Friday, May. 24, 2024

What You Need To Know: 2023 USHJA Hunter Championship Week

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The stage is set for two of the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association’s biggest championships. The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington plays host this week to the Platinum Performance USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships and the Platinum Performance USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, running through Aug. 19.

The 3’/3’3″ Green Hunter Incentive Championship will comprise three rounds. The first two rounds serve as qualifiers for the championship round on Thursday. Qualifying for the championship round has changed this year: The top 10 from the first round will earn automatic entry, as will the top 10 from the second round, excluding those who already qualified in round one. And additional 10 entries will come from the horses with the top 10 combined two-round scores, excluding those who qualified in either of the first two rounds.

The 3’6″/3’9″ championship will have one qualifying round before the championship round on Thursday, with the top 30 advancing.

The derby championship comprises two rounds, starting with the classic round on Friday and finishing with the handy round on Saturday evening. Those who do not qualify for the handy are eligible to compete in the Derby Challenge on Saturday.

Hunt Tosh and Cannon Creek are vying for their third consecutive USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship victory. Mollie Bailey Photo

Derby Format: All entries will complete the classic round, and then things get a little tricky. Riders are grouped into two tiers based on the amount of derby money they’ve won in the past three years, as of Dec. 1, 2020. Any rider standing 40th or higher on that list is classified as Tier I.

The top 20 combinations from the classic round will advance to the handy round as part of section A. They are competing for 80 percent of the prize money and the championship title. The top 20 horses ridden by a Tier II rider will also advance to the handy as part of section B and are eligible to win the remaining 20 percent of the prize money. If any of those Tier II combinations are in the top 20 overall after the classic round, they are eligible to receive prize money from both section A and B.

No Tier II rider has ever won the overall title, but many have come close. Geoffrey Hesslink was second in 2017 on Cadoretto in section A and won section B.

The Schedule

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Tuesday, Aug. 15

8:45 a.m. First round of 3’/3″ Green Hunter Incentive Championship. The round was won by Kate Conover and Oceanside, owned by Shadow Ridge Farm, with a score of 279. See complete results from the round here.

Wednesday, Aug. 16

8:30 a.m. Second round of 3’/3’3″ Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Thursday, Aug. 17

8:15 a.m. First round of 3’6″/3’9″ Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Approximately 1 p.m. Championship round of 3’/3’3″ Green Hunter Incentive Championship, followed by the championship round of 3’6″/3’9″ Green Hunter Incentive Championship

Friday, Aug. 18

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8:15 a.m. Classic hunter round of the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

Saturday, Aug. 19

3 p.m. Derby Challenge

6 p.m. Section B handy round, followed by Section A handy round

How You Can Follow Along: The Chronicle will be on-site with a reporter bringing you gorgeous photos, great interviews and behind-the-scenes stories. Make sure to follow along at www.coth.com, as well as on FacebookTwitter and Instagram @Chronofhorse

How To Watch: All rounds can be watched live for free at www.watchushja.org.

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