The class “Equitation over Fences” is judged primarily on these criteria:
- how riders are positioned on the horse
- how effective they are in using their aids while communicating with their mount when completing a course.
All of the following information is provided by the AQHA Official Handbook 2014. Be sure to familiarize yourself with each organization’s rules and regulations before judging this class.
The course may prove to be more challenging than a typical working hunter course …
The western riding class is one of flying lead changes. It is a combination of control and skills, mixing techniques from trail, reining, and equitation. This judged event is not timed.
The horse is judged on these criteria:
- Quality of gaits
- Lead changes at the lope
- Response to the rider
- Manners and disposition
Different associations provide multiple patterns. Pattern II of AQHA is displayed below.
- Must be done in a collected and controlled manner.
Exhibitors in a reining class individually perform a specified pattern.
The generally accepted guidelines for reining set forth by the National Reining Horse Association are as follows:
- To rein a horse is not only to guide it but also to control its every movement.
- The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely.
- Any movement on its own must be considered a lack of control.
Timed event classes may also be referred to as “games,” “gymkhanas,” or “O-Mok-See.” Generally in these classes, the fastest time wins. Deviating from the described rules or pattern will result in either a time penalty or disqualification, depending on the rule infraction.
A judge’s primary responsibilities are to:
- supervise the class to make sure rules are followed.
- make sure the course is set up as prescribed by the appropriate rulebook.
- read over the rulebook prior to
It is important to understand that there is a difference when judging cattle classes under a breed association’s rules and regulations versus a jackpot or rodeo event. The following descriptions and penalties will be based on the rules and regulations of a breed association.
- Breed associations (AQHA, APHA, etc.): judged on the performance of the horse
- Jackpot, rodeo, etc.: judged on time
The purpose of a roping class is to provide an opportunity for the horse to demonstrate …
Several competitive events involve horses jumping over an obstacle or a series of obstacles. Although they all involve jumping, there are specific differences among the disciplines. These classes are also offered either at breed shows (AQHA, APHA, etc.) or at discipline-based shows (USEF, USEA, USHJA).
- Show Jumping — Horse and rider are scored only on time and successful clearing of all fences.
- Hunters over Fences — Horses and rider are judged on form
This class is the beginning of the over-fences classes. The purpose is to give horses an opportunity to show their expertise over low fences and on the flat.
The horse should move in the same style as a working hunter.
The class will be judged on these criteria:
- Even hunting pace
- Way of going
- Jumping style
The class has two components:
- Fence work, which represents 70% of the score (scored the same as working hunter
“Hunter under Saddle” and “Hunter Pleasure” are different terms used by different organizations to describe very similar classes that have these requirements:
- Riders must exhibit a horse with a bright, alert expression.
- Horse must have gaits that show its working hunter potential.
- Gaits must be free flowing, ground covering, and athletic.
- Contestants compete simultaneously.
- Must travel around the perimeter of the arena and perform a walk, trot, and canter using both directions of the arena
The event is judged …
The working hunter horse:
- is representative of the type of horse used in the hunt field
- should possess manners, jumping ability, style, pace, and quality
- must demonstrate ability to furnish the rider with a smooth, comfortable, and safe ride
- The round has a beginning, middle, and an end.
- The pace should remain consistent and even at the same speed throughout the course on a 12-foot stride.
- Determined based off a 12-foot stride.
- 6 feet
The trail class is judged on the performance of the horse over obstacles, with emphasis on manners, response to the rider, and quality of movement.
- Credit will be given to horses that:
- negotiate the obstacles with style and some degree of speed, provided correctness is not sacrificed
- show attentiveness to the obstacles
- display high quality of movement and cadence
- Horses shall be penalized for:
- any unnecessary delay while approaching or negotiating the obstacles
- artificial appearance over obstacles