What are hunter trials?

Hunter trials are a cross-country only event. These competitions are usually held between the months of March and October.

Competition is usually open to everyone and horses and ponies. Some age and height restrictions will apply to the larger, more technical courses.

Most events include classes for individual riders and pairs too, where two horse and rider combinations compete around the course at the same time, following eachother over the fences.

Obstacles you should expect to find at a hunter trial are those that you would usually find on a cross-country course. For example there is likely to be water, timber, ditches and steps combinations. Some hunter trial courses also have a hand gate that riders must open ad close while mounted. The height of fences varies from course to course and class to class and usually can be anything from 1’6” to 3’9”.

Most courses are the same length as a standard cross-country course, but the whole course isn’t usually timed. Instead there is often a timed section somewhere within the course as a whole. These can be either judged on the fastest time or on an optimum time.

You are normally requested to wear either cross-country clothing or the attire you would wear to go hunting in, such as a hacking jacket.