The National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) recently addressed the issue of crowdfunding – the practice of raising money for a project or venture using a widespread internet appeal – and whether this is an acceptable method for a non-pro competitor to pay show fees.
While an undeniably creative approach, crowdfunding is in violation of the NRCHA’s non-pro definition, rule 2.1.1. This rule prohibits a non-pro from accepting remuneration – monetary payment or other compensation – for training, showing, lessons or other related activities.
The rule states: “2.1.1 A Non Pro is anyone who has not won more than $100,000 in Open competition, in any event that pertains to reined cow horse (cutting, reining, cow horse, or any fence work events), with the exception of Open NRCHA earnings won by a rider while having Non Pro status in the NRCHA prior to November 16, 2009. A Non Pro shall also be defined as any person, regardless of age, who is not currently receiving remuneration directly or indirectly for showing, training, giving lessons, clinics, or assisting in the training of a horse for remuneration. This does not include prize money. Payment of entry fees and/or expenses by anyone other than the Non Pro, his/her immediate family or his/her corporation is considered remuneration.”
If a non-pro uses crowdfunding or other outside revenue to pay entry fees and/or expenses, NRCHA rules dictate that he/she would lose non-pro status for the remainder of the current show season, and would also have to sit out the following season before being able to re-apply for non-pro status, assuming all other eligibility conditions were met.
As long as they do not compete as non-pros, youth riders are permitted to use crowdfunding or other outside revenue for show expenses. Using this type of revenue, however, would render them ineligible for non-pro status for the current show year and the following show year.
Questions about non-pro eligibility, entry fees and related issues may be directed to the NRCHA office at 940-488-1500.