Anatomy of the Hunter Round Part 3 – The Course

Ali learns the course

The Course (Photo credit: carterse)


Think of the hunter round of being composed of  five parts:


  1. the start
  2. the approach
  3. the course
  4. the finish
  5. the exit


The first two items were dealt with in previous posts so we are moving onto the course itself.


Here is a live video which I recorded which discusses what the judge is looking for.


Each horse gets a numerical score based on its form over fences. A great horse with good form over fences and jumps out of stride will get a good score. Phenomenal horses will get a better mark say 90 + . Each mistake you make, will detract from your score.

This is the ‘meat’ of the judging. How you approach and get over each fence is important. In addition to how each fence is approached, the horses form over each fence is paramount. There are horses with tight, exemplary form, and then there are horses which get the job done but have mediocre form. The number one job is to get to each and every fence correctly and let the horse do its job.

If your horse doesn’t meet the fences correctly – it really doesn’t matter how wonderful and scopey your horse is. It must first get to the jumps correctly to be considered.


You can see a judges score card right here. Judges score card looks like this.


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About Laura

Laura Kelland-May is the founder of Thistle Ridge Skill Builders Development Program. She more than trains horses, she trains people to train their horses. In addition she is a Sr. Judge and can offer insight into What the Judge Is Looking For. Follow her here and get more tips.
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