Amateur Riders How many are truly amateurs?

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Is it just me or is the term 'amateur' being thrown around a lot recently. I mean what is a true amateur rider? I see many riders out on the show circuit which claim to be amateurs but wouldn't fit into the societies rules of being an amateur, so how do they get away with it? it baffles me!
 

Red-1

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I am not into showing, so there probably is a "proper" definition that I won't know about where showing is concerned, but to me an amateur rider is one who does not make money from riding horses. This would mean a professional was a groom who rode as part of their duties, or a trainer who rides horses, or someone who backs and breaks horses as well as people who earn money from competing horses (as in a rider fee as opposed to purely winning some prize money). It would also include anyone who buys and sells, as in someone who buys one with the intention of schooling to make money on resale.

It is a tough one, as I was someone who would not have fitted in as an amateur rider, as I earned my living riding horses, as well as freelancing training, but I always considered myself an amateur competitor as I only competed my own pet horses and could not see a stride for toffee!
 

milliepops

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Like BP says I think different orgs have a different view on this. It's clear that BD have specifically not attempted to define amateurs vs pros and I think in some cases it's kind of irrelevant as a way of separating competitors into those who have an advantage from their set up and experience, compared to those who are trying to make it as a hobby... some hobby riders have more funds and time to buy good horses and have masses of training compared to a groom on minimum wage riding their hairy pony on their day off.
 
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I couldn't agree more, I just cant see what a competitor would be gaining out of competing in amateur classes when they're being paid to ride that horse on that day in the amateur class.
 

paddi22

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We had to redo the rules completely in an eventing organisation this year to clarify what an amateur is.

It boiled down to not making an income from riding or training horses. You can't have a business website or facebook business page linked to your name either. We had a grey area where people were riding a couple of pro horses from pro yards at events, so we had to widen it to say you couldn't ride a horse that a business benefited moneywise down the line. We have to be strict on the 'not making an income from riding (bar race yards) be cause it defineitly gives someone who rides all day, and who has access to yards, arenas and horses on hand easily, a HUGE advantage, over someone who works at a desk all day and then has to commute an hour to ride their one horse.
To make it stricter we limited horses per person and also you have to be the passport owner of two of the horses.

we agonised for months over it but i think we got a fairly good system going forward
 

Bernster

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I can see it being a minefield paddi22. Also agree it’s a very broad and vague category. I fit into the very much an amateur category but know of riders way out of my league who would prob also consider themselves to be amateurs. Ours is an interesting sport in that comps and associations can cover the 1 day a week rider on one horse, to the Olympic level pro., riding in the same competition at times!
 

paddi22

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what was in interesting is that there's a certain level of people (and in my next life i want to be one!) who are very wealthy, don't work, and spend their time buying super high level horses and getting lessons all the time, with the pro riders riding them mid week. They technically are amateurs, but they have resources and time beyond an average amateur. But they are still eligible for the classes even though they could nearly be pro riders some of them. But they ride as a hobby and are amateurs like the rest of us.

There was also a group who might bring on and sell 6 or 7 horses a year, but be very low level riders in the scheme of things. they don't consider themselves brilliant. But we had to remove a few from classes this year as amateur classes are not about bringing horses through for sale (beyond the normal changing a horse midseason due to inury etc people might do). if money comes into it on any level I think a person shouldn't be in the class.
 

paddi22

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Does BD work the same way DI does? With the different categories of riders? Here there are three categories, and you mve up to the next one once you ride a certain level test. So once you do elementary you go to category two. So if you are only starting prelim say, your reseults will be in the category one group, so you won't be up against superstar riders with young horses. I can see the logic in the system, but i prefer the way our organisation does it, as you aren't lumped in with pro riders at all.
 

DabDab

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Yeah, it is a tricky one, and tbh I'm not sure the amateur/pro distinction is particularly useful as a way of trying to make competition fair, because there is such a large grey area.

I would say that a big section of amateur competitors are also 'previous pros' - they used to ride for a living but now don't and just have their own horse instead. And they have as much, if not more advantage over a true amateur as your average work groom or breaking in rider for example.
 

milliepops

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Does BD work the same way DI does? With the different categories of riders? Here there are three categories, and you mve up to the next one once you ride a certain level test. So once you do elementary you go to category two. So if you are only starting prelim say, your reseults will be in the category one group, so you won't be up against superstar riders with young horses. I can see the logic in the system, but i prefer the way our organisation does it, as you aren't lumped in with pro riders at all.
nope :rolleyes:
There are 3 streams at each level now, Bronze, Silver and Gold.
in theory Bronze is for people new to a level, as you can only gain a certain number of points at the level above before you get bumped out and into the silver section. Also in theory, gold is for very experienced riders. The championships available differ for each section, silver has the most choice.
In practice there are so many ways to exploit the rules and loopholes that it doesn't work out the way it was intended. The silver section is a bit of a catch-all for people who have ridden themselves out of bronze and all but the very top top riders. You have to do really quite well to get pushed into gold. A lot of the restrictions are based on combinations of horse and rider, rather than just on riders.

It works for me as an amateur owner-rider, I am doing PSG bronze on one horse and can ride in Silver from novice upwards on my next project. *I* know that I'm not a rising star at the FEI levels, so feel quite entitled to not have to ride Novice gold... but I'm not sure it would feel the same to someone just starting their novice silver journey.
 

paddi22

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Is that a tough one to police though? For example, there's a few amateur riders that would be stabled at Killossery here, which is Ciaran Glynns yard. Technically it's a pro yard, but they would be amateur riders? Would they be kicked out in the arab word, just really interested as it's good to hear what different socieites class as amateurs. So if someone is in ciaran glynns yard, but say, works as a nurse, but gets a lesson every two weeks off him, they would not ba amateurs in the arab societys eyes?
 

paddi22

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I thi nk eventing would find that hard to implement as nearly every amateur in ireland (including myself) would get training from Joseph Murphy, Sarah Ennis, sally Corscadden at some stages. And lot would go regularly enough.
 

Pinkvboots

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Is that a tough one to police though? For example, there's a few amateur riders that would be stabled at Killossery here, which is Ciaran Glynns yard. Technically it's a pro yard, but they would be amateur riders? Would they be kicked out in the arab word, just really interested as it's good to hear what different socieites class as amateurs. So if someone is in ciaran glynns yard, but say, works as a nurse, but gets a lesson every two weeks off him, they would not ba amateurs in the arab societys eyes?

It is hard to police but the Arab world is probably a very small affair compared to other societies, and I have known people to quite happily let a show know about such things that are going on.
 

paddi22

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You would always hope people have a sportsmanship ethos in the back of the their mind, but it's amazing some don't. I genuinely don't understand how people can enjoy some victories without feeling guilty.

For example, I competed a horse in the championships at 90s in the Riding Club in 2015 here years ago and was beaten by a woman riding a horse who had gone around hickstead and won the year before in 2014.

https://www.theirishfield.ie/one-ey...kannan-wins-riding-club-one-day-event-189410/

It was such bad sportsmanship. i know the rider justified it by saying she wasn't a pro and was nervy, but on a horse that level it is totally unfair to put it in the class against normal horses, regardless of rider. if that was me and I had the ride on that horse I would have gone HC out of respect to other people in the class.
 

EKW

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I don't think that it's fair for judges to compete and ride in the same season the Arab horse society allow that.
But if yok stopped judges competing you would have no judges left!

In showing most rules day you can't make your income from show horses. Some go on to give further details. I am classed as an amateur for the majority of organisations but not SSADL because of my job. Racing is as far away from showing as you can get! But rules are rules and I very rarely, if ever compete in amateur sections anyway.

Home Produced - that's another nightmare! Probably an even bigger one than amateur status!
 

humblepie

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I compete under about 5 different organisations if not more and they all have different rules. Given that I sit at desk 35 hours a week, don't teach, don't get sponsored etc am definitely an amateur under all rules. At a national showing championship a few years back someone I know who runs a large yard entered the home produced amateur. I also agree that amateurs can be hugely different from people with full time jobs and a horse at DIY to those who have amazing facilities and staff or horses kept in pro yards. There is a highly successful showing family who do not compete in Amateur classes since whilst they could do they feel it is not in the spirit given their set up and they should be applauded for that. On the other hand, it is an amazing sport in that a grass root rider gets to compete against Olympic riders - used to love that back in the day when I was brave enough to jump Foxhunter classes.
 

humblepie

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Home Produced - that's another nightmare! Probably an even bigger one than amateur status!
I always feel and i know some societies do that home produced should include DIY - on a show day it takes me 3/4 hour to get from home, get the lorry from where that lives to get to the yard before I start doing anything - would love to walk out the front door to the horses!
 

only_me

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what was in interesting is that there's a certain level of people (and in my next life i want to be one!) who are very wealthy, don't work, and spend their time buying super high level horses and getting lessons all the time, with the pro riders riding them mid week. They technically are amateurs, but they have resources and time beyond an average amateur. But they are still eligible for the classes even though they could nearly be pro riders some of them. But they ride as a hobby and are amateurs like the rest of us.

There was also a group who might bring on and sell 6 or 7 horses a year, but be very low level riders in the scheme of things. they don't consider themselves brilliant. But we had to remove a few from classes this year as amateur classes are not about bringing horses through for sale (beyond the normal changing a horse midseason due to inury etc people might do). if money comes into it on any level I think a person shouldn't be in the class.

I love the EI amateur classes, hoping to get back when have the time lol. What annoys me though is there are 3 specific riders who ride in the amateur classes yet clearly have a job derived from making money in horses just not riding, they have facebook pages yet still in those classes. One even buys and sells regularly as well!
 

paddi22

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I love the EI amateur classes, hoping to get back when have the time lol. What annoys me though is there are 3 specific riders who ride in the amateur classes yet clearly have a job derived from making money in horses just not riding, they have facebook pages yet still in those classes. One even buys and sells regularly as well!
we are hoping to change that this year. there will be an application form people will have to fill in. That issue pf people producing comes up all the time, but we can only look into people if others raise they issue. we moved a good few people out of class this year once people queries them. it's fairly easy to find out online if someone is taking the piss. If you wanted to pm me any names in private I can keep them on the radar. We do want to make the classes fair for everyone.
 

only_me

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we are hoping to change that this year. there will be an application form people will have to fill in. That issue pf people producing comes up all the time, but we can only look into people if others raise they issue. we moved a good few people out of class this year once people queries them. it's fairly easy to find out online if someone is taking the piss. If you wanted to pm me any names in private I can keep them on the radar. We do want to make the classes fair for everyone.
Producing is different I agree, most people here will have a young one to bring on and sell but as a hobby rather than main income. I think as long as they don’t do it as their primary job/income or they don’t churn out multiple lots it’s ok.
It’s a diffferent “industry” to BE I suppose as well, but I love the amateur classes as they are so much fun and very very competitive lol
 

Pinkvboots

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But if yok stopped judges competing you would have no judges left!

In showing most rules day you can't make your income from show horses. Some go on to give further details. I am classed as an amateur for the majority of organisations but not SSADL because of my job. Racing is as far away from showing as you can get! But rules are rules and I very rarely, if ever compete in amateur sections anyway.

Home Produced - that's another nightmare! Probably an even bigger one than amateur status!
I know but one week your being judged by so and so then the next week your in the line up with them, I just don't think you should be allowed to judge and compete in the same class in the same season, it just doesn't seem fair to me I am a total amateur and it's quite hoarse to be judged by someone then have to compete with them.
 

be positive

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I know but one week your being judged by so and so then the next week your in the line up with them, I just don't think you should be allowed to judge and compete in the same class in the same season, it just doesn't seem fair to me I am a total amateur and it's quite hoarse to be judged by someone then have to compete with them.
You would find far less people choosing to judge if they could not also compete and over time the judges still on the circuit would be getting older and older or they would come in from a different background and may not have the in depth knowledge of the breed that someone who is also competing at top level should have.

Having competed in many different spheres it is not unusual to be against an Olympic medalist at a local unaff event and it can be inspiring for younger riders to compete on level terms with their heroes, albeit on a novice horse not the Olympic one but it may be the next top horse.
 

Fiona

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we are hoping to change that this year. there will be an application form people will have to fill in. That issue pf people producing comes up all the time, but we can only look into people if others raise they issue. we moved a good few people out of class this year once people queries them. it's fairly easy to find out online if someone is taking the piss. If you wanted to pm me any names in private I can keep them on the radar. We do want to make the classes fair for everyone.
I certainly don't get how professional riders wives can ride in amateur classes....

Fiona
 

paddi22

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yeah thats another can of worms. hypothetically of course, that might have been queried and apparently if people say they aren't paid and give excuses then its very hard to pull up on as techically they are amateurs. and hypothetically id imagine theres certain folk that are beyond our reach to pull up. but i agree with you
 
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