Small Hunter Section
February 15, 2012
At the 2010 USEF Annual Convention, what started as a casual conversation between a handful of pony hunter breeders became an approved USEF rule change, breathing life back into the Small Hunter Section. The USHJA’s Pony Hunter Breeding Task Force, whose members are primarily pony hunter breeders, had been searching for a vehicle to promote horses that measure over 14.2 hands but do not exceed 15.2 hands ½ inch.
The Small Hunter Section is truly nothing new. The section has been in the USEF Rule Book for many years and has enjoyed a fair amount of participation in years past. However, over the last decade a decrease in participation resulted in the reluctance of show managers to include the classes in their schedules.
With the Small Hunter Section rarely being offered, it became commonplace for the smaller horses to be relegated to “catch-all” sections such as modified hunter, short stirrup or pre-children’s hunter. All of these jobs are laudable; however, the pony hunter breeders sought to showcase these often fancy and talented animals and give them national recognition. The “new” Small Hunter Section became available with the start of the 2012 competition year, and Horse of the Year awards will be presented by USHJA at the zone level and USEF at the national level.
Professional, junior and amateur riders are eligible to compete over 3’ fences on horses that meet the height requirements and hold a current measurement card. Section champions are awarded and Small Hunter Classics may be offered.
Contact: USHJA Pony Hunter Breeding Task Force
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