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Oxer as first jump in line - hunters

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  • Oxer as first jump in line - hunters

    Is it legal for the first jump in a line (not an in an out) to be an oxer for hunters under USEF rules? In the past somebody told me it's not legal, but I couldn't find a rule saying that.

  • #2
    It's not "illegal". I've jumped plenty of oxers to verticals in the regulars and a/o's. maybe they were thinking of some local circuit that doesn't allow it?


    • #3
      not illegal...not seen terribly often, but i have jumped several lines with an oxer in in the a/o hunters. and lots in derbies too.


      • #4
        These days, even the "verticals" are oxers, so I can't imagine why it would be an issue for anyone.
        Keith: "Now...let's do something normal fathers and daughters do."
        Veronica: "Buy me a pony?"


        • #5
          IIRC, in the Ponies, the first fence can't be an oxer so maybe the kid classes follow that as well?

          I showed rated Adult Hunters on and off for about 16 years and saw an oxer as a first fence exactly once- in the second round of a stand alone Classic ( not combined with the regular rounds and no USEF points). Single oxer on a goofy diagonal across the centerline, most got to it dead and it was ugly, jumped later in the first round everybody had the pace to nail it.. That might be why it's out of favor if not illegal in the Ponies and kid classes.
          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


          • #6
            Not really illegal, but in a beginner class not recommended. In the higher classes, as outlined in the above responses, you might see an oxer as a stand alone first fence, but this would be for more experienced horses and riders.


            • #7
              Interesting. They weren't terribly common in my active show years but they were there, and I don't recall ever being alarmed by them. Perhaps more common coming into a bending line?

              But it got me thinking:
              Q: What's so scary about an oxer coming in?
              A: Only scary if you don't have enough pace.
              Theory: Would setting oxers coming into the lines naturally encourage the hunters to carry a bit more impulsion in their rounds?

              I would assume if a kid can ride to a single oxer they can ride a line with an oxer coming in, and it would nicely teach them to keep the pace in the corner. Perhaps we should see more of these, if the goal is to bring some natural enthusiasm back into the hunters? Just food for thought.
              EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta


              • #8
                I only saw it once in all the years I showed in the adult hunters - it was on the second day of the division in VT. A lot of people stopped at it or crawled over it.

                My guess is that a lot of course designers take the view that a hunter course is supposed to provide a canvas to showcase how beautifully the horses go, not provide the rider with a challenging track as might be expected in the equitation or jumper ring, and they build accordingly.
                We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by RugBug View Post
                  These days, even the "verticals" are oxers, so I can't imagine why it would be an issue for anyone.
                  Wow! I had no idea things had changed that much since I last showed. Damn, I'm old!
                  Horse sense is the thing a horse has which keeps it from betting on people.
                  W. C. Fields


                  • #10
                    I had an oxer as a first fence which was also a combination. My horse had pace but it was still not pretty and most horses stumbled, stopped or crawled over it which made the rest of the combination nasty. It was also on day two which made getting to pace even more of a challenge. Really, I thought it was just a poorly designed course that could have been dangerous. The show was a local non-rated show.


                    • #11
                      I've had them (or something similar, like a roll top) as the fence in to a line locally in hunters. I've also had it plenty on SJ courses in eventing, at BN. If a 2'6" rider can handle it there, I'm not sure what the difficulty is?

                      Then again, I'd rather jump an oxer than a vertical anyway.
                      A Year In the Saddle


                      • #12
                        I don't know that its a huge problem but its not something that is going to make a novice or low Hunter ridden by an average rider look particularly stylish.

                        Was talking to a friend whose kids did the division Ponies for years today and she is also pretty sure it's verboten in the Ponies. She would know too. Not shy about speaking up to question rules, eligibity or height (of the Pony).
                        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                        • #13
                          Wouldn't an oxer actually encourage a rounder more stylish jump??


                          • #14
                            Yes, but as a first fence, and the course I jumped, the first fence was the oxer to a one stride to a three stride, so you HAD to be at the correct pace immediately. Even my hot mare would have had trouble with that. The idea as I understand it, is to have an inviting fence that can "help" set the pace before the more technical fences. An oxer will only produce a rounder jump if jumped at the appropriate pace.


                            • #15
                              Why can't people just look at the USEF rules?? They are available online for all to see for free. The rule for ponies applies to the first jump of the course, not the first jump of every line.

                              HU 122.7

                              7. For all hunter classes restricted to Ponies, the first obstacle of all courses must be a vertical.



                              • #16
                                I can blame the small print on my phone but read it as first fence period.

                                I can't flip right to the rules on this thing as easy as I can on a desktop, my bad.

                                For what it's worth, never had an oxer into a typical 4 to 5 stride line. Had vertical oxer oxer, alot but never the in fence unless it was a long line, like 7 or 8 strides, or more in a really big ring or an outside course. Maybe that's why they are rare, short lines in small rings.
                                When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                • #17
                                  I did courses for a local show last year, and had the judge upset that my first fence WASN'T an oxer. She said she liked them because they got the rounds moving from the first.
                                  A proud friend of bar.ka.


                                  • #18
                                    I really don't care for them. Sometimes you have to stand at the in gate quite a while, and sometimes around here it is very hot standing there. I think it is thoughtful to have a little single that the judge is fairly forgiving of!
                                    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.


                                    • #19
                                      It seems to me that 2 different topics are being discussed here ... Some are talking about having an oxer as the first fence of the course (whether it is single or part of a line). The original topic, however, was having an oxer as the first element in a line, regardless of where it appears in the course.

                                      And as far as that original topic is concerned, I think think that although it may not be something you want for the beginners, little kids and ponies, it would be a good way to really showcase horses that jump with good pace over varied obstacles, which is what I've always understood hunters to be. Yes, I realize that it isn't an equitation or jumper course, but what's wrong with having a way to separate the really nice hunters from the mediocre ones, while allowing the horse to have a little more forward movement and expression? Or do we just want to keep the courses ... and the horses' performance ... as generic and bland as possible?

                                      Just my 2 cents from over in eventer-land.


                                      • #20
                                        Stikcy, you are right. Ignore my post above, off topic!
                                        Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.