Thursday, March 25, 2010

Amateur Status

Possessing an amateur card will allow you to compete in divisions that are restricted to amateur riders (those divisions usually have 'amateur' or 'adult' in the name). If you are an adult, not having your amateur status will force you to compete in the open divisions against the pros. EC will take your word for it that you are an amateur once you have signed the amateur declaration unless someone complains to an official and challenges you.

Juniors are simply juniors and are not classified as amateurs or professionals.

Judges, course designers, stewards, grooms, etc. can all qualify as amateurs provided they meet the criteria. It does not matter that you are getting paid to do something with horses; it matters what you are getting paid to do.

In Canada, you must pay an extra $10 when renewing your Equine Canada membership in order to receive an amateur card. The amateur card is not really a card itself, but a ticked box on your EC membership card.

Who qualifies as an amateur? Let's check the EC rules:

1. All seniors competing in amateur classes at EC-sanctioned competitions must possess a current EC amateur card, which is purchased annually at the price listed in the EC Schedule of Fees. Competitors in FEI-sanctioned competitions must comply with the FEI definition of amateur.
2. A person competing in EC amateur classes must hold a valid EC senior sport license, have a current amateur card and adhere to the following guidelines:
a) Pilot Project: An EC amateur may hold an EC Instructor Beginner Certificate and teach within the context of the Instructor Beginner Certificate.
b) An EC amateur may accept remuneration for instruction of or coaching of the disabled.
c) An EC amateur may not accept remuneration for training a horse or for showing a horse at any EC-sanctioned competition. See Glossary for definition of “Remuneration”.
d) An EC amateur may not accept remuneration for coaching any person to ride or drive a horse, including riding or driving clinics and seminars.
e) An EC amateur may not train or show a horse, or instruct a rider or driver, when remuneration for this activity will be given to a corporation or farm which he or she, or his or her family, owns or controls.
f) An EC amateur may not act as an agent nor accept commissions for the sale, purchase and/or lease of a horse.
g) EC Amateurs may not use their name, photograph or any form of a personal association as a horse person in connection with any advertisement or article sold without the approval and signature of EC (e.g. product endorsement or advertisement of their activity as a coach).
h) An EC amateur may not enter into any form of sponsorship agreement that is in conflict with the provisions of this article.
See division rules for further information governing amateur status within divisions.
3. Persons who have not engaged in any of the activities in Article G108.2 (ag) during the preceding two (2) calendar years may request reinstatement as amateur competitors. Such requests must be sent in writing to EC.
4. Application for Equine Canada Amateur Status: 
a) Amateur status is issued by EC.
b) For EC members, certification of amateur status is issued annually on EC sport license cards.
c) All persons wishing EC amateur status must complete and sign the amateur declaration, which is on the sport license application/renewal form, affirming their eligibility.
d) Eligible amateurs who are not members of EC may receive amateur status issued by EC upon payment of the fee as listed in the current EC fee schedule.

In order to teach lessons or coach in exchange for remuneration and still compete as an amateur, you must possess an EC Instructor of Beginners Certificate (teaching beginners for pay without the certificate negates your amateur status) or teach only the disabled. Note that remuneration is not limited to money.

You may never train or compete on a horse and receive remuneration for it. 

If someone else gets paid when you coach, train or show, you are not an amateur.

You may profit from buying and selling your own horses, but you may not profit from finding or selling anyone else's horses.

You may not endorse any products unless you are given permission by EC. Sponsorship of the rider is prohibited..

In order to regain your amateur status after you have given it up for any of the above reasons, you must not have participated in any of those activities for a full two calendar years.

For clarity, here is the definition of remuneration from the EC rules:

1. For the purposes of these rules, remuneration is defined as any payment, either in cash or in kind, with the exception of gifts of token value.
2. Remuneration does NOT include:
a) payment made to any competition official
b) reimbursement for expenses without profit
c) winnings paid to a horse’s owner

If you do not believe that one of your fellow competitors is really an amateur and you wish to do something about it, you must follow the EC rules. Check out chapter 12 for the (lengthy) Dispute Resolution Policy.

7. If the status of an EC certified amateur is challenged, such challenge is subject to EC rules regarding official complaints. See Chapter A12, Dispute Resolution Policy for EC-sanctioned Competitions.

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