TOTAL PAYOUT $12,732,748

*Includes lifetime money-won from December 1, 2007, to present from series and championships


2018 Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship

The Platinum Performance/USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship returns to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky, August 16-18, 2018.

How to Qualify

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, 2017, and June 1, 2018, is eligible to compete.

Championship Format

Classic Hunter Round
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. 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) or 2) the Derby Challenge.

Handy Hunter Round
For the second phase of competition, riders are grouped into two tiers based on their amount of Derby money won in the last three years; 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, 2017. All other riders are classified as Tier II.

The top 20 overall horse-and-rider combinations from the Classic Hunter round will be invited to compete in the Handy Hunter Round as part of Section A, and will be eligible for 80 percent of the prize money and the title of USHJA International Hunter Derby Champion. 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 and will be eligible to win 20 percent of the total prize money. Tier II riders in Section A are eligible for prize money in both Sections A and B..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.

Derby Challenge
The Derby Challenge is open to all horses that did not qualify for 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.

Enrollment, Prize Money and Entry Fees

The Championship prize money was $282,000 in 2017, 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. The entry fee for the Championship is $1,000. Eighty percent of the total prize money will be awarded to Overall Section A final standings. Twenty percent of the total prize money will be awarded to the Overall Section B final standings. The Derby Challenge will offer $10,000 in prize money, paid out to the top twelve horses.

In addition to the standard qualifying process, USHJA created the Premium Entry Option to provide an avenue for owners to enter horses in the International Hunter Derby Championship that for various reasons, were not able to qualify through the standard process. Each horse must be enrolled in the IHD Program prior to entering the Championship and the $1,000 class entry fee must be submitted with the entry form. The Premium Entry Option consists of a $3,000 Premium Entry Fee which must be paid in full at the time of entry and 100% of which will be added to the prize money of the IHD Championship.


USHJA will email invitations to compete in the 2018 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship to recorded owners and riders of qualified horses in June. The Invitation will include a USHJA International Hunter Derby entry form and a link to the online prize list.

Entry Deadline

Entries close on July 25, 2018. Exhibitors are required to complete both the Championship entry form and the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show entry form. All entry forms, entry fees, stall fees, drug fees, night watch fees and all other applicable fees are paid to the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

Entries must be received in the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show office or postmarked by July 25, 2018. The entry fee, including premium entry fee if applicable, is non-refundable after August 3, 2018. The ground jury reserves the right to accept or refuse entries after the closing date due to extenuating circumstances, on a case by case basis, and late entries are not guaranteed. If permitted, late entries will incur a $250 late entry fee. It is recommended that you use a method of delivery which provides delivery confirmation.

Map and Directions to Kentucky Horse Park (PDF)

2010 through 2014 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship named "International Hunter Derby of the Year" by the National Show Hunter Hall of Fame


Derby Championship Home
Hunter Department – (859) 225-6700