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The modern hunter has European roots, where 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 since its beginning, 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 horse 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, with added style, presence, and superior technique. A wide range of sections and classes is offered for hunter riders at all levela in today’s show ring, both over fences and on the flat, and for virtually every breed of horse and pony.

Learn more about competing in the hunter discipline with US Equestrian!

Recognized National Affiliate Association

The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) promotes the hunter and jumping sports and the well-being of its participants, offers broad based education for its members, and provides the framework for the conduct of the sport. Learn more about the USHJA at

In The News

Amendment to 2023 Dover Saddlery/USEF Hunter Seat Medal Final Qualification

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Jan 10, 2023, 12:20 PM EST

Individual Attention and Trust Create a Champion Partnership

by Devyn Trethewey | Dec 20, 2022, 4:00 PM EST

Vote Now for 2022 USEF Horse of the Year and Equestrian of the Year Awards

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Dec 20, 2022, 2:00 PM EST

US Equestrian Answers Member Questions about Hunter/Jumper Competition Qualification Process

by US Equestrian Communications Department | Nov 18, 2022, 6:25 PM EST