From Endurance to Dressage
We all know I am an amateur. In the horse world, being an amateur isn't about your ability or talent or what you have accomplished. Instead, amateur status is determined by US Equestrian. According to the USEF rule book, riders who accept no remuneration (compensation) can apply for amateur status. That's why I am an amateur; I have paid the fee and declared that I don't receive any money, gifts, or quid pro quo as I ride and show.
Overall, I support the amateur rule. I want to compete against other amateurs, not professionals who ride and train for a living. Of course that doesn't mean that there aren't amateurs who ride as well or better than professional riders. There are, and I have competed against them. In general. amateurs are less proficient than professionals which is why we have three divisions: Open, Adult Amateur, and Junior/Young Rider.
The thing is, the rule about money is pretty outdated, and in some respects, unfair to the typical scraping-by, yet resourceful adult ammie. Many of us aren't good enough to hang out a shingle, but we are good enough to lunge horses, give beginner lessons, groom, clip, etc. If we could get paid for these low level tasks, it would make our experiences a little less stressful.
The rules for differentiating professionals from amateurs were created at a time when the wealthy competed for "fun." There were no professionals until someone saw that paying someone else to compete full time might make that competitor "better" than rest thereby setting that person up for a greater likelihood of a win. That's a super simplified explanation of course, but that's generally how it happened.
US Equestrian knows that the Amateur rules needs to be updated. For the past year or so, USEF has sent out surveys and conducted meetings asking for member input. I have completed every survey on this topic. A new, very specific survey came around yesterday. I completed it and thought it important enough to share. In my opinion, I think adult amateurs should be permitted to teach beginners and receive "benefits" from promoting products related to the sport. This sport is expensive, and most of today's amateurs are not wealthy. Any little extra helps.
Here's a link to the survey. Take the two minutes and share what you think. You don't need to be a USEF member, but it does help if you have experience with the topic. I'd love to hear your thoughts on making changes to the adult amateur rules. If you're reading on Facebook, leave a comment as I think we'd all like to hear some different viewpoints. If you're not on Facebook, you can always email me your thoughts. I'd really like to hear what other riders think.
I voted yes!
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
(Q) Must Qualify
2022 Shows Schedule
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
2022 Completed …
2022 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2 Scores/1 Judges/60%: