The Amateur Rider Association of America (ARAA) is working on behalf of those who compete in the Amateur divisions at horse shows across the country, seeking USEF recognition and standardization of the three Amateur-Owner Jumper divisions.
ARAA founder and president, Ariane Stiegler, who competes in the Amateur-Owner division, hopes to increase safety and fairness for all riders and horses in the amateur division by setting standards for each of the three Amateur-Owner divisions.
Stiegler hopes to set low Amateur-Owner jumpers at 1.20m and low jumper Classics at 1.25m. Medium A/O jumpers will be set at 1.30m, medium jumper Classics set at 1.35m and high A/O jumpers set at 1.40m with high jumper Classics set at 1.45m.
Setting a division standard will help avoid confusion for riders and trainers as well as for course designers who find it difficult to ride, train and build courses with no set course height. This will also lead to reducing the number of scratches. With a set height, horses and riders will be better prepared for what to expect and will be more likely to enter appropriate classes.
Another topic of importance to ARAA is how divisions are split. “Since juniors end at age 18, the A/O division is for riders age 19 and above. We feel that the classes should be split into two divisions – For riders age 35 and under and riders age 36 and older,” Stiegler said. “We feel strongly that juniors should ride in their own division and that no combined junior/amateur classes should be offered.
“We urge all riders who agree that these simple steps will make competitions in the amateur division safer and more fair to speak with horse show managers and ask them to follow the parameters in scheduling their classes. Ultimately, we hope that this is how the USEF will officially structure this division.
“Once this is achieved, we hope to host end-of-year championships in each of these 3 divisions for the top riders in the U.S.A.”
For more information about the American Rider Association of America or to express your support, please contact Ariane Stiegler at [email protected] or visit www.amateur-rider-association-of-america.org.