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Has anyone ever had to defend their amateur status?

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  • Has anyone ever had to defend their amateur status?

    Recently a trainer accused me of being a professional. My trainer and I laughed at the allegation because despite the fact that I was having a very good day that day, the previous day I couldn't find a spot to save my life.
    The story: 2 years ago I purchased a 3 yo. This year I had hoped to start my now 5 yo in the pre-greens but he decided instead to try to kill himself and rehab took the entire year. I have nothing else to ride so have been at the mercy of friends to loan me critters (some great, some not so much) to show. Now we're not talking show 30 shows this year, I'm talking 2! I've shown 2 shows this year. So at the last show, the trainer who accused me of being a pro said something to the steward (didn't formally protest) who in turn said something to me. To avoid confrontation I showed unjudged. After all, I had stepped down from the adults to pre-adults (legal in our association if on a different horse). I was doing quite well (fabulous horse) and my trainer suggested that it might be from angst that I was really an adult rider in the pre-adults.
    My trainer suggested that I write a letter to my local association to clear up any rumors that might be circulating about my amateur status and if need be, have the people whose horses I borrowed also write a statement to the effect that I had not received renumeration for riding their horses.
    Has anyone else ever had to deal with this? I felt blindsided and honestly kind of hurt that someone would protest me. I've worked very hard to get where I am and frankly without very much money. Thoughts?
    "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

  • #2
    i would probably write a letter to the USEF telling them of your experiences. if you are an amateur, you should not have showed unjudged. you should have shown as an amateur. but anyway to avoid future confict with the show steward i would contact the USEF and ask them for advice.
    if you are not being paid, you can show as many horses as you want for other customers of your trainer. if you have nothing to hide, hold your head up high and ignore the comments (that is after you contact the USEf for advice)
    i tend to think its the guilty amateurs that get bent out of shape when their status is questioned. they seem to go nuts! and next time, DO NOT show unjudged. that makes you look guilty.

    Comment


    • #3
      I once had a steward come up to me and "kindly advise" me with some information that made it clear he hadn't read the rulebook recently, if ever. I thanked him for his concern and advice, and walked away. If you are not in the wrong you do not need to explain or defend yourself.

      Comment


      • #4
        I agree with cboylen. Have you ever been a pro or done things that would make you a pro? If not ignore it, show judged, make sure you are in the correct divisions, and enjoy your day.
        http://weanieeventer.blogspot.com/

        Comment


        • #5
          Nope....they see me ride and wouldn't question it for one minute

          Comment


          • #6
            I left the barn I grew up at and (as it can) it turned ugly. I heard that one of the ladies from that barn was going to "destroy me at any cost." Really? What, are we 10 year olds??? Between my [former] trainer's wife and this woman I figured they would do whatever they could to discredit me to anyone who would listen. They actually approached a bunch of my competitors and told them if they were tired of losing to me they should turn me in. Just about every person they approached found me to warn me about it (and we all got a good laugh about it!).

            Anyhow, the woman went to the steward at a show and told her that I was a trainer. The steward came to me to warn me that it seemed like a person had a personal vendetta against me as it had even been obvious to her. She told me not to worry about it and that the woman would have to file a formal protest and provide proof that I had accepted money from people for training purposes....which I had not and therefore had nothing to worry about.

            The burden of proof is on the accuser. So if you're not involved in any activity that would make you a professional then you have nothing to worry about. I don't think you should have shown unjudged....there's absolutely no reason for it. CBoylen and enjoytheride are correct, next time ignore it all and just enjoy the show in whatever divisions you're qualified to ride in.
            __________________________________
            Flying F Sport Horses
            Horses in the NW

            Comment


            • #7
              To the OP- are you talking about USEF shows, or non-USEF shows? It probably makes a difference.

              The important point that isn't QUITE clear in the original-
              have the people whose horses I borrowed also write a statement to the effect that I had not received renumeration for riding their horses.
              Have you received any remuneration form them (or from your trainer) for ANYTHING? baby sitting? grooming? braiding? book keeping?
              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

                #8
                non-usef shows. The owners of the first borrowed horse paid me a lease fee for another horse. From the second borrowed horse's owner, nothing.
                Guess in hind sight it did make me look guilty to ride unjudged; hadn't looked at it that way. I'm non confrontational to a fault and that seemed like the way to get to ride without rustling too many feathers. And as rarely as I get to show it seemed like the way to go.
                "ronnie was the gifted one, victor was the brilliant intellect, and i [GM], well, i am the plodder."

                Comment


                • #9
                  The burden of proof is on the accuser. So if you're not involved in any activity that would make you a professional then you have nothing to worry about. I don't think you should have shown unjudged....there's absolutely no reason for it. CBoylen and enjoytheride are correct, next time ignore it all and just enjoy the show in whatever divisions you're qualified to ride in.
                  Agree. I would not go writing letters. If you aren't doing anything wrong, that's it, end of story. If they have an actual gripe, they will file a formal protest.
                  ---
                  They're small hearts.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by alteringwego View Post
                      non-usef shows. The owners of the first borrowed horse paid me a lease fee for another horse. From the second borrowed horse's owner, nothing.
                      Guess in hind sight it did make me look guilty to ride unjudged; hadn't looked at it that way. I'm non confrontational to a fault and that seemed like the way to get to ride without rustling too many feathers. And as rarely as I get to show it seemed like the way to go.
                      If the owners of the first horse paid you a lease fee, I believe that makes you a pro, the same way that if the owners of the first horse paid you to babysit or do their taxes and you rode their horse, you would also be considered a pro. I do not believe there is an exception to the payment rule for leasing, because otherwise trainers could "lease" horses to people and then give 'free' lessons or training rides. I mean, I could "lease" my horse to somebody for $75 for one day, and then give them a 'free' lesson; or lease him for $1,500 for one month and give a couple 'free' lessons and ride him 'for free' in the schooling hunters before they did him in the pre adults.
                      If I wanted to set up a whole business I could buy an old retired rescue, park him in the paddock, and have all of my customers part lease him for $1,500 per share per month. And then train them and their horses for free, of course.

                      If your lease was recorded with USEF the other people will have proof.

                      Also if those horses are in your trainer's program, and you get any breaks on board or any money from your trainer for braiding your trainer's horses, doing stalls, etc, you are a pro if you ride horses in his program. Even if your board deal is (just as an example) that you live in the apt above the barn and do all the stalls in exchange for board, if you ride any of the horses in your trainer's program you are considered a pro.

                      So, sorry to tell you, but I think the other trainer was right. You count as a pro because you got paid for something (ANYTHING) by the owners of a horse you rode. It's a sucky rule, but the good news is there are tons of 2'6" and 3' classes in the open divisions.
                      The Noodlehttp://tiny.cc/NGKmT&http://tiny.cc/gioSA
                      Jinxyhttp://tiny.cc/PIC798&http://tiny.cc/jinx364
                      Boy Wonderhttp://tiny.cc/G9290
                      The Hana is nuts! NUTS!!http://tinyurl.com/SOCRAZY

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by meupatdoes View Post
                        If the owners of the first horse paid you a lease fee, I believe that makes you a pro, the same way that if the owners of the first horse paid you to babysit or do their taxes and you rode their horse, you would also be considered a pro.

                        I am not sure about that.

                        GR 1306 (which covers indierect payment) refers to "employer". If they pay you to babysit, or keep the books, they are your employer. But I don't think paying a lease fee makes them your "employer".

                        Best bet is to call and ask.
                        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


                        • #13
                          It absolutely does. If you are renumerated, you are pro. The person who compensated you (paid your fee, whatever) employed you. This isn't a grey area. You have to be very careful about ammy status, if you want to show in it, and if you are receiving goods, deals, fees, discounts, housing, board, items, trailering rides, a computer, free pool time on hot days, compensation of any kind in return for your services or horses or efforts, you are renumerated, and you are pro.
                          Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            But I don't think paying a lease fee makes them your "employer".
                            Selling horses for profit doesn't make the purchasers your employers, either, but it sure does make you pro. So does leasing out a horse, selling your rides in return for anything. Its not fun, but its important not to re-word things so they sound innocent. Its important to be clear with yourself and recognize what you are doing and how that defines you in the horse showing world.
                            Airborne? Oh. Yes, he can take a joke. Once. After that, the joke's on you.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Selling horses for profit doesn't make the purchasers your employers, either, but it sure does make you pro.
                              That's incorrect. You can sell your own horses all day long for profit. You just can't commission off someone else's. Leasing out a horse itself doesn't, either. However, leasing out a horse and riding horses for the lessor may be a gray area.

                              I'd call the USEF and check, that way you'll have a clear understanding of what the rules are.

                              free pool time on hot days,
                              Seriously? How do you even use $300 worth of "pool time"?
                              ---
                              They're small hearts.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                                Selling horses for profit doesn't make the purchasers your employers, either, but it sure does make you pro.
                                Selling horses for profit does not make you a pro. Taking commission on horses you sell for other people makes you a pro. Very different.

                                I'm going to take the position that paying the lease fee does not make the OP a pro, under GR 1306, section 2c

                                2. The following activities do not affect the amateur status of a person who is otherwise qualified: Accepting reimbursement for any expenses directly related to the horse (i.e.farrier/vet bills, entries) however, does not include travel, hotel, room and board or equipment.

                                Bonus points if the lease fee was less than $300, although here you get into a bit of a gray area—it the lease fee a “token of appreciation” or is it “partial support?”

                                d. Accepting a token of appreciation, other than money, for riding, driving or showing in halter/in hand. (Note: Horse board, prize money, partial support or objects of more than $300 are considered remuneration, not small tokens of appreciation). (Also note: accepting any amount of money, whether more or less than $300, is considered remuneration.) Prize money won by an amateur-owner rider/driver/handler in any class (other than equitation or showmanship) is not considered remuneration.

                                Of course, this is all a lovely exercise in interpretation, but it means nothing in terms of legality. I'd say call USEF and ask their opinion, or prepare to be protested.
                                Last edited by Sing Mia Song; Oct. 12, 2009, 11:11 AM.
                                Life would be infinitely better if pinatas suddenly appeared throughout the day.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  AR, if leasing out your horse made you a pro, then the majority of all owners would be pros. Really. Look at all the ponies and Eq horses that are leased out over and over again. Some are still owned by their original "kid" who is now an ammie. So, leasing doesn't make you a pro

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                                    Selling horses for profit doesn't make the purchasers your employers, either, but it sure does make you pro.
                                    Can you please tell me where in the rules is says that
                                    -selling horses (that you own) for a profit
                                    or
                                    -leasing a horse to someone elses (with or without a lease fee)
                                    is an "activity which makes one 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


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by AnotherRound View Post
                                      It absolutely does. If you are renumerated, you are pro. The person who compensated you (paid your fee, whatever) employed you. This isn't a grey area. You have to be very careful about ammy status, if you want to show in it, and if you are receiving goods, deals, fees, discounts, housing, board, items, trailering rides, a computer, free pool time on hot days, compensation of any kind in return for your services or horses or efforts, you are renumerated, and you are pro.
                                      Maybe I'm wrong, (coming from a junior) but if I recall correctly, small gifts/tokens of appreciation that do not exceed X amount of money are not considered renumeration, for example if i ask Sally to show my horse while i am injured and horsey does so well, i can take sally out to dinner, nothing extremely fancy or expensive, just for the thank you and celebration--sally would not be considered a pro in this case. So, yes, the field of 'compensation' is pretty broad and some things are right and some are wrong, but I am pretty sure the USEF says small gifts (like if I buy sally a bottle of wine--granted it's not some rare 10K bottle hahah) are perfectly okay and do not violate; or i buy her a picture of her showing or something, or anything small like that (the reason i state all of this is because your list spans each side of the spectrum; if I have a pool and sally showed my horse for me, it would be pretty hard to claim inviting sally over for a few swims and making lunch makes sally a pro. buying sally some small item, ie a picture or wine or something, also does not make her a pro)
                                      (|--Sarah--|)

                                      Blitz <3 & Leap of Faith <3

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        We all know that this would not be so confusing if people were HONEST to start with.

                                        I mean really...does anyone even remember what the amateur rule looked like in the beginning?

                                        There should not be a grey area in my opinion. Either you are a pro or you are'nt. If you are making a living or supplementing your income in the (same discipline that you are showing) horse industry-you are a pro.
                                        "The Friesian syndrome... a mix between Black Beauty disease and DQ Butterfly farting ailment." Alibi_18

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