Of all the equestrian jumping disciplines the sport of Showhunter takes on the technical aspects of the jump testing exactness in style in terms of the approach, action over the fence, and the line taken to the next fence.

Photos courtesy of www.takethemoment.co.nz & www.smileclick.co.nz

From the time the competitor enters the arena they are under the jurisdiction of the judge. The majority of classes place an emphasis on the horse, however, the rider is on show in the Equitation classes as position and control are judged.

NEW: For the first time at HOY 2008 the new National Equitation Series features on the programme.

This new series, a concept introduced by the Waikato group, has been supported by Showhunter New Zealand to run nationally and enhances the technical aspect of Showhunter. The finals will be celebrated at HOY.

Run along similar lines as the popular KiwiSpan and EIT High Points classes there is a full programme of events throughout the country with riders accumulating points on a national leader board. Shows incorporating the national series start in October and culminate at the Horse of the Year.

Classes are offered to pony riders and riders under 21 years riding horses. The pony class is run at a height of 80cm with the horse classes at 1m. Judging is based on rider position, control of their mount, and style, as equitation epitomises the technical accuracy of jumping.

In 2008 the organising team from Waitemata have decided to change the present format from Equitation being run in categories to age group events. There will be a special class for riders 12 years and under, as well as the new NZ Showhunter Equitation series class open to all aged riders on ponies. Riders 12 years and under will have to choose which class they enter, bearing in mind that the series class is run at 80cm using Category C stride lengths. A change in the horse ring sees the Equitation being split into Juniors & Riders over 21 years.

The technical splendour of Showhunter will be on show at HOY 2008!

The following is an example of the divisions on show, with a full schedule of classes available in the programme.

ENTRY: 20 Qualifying Points for all Showhunter of the year Title Classes
Points are accumulated over the season prior to the start of the Horse of the Year Show

Pony Category A 133cm & under 60-70cm 3.05m (10ft) striding Friday
  Category B Over 133cm & under 143cm 70-80cm 3.20m (10’6”) striding Wednesday
  Category C Over 143cm &under 148cm 80-90cm 3.35m (11ft) striding Thursday
  Pony Equitation Series   80cm 3.35m (11ft) striding Friday
  Under 12 Equitation   70cm 3.20m (10’6”) striding Friday
  Pony Showhunter of the Year Title Classes Saturday
Hack 1st Year Registered   1m 3.66m (12ft) striding Wednesday
  Junior Riders under 21 years 1m 3.66m (12ft) striding Wednesday
  Amateur Riders 21 and over 1m 3.66m (12ft) striding Wednesday
  Open May not compete in 1st Yr 1m-1.15 3.66m (12ft) striding Thursday
  Junior Equitation Series Rider under 21 years 1m 3.66m (12ft) striding Wednesday
  Hack Showhunter of the Year Title Classes Saturday
NZ High Points Series awarded at the conclusion of the title classes