The Jumpers & Hunters
The hunter is a horse of size, substance, depth and quality, suitable for carrying a rider over fences. The type of work required of a hunter makes stringent demands on his body, in particular his feet. The primary requirement, is a good open foot with a well-developed frog to absorb concussion. They must also possess the conformation and type of limbs that enable them to do a maximum amount of work with a minimum of unsoundness. Hunters are generally Thoroughbred or part Thoroughbred, and part heavy horse breed. A horse of this combination of breeds is considered a Warmblood. Hunters range in size from 15 to 17 hands, with the ideal of 16 to 161/2 hands.
Hunters show over a series of fences, which simulate actual conditions of a hunter in the field, such as posts and rails of natural materials. Hunters are judged on their way of going over and between fences, and are always jogged for soundness before ribbons are awarded. The hunter division is divided into 1st and 2nd year green classes, open working, conformation, juvenile, amateur, ladies, and appointment classes.
Show jumping started in Britain in the early 1850's, and was called leaping contests. In the United States, one of the earliest shows was held in Upperville, Virginia in 1853 and continues uninterrupted until today. The U.S. Army team represented the United States in International competitions until the U.S.E.T. was founded in 1950.
The ruling body for show jumping is the American Horse Shows Association which incorporated the F.E.I. regulations into their rulebook. Jumpers are judged on their ability to clear the jump, not on the form used. Among the divisions for jumping classes are amateurs, juvenile riders, open jumpers, Puissance, and Grand Prix.