Several much-anticipated changes to the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s so-called “amateur rule” went into effect Dec. 1.
These modifications were passed as extraordinary rule changes at a Nov. 22 USEF board of directors meeting. They were developed largely by the USEF Amateur Task Force, a new group with members from various breeds and disciplines that was established in February.
The five changes include:
- A modification to GR1306.1, which allows amateurs to accept pay for performing specified barn duties, including longeing, without affecting their amateur status.
- Another change to GR1306.1, which increases the value of a non-monetary token or gift of appreciation an amateur can receive from less than $300 to less than $1,000 annually.
- A modification to GR1306.6, which allows for a one-time exception for young professionals, aged 18 to 25, to reapply for amateur status after a three-month waiting period.
- A change to GR1306.2 that allows amateurs to receive compensation as a social media influencers or social media brand ambassadors. The rule change also designates individuals who accept remuneration for the use of commercially logoed items while on competition grounds as sponsored riders, and therefore professionals. The rule change added definitions for social media influencer, social media brand ambassador and sponsored riders to differentiate between activities allowed and prohibited for amateur participants.
- Another change to GR1306.2 that allows amateurs in the American Saddlebred, Saddle Seat Equitation, Morgan, Arabian, Andalusian/Lusitano, National Show Horse, Paso Fino and Western divisions to accept remuneration for teaching beginner riding lessons in a non-competition environment for fewer than 20 hours a week under the following conditions:
- The amateur must register with USEF prior to performing any instruction.
- Total lesson time cannot exceed 20 hours per calendar week.
- Lessons must be given under the oversight of a USEF Competing Member in good standing who is designated as a Professional.
- Lessons cannot be conducted at a competition, including Federation Licensed Competitions and non-licensed competitions.
- 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.
- Teacher must maintain a log of all lessons. Log must include lesson date, lesson time and name of student.
- A USEF competing member designated as a professional must review the teacher’s log and verify its accuracy.
- The teacher and professional are responsible and accountable for compliance with this rule.
- USEF may request proof of compliance and refusal to provide such proof constitutes a violation of the rule.
You can read the updated amateur rule here.
The USEF stated that information on the registration process for amateurs who plan to teach beginner lessons will be available soon.
“If you now qualify as an amateur under these new rules and wish to be reclassified as an amateur, please submit a letter to the regulation department outlining the horse related activities which previously led you to select/hold professional status and explain, as accurately as possible why you believe you are now eligible for amateur status,” stated the USEF press release. “You must also verify that you are otherwise eligible for amateur status. The letter must be signed and notarized. The letter can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The regulation department will review the letter and update your status accordingly. Any concerns surrounding the request will be forwarded to the Hearing Committee co-chairs for review. The regulation department may request additional information from you, as necessary. No fee will be required from individuals who are benefiting from the changes to the rule.”
A comprehensive list of the rule changes approved by the board of directors at the Nov. 22 meeting can be seen here.