I guess my question is how does anyone know a 1-2 y/o is a TOP hunter prospect? It is not yet under saddle, so no way to gauge rideability, nor has it done any jumping, so no way to assess jump style and aptitude - and so on. So is it based purely on conformation, type and movement of the youngster? If so, it seems it would be really hard to make that assessment in a yearling, because they are often SO wonky looking - butt-high, gangly, with necks that seem to start somewhere between their front legs, etc. With most horses, you have to wait until they are well into the summer of their 2nd year (or later) before they start getting all the pieces and parts back into balance - and even then, they can be high behind and not able to engage the hindquarters well. And by then, you may as well wait and get them going u/s as 3 y/o's. As others have mentioned, you can usually get so much more for them at that point.
...searching for a 1-2 year old, unbroke TOP hunter prospect