The USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program uses the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, which are offered at 1.10/1.15m and 1.20/1.25m, to identify Jumper athletes who have the skill and desire to excel in the sport, while educating these athletes to become well-rounded horsemen on their path to excellence. Through this program, the USHJA will have the ability to identify and provide education and guidance to athletes competing at the 1.10m-1.25m levels, as well as to their trainers and parents.
Athletes competing at 1.30/1.35m and 1.40/1.45m are identified through the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships. These Championships are open to Professionals, Juniors, and Amateurs. The 1.30/1.35m classes may held as overlay classes with and grand prix classes held at the Reginal Standard offered during the same competition hosting the Markel/USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships in most cases. The 1.40/1.45m open classes may be held as overlay and grand prix classes held at the American Standard offered during the same competition hosting the Markel/USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships in most cases.
Riders interested in the program must compete at the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships or USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships. The program begins at these Championships each year where every Zone Jumper Team Championship competitor will be recognized as a USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider and receive a commemorative Emerging Jumper Rider pin for that year. Every Platinum Jumper Championship competitor will be recognized as a USHJA Platinum Jumper Rider and will receive a commemorative pin with that designation and year.
During a special orientation session at the Championships, athletes, trainers and parents, if applicable, will receive comprehensive information about how athletes can advance through the sport to its highest levels. These sessions will specifically discuss the Jumping Athlete Pathway, a joint USHJA-US Equestrian effort that identifies and nurtures Jumping athletes as they advance through the sport to enhance future success for Olympic and international teams representing the United States.
Key sport leaders, including the US Equestrian Youth Chef d’ Equipe DiAnn Langer, will be monitoring each set of Championships to assess talent among Championship competitors.
At the conclusion of each Individual Zone Jumper Championship and Platinum Jumper Championships, USHJA will recognize all individual medalists as Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders by awarding them an exclusive Gold Star Emerging Jumper Rider pin that can be worn at future competitions to distinguish them. At the same time, trainers of these athletes will be recognized as Gold Star Jumper Coaches and will receive specialized pins that denote their title. All pins will be specific to the year in which they were earned.
Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders, regardless of age, along with their coaches and parents, will be invited to attend one of three Gold Star Clinics scheduled for the early part of the following year.
Gold Star Clinics will offer horsemanship, stable management, mounted instruction and additional education from top clinicians. Each Gold Star Clinic will offer education for Gold Star Jumper Coaches to help them understand the competition landscape and the opportunities available to their riders as they advance through the sport.
Sport leadership will track these riders’ accomplishments as they advance through the sport and look for opportunities to support their efforts with education along the way.