I looked at the USEF rule book description of Handy Hunters and found the following (the bold is mine):
6. In Handy classes obstacles must simulate those found in trappy hunting country. Thecourse must have at least two changes of direction and at least one combination as well asthree of the following: hand gallop a jump, bending line, rollback turn, fence at the end of thering or open a gate while mounted, trot over one obstacle, or lead over one obstacle. Judges must place emphasis on promptness and tight turns with precedence being given inthat order.
I see above that emphasis should be on promptness and turns, in that order. By promptness, does it mean promptness on transitions as well as promptness in getting to the jumps (i.e. direct approach, no extra circles, etc)?
Also, a follow up question for the hand gallop- I think responses will be based on opinion, just want to see what people think. Picture a single jumpon the quarterline followed by the hand gallop jump on the diagonal where you had the choice between a tight roll back turn or a longer approach. Reading the above, I think the best option would be to land off the quarterline jump, immediately establish your hand gallop and maintain the hand gallop through the roll back turn to the next jump. However, if you didn't think you could get a true hand gallop AND do the roll back turn, what would be preferable and why would you make that decision? (I am talking in terms of being the rider planning your ride- if you had to compromise what do you think is more important, or would it be based on what show cases your horse the best, etc).