Ever wondered if the little people can make a big change? Of course, we have examples of this all the time. Now 14 years later, here is how a few of us little people got Amateur Status in Dressage in Canada.
At the end of 1997, a few of us got together and worked towards getting amateur status in dressage in Canada. Bobbie and Ian Hope, Jacqui Oldham and myself worked towards changing up the old system of Open or Jr divisions. In 1998, we put together our first show with Amateur Classes – at all levels, more similar to that exists in the US. We noticed the number of amateur riders competing was increasing and the group of us, along with Janice Blackney at Cornerstone in Ontario, pushed CEF (now EC) towards having Amateur Status in Dressage (because at the time it was only available in Hunters).
What we discovered was that there were no rules against this idea, and no rules supporting it either. So without approval from CEF, we went ahead with amateur classes, knowing that these would “be NON-CEF classes and not eligible for awards or any other national awards programs.” We said no problem, no one in BC really cares about that anyway. So off we went with the idea and it was an immediate hit! Here is a little article I put in the Horse Sport Magazine in 1998 (thank you Bobbie Hope for finding this!) about how successful it was. Over 120 entries and our old 2 days shows gave way to 3 day shows with 3 rings running all 3 days.
So is there anything you think you can change? Little ideas can make big changes. Maybe this is something we can remember and get up and take action.