☛ An Amateur’s wish list 10-2-15
September 29, 2015
Gentlemen and Ladies
I am an amateur rider holding an Amateur/Non-pro card. There is an issue of real importance to me and other amateurs that I would like my NCHA to address. My total lifetime earnings are a bit in excess of $22,000. Consequently the classes open to me to ride in are of course the $50,000 Am and the Non-pro classes. Currently I own 2 horses eligible for weekend classes and 1 three year old now being shown in the futurity class by my trainer.
The NCHA is the governing body determining divisions and class structure. If I want to show both my weekend horses at any given show then all that is available to me is the 50 Am and a Non-pro class either the 35NP or 15 Novice NP or the Non-pro class itself. If I want to show both horses on fresh cattle that eliminates the 35NP most of the time. The primary problem is being able to show in a class of only Amateur riders and a relatively level playing field. We all are aware that the Non-pro class, 35NP or Non-pro itself is also composed of trainer’s wives and family. This in itself makes the playing field extremely difficult especially to an Amateur rider relatively fresh out of the 15Am class and wanting to show more than once at an event. Furthermore, having to show in the Non-pro class itself is not reasonable as in the division and classes there are riders with earnings in excess of 100’s of thousands of dollars. Again, the playing field is unfairly skewed. I am aware that on any given day it is possible to do better than the more seasoned rider and it is possible for this seasoned rider to do poorly. However, to continue to “donate” to these “professional” Non-pros or compete against trainers family members that have unlimited access to professional training and open level horses is not what the sport is about. Furthermore, the group that has become known as the “professional Non-pros” need to compete against each other. If these riders are in the sport to make money, not just for the love of the sport and the horse, they need become open riders.
The solutions to the problems are rather simple. Add another Amateur class with all the parameters and rules related to the designation of Amateur. As an example of what many of we amateurs would like is the following: 15 Am with re-run cattle, a 30 or 35 Am with fresh cattle and a 70 or 75 Am class with fresh cattle. I do not pretend to know exactly what the earning denominations should be, only that we Amateurs need another class to ride with fresh cattle that keeps us from having to ride in the Non-pro classes until we are really ready and competent enough to compete with Non-pros irrespective of earnings or trainer’s family members. It is the level playing field we are seeking, nothing more.