THE HUNTER TEAM CHALLENGE FOR BREAST CANCER SOCIETY OF CANADA
Equestrians from around Southern Ontario gather at the Rock’N Horse Fest in Harrow, ON to honour fellow riders, friends and family who battle breast cancer. The second annual Hunter Team Challenge supports Breast Cancer Research.
The Hunter Team Challenge on Friday will raise funds for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada and is open and free to spectators. Come out and support a good cause!
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ABOUT HUNTER CLASSES
The show hunter has long and low movement, meaning the horse should have a long, sweeping stride that covers maximum ground per minimum effort. There is not much flexion of the horse's knees as it moves; ideally the majority of the movement occurs from the horse's shoulder and hip. The action of the field hunter is efficient: the horse does not waste energy bending its legs any more than it has to over jumps. This relates back to the hunt field, where the horse had to work for several hours on end, often galloping, and inefficient movement would tire the horse more quickly.
The show hunter moves smoothly and freely, pointing its toes as it floats over the ground. It should not have excessive knee action, nor should its strides be short and choppy, both of which would make its movement less efficient. The horse should be forward moving, mannerly in the ring with easy ridability.
The horse must always be in a balanced frame. This, too, relates back to the hunt field, where a horse had to be balanced in order to cope with the changing terrain, sometimes sudden change of direction, and surprising fences.
The walk of the show hunter is free and ground-covering; the trot should be balanced and flowing. The canter should be moderately collected but relaxed. The horse should have a long galloping stride (12 feet is the expected length), but it should still be balanced and rhythmic.
A good show hunter must possess an excellent jumping form. The forearm should be parallel or higher with the ground, and the knees and lower legs should be even. The horse should not be lazy with its lower legs, but should tuck them under its forearm as it clears the fence, clearly bending its fetlocks and knees. The horse should not throw its body or legs to one side, but should stay perfectly straight over the fence. A good show hunter should show roundness over a jump, called a “bascule”. This is often described as the horse taking the shape of a dolphin jumping out of the water, with the horse's back up, and its head reaching forward and down over the fence.