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

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  • #41
    Originally posted by JER View Post
    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.

    "Why, dahling, whatever could you mean? Now do pass me another mint julep"
    Always be yourself. Unless you can be Batman. Then always be Batman.

    The Grove at Five Points


    • #42
      I will admit, that I am spending my first year as a non-junior with the pro status and you know what? I'm looking forward to it. I'm a working student so yes, I'm getting compensation for riding (and cleaning stalls, and other chores). I honestly don't see what the big fuss is for not having your ammy status, back home there were no amateur devisions, just open and junior, and here my guess is it is fairly similar only with the addition of horse and rider devisions. Even if I was an ammy, I wouldn't qualify for the rider devisions on my current horse b/c I went prelim last season and am now bringing along a new prospect.

      On the other hand, my mother, who also competes, has an Amateur Card from the USEF which she got when she regained her ammy status after years of working/riding for people. It allows her to run a boarding stable but still technically compete as an amateur (she doesn't teach lessons, except the occasional free pony ride to friends/family). Not that she competes enough to actually get any year end awards or anything so it wouldn't make much of a difference.

      Personally I am in agreement with those that ask to do away with the amateur vs pro status and I don't see why it really has to be replaced with anything else. We have Open, Jr/YR, Horse, and Rider devisions, the event organizers are the ones that divide it up anyway so why the big fuss?
      "I'm too sexy for my blanket, too sexy for my blanket, these mares-they should take it..." (J-Lu) - Featuring The Skypizzle Pony aka Classic Skyline


      • #43
        Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
        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).
        Actually, it was 16 Novices in 2012. The second-placed horse did 12, also with pros.

        FWIW, my horses do 2-3 total BN/Ns (sometimes they start at N) before moving up to T. Like I want to spend all that money on something with no real benefit to the horse.


        • #44
          Oh yea...I think they did one more after I last looked. Knowing the horse (and the rider), the horse could have done half that, if not less, and probably still finished the year with an easy cruise around a prelim (which he probably could've won). I'm not sure what the fixation was on getting novice horse of the year with a pretty classy, fancy horse, but, whatevs. Like I said, a totally different discussion!


          • #45
            Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
            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.
            Completely agree with you BFNE. It makes much more sense to me to divide horses and riders by experience, than if they earn any amount of income from horse-related activities that may or may not cross a gray definition of "training" horse or rider.

            Technically, I can compete as an amateur. I haven't ridden other horses for pay, or taught lessons in two years. I've only competed twice in the last two years. But prior to that, I was a working student, barn manager/head groom/assistant trainer for a well-known Upper Level Rider for 6 years. Then I spent two years riding and training horses as my job, and teaching lessons on the side. I was competing Intermediate/Advanced on my own horse, and was 100% pro.

            Does two years off make me so much less of a rider that I'm comparable to a 9-5 amateur? I didn't quit riding during that time, I just wasn't able to compete, or teach lessons, due to a career shift. I was still working in the horse industry, just no longer teaching or training. While I wasn't quite the "pro" that I once was, I know I am still in a different class than a typical AA whom the rule was intended to protect. So despite my legal ability to check the Amateur box on my membership, I don't. I abide by the intent of the rule, although I personally think it is far more fair to separate competitors based on competition-related factors (instead of what you do during the work week).
            “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
            ? Albert Einstein



            • #46
              I hadn't chimed in bc I am in violent agreement with most others here -- why not just have Open, Rider, (horse if you want), and Jr?
              But the side discussion on Novice horse of the year sent me off to the useventing site.
              The big man -- my lost prince

              The little brother, now my main man


              • #47
                I hadn't chimed in bc I am in violent agreement with most others here -- why not just have Open, Rider, (horse if you want), and Jr?
                But the side discussion on Novice horse of the year sent me off to the useventing site.
                The big man -- my lost prince

                The little brother, now my main man


                • #48
                  but there's not a whole lot we can do, as it's by far the closest and most frequently held event in our region.
                  This is where you need to fill out event evaluations. If this is really happening and people known as pros are receiving placings that are recorded by the USEA, the USEA needs to know about it. Organizers just doing what is easy is not a sufficient reason to ignore rules (that are causing everyone need to take extra care in entering, etc).
                  OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!


                  • #49
                    Originally posted by asterix View Post
                    I hadn't chimed in bc I am in violent agreement with most others here -- why not just have Open, Rider, (horse if you want), and Jr?
                    But the side discussion on Novice horse of the year sent me off to the useventing site.
                    Ummmm, yeah, I was just going with the flow till I looked that up. And....seriously?
                    Life doesn't have perfect footing.

                    Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
                    We Are Flying Solo


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by asterix View Post
                      I hadn't chimed in bc I am in violent agreement with most others here -- why not just have Open, Rider, (horse if you want), and Jr?
                      But the side discussion on Novice horse of the year sent me off to the useventing site.
                      I too went over to the USEA site and checked out the leaderboard...one thing that confuses me is that there's a rider on several of the master Master Amateur leaderboards who's website advertises a working student program (and also appears to have a potential saddle sponsor on their site) how does that work with the amateur rules?
                      ~Drafties Clique~Sprite's Mom~ASB-loving eventer~
                      www.gianthorse.photoreflect.com ~ http://photobucket.com/albums/v692/tarheelmd07/


                      • #51
                        Integrity and shamateurs

                        The topic here appears to address some riders who have either signed the Amateur endorsement on their USEA membership renewal but who allegedly do not meet the requirement as specified in the USEF Amateur Rule. It could also include riders who hold a valid USEF Amateur Card, but also do not do not meet the same requirements.

                        In either case these riders are in violation of USEF rules, even if they are competing below the Preliminary level and are not USEF members. The Endorsement Agreement between the USEA and the USEF subjects these riders to USEF Rules and provides that they are subject to sanction for violations of those Rules.

                        If this is happening, it should be reported to Officials, otherwise nothing willl change. The USEF and the competition Officials cannot take action if they know nothing of the violation. One of the posters stated that he/she didn't do anything because he/she could not afford $200 to file a protest. Allow me to draw you attention to USEF rule GR1035 which deals with duties of the Technical Delegate and applies certain restrictions to their behavior. I will not type out whole sections, but please look at the following excerpts:

                        He should immediately report to the appropriate officials any violation of the rules which might invalidated a class;...and investigate any situation where the rules are not upheld.
                        Under duties: To investigate and act upon any alleged rule violations without waiting for a protest.

                        In other words, you do not have to file a protest; it should be enough reason that an allegation has been made for the TD to initiate an investigation. Now that might be that this limited to checking to see if the rider in question has valid USEF Amateur card or if their USEA membership card indicates that they are an Amateur. In some cases it might be enough for these riders to know that they are under suspicion, to have them cease their activities. Remember that the TD may only investigate far enough to satisfy him/her self that the rider is properly credentialed. They have in that case, discharged their duty; don't take action against the Official. The other alternative is this: if enough of you are upset that there is a Shamateur competing, split the cost of the protest amongst you, and file the protest.

                        The USEF takes these violations very seriously when properly reported, and investigation of fraudulent Amateur claims is a major part of its judicial process.



                        • #52
                          Originally posted by asterix View Post
                          But the side discussion on Novice horse of the year sent me off to the useventing site.
                          And he was bragging about it constantly on his facebook page. I was like, REALLY? Is that going to be helpful to him professionally?


                          • #53
                            I don't agree with the OP.
                            I think it's stupid that I'm considered a Pro. (though after this year I'm going to get my am card back).

                            I didn't have a horse therefore didn't ride for 3 MONTHS this past summer. Plus, I don't have the $$ to take lessons.. And I'm a pro?
                            Though the ammy down the street who has 5 horses and takes umpteen number of lessons every week and wins every division she rides in is considered an Amateur.

                            I really wish we worked on a point system. I think the career division riders who win every horse trial should be forced into an open division. That would be WAY more effective than pro vs. am. Just like others have suggested.
                            Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!


                            • #54
                              Where I am we have two divisions at most: Jr and Sr, so if you're an adult, you will end up riding against the pros.


                              I still giggle to myself that I've placed above someone who has been to the Olympics and WEG. (In all fairness.... I was riding my ammy-friendly, professionally trained 7yo around a division she finds easy and I needed to do for mileage. BNR was on a hotter-than-hades 4yo upper level prospect who had a greenbean stop, has upgraded since, and I am seriously hoping upgrades again before I have to ride in the same division).
                              "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by Eventer55 View Post
                                It seems ridiculous though that if I were to sell a horse and make money, I'm considered a pro, even though I am probably never going to get out of BN .
                                As long as it is your OWN horse you are selling, you can make as much profit as you can,, and still be an amateur.

                                In fact, in the h/j world, there are several Amateurs who make a tidy income buying and selling their own horses, while maintaining amateur status.

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


                                • #56
                                  I do get bothered by shamateurs. The main one in our area (Middle Tennessee) is ALL over the last eventing magazine with all her amateur year end prizes. It makes a mockery of it. If you're advertising yourself as a BNT, if you're running a string of expensive horses that you're not having to pay for, if you're charging $100+ for your multiple client clinics ... you're Not An Amateur.

                                  I am not an amateur either, on account of I have a 12.2 pony in the barn that I rent, and his owner pays me to do his retraining, since I'm teeny tiny, and base heavy. It's going great. $350 says I'm not an amateur. So I'm not an amateur. Fortunately, nobody ever felt very threatened by my presence in their division even when I was an amateur

                                  I do agree also, that realistically, within the rules, there are gazillions of pros, who do NOT have an advantage. I know one amateur, for example, who has multiple helicopters and residences, and would never in a million years have to teach an up-down lesson. And she beats the pants of many pros. On her horses who are imported are professionally trained by upper level riders. Yes, she sometimes beats our local trainer who rides her craigslist bargain basement draft cross in between multiple hours standing in the rain with her students on their craigslist bargains. True enough, the very wealthy amateur has more advantage than the lower level pro trying to beat out a living. And if we all fell there's no real point to am/pro status any more then we should lobby to change the rule.

                                  But as it stands, the rule is there, and it is to my mind slightly obscene to publicly flout it with no fear of retribution.


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                                    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.
                                    the 2013 rules no longer have an exemption for leased horses.

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


                                    • #58
                                      Yikes -much more prevalent than one would think. I randomly googled (3) riders on the 2012 Adult Amateur Rider award listing...all (3) advertised training


                                      • #59
                                        WHY can I not find the 2012 leaderboard?


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by yellowbritches View Post
                                          WHY can I not find the 2012 leaderboard?