Hunter Jumps at the Winter Equestrian Festival
by Lauren Mauldin
Jumper jumps get most of the attention, and why not? They're big and flashy and come in super colors. Hunter jumps on the other hand, tend to be a bit meh. In the hobby, I've even heard judge's feedback criticizing an entry saying that the flowers were too bright and hunter jumps "only came in neutral colors". While they are more conservative, I would never call hunter jumps boring. In fact, they can be almost as fun and bright as jumper jumps!
I've divided the following (large) group of photos into jumps from regular hunter classes, and jumps from the International Hunter Derby. More on the Derby later, but regular hunters jumps at rated U.S.E. F. shows typically range from cross rails to 3'6" for amateur divisions. There are also "Performance Hunters" in pro divisions that are 3'6"- 3'9", so it's safe to say you can go pretty large with a hunter setup if your model requires it. Let's start smaller though!
Large pony hunters run at 3'. This brick jump is colorful and pretty solid.
Remember what I told you about jumper jumps and ground lines? Forget that for hunters! Hunters love ground lines and fill. To make your hunter jump realistic, go wide with LOTS of fill. Also, notice the bright flowers here!
More bright flowers and fill boxes.
Tropical looking leaves behind a layer of astro-turf fill.
Even simple verticals have fill. Every good hunter set-up needs a lot of stuff in front of it! I kid you not--hunter jumps are all about fill.
Bright flowers on top of the standards here.
Currently in the hunter ring, there's a trend for astro-turf everything. This includes poles - they just wrap it around and set like normal!
The approach side of hunter jumps looks full of fill, but the out side is very clean and simple.
No flowers on the front, only some ferns off to the side.
This is a typical hunter oxer.Want something more fun? Go for the tiki hunt jump!
Those are pretty standard jump options for the amateur and professional hunter rings. Hunter derby jumps are whole different ballgame entirely! Tomorrow we'll look at some of the jumps from the Winter Equestrian Festival International Hunter Derby finals!