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Amateur status

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  • Amateur status

    Does it matter in the eventing world??

    I don't plan on going to any rated shows for a long, long time. Maybe one in the fall, at the earliest, since Horse will be coming back after a nearly two-year Pasture Puff gig. I have been given the opportunity to teach lessons at a local ranch. Mostly beginners, but I would like to help kids who are trying to show (local, fun shows...not big breed shows. Not my style.) and just aren't "connecting" with their horses. This is purely part time and I will no way be making enough money to warrant this being a full-time job.

    I haven't even registered with USEF in ages. I think the last time I was active was when I was showing the Arab circuit like, 10 years ago. I'd really like to avoid registering with them again until I start going to rated shows simply because I'm a tightwad and don't want to spend the extra money just to have another card with my name on it.

    I know the rules state that anyone who accepts money in exchange for horse work (my own phrase) is considered a pro. And I definitely do not want to cheat the system! Will my status make a difference when I do actually compete at a rated show?
    runnjump86 Instagram

    Horse Junkies United guest blogger

  • #2
    Depends on what your goals are-- if you're trying to qualify for the AECs (Championships) or compete for end of the year awards, those things are easier as an amateur. In some areas, there are divisions restricted to amateurs, which may or may not be less competitive. Otherwise, no, it's not a huge deal-- and if you change your mind, it is possible to switch back to being an amateur, it just takes a year and some paperwork.

    Comment


    • #3
      You do not need to register with usef to event at lower levels, only usea. The rules about being ammy are the same. I gave up my ammy status a couple years ago ibecause I get lessons/coaching in exchange for a tiny bit of teaching
      OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

      Comment


      • #4
        Ammy status is a much bigger deal in the hunter/jumper world. You greatly limit what you can compete in if you go pro. Not so in eventing. I've held on to my status for eventing since there are some perks. For example, if you come in fourth to Phillip, Boyd, and Karen you'll still get points for 1st as an ammy. It really only matters if you care about year end points.

        If I felt moved to teach again - I used to as a junior - I'd be much more inclined to do so now that I'm out of the hunter world.
        The big guy: Lincoln

        Southern Maryland Equestrian

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        • #5
          Second what Highflyer said. I just recently gave up my ammy status, so I've been thinking about this a lot. For me, it just means if I qualify for the AEC's I can't be in the Amateur division, it could be a bit harder to qualify because I won't get the amateur points (when they score the division like there aren't pros in it,) and I can't win any amateur awards or be on their leaderboards. When I weighed the amateur advantages against all the opportunities I was turning down to keep said status it seemed silly to try to keep it. I'm a part-time working student and not being able to take lessons on the awesome horses I was grooming was compromising all the things I could have been learning. I also couldn't be as big of a help because I couldn't lunge horses either (the USEF considers it training.) Having given up my amateur status was quite freeing.
          Pam's Pony Place

          Pam's Pony Ponderings

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          • #6
            I follow the rules and don't have my amateur card, even though I am in no way any comparison to some pros around here. I only give a few regular lessons/wk and do some training rides.

            I know a BUNCH of people that show USEA & USDF that have their amateur status and give lessons.

            I don't know how much trouble you can get in, but I don't want to worry about it... I wish there was a semi-pro division!

            Comment


            • #7
              The following are from the USEF rulebook, both General and Eventing. I'm pretty sure it says you can't teach and be considered an Amateur? The eventing rules refer to the General rule 1306.

              GR1306 Amateur Status-USEF RULES1.
              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 GR101, has not engaged in any of the following activities which would make him/her a professional.
              a. Accepts remuneration for riding, driving, showing, training, schooling or conducting clinics or seminars.
              b. Accepts remuneration for giving riding or driving lessons, lessons in showmanship, 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, 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.
              USEF RULES FOR EVENTING:
              4.4 AMATEUR (A) The following may participate in Eventing competitions as an Amateur.
              a. Any competitor in possession of a valid Amateur card issued by the USEF, or
              b. Any Senior USEA member who competes in the Training, Novice or Beginner Novice Level who meets the requirements of Federation GR1306. Individuals declaring such status must
              present, upon demand, an audited financial statement in support of the claim of eligibility; failure to do so will be deemed a violation. Misrepresentation of eligibility under this provision will subject an individual to disciplinary action under GR1307.6, GR1307.8, GR1308.3 and Chapter 6. Amateur certification under this provision is valid for Eventing competitions only and does not confer Amateur status for participation in any other Breed or Discipline.
              Mirror Image 2001-2007

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              • #8
                If you get paid for teaching you are not an Amateur. That is pretty clear.

                But the question is, if you are competing only in Eventing, do you/should you CARE taht you are "not an amateur"?

                I don't think so, unless points and year end awards are a big deal for you.

                Some Events, in theory (I have never seen one) offer "Amateur" sections. But the courses and tests are exactly the same as the other sections.

                There is a separate "Leaderboard" for Amateurs, and a separate section at the AECs. For both the leaderbaord and qualifying for AECs, you get points based on your poition within the amateurs in the section, rather than your overall position.

                For intance - If you go in Novice Horse, and there are 10 non-amateurs, and 2 amateurs in the section, and you finish 3rd overall, but 1st amateur, you would get "first place points" toward both the Amateur Leaderboard, and the Amateur section at AECs.

                If THOSE are impoortant to you, then Amateur status would be important to you.

                If THOSE are not important to you, then giving up your amateur status should not be a concern.
                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).

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                • #9
                  The amateur rules are pretty clear, and if any event you enter is recognized by the USEF as well as the USEA, you're supposed to be following the amateur rule. That means you're not, by your description, an amateur.

                  I don't think very many people would dispute that the few bad apples that made it necessary for the rule to be written so tight made it difficult for a lot of people. There are lots who work off lessons and training rides by lunging, teaching up/down lessons, doing conditioning rides, etc... that also have outside employment that is their main source of income that have to either give up their amateur status, or hope no one decides to turn them in for it. These people are not the pros.

                  My trainer would love for me to be able to get on a couple horses that just need to be exercised. Not training rides, per say, but conditioning rides. I won't jeporadize my amateur status, as I also show dressage.

                  As far as what can happen - if you are brought before the hearing committee, you'll have for forfeit any results/awards from the time frame that you were declared an amateur incorrectly, you'll probably have a fine (that could be into four figures), and you may even face a suspension.

                  For the OP - if you are not looking for year-end awards, why does it matter?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    What I find interesting is this the notion of what the rules accomplish. Points? From what I can gather reading some of these posts and the rules, one can have been riding for eons, competed at the highest levels, never took a dime in horse money and they can be called "amateur", because they funded this riding via means not related to horses.

                    I, a nobody hack who one day decides I want to help local kids learn to ride, and get a little compensation on the side for my effort, even though I will work outside the horse world for a living would have to declare a Professional status. Man, titles are not what one would expect.

                    Thankfully I don't help the local kids learn to ride so its not a worry to me, but there is some strange logic here. Now to me, a professional in Eventing would be one who goes to events and wins money, as in they earned value for attending a show, offsetting the costs. An amateur would be one that went to a show and did not earn money related to that show, as in they paid, they rode, they left with less money then they started with (well that may always be true).

                    "It's about Money" jp60 I hear people say..."It's about unfair advantage newbie" I'm told. How? I watch every dollar I pay into my passion and boy howdy, the well ain't deep. i see "amateurs" with some deep pockets rolling in with big rigs, trained to the hilt that look a professional to me as those that get "paid", maybe even more. My trainer works hard just to make shows and she's the pro?

                    I just think the terms are lacking in meaning these days as the lines of competency and income become blurred (but rules are rules). I'm just curious, if I went to a HT that had prize money and by some miracle I win big in tadpole...opps, not an official level ...big in BN, and I accept the prize...am I professional?

                    In the aviation world, besides hours and training , the biggest difference between a private pilot and a commercial pilot is if I make money. Note, not get paid, but make money. As a private pilot I can accept money based on the number of passengers as long as it does not exceed the cost of the trip (4 people split four ways = zero expense...1 person (me) = 100% expense). The Comm pilot can get money that exceeds the cost. Were I King of Eventing, besides all the courses having jumps I could handle, I would say an amateur is one who either breaks even or loses money during the previous year riding and a professional is one who earns money above costs for riding. This way one could teach on the side and still be viewed a amateur, or own a horse farm, and a pro would be motivated to make money on a circuit. Thank goodness I'm not King (there go my jumps)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JP60 View Post
                      What I find interesting is this the notion of what the rules accomplish. Points? From what I can gather reading some of these posts and the rules, one can have been riding for eons, competed at the highest levels, never took a dime in horse money and they can be called "amateur", because they funded this riding via means not related to horses.
                      Have you read the Amateur rules? The FIRST SENTENCE says

                      Regardless of one’s equestrian skills and/or accomplishments,

                      Yes. It IS all about how you fund your riding.

                      It is NOT about how long you have been riding, how many horses you ride a day, your competency, or what level you compete at.

                      Don't try to make it be about those things.

                      That is the USEF/USEA DEFINITION of Amateur.

                      We have OTHER definitions (e.g. the "Rider" sections) based on the levels you have competed at.
                      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).

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by JP60 View Post
                        What I find interesting is this the notion of what the rules accomplish. Points? From what I can gather reading some of these posts and the rules, one can have been riding for eons, competed at the highest levels, never took a dime in horse money and they can be called "amateur", because they funded this riding via means not related to horses.

                        I, a nobody hack who one day decides I want to help local kids learn to ride, and get a little compensation on the side for my effort, even though I will work outside the horse world for a living would have to declare a Professional status. Man, titles are not what one would expect.

                        "It's about Money" jp60 I hear people say..."It's about unfair advantage newbie" I'm told. How? I watch every dollar I pay into my passion and boy howdy, the well ain't deep. i see "amateurs" with some deep pockets rolling in with big rigs, trained to the hilt that look a professional to me as those that get "paid", maybe even more. My trainer works hard just to make shows and she's the pro?

                        I just think the terms are lacking in meaning these days as the lines of competency and income become blurred (but rules are rules). I'm just curious, if I went to a HT that had prize money and by some miracle I win big in tadpole...opps, not an official level ...big in BN, and I accept the prize...am I professional?
                        First of all - life ain't fair. Someone's always going to have more money than you. Just because an ammy roles in with a big rig doesn't mean they can ride worth crap... Rigs are easy to buy, the ability to ride well is not.

                        Perhaps you have not seen/paid attention to the blatent abuse of any sort of wiggle room in the amateur rule. You can re-read any of the shamateur threads on this bb alone. The 21 year old assistant trainer that is paid as "the nanny" but wouldn't recognize the kids if they were the only ones in the room so that she can ride the sales horses in the non-pro division (I realize that is a hunter thing, but that is where the rule comes from). The bookkeeper who can't add. If there is a way to pay someone who is a full time rider/trainer but retain their amateur status it has been done. That is why the rule is soooo strict. I said above that I think it sucks that I can't teach a couple up/down lessons or hack a couple of horses for my trainer on the weekends to work off some rides or lighten her load, but if you want to play in the USEF's pool, you play by their rules.

                        And please, oh please, share the location of the event that has prize money at BN!!!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by rothmpp View Post
                          My trainer would love for me to be able to get on a couple horses that just need to be exercised. Not training rides, per say, but conditioning rides. I won't jeporadize my amateur status, as I also show dressage.
                          Are you doing other things for your trainer and receiving remuneration? If not, you may be being more conservative than necessary (which is certainly more refreshing than the more common alternative!). Riding other people's horses does not, in of itself, break your amateur status. Where one gets into trouble is riding (certain) other people's horses while also accepting remuneration for other activities (either in reality or allegedly) in as defined in the rule.

                          But if all funds, etc., are flowing from you to your trainer and none are flowing the other way around, and your trainer offers you the chance to hop on an extra horse, I think you're in the clear. (Unless I'm missing or misreading something?)



                          Originally posted by JP60 View Post
                          I'm just curious, if I went to a HT that had prize money and by some miracle I win big in tadpole...opps, not an official level ...big in BN, and I accept the prize...am I professional?
                          What on earth? Read the rule. Here's what would affect your amateur status:

                          e. Accepts prize money in equitation or showmanship classes. Prize money may be accepted by amateur riders in Dressage.

                          But otherwise:

                          Prize money won by an amateur-owner rider/driver/handler in any class (other than equitation or showmanship) is not considered remuneration.

                          Signed,
                          Works a full-time non-horsey job, but is not an amateur and does not play one in the USEA records
                          bullyandblaze.wordpress.com

                          "The present tense of regret is indecision."
                          - Welcome to Night Vale

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Points don't matter to me at this point since we are literally just starting on this adventure. Horse doesn't even know what's in store for him yet...ha!!

                            And honestly, I agree that the rules are rather ridiculous. As the "King of Eventing", JP60 said, I would consider a pro to be someone who MAKES money by going to shows, campaigning, etc. Of course this isn't a perfect world and the rules are tight because someone, somewhere really effed up everything for us "normal" people.

                            I don't think it's fair that someone who accepts, say, $200 for putting thirty days on a horse because the owner can't for one reason or another should have to turn in their amateur card and compete against real-life pros who's sole business is riding and training clients horses, and have what seems like more money than god.

                            But, I didn't write the rules, and they didn't ask for my opinion. Plus it would be way too easy for the system to be cheated more than it is already, so I don't see a way of changing the rule to "If you earned more than XX in exchange for ... you are deemed a professional".

                            Thanks for the input everyone!
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                            Horse Junkies United guest blogger

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tucked_Away View Post
                              Are you doing other things for your trainer and receiving remuneration? If not, you may be being more conservative than necessary (which is certainly more refreshing than the more common alternative!). Riding other people's horses does not, in of itself, break your amateur status. Where one gets into trouble is riding (certain) other people's horses while also accepting remuneration for other activities (either in reality or allegedly) in as defined in the rule.

                              But if all funds, etc., are flowing from you to your trainer and none are flowing the other way around, and your trainer offers you the chance to hop on an extra horse, I think you're in the clear. (Unless I'm missing or misreading something?)

                              I do groom on the weekends. She pays me for that and I pay her for training/lessons. I don't want to have to surrender my ammy card to the USEF, so I don't take the chance. We actually trade checks so that she doesn't have an issue with her taxes and I don't have an ammy card issue.

                              I certainly can't throw a leg over a client's horse for a session that she would call a training ride for billing purposes, even if it were just conditioning. I could take a "lesson" on one of her own horses without bending the rule too far. I'd make sure she was out in the ring or out with us at the same time so that I could reasonably say that I was taking a lesson.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by rothmpp View Post
                                I do groom on the weekends. She pays me for that and I pay her for training/lessons. I don't want to have to surrender my ammy card to the USEF, so I don't take the chance. We actually trade checks so that she doesn't have an issue with her taxes and I don't have an ammy card issue.

                                I certainly can't throw a leg over a client's horse for a session that she would call a training ride for billing purposes, even if it were just conditioning. I could take a "lesson" on one of her own horses without bending the rule too far. I'd make sure she was out in the ring or out with us at the same time so that I could reasonably say that I was taking a lesson.
                                Alas, it's rule breaking not rule bending. The person you are grooming for is your "employer." You cannot ride any horse owned/trained by your "employer," even if you are paying them to ride the horse in the lesson. There isn't a provision for paying to ride it in the rules. The only horse you are allowed to ride in lessons with your "employer" is a horse owned or leased by you. This is one of the questions I just had clarified by the USEF amateur gurus.

                                Yes, you did just read that taking a lesson on a lesson horse when you're working off your lessons (or doing anything at all for your trainer) makes you a pro.
                                Pam's Pony Place

                                Pam's Pony Ponderings

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Desert Topaz View Post
                                  Alas, it's rule breaking not rule bending. The person you are grooming for is your "employer." You cannot ride any horse owned/trained by your "employer," even if you are paying them to ride the horse in the lesson. There isn't a provision for paying to ride it in the rules. The only horse you are allowed to ride in lessons with your "employer" is a horse owned or leased by you. This is one of the questions I just had clarified by the USEF amateur gurus.
                                  I believe there is a working student clause in regards to riding the horses in training, but it doesn't sound like the OP is acting as a working student.

                                  I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong
                                  Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by ACMEeventing View Post
                                    I believe there is a working student clause in regards to riding the horses in training, but it doesn't sound like the OP is acting as a working student.

                                    I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong
                                    I just asked USEF about it and they didn't refer me to a working student clause, so I suspect there is not one. I'd love to learn that there is.
                                    Pam's Pony Place

                                    Pam's Pony Ponderings

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                                    • #19
                                      .... and this entire thread is why Eventing should have NEVER gotten into Amateur divisions. We have always had perfectly good divisions determined by rider and/or horse experience. Amateur Divisions are a step back. They came about in an effort to give out more ribbons, more points, more leaderboards and have created nothing but complaining, ribbon mongering, and overly inflated leaderboards.

                                      Has anyone looked at the ridiculous number of leaderboards we now have? Enough already.

                                      Comment

                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Originally posted by SevenDogs View Post
                                        .... and this entire thread is why Eventing should have NEVER gotten into Amateur divisions. We have always had perfectly good divisions determined by rider and/or horse experience. Amateur Divisions are a step back. They came about in an effort to give out more ribbons, more points, more leaderboards and have created nothing but complaining, ribbon mongering, and overly inflated leaderboards.

                                        Has anyone looked at the ridiculous number of leaderboards we now have? Enough already.
                                        I honestly haven't looked at the leaderboads, but I full-heartedly agree with you that having Amateur/Professional divisions in Eventing seems preeeeetty ridiculous. It seems that already having divisions in place (BN, N, T, etc) would suffice.

                                        On the other hand...I can see where having A/P divisions would be beneficial if, for example, an Amateur were competing against a Pro that was just bringing a horse along, so had entered at BN level. I feel the Pro would still have the advantage as long as they were a legitimate Pro, aka someone who makes a living out of this and has oodles and oodles of clients and such, and not someone like myself who had to register as Pro simply because I taught five kids how to ride their pony.

                                        Does that make any sense?
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                                        Horse Junkies United guest blogger

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