Green Hunter Section Name Changes and Age Verification for Young Hunters Set to Take Effect in December

The 2017 competition year is fast approaching, and with it comes new rules going into effect that are designed to enhance the Young and Green horse pipeline in the Hunter ring. These rule changes were discussed, fine-tuned and passed during the USHJA and USEF Annual Meetings, held last December and January, respectively.

Beginning December 1, 2016, the Green Hunter nomenclature of Pre-Green, First Year and Second Year Green Hunter will be replaced with a simpler, more descriptive naming structure: Green Hunter 3'0", 3'3", 3'6" and 3'9". Each section will be A-rated by the United States Equestrian Federation.

Similarly, the Green Conformation Hunter will now be Green Conformation 3'6", and the Regular Conformation Hunter will be the High Performance Conformation Hunter.

At the same time, the USEF is adding Young Hunter sections offered at 3'0", 3'3" and 3'6". In order to compete in these sections, horses will have to have their age verified with USEF.

A horse's age can be verified in two ways: 1) registration papers or passport issued by a World Breed Federation Sport Horse-recognized registry; or 2) registration papers of Certificate of Pedigree from a breed or sport horse registry. If a horse does not have registry papers, the owner may contact one of the WBFSH registries that will take them through a registry examination and issue registry papers.

The new structure differentiates a Young horse from a Green horse, while allowing flexibility between the two sections.

Green Hunter Basics:

  • Green status is determined by the fence height in which the horse is competing, making reinstatement unnecessary
  • Two years of eligibility in the 3'0" and 3'3" Green Hunter sections (horses may go up or down in fence height)
  • Once a horse competes at 3'6":
    • The horse is no longer eligible for 3'0"
    • The horse is still eligible for 3'3" until it competes in 3'6" for the fifth time; then it becomes a 3'6" Green Hunter
  • One year of eligibility in the 3'6" Green Hunter section
  • One year of eligibility in the 3'9" Green Hunter section

Young Hunter Basics:

  • Eligibility is based on the horse's Green Hunter status and restricted by its age
  • To compete, a horse's age must be verified
  • 3'0" section is for horses age 5 and under
  • 3'3" section is for horses age 6 and under
  • 3'6" section is for horses age 7 and under

Although a new process for some USEF/USHJA members, verifying a horse's age is straightforward. All a competitor needs is the horse's name, USEF or USHJA number (these numbers are the same), and either breed registry papers or a passport. This information should be submitted to the USEF office prior to the horse competing in the class and can be done online through the "My USEF My Way" account or by mailing or faxing a copy of the papers or passport, along with the horse's name and number, to the USEF.

Those USHJA volunteers who have been working on the project over the years believe these changes will fit nicely with the future of the USHJA Pre-Green Incentive Program. While the program will continue to focus on the 3' and 3'3" fence heights in 2017, USHJA committee and task force members are already analyzing the opportunity to include 3'6" and 3'9" heights into the program in the future.