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The “shamateur”

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  • #21
    Originally posted by "A"HunterGal View Post
    I feel there are so many threads of this nature on the forum, and they tend to circle around the same conflict.

    On the one hand, there are rules and regulations, and they need to be adhered to for the fairness of the sport. On the other, we most likely all know of trainers that have "shamateurs" on their payroll in one way or another - riding the extras at home, teaching an up/down lesson here or there, flatting a client's horse in the AM at an extremely busy horse show.

    As someone who was once pro, always in a secondary assistant or manager role, and now an amateur, I feel one of the main reasons we keep circling this topic is because we're not really talking about the main problem:

    Do our current definitions of who is amateur and who is pro actually create the level playing field in the US that they are intended to do?

    I would say that it does not. I think we can see this in the post above that says amateurs at the very very top actually have advantages to pros, in that they don't need to worry about making a living. I would also argue that the young woman the OP references in her original post probably doesn't have much money, and in terms of sheer ability, is probably not ready to go head to head with the OPs trainer.

    Thoughts?
    We just recently had quite a lengthy discussion on this. It wasn't the most constructive of conversations, but here it is (I think it shifts to an amateur rule discussion around page 3)
    https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...questions-help

    Either way, amateur rules aren't changing any time soon (if ever) so OP has the choice to try to report this rider if she chooses.

    Comment


    • #22
      Originally posted by "A"HunterGal View Post
      I feel there are so many threads of this nature on the forum, and they tend to circle around the same conflict.

      On the one hand, there are rules and regulations, and they need to be adhered to for the fairness of the sport. On the other, we most likely all know of trainers that have "shamateurs" on their payroll in one way or another - riding the extras at home, teaching an up/down lesson here or there, flatting a client's horse in the AM at an extremely busy horse show.

      As someone who was once pro, always in a secondary assistant or manager role, and now an amateur, I feel one of the main reasons we keep circling this topic is because we're not really talking about the main problem:

      Do our current definitions of who is amateur and who is pro actually create the level playing field in the US that they are intended to do?

      I would say that it does not. I think we can see this in the post above that says amateurs at the very very top actually have advantages to pros, in that they don't need to worry about making a living. I would also argue that the young woman the OP references in her original post probably doesn't have much money, and in terms of sheer ability, is probably not ready to go head to head with the OPs trainer.

      eclipse already references some rules in Canada that seem to make things much more egalitarian. Teaching "up/down" lessons does not make one Pro, and riding for a National team takes away one's amateur status. This, to me, already feels like a better road and a potential solution to this conundrum.

      Thoughts?
      Here here! When "amateurs" are riding at the Grand Prix level (legal) -- but can't teach up/down lessons (illegal) -- we might have an issue with our standards of an amateur!

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by bluepece2 View Post
        I think that the whole system is to blame. In Germany you have a license, that dictates what you can ride in. You get the license by passing tests and then as you get olacings your license changes. I ride against pro riders all the time but only in ways that they are permitted (my classes are low so they can ride young horses or horses that don’t have placings over a certain level)
        Love this post.... it’s a shame how the system encourages people to be nasty
        https://www.facebook.com/Luckyacresfarm
        https://www.facebook.com/Ulrike-Bsch...4373849955364/

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by bluepece2 View Post
          I think that the whole system is to blame. In Germany you have a license, that dictates what you can ride in. You get the license by passing tests and then as you get placings your license changes. I ride against pro riders all the time but only in ways that they are permitted (my classes are low so they can ride young horses or horses that don’t have placings over a certain level)
          Totally agree. I think everyone is stuck on one definition of professional which is "to make a living..." when there is a another side to the definition which is "skilled in a profession." If you are riding at the Grand Prix level, then you are definitely skilled in some way.

          While I doubt things will change here in the US, I could see where a license could easily separate the amateur rider from the one who is truly skilled if you needed said license to ride at a certain level. I would fully support this.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by gertie06 View Post

            Here here! When "amateurs" are riding at the Grand Prix level (legal) -- but can't teach up/down lessons (illegal) -- we might have an issue with our standards of an amateur!
            The standards for an amateur are clear. It's the very first sentence of the rule.

            The biggest problem I have with our organization is that the competitors have to police each other. It shouldn't be up to the OP to put herself on the line.
            *****
            You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by Midge View Post

              The biggest problem I have with our organization is that the competitors have to police each other. It shouldn't be up to the OP to put herself on the line.
              If we do not do what is necessary to keep people who do not follow the rules in line how is it going to happen?
              How is the governing body going to know what happens at every barn to know who is legging up horses all week instead of doing the books?


              In the case represented in the OP, if it was me I would be worried about what other rules my new trainer is choosing to not follow because this particular rule is being broken right in front of everyone.

              Comment


              • #27
                Originally posted by Midge View Post

                The standards for an amateur are clear. It's the very first sentence of the rule.

                The biggest problem I have with our organization is that the competitors have to police each other. It shouldn't be up to the OP to put herself on the line.
                I didn't say they were unclear. They're not unclear. They're just wrong IMHO.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Is this USEF rated competition? Is there proof? Realize complaining on here will do nothing to solve the proble and there must be proof. What you describe is pretty much the exact situations that have been discussed on here for years,

                  If these two in your barn are blantently flaunting the rules, why remain under a trainer who tolerates them? They probably cheat too. Others form opinions on your character partially by who you choose to associate with, especially when you choose to associate with them.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by trubandloki View Post
                    If we do not do what is necessary to keep people who do not follow the rules in line how is it going to happen?
                    How is the governing body going to know what happens at every barn to know who is legging up horses all week instead of doing the books?
                    Why does she have to provide all the evidence, pony up her own name and money? She can't pass the info off to mvp to file the protest, unless mvp is also at the show.

                    Why can't she pass on the first bit of evidence, such as providing proof of teaching then the USEF proceeds from there without involving the OP?
                    *****
                    You will not rise to the occasion, you will default to your level of training.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Midge View Post

                      Why does she have to provide all the evidence, pony up her own name and money? She can't pass the info off to mvp to file the protest, unless mvp is also at the show.

                      Why can't she pass on the first bit of evidence, such as providing proof of teaching then the USEF proceeds from there without involving the OP?
                      Agree. She shouldn't have to pay money or risk her reputation to do the right thing.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        USEF can start an investigation without an official complaint being filed or revealing the source. But they have to be able to find proof and remember they are not law enforcement and lack much of that authority so best to be sure. You can call them and ask how to proceed or ask the steward at a rated show what to do if you don’t care to pay to file a protest.

                        If they do not show at USEF rated shows or in unrated classes at rated shows with differing class specifications and eligibility standards under the rules of a local organization, there’s not much that can be done. Sone people prefer to show at thise local shows and rarely do USEF, that’s a big part of the reason along with no drug testing.
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I find it disheartening that so many people are willing to turn a blind eye to rule breakers. Where do you draw the line?

                          At the very least I would ask this person if she is aware that she is breaking the amateur rules.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            Up until a couple of years ago I taught part time to help friends out every now and then and rode/worked off board. I was not a threat to anyone in the show ring (open or ammy lol). After stopping all of my "professional" activities I reinstated my amateur status.

                            It is disheartening when I had to stop the couple of irregular activities that helped cover some horse expenses to be eligible to compete in the amateur divisions, but then see Chronicle publish an article on a AO jumper rider who has her own business and openly advertises her training services on her business social media page.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              To answer a few questions: yes she’s showing at rated competitions and has since teaching. She is also planning on showing this summer.

                              Clients are also charged training rides when she rides their horses.
                              I did make it clear that if I’m paying for a training ride I want trainer to be the one riding.... trainer was fine with that.

                              Its almost as as if they don’t see there’s a problem? I honestly haven’t brought this issue up to anyone yet, it’s just something I have seen and kept my thoughts to myself. I guess It’s just really starting to sit funny with me as I’ve seen it happen over and over again!
                              Also I did ask said amateur if she was a pro and she told me no.

                              My horse is well taken care of and I only take lessons with trainer. Trying to mind my own business but I am just shocked at the extent this is happening!

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                I would not say anything to the person in question, I would simply report. They know perfectly well they are breaking the rules and have assumed that they can get away with it. Send what proof you have: a cell phone photo of the person riding a horse that is in the trainer's care or a photo of the white board in your barn that lists who is doing the rides, websites, etc. The USEF will investigate. Most people (not all) are not shameless enough to continue cheating after an investigative/educational phone call from the USEF.

                                FWIW, an amateur IS allowed to have an equine business, including a training business, provided they are not the one doing the training and they do not ride or train the horse.

                                I disagree with those who feel that because they disagree with the rules that is some kind of an excuse. That's nonsense. If you don't like the rules, work to change them, but for heaven's sake, not liking the rules is not a valid excuse for cheating.

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by NoSuchPerson View Post

                                  This.

                                  There are certain kinds of activities that should always be noticed and reported. Safe Sport violations and animal abuse, for example. Most activities, like those described here, fall firmly into the MYOB category.
                                  MYOB when someone is blatantly cheating (assuming, of course, the person in question actually is)?

                                  Let's just throw the entire rulebook out the window, then. Officially make it a free for all, since apparently it already is.

                                  I don''t happen to think that the amateur rules make any sense, but they are the rules, and the widespread culture of looking the other way and staying silent creates nothing but an environment of coward-like culpability that has, by and large, poisoned much of this sport.

                                  Stick it with some Ace or Mag or CG? Well that's not really abuse, is it? Add an extra $10k to the price to pad the pockets without the buyer's knowledge? Who's that hurting? They can afford it. Allow someone to break the amateur rules while 99% of the other amateurs are figuring out how to make it work without the benefit of getting paid for some rides? Oh well, the rules are stupid anyway.

                                  “Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.”
                                  ― Mahatma Gandhi
                                  Jennifer Baas
                                  It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    OP, if you are planning to report then do not bring the topic up again with anyone at the barn. And keep in mind that if you send evidence that only someone in the barn would have access to like the photo of the whiteboard, the trainers may well figure out it is an internal complaint.

                                    As far as why there are some requirements for the reporting person: because honestly if there were no barriers to reporting, think of the volume of nuisance reports people would file against their rivals.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by "A"HunterGal View Post
                                      ... Do our current definitions of who is amateur and who is pro actually create the level playing field in the US that they are intended to do?...

                                      I think there is plenty of abuse in the ammy rule, but I don't think the rule itself has anything to do with creating a level playing field, either in the ammys OR the pros. Some riders, regardless of what their USEF card says, will naturally be better riders, have deeper pockets/better sponsors, more/better horses, more practice time, have better facilities, be more driven to win or any combination thereof, all or any of which will give them a competitive edge in those respective divisions. That's just life.

                                      Competing as an "Ammy" is just an arbitrary decision point to split competitors into different competition groupings, not really any different than pony heights, junior age out year or age splits in breed shows. It's just a rule, all sound and fury, signifying nothing about your actual skills (apologies to Shakespeare and Faulkner ). That said, it IS a rule and as a competitor, you (the generic you who breaks the rule, not the OP ) owe it to all your fellow competitors to respect the letter if not the spirit of the rule. And I don't really care if you are not a threat to your fellow competitors' chances at acetate ribbon glory, it says something of the measure of your character if you know the rule and choose to break it anyway. If you do that, I figure there are any number of things you may deem not applicable to you and decide not to follow.

                                      That said, it would probably be nice to recognize "limit" riders, those in their first year of showing in a given division, maybe have them declare "limit adult, limit 3'3 AO and so on, and have a zone award for their performance and maybe a ch. and reserve limit rider per show to acknowledge the accomplishments of people trying to move up, start showing, etc.

                                      Your crazy is showing. You might want to tuck that back in.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Remember the rule has morphed into what it is because of the cheaters who constantly managed to find creative ways to get around it. Hence the bookkeeper might no longer be an amateur.

                                        Again, the USEF has a process to follow in which to file a complaint - and they aren't a nanny state so do not have any jurisdiction over what people do on their property unless it affects the rules of a competition i.e drugs or showing as an amateur when clearly you aren't. I will say there are some trainers who seem to be absolutely clueless about the amateur rule - like working off lessons or something, or you have trainers who know perfectly well what they're doing but act clueless.

                                        originally posted by DMK: That said, it would probably be nice to recognize "limit" riders, those in their first year of showing in a given division, maybe have them declare "limit adult, limit 3'3 AO and so on, and have a zone award for their performance and maybe a ch. and reserve limit rider per show to acknowledge the accomplishments of people trying to move up, start showing, etc.
                                        Some shows already do this and those "Limit" rider divisions are limited to jrs or adults. The rule is clear when it states, no matter what your ability is, you are a professional if you engage in XYZ activity. And then some people will just look at you and say "I have an amateur card". Anyone can get an amateur card if they check the right box..

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by DMK View Post


                                          I think there is plenty of abuse in the ammy rule, but I don't think the rule itself has anything to do with creating a level playing field, either in the ammys OR the pros. Some riders, regardless of what their USEF card says, will naturally be better riders, have deeper pockets/better sponsors, more/better horses, more practice time, have better facilities, be more driven to win or any combination thereof, all or any of which will give them a competitive edge in those respective divisions. That's just life.

                                          Competing as an "Ammy" is just an arbitrary decision point to split competitors into different competition groupings, not really any different than pony heights, junior age out year or age splits in breed shows. It's just a rule, all sound and fury, signifying nothing about your actual skills (apologies to Shakespeare and Faulkner ). That said, it IS a rule and as a competitor, you (the generic you who breaks the rule, not the OP ) owe it to all your fellow competitors to respect the letter if not the spirit of the rule. And I don't really care if you are not a threat to your fellow competitors' chances at acetate ribbon glory, it says something of the measure of your character if you know the rule and choose to break it anyway. If you do that, I figure there are any number of things you may deem not applicable to you and decide not to follow.

                                          That said, it would probably be nice to recognize "limit" riders, those in their first year of showing in a given division, maybe have them declare "limit adult, limit 3'3 AO and so on, and have a zone award for their performance and maybe a ch. and reserve limit rider per show to acknowledge the accomplishments of people trying to move up, start showing, etc.
                                          It's good to remember that when the amateur divisions were created, it had nothing to do with ability. The Olympics were restricted to amateur riders until the early 70s. The Amateur divisions were about classism. To be a horse professional was considered "not quite nice" by the ruling class of the then AHSA, which was governed by wealthy owners and riders, not by trainers as it is today.
                                          "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu
                                          Semantics

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