The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association on Feb. 22 announced changes to the annual Platinum Performance USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships and the Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, beginning in 2023. With qualification criteria removed for a more inclusive format, the changes will allow a broader range of exhibitors the opportunity to compete Aug. 15-19 at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.
The Platinum Performance USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships will be held Aug.15-17 and feature two championships—one for green hunters competing at 3’0″ and 3’3″ and one for green hunters competing at 3’6″ and 3’9″. New this year, all horses enrolled in the Green Hunter Incentive program are invited to compete, and qualifying is no longer required.
The 3’0″/3’3″ championship will see a change in the competition format, most notably in how horses qualify for the final round. The first round will consist of all eligible and entered horses. Horses that place first through 10th in the first round will be awarded a “bye” to the final round—those exhibitors may elect to compete or not in the second round at their own discretion.
The second round will consist of all horses from the first round, including any of the first round’s Top 10 exhibitors that elect to compete. The Top 10 in the second round—based solely on that round’s scores and excluding those that were in the first round Top 10—will move to the final round.
Finally, the Top 10 horses with the highest combined scores from both rounds, excluding those in the Top 10 in the first or second rounds, will move on to the final round. Scores from the first and second rounds will not carry over, and all 30 horses competing in the final round will start with a clean slate.
In both the 3’0″/3’3″ championship and the 3’6″/3’9″ championship, an additional 10 Tier II riders not already competing in the final round will compete over the same course for the overall 3’/3’3” Tier II awards and the overall 3’6”/3’9” Tier II awards. The Tier II riders will be placed amongst themselves, regardless of if they are in the final round or the Tier II round.
The Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship will wrap up the week on Aug. 17-19. As with the green hunters, the championship will now be open to all horses enrolled in the International Hunter Derby program, with no additional qualifying requirements.
Learn more about the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive at ushja.org/GHI. Visit ushja.org/IHD for more information about the USHJA International Hunter Derby program.