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Amateur Rules

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1. The Association has a category of membership for athletes, classified as ‘Amateurs’. To be eligible to compete in these classes the athlete must hold current ‘Amateur’ status and conform to the regulations printed below.


  1. An athlete may compete in an Amateur competition from the 1st of January in the year in which he/she reaches the age of 17.

1.1.1  An athlete cannot jump in both Young Rider and Amateur qualifiers in the same season


1.2 An amateur athlete must not have competed in eventing or Show Jumping at any level abroad during the last five years, except in Amateur competitions or within the relevant height bands.


1.3. An Amateur athlete must not have ridden a horse or pony in National or International Show Jumping Classes over 1.20m at the RDS during the last five years. Amateur classes excluded. If an Amateur athlete jumped in the RDS in a 1.10m or 1.20m class (e.g.: Young Riders 1.10m-1.20m, Children On Horses 1.15m, 4 year old class 1.10m or 5 year old class 1.20m) he/she will not be allowed to jump in Amateur classes for 3 years instead of 5 years. An Amateur athlete must not have ridden a horse in any National Grand Prix Leagues during the last five years. This commences from the 1st January of the following year.


1.3.1- An amateur athlete is permitted to jump internationally in designated CSI and CSI Amateur classes provided the athlete does not exceed the relevant height range of their category.


1.4. An “AA” Amateur athlete may jump in SJAI Registered classes up to, and including 1.20m in height. If any Amateur athlete competes in a 1.30m SJAI class, that athlete will not be eligible to compete in Amateur classes for a period of one season, commencing the following January. If any Amateur athlete competes in a 1.40m, SJAI class, that athlete will not be allowed to jump in Amateur classes for 5 years. An “A” Amateur athlete may jump up to and including 1.10m. in height. If an “A” athlete competes in a 1.20m SJAI class or an “AA” Amateur class, he/she must automatically upgrade to “AA” status.


1.4.1 Amateurs competing above 1.20m Hors Concours are in breach of Amateur rule 1.4.


1.5. Rosettes may be awarded for all ‘double clear’ rounds.


1.6.1. In the interest of safety, no animal 148cm or lower will be eligible for participation in Amateur classes.

1.6.2. Any animal which has competed in pony classes must be measured out at an official SJAI Measuring in order to be able to compete in Amateur classes.

1.7. An Amateur athlete may ride a maximum of 2 horses in any Amateur competition.


1.7.1. A horse cannot be ridden by 2 athletes in the same class.


1.8. Amateur athletes must warm up their own horses for Amateur classes.


1.9. New applications for Amateur status will automatically be categorized as “AA” if they have ever ridden SJAI 1.20m or above in horse or pony classes or at Eventing Ireland events higher that EI 100 (including Juniors and Ponies) in the last 5 years. – An “A” Athlete who wishes to upgrade to AA status may do so.  Amateurs wishing to downgrade from AA to A status must apply in writing to the National Amateur Committee for a decision, should they meet the criteria (see below)


Criteria for Downgrade:

  • Accumulation of points in 1m or above
  • Types of classes competed in and results thereof
  • Absence from competition for a minimum of 12 months

A record of their competition results for the previous 12 months should also be submitted.  An AA athlete who has been downgraded returns to 20 points.


1.9.2. Those athletes approved for downgrading by the Committee are not eligible to jump in the RDS qualifiers or compete in any national league finals or championships. This restriction will be effective for a period of twelve months from date of receipt of application.


1.10 Award of Points for Amateur Athletes


1.10.1. Athletes competing in the ‘A’ category will be awarded points for placings in Amateur classes as follows:

12 or fewer starters per class: 1st 3 pts; 2nd 2 pts; 3rd 1 pt

13 or over starters per class:  1st 6 pts; 2nd 5 pts; 3rd 4 pts; 4th 3pts; 5th 2 pts; 6th 1 pt

(Point are allocated to Athletes – not combination of horse/athlete) Grading points will be awarded to animals competing in Amateur classes (maximum 3 points)

1.10.2. The athlete will move to “AA” status on accumulation of 30 amateur points

If an athlete is Category “A” at the start of a show where more than one amateur class is being held, “A” status will remain for the duration of the Show. In the case of selection for Inter-Provincial Teams etc. the athlete must still be eligible to compete as an “A” Category at the date of the team’s competitions. Selection as an “A” athlete cannot be carried into the “AA” Category.


1.10.3. At the end of the season, 25% of amateur points gained will be carried forward to the next season. – An amateur athlete who is upgraded to “AA” status must remain in this category for minimum of 4 months.


1.10.4. No Grading Points will be awarded to Amateur athletes in the following Amateur classes: Teams, Six Bar, Puissance, Pairs, Relay or Novelty Classes.


1.10.5. An Amateur athlete must monitor his or her own points and any athlete competing in “A” Category, when no longer eligible to do so, will be subject to a warning, and/or fine, which may be published in the Bulletin. An amateur athlete must monitor his or her own points and any athlete competing in "A" Category, when no longer eligible to do so, will be subject to a warning, and/or fine, which may be published in the Bulletin. When athletes upgrade from A to AA they must inform the SJI Office


1.10.6. Any athlete who jumps out of grade, i.e. an A athlete who moved up to an AA and continues to compete as an A athlete must return all prizes, trophies and rugs to the relevant show secretary. This will be monitored by the SJAI Office.


1.11. In one round classes (including speed, top-score, Table C, Two Phase competitions etc.,) “AA” Categories must jump first.


1.12. An athlete previously registered with the SJAI as an Amateur must indicate their status on their membership application form. An athlete not previously registered as an Amateur with the SJAI must apply for Amateur Status on the appropriate application form, stating their grade in any other equestrian sport, i.e. Eventing Ireland/AIRC Category etc.


1.13. The athlete’s Amateur Status “A” or “AA” must be indicated on registration tickets prior to competition. If no category is stated, “AA” will be assumed by the judges.


1.14. Maximum Fence Heights:

First Round       Second Round

“A”                    1.05m               1.10m

“AA”                  1.10m               1.15m

The spread in all cases will be + 10cms on the quoted height. The Course Designer, in the interests of safety, may use a leeway of 5 cms, downwards from maximum heights. The maximum height does not apply to the first fence.

For International Trials and International Competitions, which have been sanctioned by the National Amateur Committee, courses may be built to a maximum of 1.20m.


1.15. Dress as per Article 256N.


1.16. Amateur Athletes must not accept cash prizes for amateur classes. In Handicapped classes the first six prizes must be awarded to the six highest placed athletes, regardless of status, except where a minimum of 6 prizes is provided for each category.


1.17. Horses cannot compete in both amateur classes and classes above 1.20m in the same season unless proof of bonafide sale.


1.18. If an Amateur rides a Stallion he/she must jump first or last in the first round. Stallion identification tags must be worn at all times, these are available from the SJAI office.

1.19. “A” athletes are not allowed to jump Hors Concours in any amateur classes.

1.20. Only the qualified combinations (horse/ athlete) will be allowed to compete in the Amateur classes at the RDS. Substitutions of athletes will not be permitted under any circumstance.

1.20.1 Amateur Athletes are not eligible to qualify more than one animal for the RDS, Dingos Championship, The Amateur Autumn Series and The Amateur "A" Championship Final.

1.21.   AA athletes will be allowed to course walk at all RDS qualifiers before the AA part of the qualifiers.

1.22.   The National Amateur Committee’s decisions are final subject to an athlete’s right of appeal under Article 259.4.