American Hunter Jumper Foundation Announces 2005 Activity
American Hunter Jumper Foundation
With the New Year looming just around the corner, the American Hunter Jumper Foundation (AHJF) has announced its list of World Championship Hunter Rider (WCHR) shows for 2005 (http://www.ahjf.org/wchr-shows.shtml ). The WCHR awards have been an integral part of the AHJF since its founding in 1991. Shows have been carefully selected in each of the eight WCHR regions. The AHJF bases its selection of shows on how its members rate the quality of the show against the carefully defined criteria critical to show hunter exhibitors. The criteria include offering all WCHR divisions, attracting top competition, hiring top judges and officials, maintaining good footing in adequate sized rings, use of open numerical scoring, and providing appropriate schooling areas. Also considered are ample exhibitor and spectator parking, suitable stabling, audible show announcements, capable show staff, ample spectator seating, exhibitor hospitality, appropriate housing and dining facilities, show photographer, and responsive to exhibitor feedback.
Exhibitors have come to expect that WCHR events meet all of these criteria and these shows are considered the best of the season. Members are encouraged to suggest and critique WCHR member events.
One notable change to the schedule in the Northeast Region is that the renowned Devon Horse Show will return as a WCHR member show in 2005. “It’s great that Devon is back!” says Geoff Teall, AHJF president. Teall explains that Devon was not a WCHR show for a number of years because they opted not to use the numerical scoring system, which is an important criterion for WCHR show selection. “Exhibitors wanted Devon to use the numbers and they wanted this prestigious, historical show back on the WCHR calendar.” Teall feels that Devon will also benefit from using the numerical scoring system as it makes the show much more enjoyable for spectators.
The AHJF Hunter Classic Spectacular will be held February 19 at the Florida Classic, February 16-20 during the Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida. This annual special event is always eagerly anticipated by exhibitors and spectators alike. It is a rare opportunity to watch so many of the country’s top show hunters together as they compete over a spectacularly decorated course under the lights. Teall praises Kim Tudor who oversees all the details of the entertainment during the classic. She has put together a committee headed by Craig and Frances Lindner that has wonderful ideas to make this much anticipated event even bigger and better.
The Legacy Cup, now in its fifth year, will again be hosted by Kentucky Spring Horse Shows, May 11-22, 2005. The unique format of this event gives show hunters a venue to pursue excellence without the exorbitant commitment of time and expenses required to qualify for the indoor circuit. The Legacy Cup showcases the show hunters and gives them an opportunity to compete against the best in the country for big prize money. Teall explains that the Legacy Cup schedule will return to a two week format. “There will be fewer, but more inclusive night performances,” he says. “This will make the schedule less tiring and more manageable.”
The 2005 show year will culminate at the Capital Challenge Horse Show. Often close races for WCHR points come down to the wire and are decided here. This show is especially important to the professional riders as, unlike the other divisions, the national Professional WCHR award is determined in an exciting ride-off at the Capital Challenge Horse Show between the four point leading professional riders on October 7, 2005. In the ride-off, each of the four riders competes over the same hunter course on each of four horses — which they have never ridden before! All rounds are judged using the open numerical scoring system with the winner being the rider with the highest total score. Since its inception, the Professional WCHR title has been highly contested and is considered to be a great honor among the top riders.
For more information on the AHJF and its programs, which in addition to the WCHR Awards, include the AHJF Emergency Relief Fund, and the AHJF/Merrill Lynch 401k Profit Sharing Plan, contact the AHJF office at 508/835-8813 or www.ahjf.org. The AHJF is a non-profit member and sponsor supported organization which strives to promote the sport of hunter-jumper competition and address the needs of the sport’s participants.
Photo: Peter Pletcher was the 2004 Monarch International’s Show Circuit Magazine Professional World Championship Hunter Rider. Here he is being presented with the Media Sponsorship by (l-r) AHJF President Geoff Teall, Vice President Louise Serio and Show Circuit Magazine publisher Joe Thorpe. This year’s event takes place on October 7th, 2005 at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in Upper Marlboro, MD.