USHJA Young Pony Hunter Championship

BY INTERN EMILY LUCIBELLO

The fresh show season brings new classes like the USHJA Young Pony Hunter Championship, a new championship tailored for young Pony Hunter prospects.

A green pony hunter competing at the Kentucky Horse Park. Photo by Emily Lucibello

The YPHC is designed for young Pony Hunters ages seven and under. Similar to the format of Pony Finals, there are undersaddles, models, and over fences phases. Classes include Hunter Pony 4 & 5 Year Olds 2′, Hunter Pony 4 & 5 Year Olds 2’3″, Hunter Pony 6 & 7 Year Olds 2′, Hunter Pony 6 & 7 Year Olds 2’3″ and Hunter Pony 6 & 7 Year Olds 2’6″ (exhibitor’s choice). They include one model, one under saddle class and two over fences classes. An under saddle class is also available for 5 Year Olds & under for ponies not competing in the 4 & 5 Year Olds over fences.

A green pony hunter at the World Equestrian Center, the chosen place to host the YPHC. Photo by Ashley Shaw

The Young Pony Hunter Championship came about to support breeders, owners, and handlers of young ponies by showcasing their pony hunter prospects without having to wait until their green year to go to Pony Finals. Oliver Brown, chair of the USHJA Young Hunter Pony Ad Hoc Committee, states, “We are excited that these Championships will celebrate the many exceptional young hunter ponies in our sport… Our pony breeders are dedicated and committed to producing the very best hunter ponies, and we look forward to these championships providing them with a wonderful avenue for showcasing and developing that talent.” The new event hopes to develop the Hunter Breeding sport as well as create new opportunities.

A pony waiting to compete at WEC. Photo by Ashley Shaw

Unlike many championships, there is no qualification needed and the exhibitor may choose the best fitting class for their pony. Furthermore, any junior rider can ride a pony in competition, regardless of age. Some additional requirements the YPHC for 2018 are as followed: riders, owners, and trainers must be current active members of the USEF and USHJA on or before the first day of the competition. Ponies must also be recorded with the USEF and registered with USHJA on or before the first day of the competition. Furthermore, owners must possess a current measurement card or valid measurement form issued by USEF and ponies must be handled by junior exhibitors in all phases of a class except in breeding classes in-hand. To view the full Specification List for the 2018 YPHC, click here.

A pony hunter competing at WEC. Photo by Ashley Shaw

Finally, the one-day competition will be held at the beautiful World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio on September 30th, 2018 during the World Equestrian Fall Series I. $18,500 in prize money will be offered throughout the competition and awards will be given 1st-8th, with prize money being awarded from 1st through 6th. Additionally, sponsorship openings are available. We hope to see you there!