How To Ride Round Two of a Hunter Derby

  • User AvatarJulie Winkel
  • 26 Jan, 2017
  • 2 Mins Read

How To Ride Round Two of a Hunter Derby

Photo Credit: Hunter Messineo 2009

Submitted by member: Angie

The hunter derby classes have grown so much in popularity, and I would love to learn more about them. How would you ride the second round differently than the first? Is the second round similar to riding a handy?

Answer by Julie Winkel

The second round of the USHJA International and National Hunter Derby Competitions ARE judged as a handy round. In fact, there is an extra set of bonus points awarded to each competitor for the handy round in the International classes. A bonus score from 1-10 (10 being the highest) is awarded and determined by the judges—based on efficiency of track and brilliance of pace. Additionally, the second round of both the International and National classes are scored as a handy round and should be ridden as such.

A handy round should show that your horse can make tighter turns, daring approaches, and inside turns, where possible, without sacrificing jumping style. However, inside turns resulting in cross cantering, loss of lead and/or poor jumping style are NOT going to result in a higher score. Good jumping style with efficiency and brilliance is the key to winning the handy round.

Video Recommendations:

how to ride a handy hunter course

Riding The Handy
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Peter shares some of his secrets to successfully navigating the different elements of a Handy Hunter course. Along with many tips to produce a seamless round, he demonstrates several exercises you can practice at home to prepare for the show ring.
Running Time:  21 minutes

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tips to turn your horse over the jump

Turning Over Fences with Timing & Technique
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As implied by the title, this video examines the components of turning in the air. The ability to successfully turn over a fence without compromising your horse’s jump is crucial in the equitation ring, in handy hunter classes and in most jumper rounds.
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John French

John French – An Interview Featuring His USHJA Hunter Derby Win
John French
Get to know John French from his introduction to the sport, to his biggest influences. In this exciting video youʼll get Johnʼs own play by play of his brilliant 2009 $100,000.00 USHJA Hunter Derby round aboard “Rumba.”
Running Time:  14 minutes 11 seconds

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