Lexington, Ky.—Jan. 10, 2020—The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to open applications and announce dates and locations for the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships, open to juniors and amateurs at the 1.10/1.15m, 1.20/1.25m and 1.30/1.35m levels, and the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships, open to juniors, amateurs and professionals at the 1.40/1.45m level.
Both Zone Jumper Team Championships and Platinum Jumper Championships, which are part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, will be held at the following competitions in 2020:
Applications close for these Championships on the final day of the qualifying period for each zone.
Zone Jumper Team Championships
For a chance to qualify for the 2020 Zone Jumper Team Championships, riders must complete an application and earn a minimum of 20 points in their respective section(s) at USEF-licensed competitions held with fence heights of that section during the qualifying period. Each of the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships accepts a maximum of eight teams per section. The point standings (ranking) in each zone from 30 days after the conclusion of the previous year's Zone Jumper Team Championship to 45 days prior to the start of the current year's Championship will be used to determine the athlete/horse combinations accepted to compete in that zone or combined zone's championships. Riders must also meet all other eligibility and qualification requirements as outlined in the Championship specifications.
Providing riders with a competitive team experience and an opportunity to earn Zone Horse of the Year points in their respective jumper sections, the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships are held by zone and consist of both team and individual competition. Individual medalists from the Zone Jumper Team Championships receive the designation of Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders, regardless of age, and are invited, along with their coaches and parents, to attend a USHJA Gold Star Clinic.
The Zone Jumper Team Championships are part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, which rewards competitive achievement with education to advance athletes in the sport. As applications open for this year's championships, 46 of last year's Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders (individual medalists from the Zone Jumper Team Championships and select wild cards) are preparing to attend one of two USHJA Gold Star Clinics—a four-day intensive mounted and unmounted clinic with lead clinicians Kirsten Coe and Todd Minikus. The clinics this year will be held in Thermal, California, and West Palm Beach, Florida.
Platinum Jumper Championships
Now in its second year, the USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships is for professionals, amateurs and juniors at the 1.40/1.45m level and represents the highest level of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program.
Athlete/horse combinations qualify for the Platinum Jumper Championships by earning a minimum of $250 prior to the end of the qualifying period, and completing an application 45 days prior to their zone's Platinum Jumper Championships. The Championships are restricted to those athlete/horse combinations that have not competed in a High Performance Standard Grand Prix or any class held at 1.60m in the current competition year.
Athlete/horse combinations earn a position on a team of four riders composed of professionals, juniors and amateurs. The Championships offer three days of team and individual competition and use a cumulative scoring format with the first round and individual final held as overlay classes with special 1.40/1.45m open classes and grand prix classes held at the American Standard, and the team competition classes are held as standalone classes.
The USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program serves as the entry point for the Show 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.