Equine Canada Amateur Status

Recently a woman, who’s been involved in horses for over three decades, claimed on a forum – quite proudly – that she had EC Amateur Status.   This didn’t make any sense to me.  She’s trained TB racehorses, later trained those that didn’t make the races or retired from the races for hunter/jumper, has had boarders on her farm, has purchased PMU foals on behalf of others and for herself to raise, train and sell, has sold horses to others for personal mounts, organized clinics, currently stands a TB stallion for stud service, and otherwise would be classified as a professional having received monetary compensation for services rendered…and yet…claims Equine Canada recognizes her as an Amateur.

Upon discussion with some acquaintances, that have far more knowledge about Amateur Status rules than I, it appears as if EC Amateur Status is wholly a joke.  That one merely ticks the ‘amateur’ box on the application and it is given.  That one can *reclaim* amateur status after a two year hiatus from being *paid*.   What?  This last is ridiculous.  If you’re good enough to be hired for a job and accept remuneration for those services, making you a professional, then simply not having received monies for a two year period doesn’t suddenly make you less knowledgeable or less skilled, does it?  And let’s face it, the point of separating amateurs from professionals in classes is for fairness of competition, otherwise why do it?

Here’s the Amateur Status requirements:


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 (a-g) 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

I’m interested in hearing about amateur status in other countries and if it works the same as it does in Canada.  Do people regularly run across those like this woman I mention, who’ve clearly been professionals for many, many years (decades in this case) able to compete against true amateurs AND doing it proudly?  As someone who is a stickler for what’s fair, I find the whole situation and that someone would exploit an exploitable system to be on par with cheating.  Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.  And what’s happened that a professional would even want to compete against anyone other than their direct peers?  It’s a hollow win, otherwise.