USEF that a person making no more 25% their annual income (whether monetary or reduced board) with horses would be more reasonable for denoting amateur status. Would certainly make those A shows more appealing to me.



  15. #15
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    Mar. 5, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
    Perhaps a ruling within USEF that a person making no more 25% their annual income (whether monetary or reduced board) with horses would be more reasonable for denoting amateur status. Would certainly make those A shows more appealing to me.
    I love that idea.

    I've been afraid to teach lessons even WITHOUT any compensation for fear of violating the rules. One of the best ways to learn something is to teach it & I would love to be able to help out w/some of the beginners. Even if it were something like 10% of the annual income.

    unfortunately, I'm sure there are unscrupulous people who would find a loophole there, too.



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
    Perhaps a ruling within USEF that a person making no more 25% their annual income (whether monetary or reduced board) with horses would be more reasonable for denoting amateur status. Would certainly make those A shows more appealing to me.
    And how would you document/enforce that?

    I have an early 60s rule book which DOES refer to the proportion of income. But that didn't last very long, probably because it was impossible to enforce.

    For a while Eventing had a rule limiting you to $2500 in "pro-related" income, But they got rid of that rule too.
    Janet

    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).



  17. #17
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    Mar. 26, 2009
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    I certainly wasn't expecting anyone to say I'm an amateur and I don't follow the rules, because that would be a ridiculous expectation.

    As I was reading the rules, I was noticing that you can't ride a horse in which your family member is receiving money for. I know of a trainer who sells horses on consignment, whose relative rides and shows them almost exclusively. Should she technically be considered a professional?



  18. #18
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    Sep. 19, 2002
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    recent FL transplant from IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by JumpWithPanache View Post
    Perhaps a ruling within USEF that a person making no more 25% their annual income (whether monetary or reduced board) with horses would be more reasonable for denoting amateur status. Would certainly make those A shows more appealing to me.
    So you would be ok with giving USEF your W-2s from the year showing your income? What about all the unclaimed income that is over that 25% (or whatever amount is decided upon)? Who would police that?

    And don't you think if USEF has that informations, show managements are going to fill out Freedom of Information requests for that info so they can adjust their horse show prices as they see fit?
    "I'm not crazy...my mother had me tested"



  19. #19
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    Jun. 13, 2000
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    Quote Originally Posted by Janet View Post
    You would be surprised how many people will come out and admit that they violate the letter of the rules.

    It is particularly interesting when the COTH "Amateur Issue" comes out. Very often the amateur describes - IN THE INTERVIEW- doing things which are aganst the rules (e.g., being paid by their trainer in another capacity)
    this happens all the time. people talk about how they work in the barn and thanks to the trainer for providing all these opportunities to ride all these nice customer horses.
    its the USEF's fault. they turn a blind eye to cheating. and no one wants to spend 200 bucks and be the one who is the whistle blower.
    i think its very easy to break the amateur rules and get away with it. i think its very difficult to file a protest and be successful.
    i dont cheat, but thats because i dont have time having a full time job that is time consuming. not sure if i didnt have time constraints , if i would be tempted to cheat when i see so many others doing this time and time again. but probably not! i would feel badly for cheating!



  20. #20
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    LetsTalk put it good. No matter if you follow the rules or not usef rarely enforces the rules anyways. Some people are blatantly braking the rules... We all have them in our local or zone shows, but they continue to do it because usef will not do anything about them. What good is it to have rules when there is no one to police them.
    I want to be like Barbie because that bitch has everything!



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