The modern show ring hunter’s roots were established in Europe when gentry rode across the countryside hunting for game, often aided by dogs used to track the prey. The horses were necessary to carry their riders many miles over the varied terrain of the countryside in pursuit of their game, often negotiating the creeks, ditches, walls, and fences they encountered along the way. Although somewhat recreational from its beginning, the task of the working hunter became less rugged and more refined and competitive, thus the show ring hunter was born.
Subjectively judged, the modern show ring hunter must still exhibit the traits desired of a good field hunter— calm disposition, good manners, smooth gaits, steady way of going, and pleasant and efficient jumping ability— but must do so with style, presence and superior technique. Conformation, athleticism, disposition, and jumping form all combine to define a winning show ring hunter. A wide range of sections and classes is offered for hunter riders in today’s show ring, both over fences and on the flat.
Additionally, hunter classes exist for virtually every breed of horse or pony and for any level of rider. More recently, a new international-level class was created with the goal of bringing tradition and basic riding principles back to the sport of showing hunters. The International Hunter Derby tests a horse’s keenness, athleticism, and handiness as it negotiates obstacles typically encountered while galloping in the open field.
Green Hunter Eligibility
- How do I submit a Green Reinstatement request?
- Green reinstatements must be submitted online through the pony owner's US Equestrian account. Only the owner of a pony can request a green reinstatement, and the green reinstatement fee is $100-nonrefundable. If your pony has a farm listed as the primary owner, you will need to log in under the farm account to complete a reinstatement request. Click the link below or log on to your usef.org account; scroll down to “Horse Options” and select “Green Status” then “Green Reinstatement” to submit a reinstatement request. https://members.usef.org/green-status
- Which Hunter sections is my horse and/or pony eligible for?
- For verification of what your horse or pony is eligible for please submit a Green Inquiry request. If you are unsure of the current green eligibility of your horse or pony and would like for USEF staff to further investigate the horse’s show record, please submit a green status inquiry. A green status inquiry can be submitted by anyone concerning any horse or pony with a recording number. There is a $25 fee for each inquiry, and the form must be filled out online through a member’s USEF online account. Once on your USEF account home page, this link can be found under the heading titled “Other”, from there select the “Green Status Inquiry” link. Upon selecting the link, you will be instructed to submit the horse’s information, your question, and a payment.
- Can I reinstate my horse's Green Hunter eligibility?
- No. There is no reinstatement process for horses. Please see HU131 for rules regarding Hunter Eligibiltiy and Green Eligibility Status for Horses.
- When does the window of Green Hunter eligibility begin?
- As per HU131.2, Hunter eligibility for a horse begins when a horse of any age, competes for the first time in any over fences class with jumps at three feet (3’0”) in height or higher in any Hunter or Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation classes or sections held at a Federation or Equine Canada licensed competition.
- How will jumper experience impact my horse's Green Hunter eligibility?
- Any previous jumper experience attained prior to the horse competing in its first Hunter or Hunter/Jumper Seat Equitation class at 3’0” or above shall not impact the horse’s green status. Once a horse begins competing in Hunter or Hunter/Jumper Seat Equitation classes with fence heights at or above 3'0", competing in comparable jumper classes will impact a horse's green eligibilty in the same manner as Hunter or Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation classes.
- How many years can my horse compete in Green Hunter sections at 3'0" or 3'3"?
- HU131.3 explains that horses receive two years of eligibility to compete in Green Hunter sections at 3'0" and/or 3'3" fence heights. These two years do not have to be consecutive. Horses may compete interchangably between the 3'0" and 3'3" fence heights during this window of eligibility. Note: Once a horse competes in any Hunter, Hunter/Jumping Seat Equitation, or Jumper class at a Federation or Equine Canada licensed recognized competition with fence heights of 3’6” or 1.10m, it will be deemed is no longer eligible to compete in the Green Hunter 3’0”section but remains eligible to compete in the Green Hunter 3’3” section.
- Can my horse compete in Green Hunter 3'6" sections for more than one year?
- Maybe. A horse may be eligible for an additional year of competing in Green Hunter sections with 3'6" fence heights if it meets the criteria spelled out in HU131.3.b. Please see the rulebook for more detail or submit a Green Inquiry request.