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Integrity in the sport of eventing - the am/pro debate

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  • #21
    Originally posted by eqsiu View Post
    I know a rider who rides as an amateur, while teaching lessons and training horses for money. She now has gained a sponsorship (gained after last year's season had ended) and I'm waiting to see if she declared amateur status for this year. She is by no means an amateur, even in spirit. I am appalled by it. Yet no one seems to think a thing of it around here. However, I don't have $200 to spare for a protest, and I thinking burning bridges is a bad idea generally. So...
    Ah yes... a big part of the whole issue, I am sure.
    Last edited by Isabeau Z Solace; Jan. 20, 2013, 01:27 PM. Reason: spelling
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    • #22
      Originally posted by deltawave View Post

      But whether I'm breaking the "amateur" rule by keeping a friend's horse at my barn for layup for a few months seems sort of beside the point when the big picture gets talked about.
      Boarding and horse care doesn't violate ammy rules. Riding, training and teaching do. There are some fun complication with what counts as remuneration though. For instance, I work off my horse's board by cleaning stalls. Yesterday I lunged a horse that is also boarded there. Even if I was not going to be paid for it, because I get paid for cleaning stalls with board and the horse owner pays the barn board, I'm a pro. The rules get a bit complicated in order to circumvent all the ways people have found to get around them and act as a pro while still retaining ammy status.

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      • #23
        I know I'm OK keeping the horse here. But if I get on the horse I could technically be in violation of the rules. It's kind of silly in my situation, but could naturally be extremely reasonable in others, for exactly the reasons you indicate: people find a way to get around these amateur rules . . . but why? It seems, when you think about it, to be sort of an archaic designation.

        Still, if one is blatantly "a pro" (training, teaching, making their living in the business and not a "pro" because they offered to longe a horse for someone) and is on the amateur leaderboard I think it's beyond sleazy.
        Click here before you buy.

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        • #24
          Out the Scoundrels!!!!!

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          • #25
            Instead of slinging dirt anonymously on a bulletin board, why not either take your evidence (fact, not suspicion) to both the person(s) in question and/or to USEA? You don't need $200 to do either of those things, and it gets you far closer to actually solving whatever gripe you might have than snarling on COTH. I'd bet dollars to donuts that either the folks you are complaining about really are legitimately amateurs (and very good riders to boot) or are mistakenly wrongly designated and would appreciate the correction being made to the records.

            I'm an amateur, and I love having ammy divisions. Here in Area 2, your average prelim or training division is regularly filled with Boyd, Phillip, Jennie, Buck, etc. I think it makes for a lot more fun of a weekend when I know there's at least a chance of an ammy or Rider division - not because I'm necessarily going to win absent the pros, but because I like the camaraderie, I like competing against my peers, and yes, I like getting a ribbon occasionally. One "shamateur" here and there isn't going to ruin that for me; witch hunts and "outing" of folks changes th tone in a way that's kind of ugly.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by GotSpots View Post
              I'd bet dollars to donuts that either the folks you are complaining about really are legitimately amateurs (and very good riders to boot) or are mistakenly wrongly designated and would appreciate the correction being made to the records.
              I understood the OP to mean those who are on the end of the year leaderboards and who are collecting awards based on their " amateur" status. Not just those collecting ribbons at a show where they might be stuck in the wrong division.

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              • #27
                I've been reading the whole Humble fiasco, and it seems that the person who paid for a protest against the owner is actually being sued by the owner even though the whole situation is very sketchy.

                Why take the chance of spending my own money to file a protest and have that person turn around and sue me?
                http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                • #28
                  Okay so not to hijack, but I have a question about my potential ammy status. I'm another one of those lower level riders who isn't going to matter much in the grand scheme, but I do agree that since the rule is there (even though I think it should be much improved) I should follow it. Here's where I'm confused.

                  "Accepts remuneration AND acts as an employee in a position such as a groom, farrier, bookkeeper, veterinarian or barn manager AND instructs, rides, drives, shows, trains or schools horses that are owned, boarded or trained by his em- ployer, any member of his employer’s family, or a business in which his employ- er has an ownership interest."

                  I'm a nanny to a professional rider. I'm not a groom, vet, etc, and I don't work in the equestrian side of the business, but I do receive remuneration and work for her. This coming year she has a horse that she said I can ride/show. Am I an amateur or not?

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                  • #29
                    The answer is: If you start to win enough to piss people off then yes you are a pro. Technically the renumeration you get for being a nanny could also be renumeration for riding one of her horses (say she gave you an extra couple hundred bucks for being a "nanny").

                    If you are concerned you can always have her lease the horse to you for $1.
                    Last edited by enjoytheride; Jan. 20, 2013, 04:41 PM.
                    http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by ellemayo View Post
                      Okay so not to hijack, but I have a question about my potential ammy status. I'm another one of those lower level riders who isn't going to matter much in the grand scheme, but I do agree that since the rule is there (even though I think it should be much improved) I should follow it. Here's where I'm confused.

                      "Accepts remuneration AND acts as an employee in a position such as a groom, farrier, bookkeeper, veterinarian or barn manager AND instructs, rides, drives, shows, trains or schools horses that are owned, boarded or trained by his em- ployer, any member of his employer’s family, or a business in which his employ- er has an ownership interest."

                      I'm a nanny to a professional rider. I'm not a groom, vet, etc, and I don't work in the equestrian side of the business, but I do receive remuneration and work for her. This coming year she has a horse that she said I can ride/show. Am I an amateur or not?
                      If you ride her horse, you give up your amateur status.

                      If I were you, I'd do it anyway, define yourself as a pro while you work for her. It sounds like a great opportunity to get some riding in. You can always get your status back later.
                      If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                        Actually, the clear way to end this debate, once and for all, is to do away with the amateur status.


                        Amateur status should never have been introduced to Eventing. It was a mistake that came in with the AEC's and created silly entitlement threads like this one.

                        Go to a show to compete against whomever shows up in your division, instead of worrying about ways to eliminate competitors so you have a better chance at a ribbon. Ridiculous.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                          Actually, the clear way to end this debate, once and for all, is to do away with the amateur status.

                          I agree with this. I personally do not enter those divisions even though I'm an amateur. hell...most events I enter do not have those divisions. The only event it seems at all to matter is the AECs....which I don't plan on ever attending. I'd rather do Bromont or some other big event.

                          I've beaten Pros....and been beaten (many times) by amateurs. Bottom line...I don't really care about placings. If I do win...I want to have won because I was the BEST that day regardless of amateur or pro status.
                          ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                            I agree with this. I personally do not enter those divisions even though I'm an amateur. hell...most events I enter do not have those divisions. The only event it seems at all to matter is the AECs....which I don't plan on ever attending. I'd rather do Bromont or some other big event.

                            I've beaten Pros....and been beaten (many times) by amateurs. Bottom line...I don't really care about placings. If I do win...I want to have won because I was the BEST that day regardless of amateur or pro status.
                            We don't have divisions for amateurs in eventing in Canada. Every competition is required to offer an Open division and may choose to offer Jr (or JR/YR) and Sr divisions. It's spelled out in our rule book, but basically, the Jr and Sr divisions are restricted based on experience. If you have competed above those levels within a designated time frame, you have to move to the Open divisions. There used to be stipulations that required you to move to the Open divisions after a certain number of successful completions at the same level even within the same year (IIRC it was something like 5 completions in a Jr/Sr Entry division meant you had to move to Open Entry), but it was too difficult to monitor/confusing so it was scrapped. The current model seems to be working.

                            Every time I read about all the drama related to amateur status in the hunter/jumper classes, I'm so thankful we don't have to deal with it in eventing.
                            Founder of the "I met a COTHer in a foreign country" clique!

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                              The USEA shouldn't even print these lists until they clean up this problem -- it's not funny, it's not insignificant, and it's not acceptable. (Has anyone been watching the Lance Armstrong stuff?)
                              Is sandbagging really a significant problem in eventing?

                              Are the leaderboards really stocked with shamateurs? As a previous poster said, Canada doesn't have such divisions, and when I was in the US, divisions were usually just the typical open/horse/rider.

                              Maybe it's time to do away with the leader boards for the lower levels. What does it mean to be the top horse or rider in BN? Do pros really stick around BN and N with a talented horse to keep their name at the top?

                              Also, that Leading Lady Rider nonsense is about 40 years past its expiration date. Can we make 2013 the last year for that insult? There are no 'ladies' in eventing.

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                              • #35
                                Why did they add amateur divisions at the AECs anyway? I though the horse/rider divisions essentially took care of dividing the pros on young horses from the adults who have only done that level.

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                                • #36
                                  I have mixed feelings about the whole pro/ammy divide. I think I'm of the opinion that the Rider/Horse/Open divisions would work much better for the AECs and leaderboards. And the rules are ludicrous, and if I had more time I would do some lobbyng to change them.

                                  But, that debate aside, I agree with retread's basic point. Don't declare yourself an ammy if you really aren't one in the *spirit* of the rule. And I don't mean folks who lunge an employer's horse or taught up-down lessons years ago or accept dinner in repayment for serving as a friend's groundperson. I mean people who are clearly in business, who tell others that they have students, and who openly deal in horses.

                                  I've found out about three such persons recently. Two of them were caught... one has not yet been. One of the ones that got caught was ordered by the USEF to renounce ammy status-- but then declared ammy status with USEA and continued to compete as an ammy for the entire next year. Whether one agrees with the rules or not... to flaunt them in such a way is an insult to the sport.
                                  SportHorseRiders.com
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                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by CookiePony View Post

                                    But, that debate aside, I agree with retread's basic point. Don't declare yourself an ammy if you really aren't one in the *spirit* of the rule. And I don't mean folks who lunge an employer's horse or taught up-down lessons years ago or accept dinner in repayment for serving as a friend's groundperson. I mean people who are clearly in business, who tell others that they have students, and who openly deal in horses.

                                    I've found out about three such persons recently. Two of them were caught... one has not yet been. One of the ones that got caught was ordered by the USEF to renounce ammy status-- but then declared ammy status with USEA and continued to compete as an ammy for the entire next year. Whether one agrees with the rules or not... to flaunt them in such a way is an insult to the sport.
                                    What Cookie said. I'm a pro. I was a pro when all I was doing was riding one TWH down the trail once a week to exercise it for it's owner when I did one BN HT a year and lucky if I stayed on around a course. If you're a pro and you're running your business up and down facebook and the interwebz loud and proud and your USEA record has your ammy placings on it... for shame people. Seriously. Uncheck the box. It's not that hard.
                                    Big Idea Eventing

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                                    • #38
                                      I am an amateur. Have been for 25 years and always will be. That pesky day job and all. I have not liked the growing emphasis on amateur versus pros in eventing.

                                      What I love about eventing is that, except for the biggest events, everyone amateur and pro alike show up at the same events and compete on the same dressage tests, same XC and same stadium in front of the same judges. How can you not love that! In what other sport does that happen?

                                      My chances of beating Phillip Dutton are pretty slim but I'll take them and I'll continue to enter the open divisions. I love having the chance that maybe someday I finish ahead of a horse and rider combination that ultimately wins the Olympic games.

                                      I think people who worry about professionals in their division are missing the greater opportunity. I say get rid of the amateur designation.
                                      A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.

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                                      • #39
                                        I also think it can be confusing who is a pro at some point.....Just because you lunge a horse for someone doesn't make you a pro...unless you are paid to do so.

                                        I'm about to own my own barn....I have broodmares and breed horses. I'm running a business for tax purposes. But I'm buying and selling my own horses. That does not make me a pro for the USEF. If I was riding, training and selling horses for other people...that makes me a pro. A Pro rents some stalls from me...they are paid by other people to train those people and their horses.

                                        Really there are peers of mine who are Pros...and peers of mine who are Amateurs. To me the "Rider" and "Horse" divisions based on experience do a lot more to divide divisions among peer groups than the pro and amateur designation.
                                        ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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                                        • #40
                                          Do pros really stick around BN and N with a talented horse to keep their name at the top?
                                          That was the case for the novice horse of the year....although I don't know if that was rider or owner inspired silliness (the horse did 15 events...at 5 yrs old. But that's another discussion entirely).

                                          The problem with the ammy rule is that it is very, very hard NOT be a "pro." Ellemayo should not have to worry about her status because she takes care of her employer's baby, but it is a legitimate concern because the rule is so stupid. People should be able to braid a few horses to make some show money and not be considered a pro. You teach lessons? You get paid to train horses? You're a pro...but there is too much fuzzy grey area in the stupid USEF rules to make it easily understood.
                                          Amanda

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