Thursday, Jun. 6, 2024

USEF Issues Presidential Modification Regarding Hunter, Jumper, Equitation Amateur Status For 2025

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In 2021, the U.S. Equestrian Federation board of directors approved a rule change that allows members from certain breeds and disciplines to accept modest remuneration for activities including teaching beginner riding lessons or serving as a social media brand ambassador or social media influencer without jeopardizing their amateur status. Currently, the portion of the rule that deals with teaching beginner riding lessons applies only to the Arabian, American Saddlebred, Andalusian/Lusitano, Morgan, National Show Horse, Paso Fino, saddle seat equitation and western divisions.

On May 21, USEF received a request from the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association board of directors to include the hunter, jumper and hunter/jumping seat equitation divisions in the list of breeds and disciplines that allow amateurs to teach beginner riding lessons, subject to certain conditions, without jeopardizing their amateur status.

Additionally, USHJA requested that hunter, jumper and equitation amateurs who are attending an accredited educational institution and serving in an internship position for course credit or as a result of course requirements be allowed to accept a stipend (at a rate that does not exceed the federal minimum wage) and/or expense reimbursement during the period of their internship without compromising their amateur status.

As a result of USHJA’s request, USEF has issued a presidential modification to GR1306.2.b. and GR1306.3.d.i adding the hunter, jumper and hunter/jumping seat equitation to the divisions allowing these teaching and college internship activities. This presidential modification becomes effective with the start of the 2025 competition year. A standard rule change will be entered into the system for 2025 that will amend the rule accordingly within the rulebook.

Presidential Modification Details Starting Dec. 1, 2024, in addition to the other permissible activities, amateurs in the hunter, jumper and hunter/jumping seat equitation divisions may accept remuneration for teaching riding lessons under the following conditions:

a.   The amateur must register with USEF prior to performing any instruction.

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b.   Total lesson time cannot exceed 20 hours per calendar week.

c.   Lessons must be given under the oversight of a USEF competing member in good standing who is designated as a professional.

d.   Lessons cannot be conducted at a competition, including federation licensed competitions and non-licensed competitions.

e.   Student must be a beginner who has not competed and is not competing at any level of competition, and lessons must not exceed the basic beginner level.

f.   Teacher must maintain a log of all lessons. Log must include lesson date, lesson time and name of student.

g.   A USEF competing member designated as a professional must review the teacher’s log and verify its accuracy.

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h.   The teacher and professional are responsible and accountable for compliance with this rule.

i.   USEF may request proof of compliance and refusal to provide such proof constitutes a violation of the rule.

Additionally, an amateur attending an accredited educational institution and who is serving an internship position with that institution may accept a stipend (at or below the federal minimum wage rate) and/or reimbursement of expenses incurred during the internship. This opportunity is available only to students who have never held professional status with USEF or any other national federation, and the internship must be related to college credit or course requirements. At USEF’s request, the student must provide certification from the accredited educational institution under the auspices the student is pursuing an internship to verify the internship is undertaken to meet course or degree requirements.

Expedited Amateur Reclassification

This reclassification option is currently in the rulebook. Any former amateur member 25 years of age and under who has engaged in professional activities as defined in GR1306.4 may submit a one-time amateur reclassification request to the Hearing Committee after an expedited three-month waiting period during which they are not allowed to engage in any activities that would make them a professional. Those over 25 years of age will utilize the same reclassification process but will be required to submit the request after a 12-month waiting period. See GR1307.4 for details regarding the amateur reclassification process.

For specific inquiries regarding amateur or professional status, please email amateurinquiry@usef.org.

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