Amateur Riders How many are truly amateurs?

Joined
22 February 2016
Messages
50
So how i read the home produced ruling to be was that the horse needs to be kept on either DIY livery or at your own private yard. You can have lessons with professionals but the horse must stay at either DIY or own private yard. In terms of amateur i believe you can not keep the prize money as that would belong to the owner and would be seen as payment for the ride. In addition any form of gift or payments toward travel, lorry hire, diesel, riding attire or any expense for riding a horse can also be seen as payment for riding.
Ah thank you littlemiss, Mine are on DIY livery, so that's ok, but as she gets stuff from riding the pony she is now a "professional"? It's all really confusing, so I figured that if we go in opens with all the pros then we don't have this problem lol
 
Joined
26 May 2015
Messages
108
It's seems very strange but yes technically they have received "payment" for riding. I tend to stick to the open classes but in many of the open classes they also have the highest placed amateur award and also highest placed home produced award.
 
Joined
12 August 2011
Messages
433
Location
Warwickshire
I am very glad BD dont divide classes between amateur and pro, as I think its a very skewed way to separate people, and no promise of fair competition. As an example I can describe two people I know personally, who demonstrate this perfectly:

Amateur rider: Wealthy person, has two horses, each horse cost between £50 - £80K, kept on full livery in an all singing all dancing yard with every facility known to man (or horse), very frequent lessons with superstar dressage pro who also competed the horses when they were younger, also frequent boot camps with said pro, posh lorry, a couple of six month sabbaticals taken from the non horsey job to concentrate on riding, training and competing.

Professional rider: Works all the hours possible teaching in a riding school, mainly teaching children their up downs, horse kept on basic yard, outdoor school, no lights, horse bought for 1K as a yearling, no help, very few lessons as struggling to afford lessons, no transport of their own, can borrow friends trailer when friend not using it.

Both lovely people, and I think good examples of why I believe BD wise not to divide classes this way.
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,666
Location
Ireland
I am very glad BD dont divide classes between amateur and pro, as I think its a very skewed way to separate people, and no promise of fair competition. As an example I can describe two people I know personally, who demonstrate this perfectly:

Amateur rider: Wealthy person, has two horses, each horse cost between £50 - £80K, kept on full livery in an all singing all dancing yard with every facility known to man (or horse), very frequent lessons with superstar dressage pro who also competed the horses when they were younger, also frequent boot camps with said pro, posh lorry, a couple of six month sabbaticals taken from the non horsey job to concentrate on riding, training and competing.

Professional rider: Works all the hours possible teaching in a riding school, mainly teaching children their up downs, horse kept on basic yard, outdoor school, no lights, horse bought for 1K as a yearling, no help, very few lessons as struggling to afford lessons, no transport of their own, can borrow friends trailer when friend not using it.

Both lovely people, and I think good examples of why I believe BD wise not to divide classes this way.
No one makes you enter an amateur class, you have the option to do normal or amateur. I've competed in the past in standard eventing classes and beaten plenty of pros. I've also had more competition in an amateur class ie. harder to win.
Its completely up to you what class you enter, you don't have to compete in amateurs if don't want to!
 
Joined
12 August 2011
Messages
433
Location
Warwickshire
No one makes you enter an amateur class, you have the option to do normal or amateur. I've competed in the past in standard eventing classes and beaten plenty of pros. I've also had more competition in an amateur class ie. harder to win.
Its completely up to you what class you enter, you don't have to compete in amateurs if don't want to!
Neither of those people were me! I was just using them as example of the two extremes within amateur and professional.
 

milliepops

Probably skiving
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
11,258
No one makes you enter an amateur class, you have the option to do normal or amateur. I've competed in the past in standard eventing classes and beaten plenty of pros. I've also had more competition in an amateur class ie. harder to win.
Its completely up to you what class you enter, you don't have to compete in amateurs if don't want to!
I think daffy's point is that the amateur she has described may well want to compete in an amateur section as it's within the rules, and they stand every chance of clearing up the prizes, given the enormous advantage they have over more "normal" amateur hobby riders. And the pro has very little in common with most of the pro riders that do well at the major shows, it's in no way an even slightly level playing field.

My background is also eventing, I remember the pride of finishing ahead of a pro on a nice horse but I really think in eventing there are more variables that take some of the pro-advantage out of the equation.
 
Joined
12 August 2011
Messages
433
Location
Warwickshire
I think daffy's point is that the amateur she has described may well want to compete in an amateur section as it's within the rules, and they stand every chance of clearing up the prizes, given the enormous advantage they have over more "normal" amateur hobby riders. And the pro has very little in common with most of the pro riders that do well at the major shows, it's in no way an even slightly level playing field.

My background is also eventing, I remember the pride of finishing ahead of a pro on a nice horse but I really think in eventing there are more variables that take some of the pro-advantage out of the equation.

Thank you MP, thats exactly what I meant, you put it much better than I did.
 

Bernster

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 August 2011
Messages
4,442
Location
London
I get that. But as with any set of rules or restrictions, you’ll always get folks on the extreme end of the range. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have them, just that it’s tough to draw a line where everyone will agree. I still think it’s good to have a line drawn and seek to get the best balance you can within reason. I don’t envy those who attempt it though!
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,666
Location
Ireland
Neither of those people were me! I was just using them as example of the two extremes within amateur and professional.
No I knew you didn't mean you, I just meant that there may be amateur and normal classes but you (as in anyone) can enter either if not a pro!

There are of course plenty of variables; it also can work in the professionals favour having amateur eventing classes, as they will have their babies out at the lower levels and stand a better chance of a high placing if the more established ones at that level ie. amateurs have their own class. Then if they have a few wins or places under the young horses belts they can add a few more zeros to the price!

Can't control what someone earns or has access to, but generally horses are quite good levellers in the scheme of things lol. They are still amateurs.
 
Joined
17 January 2010
Messages
94
It’s funny but (and not so funny) that the example described above of a wealthy amateur in dressage is not as extreme as you would imagine.

A friend of mine conducted a survey which was taken in confidence. She surveyed amateur competitors across Prelim and Novice only. She only questioned 1000 people and the large majority were not even working, supported by husbands or wives or parents. And the amount that they spent on their hobby was incredible. It really was.

Recently I saw a post on FB and it was asking how much people spent on various forms of therapy for themselves. I was astonished how many prelim and Novice amateur attended sport massage, reiki, Bowen’s, hot stone, aromatherapy etc more than once a week! It’s no wonder non horsy people see anyth8ng equestrian as elitist! For that reason, I would agree with Daffy that dividing amateurs and pros is much more difficult that you would think!

Anyway just off for my Indian head massage ............😂
 

milliepops

Probably skiving
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
11,258
Amazing, chuckieee. If you stop to think about it, that's also a little depressing! I'm super super lucky that my OH shoes and makes hay for my horses, saves me a big wedge every month and basically allows me to run 2. But OMG what I'd give to live that lifestyle instead of borrowing money to pay for my 25 year old horsebox and bedsit rent! Lol! If you don't laugh you cry 😂😂😂
Think I'll book in for some reiki, they won't mind if I pay with monopoly money, right? 😁
 

MagicMelon

Active Member
Joined
6 November 2004
Messages
14,561
Location
North East Scotland
I personally dont think of someone as being particularily benefited by riding a few horses a few times a week for some cash, I dont see why they should be deemed as better riders than those who only have their own horse to ride... It would be better if it were means tested! Obviously if you're rich, you have massive benefits - amazing horses (and as many of them as you like), great facilities, loads of training etc. They're going to have far more of an advantage over your usual mum or full time worker who can only afford one horse (and not an expensive one), who cant afford even a school to ride in, cant afford loads of training etc. I fall in the latter but to be honest at the end of the day, everyone messes up sometimes or every horse has a bad day so IMO it really doesnt matter.
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,666
Location
Ireland
See I think I am fine with riding a couple of other peoples horses during the week for money yet person to still be an amateur, as long as they have a main non-horsey job.
However I don't think someone should ride those horses that they are being paid to ride in an amateur competition.
Ride your own horse in the amateurs classes and compete the other horses (ie. Paid rides) in the normal classes. Seems fair enough to me and still lets the amateur ride their own horse.

Here we only really have amateur eventing (to novice) and amateur showjumping (incredibly competitive, go like a bat out of hell, 1m, 1.10m - the top amateur horses sell for a lot of ££££) but dressage and showing has no division!

the silver/bronze thing in BD sound like a good idea, are those just at champs or at local aff comps?
 

milliepops

Probably skiving
Joined
26 July 2008
Messages
11,258
Bronze/silver/gold applies at all the normal local aff shows as well as determining which champs you can aim for.
It's not perfect by any means. But imo the principle is right.
 
Joined
18 December 2010
Messages
4,679
Location
N/A
if you make income from horses on any level then you cannot be truly an amateur. if you are good enough to be paid, then you are in a different class to other amateurs.
There's a first for being in the same league as CDJ but I never thought it would be HHO deciding it!
 

BunnyDog

Active Member
Joined
20 November 2017
Messages
192
Location
USA
I know I'm in America, so please take what I have to say with a grain of salt, the taking money thing is very much the line in the sand here. I cannot be paid to lunge a horse for someone without it technically violating my amateur status here. I have no idea if it's the same there but I recognize the intents of the rules and since I very much WANT to participate in the Ammy classes, I am vigilant about not violating things.

Now the kicker is that to file a complaint with US Equestrian to let them know of a person violating the ammy rules, you, the notifier, must put up $200 to file the complaint. (Which will be refunded to you if found to be accurate, but will not if found to be unsubstantiated) and you have to be able to prove that they are in violation.

I am always surprised when I hear people say "Oh but I don't ride well enough to be considered a pro. I just needed to be paid for my time/petrol/etc" newsflash...that IS being a professional. In any career.

Em
 

only_me

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 June 2007
Messages
13,666
Location
Ireland
There's a first for being in the same league as CDJ but I never thought it would be HHO deciding it!
Lol don't get cross that someone doesn't agree that you should be being paid to ride someone else's horse in an amateur class. In fact paddy is one of those who help write the amateur rules for eventing.

No one said you were a professional but majority of people agreed the above. Someone being paid to ride a horse should not be in an amateur class. Ride your own in it, but not someone else's for money.
 

PaddyMonty

Active Member
Joined
11 October 2006
Messages
8,279
Location
Northampton
The problem with saying being paid to compete a horse makes you a pro is difficult to define. In the strictest sense I have never been paid to compete a horse but all the owners of the horses I competed paid ALL the expenses including hotels at stop over comps. So although I didn't receive payment to actually ride I did get to ride for nothing with all training paid for etc. Does that make me a pro?
Tricky isn't it.
ADVERTISEMENT​
https://assets.[scoota]/creative/assets/gsvudaf/1540393628225-foreground.pnghttps://assets.[scoota]/creative/assets/gsvudaf/1540393628225-foreground.png
https://assets.[scoota]/creative/assets/gsvudaf/1540393628225-static.pnghttps://assets.[scoota]/creative/assets/gsvudaf/1540393628225-static.png
https://assets.[scoota]/creative/assets/gsvudaf/1540393628225-background.pnghttps://assets.[scoota]/creative/assets/gsvudaf/1540393628225-background.png
 

paddi22

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 December 2010
Messages
4,007
The problem with saying being paid to compete a horse makes you a pro is difficult to define. In the strictest sense I have never been paid to compete a horse but all the owners of the horses I competed paid ALL the expenses including hotels at stop over comps. So although I didn't receive payment to actually ride I did get to ride for nothing with all training paid for etc. Does that make me a pro?
Tricky isn't it.
We discussed this as a grey area that comes up. The consensus was that if a business was benefiting from the horse being ridden in an amateur class then it was against the ethos of the amateur spirit. So the rider might be an amateur, but the rider/horse combination isn't I personally don't think its fair for businesses to use the amateur classes to add value to horses who will later be for sale. that's not a level playing field if you are competing against someone riding their own horse year after year.

With the very wealthy vs normal wage debate, there was no clear way to police this in reality even if you brought it in. You would have to get a copy of peoples wage slips or tax returns, it would be a nightmare!
 

paddi22

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 December 2010
Messages
4,007
What about someone who used to be paid, but now is not? How long do they have to ride as a hobby before no longer being a pro?
i think it would have to be on a case by case basis. A small pro giving up after an injury would be different than william fox pitt decided to go amateur after a year!
 

paddi22

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 December 2010
Messages
4,007
I personally dont think of someone as being particularily benefited by riding a few horses a few times a week for some cash, I dont see why they should be deemed as better riders than those who only have their own horse to ride... It would be better if it were means tested! Obviously if you're rich, you have massive benefits - amazing horses (and as many of them as you like), great facilities, loads of training etc. They're going to have far more of an advantage over your usual mum or full time worker who can only afford one horse (and not an expensive one), who cant afford even a school to ride in, cant afford loads of training etc. I fall in the latter but to be honest at the end of the day, everyone messes up sometimes or every horse has a bad day so IMO it really doesnt matter.
I think the reality of life is that some people will always have more resources/luck/facilities than others. And that occurs in the pro classes too, some have huge backers and some struggle on their own. But theres no fair way to police how wealthy a person is and eliminate them from a class because of that. What figure would you pick? How would you police it? Theres no way of doing it. All you can do is put in some kind of way to police it if people buy a super amazing horse and then go out and win every single week. And even that's a tough one to police, because there's a fine line between someone just being very good and having a great run and someone who is obviously too good for a class. It's a very grey area to pin down.
 
Joined
29 February 2012
Messages
112
I don't think an amateur rule would make that much difference in dressage, having worked as a groom on a dressage yard it's really opened my eyes on not only how wealthy some people are but also how many are. Income would be a better leveller but then a lot of the rich amateur women are housewives!
 

Bernster

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 August 2011
Messages
4,442
Location
London
I’m on a pretty smart yard but I don’t think I realised all these Uber wealthy horse folks were about! A system that grades by results would help though wouldn’t it, to try and even out the levels at which people are riding? Which is what most of them try to do I assume, in BD BE or whatever, just to varying degrees.

Not so sure about unaff as it’s run by more groups, but they do have certain criteria for moving up and out of a level. Not that that’s ever impacted me much, bobbling along at the lower levels !
 

DabDab

Well-Known Member
Joined
6 May 2013
Messages
5,222
I agree with above (tried to quote but stupid ad popped up), that dressage have the right idea in that they are trying to classify competitors based on competition experience in that discipline, rather and amateur and pro, which is very arbitrary.

Bronze/silver/gold applies at all the normal local aff shows as well as determining which champs you can aim for.
It's not perfect by any means. But imo the principle is right.
 
Joined
9 February 2009
Messages
377
I ride in amateur classes in EI and would consider myself to be a 'true' amateur- I work 50 hours a week in a non horsey job and have one horse. I do keep that horse at a pro yard - but that's partly because I work 50 hours a week and I need an indoor and a walker- no one else rides him for me (unless they get customers in who want to buy a just backed 4yo but look like idiots, in which case my horse is used as a tester in case they really can't ride so they don''t get ditched :)).
I would be genuinely devastated if I was told that I couldn't do amateurs because of where I keep him or because I am lucky enough to have good trainers.

I do find it hard to swallow the amateurs who don't actually have a job - having three or four horses to ride each day kinda is a job, even if they belong to you and you're just loaded - but I always told myself it was just jealousy! I don't know how we could word a rule to keep them out though, as they don't derive income from their horses but being able to ride several horses every day undoubtedly gives you an advantage over those of us who get an hour in the evening after 10 hours at work!

I very strongly feel that no one in an amateur class should make money from horses - whether that is through being paid for rides, owning a livery yard, teaching or whatever.
 

paddi22

Well-Known Member
Joined
5 December 2010
Messages
4,007
Yeah sportsmanB, thats the essence of it, you do want to protect people who sit at a desk or work at a stressful job and then rush off to ride their horse when they can and make it as level a playing field as you can.
 
Top