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help me understand USEF

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  • help me understand USEF

    Ok I am having some problems with the USEF, I was fined and suspended a while ago for having signed my name in the wrong spot. They fined me $1,000 I really couldn't afford to pay that so I didn't show for a while and paid it when I could. Now I am at risk of being suspended again.

    I declared my pro status a while ago so I could show some horses for some friends of mine I was told this is what I needed to do. They eventually moved and since I was no longer showing their horses I wanted to reinstate my AM status (keep in mind this was about 3 years ago), so I sent in a letter stating what I wanted. Just a few months ago I get a e-mailed letter from the USEF stating that if I want to reinstate my AM status I need to send them $50, so I wrote back saying that I requested this 3 years ago and thought it was already taken care of. Well I guess not because today I get a letter stating that I need to pay them $750 by June 19th, plus $200 for every show I attended and showed as a AM and I need to give back all ribbons, trophies, and monies won! Well I don't show myself anymore, but I have a pony out on lease that is still showing. I can't afford this! My dad can't afford to help, my mom just lost her job, and I am a waitress and a full time student. I have no idea what to do, I need this pony to keep showing so he can get a show record and I can sell him.

    Anybody have any advice?
    If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me.

  • #2
    You should call them and speak with someone... I haven't had any issues of this magnitude, but anytime I have had a problem with something they have been very pleasant to work with...
    **RIP Kickstart aka Char 12/2/2009**


    • Original Poster

      I have, they say I need to send in a letter with evidence for the hearing if I choose not to pay by June 19th.
      If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me.


      • #4
        Speak to a lawyer.
        CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
        Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton


        • #5
          the USEF takes FOREVER so i definitely agree with calling and getting a hold of someone.
          When i transfered ownership of my last horse, and sent them the bill of sale, transfer applications, etc., it took them 5 months to get back to me and tell me they wouldn't accept it because the bill of sale was signed by the trainer instead of the owner (which was trainer's mom.) Okay, so i got the bill of sale signed by the original owner, and sent it back to the USEF. took them another 4 months to get back to me; by then i had sold the damn horse!
          Good luck with your situation, it sounds yucky.
          Horse power

          Horse" pow`er\ (Noun) The extraordinary capacity of a horse to elevate the human spirit.


          • #6
            And then they wonder why horses keep getting reinvented with new names and ID's instead of getting transferred. Good Lord.
            "Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin


            • #7
              The $50 is due when you send in the form to reinstate your ami status.

              Until you are fully reinstated, you must keep showing as a pro, until you receive your letter.

              In addition to the $50, you'll need 2 members, in good standing, to send in notarized letters that you are indeed an amateur per the USEF rules.

              Personally, I don't show recognized when times are tight. But, you still must adhere to the rules when you DO return to recognized shows.


              • Original Poster

                I completely understand... But I didn't know what I was suppose to do, I called them, they told me I need to send in a letter. So thats what I did, I didn't know that all this other stuff needed to be done. If I had known I believe I would have done it, instead of suffering the consequences of what will happen now. I never heard back from anyone for 3 years! So I thought I was a AM.
                I don't care about points, I don't even care to be a member. I just want to show. I feel like to them 750 - 1000 dollars is pocket change, but to me it's a lot of money! I get fined a $1000 dollars for signing in the wrong place, doesn't that seem steap to some people. I see the same people showing at the USEF shows that have been suspended for sedating horses (have been suspended more then once and still do it) and they are still showing!
                If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me.


                • #9
                  Your biggest problem with the USEF is....

                  Like 99.9% of the rest of us, YOUR A NOBODY...

                  If you was bringing 15 personal horses to every big show. They would have been calling you 15 minutes after receiving your paperwork to get it corrected and done right.

                  If your a big name rider you can even GET AWAY with thanking your sponsors while showing as an ammy... And yes this recently happened, all they did was tell her to give up her status, while if it had been suzie q with one horse in the child adult jumpers at a "c" rated show, they would have FINED her $4000 and suspended her for 3.5 years for that offense...
                  " iCOTH " window/bumper stickers. Wood Routed Stall and Farm Signs


                  • #10
                    I thought that person in question got away with keeping their status because the sponsors were sponsoring the "owner" not the rider themselves.
                    Talking to some people is like folding a fitted sheet.


                    • #11
                      When you are a member of such an organization, it is important and your responsibilty to know and adhere to their rules.

                      You must be a member of the USEF to compete in rated shows whether you want to accrue points or not.

                      I suggest you compose a very simple yet detailed letter explaining your situation and send it to the USEF.

                      Where and what did you sign in the wrong spot that caused you to be suspended and fined $1000.00? That sounds like a very harsh penalty.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Savoy 8 View Post
                        I have, they say I need to send in a letter with evidence for the hearing if I choose not to pay by June 19th.
                        Well then you should do this.

                        The best thing you can do it read the rule book as it applies to your situation and go from there. Since the reinstatement rule says 'at least' one year and not 'after one year', you should have stayed on top of the situation.

                        No member gets a large fine and suspended for simply signing their name in the wrong place. There is more to that part of your story, too.


                        • #13
                          $1000 does sound like a lot for signing in the wrong place.
                          From your posts regarding Ammie status I'm wondering if you were suspended for an Ammie rule violation ( showing as an Ammie when actually a Pro) rather than a wrong signature.
                          I know they can be excessive but I suspect there is more to the story. There is a $750 penalty for non payment if you ignore requests to pay. And if you are suspended there are fines for continuing to show or a horse/pony belonging to you showing while the owner is suspended.


                          • #14
                            Call and get the name of the person you are talking to. Have that person walk you through each step and if you are transfered to someone get their name. Deal with 1 person that way you have a contact and they will feel more responsible. I just did a transfer and name change with the help of Melissa and it was all done with papers in hand in 1 month, she couldn't have been nicer.


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Savoy 8 View Post
                              I completely understand... But I didn't know what I was suppose to do, I called them, they told me I need to send in a letter. So thats what I did, I didn't know that all this other stuff needed to be done. If I had known I believe I would have done it, instead of suffering the consequences of what will happen now. I never heard back from anyone for 3 years! So I thought I was a AM.
                              I don't care about points, I don't even care to be a member. I just want to show. I feel like to them 750 - 1000 dollars is pocket change, but to me it's a lot of money!
                              I've not had to deal with USEF in this capacity, but I think your best course of action is to write the letter (to cover your rear as you sort this out) and also call them immediately. Explain your situation, although understand that "ignornace of the law" is no excuse...you didn't read the rules or follow up on your change of status, and ultimately, it was your responsibility. As stated:

                              GR1307 Amateur Certification.
                              1. Every person who has reached his/her 18th birthday and competes in classes for
                              amateurs under Federation rules must possess current amateur certification issued by the
                              Federation. This certification must be available for inspection...

                              So they can argue that every amatuer (including you in your new capacity) has to have a current amateur certification. You never got your certification, so why didn't you follow up?

                              GR1308 Professional Status.
                              1. A person who engages in the activities described in GR1306 is considered a
                              professional for all competitions conducted under Federation rules.
                              2. A professional continues to be such until he/she has received amateur status by a vote
                              of the Hearing Committee. Any professional who wishes to be re-classified as an amateur
                              on the grounds that he/she has not engaged in the activities which made him/her a
                              professional within the last 12 months must notify the Federation in writing.
                              a. Such person shall submit to the Hearing Committee an amateur reclassification
                              request which is supported by:
                              (1) a notarized letter signed by him or her outlining the horse related activities
                              (using specific dates) which made said person a professional and outlining the
                              activities performed within the 12 month period (or longer) since professional
                              activities have ceased,
                              (2) two or more notarized letters from any Senior active Federation members
                              stating the relationship with the applicant and outlining the applicant’s activities for
                              the one year period preceding such written notification advising and testifying that
                              the applicant has not engaged in any activities which would make him/her a
                              professional as outlined in GR1306 during that time period,
                              (3) A processing fee of $50,
                              (4) a signed amateur certification located on USEF Membership application.
                              The burden of proof of proving amateur status is on the applicant. The Hearing
                              Committee may call for and/or consider any and all further evidence and facts which it
                              deems pertinent. The decision of the Hearing Committee on the reclassification request
                              shall be final.
                              b. Any changes of status from professional to amateur, or vice versa, shall be
                              published in equestrian.

                              They are going to say that the protocol to return to an ammy was never really instigated by you since you didn't submitt all the necessary information or the fee.

                              This sucks, I know, especially since USEF rules can be hard to understand at times. But these are rather clear, which makes your case more difficult to argue.

                              Remember that you attract more flies with honey than vinegar, so you want to be honest and resmorseful when you talk to them. If you don't really care about your points, ribbons, etc, you should comprimise and let those go. Maybe agree for you not to show even though your leased out pony can still show and accrue points? See what you can work out.

                              You may not have done any of this intentially or with the purpose of cheating the system, but the truth is, you did show as an ammy without fully changing your status. In the grand scheme of life, this is not that big of a deal...but it sure is a great life lesson in following up and accountability.

                              Good luck.
                              Hunters, Jumpers, & Welsh Ponies
                              All I pay my psychiatrist is the cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day. ~Author Unknown


                              • #16
                                I have to say i was talking with my trainer and she was talking about the fines that are imposed by the USEF and she said there is nothing you can do. you have to adhere to the rules and pay the fines. she runs horseshows and someone had been showing an animal without a measurement card. but they had been doing it for years prior. so she never checked. and she got hit with fines that were approx what you have been fined. she made no money from those shows. worked all day to pay fines and then some. she did contact a lawyer and there was nothing he could do. you need to contact the USEF and do what they say. maybe they would let you do a payment plan. but i dont think they will let you out of the fines. i would definitely be nice and remorseful and maybe they will cut you a break. but dont count on it.
                                i know show managers that were fined and suspended in my opinion unfairly. very unfairly. and they had to pay big bucks for something that happened to them due to an exhibitors fault. but they had to take the punishment. i did think it was highly unfair.


                                • #17
                                  so this was three years ago it started, are you a life member? If not, when you renew, what does your card say? Ammy or pro?


                                  • #18
                                    "You must be a member of the USEF to compete in rated shows whether you want to accrue points or not".

                                    No you don't , you just have to pay the non member fee.


                                    • #19
                                      Or, transfer the pony to someone else (parent, relative), pay their annual membership fee and get the pony the miles and get it sold. That way at least he can keep showing and doing while you get the rest of it sorted out (or not LOL!!). And don't take that as me saying don't take care of the issue - but I am sure having the pony sold will help with paying the fines if they make you pay, which they likely will do...
                                      Not all who wander are lost.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Yes, they did fine me $1,000 for signing in the wrong spot, I filled my info out for non member, paid the non member fee. Got the horse a number with the USEF. Then I signed saying I was a member when I wasn't. You would think they would see that after filling out all the paperwork for a non-member to be a non member, they might see it as a legitamate mistake signing that I was a member. I wrote a letter explaining the following and telling them that I had no intentions of trying to show as a member when I wasn't, I wasn't even showing in classes where you can get points. Next I get a letter in the mail stating my evidence and letter did nothing to prove my point and I would be expected to pay the fine of $1,000.

                                        In all honesty I will probably just transfer ownership over to someone and then pay the member fee for that, instead of having to pay all this other crap. I am not going to risk another fine like this just so I can show. I love showing have been doing so since I was 5, but it's not worth it to me. I do MAYBE one show a year as it is, and I am in college waiting tables I don't have the money to pay these people just because they are mad at me for making a mistake. I will gladly give back everything they want or pay them for the ribbons I won, because I don't really care about them. But I am not going to pay $750, while people who are doing things much worse (intentionally) then I am and getting to walk!
                                        If you don't have anything nice to say about someone, come sit by me.