Debuting in the 2017 competition year, the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby offers Juniors the opportunity to compete ponies in a series modeled after the International and National Hunter Derby programs. Competitors can earn National and Zone Horse of The Year bonus points, as well as year-end series awards.
Each USHJA Pony Hunter Derby will feature two rounds—a Classic Hunter style course (first round) and a Handy Hunter course (second round). Fence heights will be adjusted by size (small - 2'3", medium - 2’6", and large 2’9"-3’0"), but the class will not be split by size. Each derby is pinned through 12th place.
The class is judged by a minimum of two judges who provide a single score for each round. No high option fences are included in either round, and handiness is taken into account in the base score of the Handy Hunter round. The score from each round will be added together for an overall score. In the event of a tie for first place, riders will participate in a third round to break the tie.
The USHJA Pony Hunter Derby may be offered at any USEF-licensed Premier, National, Regional I or Regional II competitions, as well as competitions approved for Special Competition classification. A USHJA Pony Hunter Derby offered at a Premier or National competition or those approved as Special Competitions will offer a minimum of $1,500 in prize money. Regional I competitions will offer a minimum of $1,000 in prize money, and Regional II competitions will offer a minimum of $500 in prize money.