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How Are Hunter Trials Judged? Pics Added Post #6

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  • How Are Hunter Trials Judged? Pics Added Post #6

    Hello wonderful COTH!
    Recently, I have been taking my green bean thoroughbred gelding to some of the local hunter trials in my area. At the trials I have gone to, there are judges at each of the 10-14 fences throughout the course. I know that each judge gives a score for each fence and then all of their scores are tallied up to give a grand total. However, I want to know what the judges like to see. A more forward pace to the fence, galloping in between? Or a more relaxed canter to the jumps and in between. Any tips that you can offer would be greatly appreciated! I am new to this out of hunter land and this is far more fun! Hopefully we will be joining a local fox hunting organization next year if all goes as planned
    Last edited by Reminisce; Oct. 23, 2012, 01:00 AM. Reason: pics added
  • Original Poster

    94 views and no responses? Anyone?! Any tidbit of insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!


    • #3
      I've judged at hunter trials. You're supposed to judge on more or less the same criteria as show hunters, except that the horse should go at a hunting pace (that is, quite a bit more forward than a show hunter, but certainly not galloping). Anyway; quality of jump, way of going, rhythm, rideability.

      Now having said that, some of the judges might be yahoos.


      • #4
        Do you have any friends at any of the hunts to ask?
        It has been a long time since I competed, but some of the hunts wanted a more forward pace because that's the comfortable pace for that territory. Other hunts had more "trappy" closed in thickets and woods, so they preferred a slower, more handy hunter type of ride.

        Any chance you could arrange to car follow a hunting day before you have to ride their course? That would also give you a feel for what hunt you would like to ask to hilltop with. All hunts have their own unique flavor, and that's part of the fun.

        Intermediate Riding Skills


        • #5
          The judging at hunter trials is based on the horse's suitability to be ridden in an open field with manners, safe jumping style and enthusiasm . A good "hunting pace" is very important.

          Things like missed lead changes,that may be heavily penalized in the hunter show wrong, are not considered in the hunt field as far as I have seen.

          A successful field hunter does not have to be the conformation winner either.

          Hunter trials are a lot of fun. If you are planning to go I wish you the best of luck!!!!


          • Original Poster

            Pics from our two trials added!!!

            Thank you all for your replies, they are very helpful! So far we have done two Hunter Trials this season! He has been a perfect gentleman both times, brave, and doesn't hesitate or look at anything I point him at. Can't wait to put your tips to use at the next hunter trial this Sunday.

            For anyone who may be interested, here are some pictures from our last two trials. We have learned a lot at each one, and I look forward to continuing the learning process. These are so much fun! Enjoy!

            Our First Hunter Trial

            Hunter Trial 10-21-12


            • #7
              That looks like a blast! I have to find out if we do them in this area (Southeastern VA). Are Hunter Trials the same as Hunter Paces?


              • Original Poster

                They are so much fun! Hunter Trials are different from Hunter Paces. At the trials, there are judges set at each fence (usually 10-14) over a course of about 1-2 miles. Each jump is scored by a judge, and then all of the judges' totals = your score for that round. Hunter paces are judged on optimum time, they are usually longer 2-6 miles with jumps along the way. They are scored on which individual/team comes closest to the set optimum time! Hope that helps!