With the 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships underway at the Kentucky Horse Park, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association has announced that 2018 will bring the Green Hunter Incentive Program to even more competitors as it expands to include horses competing in green hunter 3’6″ and 3’9″.
“We’re excited to bring this program to the 3’6″ and 3’9″ green hunters,” said Ron Danta, chair of the International Hunter Derby and Incentive Task Force. “We’ve seen a drop in 3’6″ and 3’9″ green hunters recently, and we’re hoping that the addition of the incentive program for these fence heights will encourage green development at this level to feed into the performance hunters.”
Colleen McQuay, vice chair of the task force, added, “When you have a good program to start your hunters and take them all the way to the 3’6″- 3’9″, you can schedule your horses’ progression to develop them further before they move into another career.”
Horses competing in green hunter sections at USEF-rated competitions may enroll in the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Program in order to participate in USHJA green hunter incentive stake classes offered around the country. These classes offer a minimum of $1,000 in prize money when held at a Premier, National or Special competition, and offer a minimum of $500 in prize money when held at a Regional I or Regional II competition. In 2018, the incentive stake classes will be offered at all four fence heights: 3’0″, 3’3″, 3’6″ and 3’9″.
Each year in August, the USHJA holds the annual Green Hunter Incentive Championship, which is currently underway for 2017. In 2018, the championship will include all four fence heights. Any horse enrolled in the program that has competed in a minimum of two USHJA green hunter incentive stake classes at competitions held during the qualifying period is eligible for the championship.
This year, 65 percent of the enrollment fees goes toward prize money offered at the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships, in addition to 70 percent of the entry fees to that championship. This year’s championship will pay out more than $218,000 in prize money and another $29,500 in bonus awards with 148 entries competing for the purse.
“This program helps develop the next generation of talented horses to sustain our sport,” said McQuay. “We look forward to seeing where these horses go on to compete in the international hunter derbies or in the adult hunters or amateur-owners. That’s what it’s all about.”