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

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  • Originally posted by faybe View Post
    I(in addition to having private sponsors and starting young horses on occasion, he's a USEA/USEF licensed official, which I think precludes him from ammy status?).
    No, the rules are quite explicit about that. Being a licensed official does NOT make you a professional.
    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


    • Yes, you accrue amateur points no matter what division you show in. I have never seen an amateur division at any HT that I have been to. However, we received amateur points last year for competing in an open division. The points are based on YOUR status, not that of the division. We finished 2nd out of all the people listed as amateurs in the open division so we got whatever number of points (I never pay attention, not a point chaser so I have no idea of number).
      Life doesn't have perfect footing.

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

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      • You can sell as many horses as you want to, and make a million dollars a year, and still be an amateur. You just cannot sell horses for others and be paid to do that. You can also breed, have a stallion at stud, and board horses.

        I have seen people on the amateur leaderboard who are obviously not amateurs. I think it is rather amusing. I am an amateur but I really don't see what the big deal is about. There aren't any amateur divisions around where I compete, and in order to be on the leaderboard, you really have to have more than one horse at the level, or compete every weekend. Neither applies to me.

        So, if you don't like the way it's done, then propose an alternative. Or you can always challenge the status of "amateurs" through the USEF. I personally wouldn't do that (I would be much more inclined to approach the person directly), but that is the recourse and it can be effective.

        I had someone challenge my amateur status last year. My status held up with little inquiry. They were saying that I trained and sold horses and had a website. True on all accounts. However, I never teach lessons or take commissions or train for others. So I'm a legitimate amateur... and I really don't see how it benefits me.

        Originally posted by Eventer55 View Post
        Yep, and if you do compeat against pros and do well you get extra ammie points. 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 and am clearly not on a par with Boyd etc with whom I have competed against. You can make money in numerous ways and it means nothing about your riding ability. And visa versa.

        Comment


        • You can do an informal inquiry at no cost.

          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 think burning bridges is a bad idea generally. So...

          ETA: correct spelling, wrong word.

          Comment


          • Frankly, if I were an aspiring professional, I would be embarassed to be listed as an amateur.

            Originally posted by deltawave View Post
            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.

            Comment


            • I also agree completely with that.
              Click here before you buy.

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              • Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
                So, if you don't like the way it's done, then propose an alternative.
                I thought I did that. Denote card carrying amateurs with an asterix on the score board at events. Then everyone can see how the amateurs within a division did among themselves and/or against the pros.

                Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
                Frankly, if I were an aspiring professional, I would be embarassed to be listed as an amateur.
                Which is why if it was out there for people to see, a pro--even a small time one--would have some incentive to make sure they were correctly categorized. The best way to enforce a rule is to set it up so people have incentive to be on the correct side of the matter.

                Comment


                • This is an awesome idea! I didn't read your post until after I had posted.

                  I think it would be great if you made that proposal to the USEA. I'd be happy to sign some sort of petition, if that would be considered.

                  Originally posted by subk View Post
                  I thought I did that. Denote card carrying amateurs with an asterix on the score board at events. Then everyone can see how the amateurs within a division did among themselves and/or against the pros.


                  Which is why if it was out there for people to see, a pro--even a small time one--would have some incentive to make sure they were correctly categorized. The best way to enforce a rule is to set it up so people have incentive to be on the correct side of the matter.

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by subk View Post
                    Here's the solution to the problem: If names of amateurs showed up on the score board at events with an asterix after their name the most of the problem would pretty much be solved a couple months into the season.
                    I've seen something similar done at dressage shows, though in the program, not the scoreboard.

                    Resulted in at least one person fixing their status.
                    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


                    • The best way to enforce a rule is to set it up so people have incentive to be on the correct side of the matter.
                      I agree, but I'm not sure if everyone's incentive is the same.

                      There was a post on my FB feed the other day about a young rider I know excitedly posting about how she had gotten her first sponsor. I semi-jokingly replied "make sure you uncheck that amateur status!" (because the topic was on my mind due to this thread) and the posting was promptly deleted. I'm not sure 100% of people out there who are on the fringes WANT to lose their amateur status, for whatever reason. That's the part I don't understand--it doesn't really MEAN anything.

                      Maybe if the USEA just did away with Amateur leaderboards and year-end awards. Or hell, just do away with amateur/pro designations altogether, as it seems to mean precisely nothing to 99.9% of the membership.
                      Click here before you buy.

                      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!
                        Yes Liz, I was just going to write the same thing or close to it. I think we know each other and possibly shared a room in SC a few years ago. I always thought you were a person of integrity and greatly enjoyed your company. Please consider yourself part of the solution not the problem. And as retread said "The board is a place of solutions, too---don't miss that part of it!"
                        RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                        "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

                        Comment


                        • Correct me if I am wrong about this, but Juniors and Young Riders can teach/train for money and still be considered Amateurs? I ran into this question about a Young Rider, who had students and was riding at least 5 horses at an event. She was listed as an Amateur.
                          When in Doubt, let your horse do the Thinking!

                          Comment


                          • "I have seen people on the amateur leaderboard who are obviously not amateurs. I think it is rather amusing. I am an amateur but I really don't see what the big deal is about. There aren't any amateur divisions around where I compete, and in order to be on the leaderboard, you really have to have more than one horse at the level, or compete every weekend. Neither applies to me."



                            Hi Ann
                            I resemble that remark. . . In 2011 I rode the nastiest mare on the planet and made the leaderboard early (in 2 ammy divisions) and stayed on it. I rode one horse and only competed once a month or so. I bought, broke and rode her and didn't take any renumeration, remuneration or even any money for anything.
                            My credit cards are stil smokin'.

                            Carry on. . .
                            RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                            "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by Auburn View Post
                              Correct me if I am wrong about this, but Juniors and Young Riders can teach/train for money and still be considered Amateurs? I ran into this question about a Young Rider, who had students and was riding at least 5 horses at an event. She was listed as an Amateur.
                              For straight Dressage, the cut off age is 21 (Young Riders).

                              For all the other disciplines, including Eventing, the cut off is 18 (Junior).
                              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

                                BIG KUDOS to the USEA who posted a heads-up about checking the amateur/professional box on the membership renewal!

                                I have a feeling that there might have been some kind of default setup that put everyone in an amateur category when they did not check either box. That might be the reason so many professionals were listed as amateur. Another possible thing....life members don't renew so their status doesn't change either. (By the way, question to those who know -- are all Olympic team riders automatically given life memberships? If not, should they be? - World Championship team riders, too - or medalists at the least in international competition like Pan Am/Olympic/WEG. I think they should.)

                                Still...the young professionals have a responsibility and duty to check their own status on the leaderboards and correct any error in status PERSONALLY. Does not absolve them from the call for integrity and personal responsibility.

                                Now, back to my saddle search! (Gauughhh. The third circle of hell....)
                                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                                Comment


                                • Hey, you were winning a lot as well. I have a friend who won one of the year end novice awards, and she did so by winning almost every time she competed. They didn't over-compete at all.

                                  But for me, I would have to compete A LOT in order to be on the leaderboard, since winning often is not part of my M.O.,

                                  Originally posted by Eventer55 View Post
                                  "I have seen people on the amateur leaderboard who are obviously not amateurs. I think it is rather amusing. I am an amateur but I really don't see what the big deal is about. There aren't any amateur divisions around where I compete, and in order to be on the leaderboard, you really have to have more than one horse at the level, or compete every weekend. Neither applies to me."



                                  Hi Ann
                                  I resemble that remark. . . In 2011 I rode the nastiest mare on the planet and made the leaderboard early (in 2 ammy divisions) and stayed on it. I rode one horse and only competed once a month or so. I bought, broke and rode her and didn't take any renumeration, remuneration or even any money for anything.
                                  My credit cards are stil smokin'.

                                  Carry on. . .

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by ahbaumgardner View Post
                                    Hey, you were winning a lot as well. I have a friend who won one of the year end novice awards, and she did so by winning almost every time she competed. They didn't over-compete at all.

                                    But for me, I would have to compete A LOT in order to be on the leaderboard, since winning often is not part of my M.O.,
                                    I've seen you ride Ann and my biggest fear is having to bump up to your division! Fortunately for me, that will probably never happen. . .
                                    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

                                    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."

                                    Comment


                                    • Thanks for this poignant post. As someone who has watched the sport evolve over the past 40 years, I've seen more breeches of integrity in more recent years than I ever thought I would. There is much more pressure, competitiveness, and more livelihoods at stake that have come with the increased commercialization of the sport. With respect to the am/pro issue, I do hope the USEA makes a concerted effort to not only define parameters but enforce the rules.

                                      Comment


                                      • Originally posted by Atwood View Post
                                        As someone who has watched the sport evolve over the past 40 years, I've seen more breeches of integrity in more recent years than I ever thought I would.
                                        BREECHES OF INTEGRITY!

                                        That is so awesome. And I want some. I want some breeches of integrity, just to be part of that trend.

                                        Does SmartPak carry Breeches of Integrity?

                                        Comment


                                        • Looks like the integrity of my britches is about to be breached, so I'll have to come back to this in a bit....
                                          Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!

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