Two rule changes were submitted to the NAPHA, both involving current amateur/professional definitions. The changes classify Judges as professionals and removes the allowed reimbursement to amateurs for expenses.
With the loss of amateur competitors these rule changes are an effort to assure amateurs the expectation of a level playing field. The judges still have the opportunity of showing in any and all classes open to professional exhibitors. The NAPHA has fought hard against this change in the past. The amateur numbers now makes such a change in the rules necessary to regain former levels of attendance. Do not hesitate to express your thoughts on this issue. Proposed changes are attached:
Choices are made by all of us. The choice was made to accept money and to not be an amateur. Accept the choices made. I believe it is the same for judging, choose to be a judge or an amateur. The unfairness is wishing to have it both ways.
The recent BOD minutes stated the following: "Amateur judges: We had a request (again) for judges not being allowed to show as amateurs. Just because someone is a judge, it doesn't mean they are the best rider. We are following typical rules, consistent with USEF, regarding who gets compensated as a professional. We had a thorough discussion and unanimously agreed that the rules remain the same."
The opening two words "Amateur judges" reveals some of the problem. Professional judges would be preferred. If it is claimed the judges showing as amateurs are professional when doing their judging duties would they not then be classified as professionals. The part about "Just because someone is a judge, it doesn't mean they are the best rider" is irrelevant.
It is not right for judges to compete against amateurs who have to compete under them as judges of the shows.
The inclusion of the word "(again)in the BOD minutes concerning this would make it appear these rule changes proposed will not be approved unless the NAPHA membership calls for these changes to be made. Please if you agree with the changes express that to the NAPHA.