The In Hand and Ridden Equine classes are returning to the Festival of Hunting in 2020 with qualifiers for the Horse of the Year Show in many categories – including Show Hunters, Working Hunters, Working Hunter Ponies and Coloured Horses and Ponies. These qualifiers are very fiercely competed for and attract the best horses and competitors from all over the country.
The Hunter is a type of show horse that is commonly seen at equestrian events across the UK. The “Show Hunter” is primarily shown on the flat while the “Working Hunter” must also jump a series of Rustic Fences.
A “Show Hunter” class is categorised into different weight sections: Lightweight, Middleweight, Heavyweight and Small Hunter. The Lightweight Hunter should have plenty of presence and be a good mover, possess an elegant yet workman like quality. The judge will be looking for a Lightweight hunter to be very mannerly with a good comfortable stride. The Lightweight Hunter can also compete in Ladies Hunter Classes ridden side-saddle. Horses over 16.2hh (168cms) with around nine inches of bone, may be more suited to the Middleweight section of the hunter classes, and should be capable of carrying up to 14 stone. The Middleweight should still be elegant, mannerly and give a very good ride. A good Heavyweight should be over 17hh (173cms), with more than nine-and-a-half inches of bone. Although heavier than its counterparts, the heavyweight should have handsome looks and good paces. This type of a horse is still required to move well, be light on its feet and cover the ground well. A Small Hunter should resemble a miniature Middleweight, and have the same quality and good manners. They measure between 14.2hh (148cms) – 15.2hh (158cms).
A “Working Hunter” class is a great opportunity for competitors to demonstrate that they have the versatility required of both horse and rider on the hunting field. As such, a working hunter should be a strong type of horse, with true hunter conformation. He must display good manners at all times and is required to demonstrate bold jumping ability. He should possess sound paces, appear to be a comfortable ride over long distances and, in addition, be a good looking, handsome horse.
There are three phases contained within the Working Hunter class.
1) Jumping Phase
2) Flatwork Phase
3) Conformation Phase
For more information on how to enter and for schedules, please go to our Equine Schedules Page