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

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  • Originally posted by mvp View Post
    And it's not even "renumeration." it's "remuneration."
    Whatever. Spelling mistakes happen.
    Unrepentant carb eater

    Comment


    • Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
      And what about those the USEF has found guilty of showing as an Ammy while advertising as a pro... suspends and fines said person, and they just go on showing for nearly a year, still as an ammy, without anyone noticing?
      That is exactly the case where you inform the TD, as Malcolm said.
      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

      • Original Poster

        Thank you, Liz, for posting. As OP I appreciate your response.
        I do hope that you do not paint the whole bulletin board here will the same brush -- there are some very VERY intelligent and thoughtful folks who post here, who truly have the BEST interests of the sport in mind. There are many MANY very good and informative posts from people I am very proud to call my friends here, and sometimes, just like a family -- people say things they don't mean, or put things in a negative way without being specific. Don't take it to heart. (We who are on here all the time have learned this.)

        But am very happy that you have taken personal responsibility to look up the amateur rule and make your own decision -- that is why I started this thread and why I am so happy to see you post. I really, really wish you not stop posting -- I think it would be smart to continue to read, and post your thoughts on this, and other subjects. The sport of eventing is a village, and all of us, from the BN to the most advanced international rider -- have to fit in two jobs or more to compete and enjoy the sport. . . you will find a LOT of people just like you with the same concerns and problems. The board is a place of solutions, too -- don't miss that part of it!
        Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
        Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

        Comment


        • More or less integrity

          subk - it is not that the USEF doesn't care; it is that the USEF doesn't have the resources to to be the policeman. There are 80,000 plus USEF members. Staff at USEF deals with hundreds of thousands of entries at recognized competitions annually. They can't afford the time to look at every Amateur application and then do a web search to see if that individual advertises professional services. Especially when, as we have seen in this thread, the name of the individual is hidden behind the name of a farm. TDs and Stewards have no more idea about the professional/amateur status of the several hundred people at the competition where they officiate. I personally know hundreds of Eventers and interact with them on regular basis. But I have no idea regarding the Professional/Amateur status of most of them. The process relies on the participation of the members to bring violations to the attention of the officials and the Federation. If we, as members of a society, don't care enough act in the best interests of that society, then we get the results that we deserve (google Kitty Genovese). If "we" want the shamateur violations to stop then we have to play our role in the process.

          purplnurpl - USEA cares, but is in the same boat as the USEF. USEA has a smaller staff, spread more thinly. On top of that, the USEA has no enforcement power. Lacking the enforcement power, they cannot effectively undertake to mount an investigation of an allegation. As we have already seen on this thread, some of these allegations are not based on accurate information. Now somebody's name has been dragged through the mud when it is entirely possible that she was in compliance with the rules. The USEF enforcement process is confidential, until a violation is established. Use the process before we turn this into a witch hunt.

          Malcolm

          Comment


          • So, if you have a sponsorship, that mean that you're automatically a professional? Erin Flynn names three sponsors- Cavalor feeds, Custom Saddlery, and Dogwood Farms. I guess those providing the sponsorships don't know the rules, then? It just seems weird that someone riding as an ammy would seek out a sponsorship without knowing that makes them a pro.

            I don't know, I guess in the world of a rule-abiding person, NOT following the rules just blows my mind. And I still don't really understand WHY you would want to show as an ammy anyway. Of course, I wouldn't appear on any leaderboards for anything either way, so perhaps my perspective is different.
            Big Idea Eventing

            Comment


            • An inquiry can be made by contacting Sharon Galleghar (sp?) at the USEA office. She will contact the person in question and tell them that their "Amateur" status has been called into question. The person can then choose to remove themselves from the Amateur status. If they choose not to do so, then a protest would have to be made, which would cost the person who questioned the status some money.

              The only reason that I know this is because I questioned the status of someone, whom I saw whacking their horse with a jumping bat, repeatedly, on the croup before going into show jumping. Actually, it was a man who was doing the whacking, while the rider was sitting on the horse. Seeing that horse get whacked so many times made me so angry that I complained to the show manager. I was a volunteer at the event that day, so had no dog in that fight, so to speak.

              When I got home, I was very curious about this rider. I found that she had a web site and had been mentioned on COTH as a "very good instructor". I contacted the chair of Area8 to ask what I should do and was told to contact the USEA.

              This year, the rider is not listed as an Amateur.

              So, if you are upset about what you see, then do something about it. I probably would never have questioned anything about this person, if I had not witnessed the man whacking on her horses' croup.

              Unfortunately, there are many riders, who teach "up/down lessons", who feel that they are not breaking any rules by claiming Ammy status. Until you are willing to start an inquiry about the riders whom you know do this, the point of this thread will be moot.
              When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

              Comment


              • USEA cares, but is in the same boat as the USEF. USEA has a smaller staff, spread more thinly. On top of that, the USEA has no enforcement power. Lacking the enforcement power, they cannot effectively undertake to mount an investigation of an allegation.
                even with very thin resources, you would think that someone at USEA might have just google the WINNERS of the Master Amateur division - I mean, how many keyboard clicks would that take ?

                Hmmmmm.... about the the sponsorships named there .... Cavalor, I guess we can't get feedback on. Dogwood Farms is the family farm that breeds imports and provides Erin's competing and sale horses .... and Custom Saddlery.

                Ok, I'll get back to you with Custom Saddlery's perspective. The current status is, as far as I can figure, she's not one of Custom's MVRs (their sponsored riders' list) and not a *recent* client either - so she has not been given a trainer's discount, at least not recently. It could be that she has a discounted saddle from a couple of years back which is not showing up in the records.

                Comment


                • Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                  Thank you, Liz, for posting. As OP I appreciate your response.
                  I do hope that you do not paint the whole bulletin board here will the same brush -- there are some very VERY intelligent and thoughtful folks who post here, who truly have the BEST interests of the sport in mind. There are many MANY very good and informative posts from people I am very proud to call my friends here, and sometimes, just like a family -- people say things they don't mean, or put things in a negative way without being specific. Don't take it to heart. (We who are on here all the time have learned this.)

                  But am very happy that you have taken personal responsibility to look up the amateur rule and make your own decision -- that is why I started this thread and why I am so happy to see you post. I really, really wish you not stop posting -- I think it would be smart to continue to read, and post your thoughts on this, and other subjects. The sport of eventing is a village, and all of us, from the BN to the most advanced international rider -- have to fit in two jobs or more to compete and enjoy the sport. . . you will find a LOT of people just like you with the same concerns and problems. The board is a place of solutions, too -- don't miss that part of it!
                  I am sure all of you mean well, but I'd rather not get involved in this. I just wanted to clear my name before the idea exploded down the line that I was a dishonest person. To be honest, I wish it didn't take me having to post on here to do so, but I guess I am glad I did because I know many others wouldn't even bother doing so. If my name does come up in a negative manner again (understanding now that questionable wasn't meant to be attacking my character), I would hope those who post could refer to this thread before posting in said thread, that was all I was aiming for.

                  Comment


                  • Mr. Hook:

                    Thank you for posting again. It is disheartening to hear how much the USEF and USEA have to accomplish with such minimal resources. Unfortunately, I think that will be the reality for some time to come, and so priorities must be (and have been) established.

                    My reading of this thread indicates to me that there are two different but related issues that are of concern to the competitors who post herein. One is that pros ride in amateur divisions. The other is that pros are getting on the amateur leaderboards. Your response is that it is up to competitors to report people whom they think fall into "shamateur" category to the TD, event secretary or file a protest (for which cost they are welcome to ask others to contribute). While I have personal issues with informing on my neighbors and fellow competitors (a la certain communist regimes), this is certainly a way of having those with concerns put their money where their keyboard is. And, as had been pointed out, many events don't break the divisions into pro and amateur so it doesn't matter.

                    The only place it may matter is on the year end leaderboards. Which organization (USEF or USEA) compiles these? Would it really be an untoward amount of additional labor to e-mail the limited number of individuals who are going to be listed at the top of the amateur categories a form letter asking them to confirm their amateur status and not including them unless they do? Would it be onerous to append a name and e-mail address that those with concerns could drop a line to? Maybe then those concerns could be investigated via perusal of on-line links and follow-up so that there would not be a repeat of a pro being in the wrong category the next year.

                    If the events I attended created an amateur leaderboard and I believed that there were errors, I'd take it to them. In this case the erroneous leaderboard is coming from a higher authority and there should be a contact therein.
                    They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                    Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                    Comment


                    • Janet, would you or someone else please clarify the following for me in terms of pro/ ammy? (And I think I know the answer, but I just want to see if I'm right)

                      A friend has a sudden family issue make it impossible for her to ride on any regular basis for months. I help her out by getting on her horse 3-4 times a week so that when she can come out, she gets a well-deserved fun break. There is no remuneration. Am I a pro?

                      I'm laid up with a busted hip. A couple of friends are keeping my horses going so that when I can get back on I'll have a better chance of not reinjuring myself. I'll bake them some cookies and probably take them to lunch in thanks. Are they pros?
                      They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                      Comment


                      • Originally posted by KateWooten View Post
                        even with very thin resources, you would think that someone at USEA might have just google the WINNERS of the Master Amateur division - I mean, how many keyboard clicks would that take ?
                        Agreed -- no one's asking for a check on every rider's status. But when you are compiling end of year awards, how long does it take to google ten people? Probably about 5 minutes. So that redirection doesn't really fly. Doesn't have any effect on my life, per se, but is rather embarrassing for USEA and USEF, I think and casts a poor light on the sport I love.
                        Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

                        Comment


                        • As long as there is no indirect compensation that you aren't telling us about (e.g., you aren't paying your friends to do your taxes, or vice versa) you are all fine.

                          Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
                          Janet, would you or someone else please clarify the following for me in terms of pro/ ammy? (And I think I know the answer, but I just want to see if I'm right)

                          A friend has a sudden family issue make it impossible for her to ride on any regular basis for months. I help her out by getting on her horse 3-4 times a week so that when she can come out, she gets a well-deserved fun break. There is no remuneration. Am I a pro?

                          I'm laid up with a busted hip. A couple of friends are keeping my horses going so that when I can get back on I'll have a better chance of not reinjuring myself. I'll bake them some cookies and probably take them to lunch in thanks. Are they pros?
                          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


                          • Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
                            Would it really be an untoward amount of additional labor to e-mail the limited number of individuals who are going to be listed at the top of the amateur categories a form letter asking them to confirm their amateur status and not including them unless they do?
                            It seems to me that these people "confirmed their amateur status" when they joined, or renewed their membership, stating that they are amateurs.

                            What makes you think they would change their mind when they are on the leaderboard?
                            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


                            • Originally posted by purplnurpl View Post
                              good grief.
                              I really wanted to say Holy #%^*!! How does the eventing community let colleagues get away with this??

                              Adult Am Advanced

                              1. Meghan O'Donoghue
                              http://www.zoominfo.com/#!search/pro...rgetid=profile

                              2. Leslie Chelstrom
                              http://www.champagnewishesfarm.com/leslie.htm
                              I just spoke with someone who asked Leslie about the amateur status. Leslie says she has never been an amateur and doesn’t know how her status changed on the USEA records. She didn’t know she was even on the leader board until she got the award at which point she immediately contacted the USEA. Her USEA status currently says “no” in the amateur status column. FYI, the web link is old as Leslie hasn’t worked at Champagne Wishes Farm in at least a couple years but she has continued to be a pro. So I guess the lesson here is don’t believe everything you read on the internet!

                              You almost never see amateur divisions here in Area II competitions and we manage just fine with Open, Rider, and Horse divisions. I am all for getting rid of amateur status so we don't have to deal with all the drama that H/J has!

                              Comment


                              • Originally posted by Brown Eyes View Post
                                I just spoke with someone who asked Leslie about the amateur status. Leslie says she has never been an amateur and doesn’t know how her status changed on the USEA records. She didn’t know she was even on the leader board until she got the award at which point she immediately contacted the USEA. Her USEA status currently says “no” in the amateur status column. FYI, the web link is old as Leslie hasn’t worked at Champagne Wishes Farm in at least a couple years but she has continued to be a pro. So I guess the lesson here is don’t believe everything you read on the internet!

                                You almost never see amateur divisions here in Area II competitions and we manage just fine with Open, Rider, and Horse divisions. I am all for getting rid of amateur status so we don't have to deal with all the drama that H/J has!

                                That's happened a lot. Most people never look at the leaderboards and the error happens all the time. I personally don't get too worked up over it.

                                It also can happen that we are now in 2013---so someone could have sponsorship that just started and is now not an amateur but was in 2012.
                                ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by Janet View Post
                                  It seems to me that these people "confirmed their amateur status" when they joined, or renewed their membership, stating that they are amateurs.

                                  What makes you think they would change their mind when they are on the leaderboard?

                                  I guess I have enough faith that it is possible that their status changed from the time they checked the amateur box, and they just forgot to update or there has been an error as above posters have noted. So yes, there is a valid reason to double check.
                                  They don't call me frugal for nothing.
                                  Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by Brown Eyes View Post
                                    I just spoke with someone who asked Leslie about the amateur status. Leslie says she has never been an amateur and doesn’t know how her status changed on the USEA records. She didn’t know she was even on the leader board until she got the award at which point she immediately contacted the USEA.
                                    It would be nice if they then corrected things, huh? I do think limited manpower has a lot to do with it. But a blip about the changed results would be nice.

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by SevenDogs View Post


                                      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.
                                      I totally agree! Let's go back to the way it was when I was a 14 year old, competing in my first 3-day and because Essex didn't have a junior division that year, I had to compete with 4 of Bruce Davidson's horses (and yes he finished 1st-4th). Or I could compete in the Young Rider division (which was 16-21 at the time) and compete HC! Since I had to carry lead, I decided to make the competition count and compete against the "big guys"! You rode against EVERYONE, and sometimes you beat them
                                      Mirror Image 2001-2007

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by frugalannie View Post
                                        I guess I have enough faith that it is possible that their status changed from the time they checked the amateur box, and they just forgot to update or there has been an error as above posters have noted. So yes, there is a valid reason to double check.
                                        I would bet a lot of these competitors, especially those at the upper levels, have Life memberships, and therefore wouldn't have to renew every year ... So it is possible that they were amateurs when they joined, and just never updated their amateur/pro status when they got sponsorships or started training, instructing, etc.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by FitToBeTied View Post
                                          Reclaiming your amateur status seems somewhat akin to reclaiming your virginity just because you didn't have sex for a year.
                                          LMAO. that's awesome.
                                          http://kaboomeventing.com/
                                          http://kaboomeventing.blogspot.com/
                                          Horses are amazing athletes and make no mistake -- they are the stars of the show!

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