Judging Horse Events - Working Hunter

Horses January 13, 2015 Print Friendly and PDF

The working hunter horse:
  • is representative of the type of horse used in the hunt field
  • should possess manners, jumping ability, style, pace, and quality
  • must demonstrate ability to furnish the rider with a smooth, comfortable, and safe ride

Judging

Pace

  • The round has a beginning, middle, and an end.
  • The pace should remain consistent and even at the same speed throughout the course on a 12-foot stride.

Strides

  • Determined based off a 12-foot stride.
  • 6 feet for take-off and 6 feet for landing.
  • 60 feet = 4 stride line
    • 48 feet for strides + 6 feet for landing + 6 feet for take-off = 60 feet.
  • Eliminating strides and adding strides will be heavily penalized.

Change of Direction

  • The horse should land on the lead in the direction the course takes, or it changes a lead with a flying lead change without disruption
  • Faults: cross canter, counter canter, swapping leads before a jump

Quality of Jump

  • A horse should show an athletic ability by pushing itself into the air:
    • rounding its back
    • lowering its head and neck
    • raising its knees above horizontal in the air
    • hitting the perfect arch over the top of the jump
  • The horse's hind end and body should be straight and in the center of the jump.
  • The horse should land softly and effortlessly on the landing side of the jump, demonstrating a fluid movement.

Scoring

This event is scored on a basis of 0 to 100.

  • Poor mover = 10 point deduction
  • Fair mover = 5 point deduction
  • Good mover = 0 deduction
  • Excellent mover = 1 to 3 point addition
  • Exceptional overall look to round = 1 to 5 point addition
  • Inconsistent and erratic round = 1 to 3 point deduction

Disqualification

  • Total of three refusals
  • Off course
  • Bolting from the arena
  • Deliberately addressing an obstacle
  • Fall of horse or rider
  • Illegal tack (horse booted, polos, tail wrapped, running, martingale)

Watch the video below of an example of a working hunter course.

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USDA / NIFA

This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.