U.S. Hunter Jumper Association officials announced the USHJA Young Jumper Championships, set to debut in 2021. This new competition will serve as the national championship for young jumpers in the the United States, allowing talented prospects to be showcased by owners, breeders and riders and shown at the national level.
“We are excited to offer this new opportunity to owners, breeders and trainers of young jumpers,” said Jason McArdle, chair of the USHJA Young Jumper Task Force. “We hope the new championship will not only incentivize American breeding of young jumpers but also provide recognition to a previously unfulfilled but important segment of the jumper discipline.”
The competition will offer separate championships for 4-, 5-, 6-, 7- and 8-year-old horses. Four-year-olds will compete in a style and jumping championship, which includes a first qualifier and final set at .90-meters. Five- through 8-year-olds will compete over a three-round format featuring first and second qualifiers and a final set from 1.15-1.40-meters based on each age section. A consolation classic will also be held for horses that have not qualified for the final round.
In addition to prize money through 15th place, incentives and bonus prize money will be offered for U.S. breeders and U.S.-bred horses.
To be eligible for the USHJA Young Jumper Championships, an enrollment application must be completed during one of three enrollment periods. Discounted enrollment fees will be offered for breeders and owners enrolling three or more horses that have been foaled in the U.S. Additionally, horses must be registered with USHJA and recorded with USEF to participate.
Once enrolled, 5-, 6- and 7-year-old horses will qualify for their respective championship by competing in USHJA Young Jumper Championship qualifying classes for 5-, 6- and 7-year-olds at USEF-licensed competitions held between Jan. 1 and Aug. 15, 2021. Eight-year-old horses will qualify for the championship with one clear round in classes at 1.30-meters or above held at USEF-licensed competitions between Jan. 1 and Aug/ 15, 2021. Four-year-old horses are not required to qualify, but all horses must meet the eligibility requirements.
Enrollment and qualifying for the 2021 USHJA Young Jumper Championships opens Jan. 1, 2021.