Here are some quick top tips to help maximise success throughout the three phases of a working hunter class:

  1. The three phases in a working hunter class are; jumping (50 points), flatwork (30 points) and conformation (20 points).
  1. A true working hunter type must display good manners at all times and is required to demonstrate good, bold jumping ability, while jumping smoothly and quietly. He should, appear to be a comfortable ride over long distances and, in addition, be a good looking, handsome horse. At the completion of the class, the total scores possess sound paces from all phases are added together to produce a mark out of 100.
  1. In phase one horse and rider jump a course of natural fences, which emulate those found on the hunting field, and are marked on their jumping style, accuracy and presence.
  1. Riders must first present themselves to the judge to accept their starting orders.
  1. It is common for courses to begin with a decent-sized oxer.
  1. Maintain an even rhythm throughout the course to help secure a clear round. If you find your rhythm does change, try and subtly get it back.
  1. It is quite rare to find a related distance on a working hunter course.
  1. Presentation to fences is paramount — you must jump each fence in the middle.
  1. Use your arena as much as you can.
  1. Riders must halt at the end of their round and acknowledge the judge.
  1. Depending on time, and the number of final placings, the judge may request that only those horses with clear rounds/or those horses with most points will go forward for the flatwork phase.
  1. Faults are deducted as follows:
  • First rail down or refusal: 10 points
  • Second rail down or refusal: 20 points
  • Third rail down: 20 points
  • Third refusal: Elimination
  1. A mark out of 30 will be given for the flatwork phase based on the judge’s assessment of the horse’s manners, movement and general impression after a short show.
  1. In the conformation phase, horses will need to be stripped of their saddle and will then be assessed stood up and when trotted up.
  1. Riders should wear traditional hunting dress. Boots and a correctly fitted martingale are allowed for the jumping phase.

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