2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship
The USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, KY on August 17-19, 2017, along with the exciting and innovative rider tier system, first unveiled in 2013. Every horse enrolled in the USHJA International Hunter Derby Program that earns a minimum of $500 in USHJA International Hunter Derby classes, while enrolled, at competitions starting between June 2, 2016, and June 1, 2017, is eligible to compete. The Sheila C. Johnson Ring in the spacious outdoor Rolex Stadium once again hosts the event.
Prize Money and Entry Fee
The Championship prize money was $280,000 in 2016, and once again 80% of the entry fees as well as a portion of enrollment fees will be added to the guaranteed $100,000 to create the total prize money purse. In addition the Derby Challenge will offer $10,000 in prize money. The more horses that enter, the higher the total prize money becomes!
The Derby tradition continues as all qualified and entered horses compete in the first round of competition over a Classic Hunter course featuring International Hunter Derby style fences, including height options. During the second phase of competition the rider tier concept, introduced in 2013, returns. Riders are grouped into two tiers based on their amount of Derby money won; to be classified as Tier I, a rider must have been standing 40th or higher on the IHD Three-Year Rider Money Won list as of December 1, 2016. All other riders are classified as Tier II.
Based on scores in the Classic Hunter round, horse-and-rider combinations advance to one of two possible second rounds: 1) the Handy Hunter Round (split into two sections) and 2) the Derby Challenge
Handy Hunter Round
The top 20 horse-and-rider combinations from the Classic Hunter round will be invited to compete in the Handy Hunter Round as part of Section A. The top 20 horses ridden by a Tier II rider from the Classic Hunter round, including those invited as part of Section A, will be invited to compete in the Handy Hunter Round as part of Section B. Section A riders will be eligible for 80 percent of the prize money and the title of 2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby Champion, and Section B riders, including those competing as Section A riders, will be eligible for 20 percent of the prize money. USHJA may invite additional horse-and-rider combinations to either section of the Handy Hunter round at the organization's sole discretion.
Final placings in both tiers are based off of composite scores from the Classic Hunter and Handy Hunter Rounds.
Formerly known as the Consolation Round, the Derby Challenge is open to all horses that did not qualify for either Section A or Section B of the Handy Hunter Round, guaranteeing each entry in the Championship two rounds of competition. Each horse starts the Derby Challenge with a clean slate, where no scores from the Classic Hunter Round carry forward. Horses compete for $10,000 in prize money with the top 12 horses taking home a share of the prize money.