Discussion: Professional Goes Amateur
I just returned from Wellington Florida where among other things, I met with John McGinty, an Adult Amateur dressage rider and the person responsible for initiating the Amateur division at CDIs. There was quite a controversy this past weekend when professional rider Karen Pavacic, former Canadian international rider, now declared for Croatia, showed in the Amateur CDI small tour.
The FEI definition of an amateur is a rider who is not on the world ranking list. Karen was on the list as a Canadian but as a Croatian citizen came off the list. In order for her to acquire certain points for the Croatian equestrian federation to allow her to declare for the World Equestrian Games, she had to have some wins at a CDI. She did win and put real Amateurs out of the running. This is not the spirit in which this division was developed through hard work by John and other important people in the dressage world. Other professionals have also taken advantage of the loophole in the rules.
John is on a mission to eliminate this loophole so true amateurs can compete among each other on a level playing field. Here is John’s plea on his Facebook page Adult Amateur Dressage Action Committee.
“Hello all my Amateur friends, whether you be national or international riders. As you know, this week in Wellington there has been a very controversial professional ride in the CDI-AM division. However, under the current definition, the international rider was eligible to compete. We need to change the world wide definition of “Amateur ” so we can protect our little piece of the international world. We are in the process of crafting a proposal to clarify the definition of “Amateur ” with many international and national riders and FEI and national officials.
If you have any suggestions to help us, please send to my personal email Isop2k@gmail.com. I will keep everyone posted. Thank you for your support. We are AMATEUR STRONG!!“
If anyone wants to contact me also with thoughts, I can pass them along to John. Amateurs deserve to compete without the stress of riding against someone who makes a living riding many horses a day. I was an amateur and still remember how I felt not receiving recognition for my achievements when the pros I competed against got all the glory.
In the US we do have the National Finals for AAs but there needs to be international delineation also!
Looking forward to your feedback.
All the best