The classes have two phases. Firstly, the ponies must jump a course of not less than six natural looking fences of a maximum height according to the class; they are then judged on conformation, action, ride, etc. as in a Show Hunter Pony class.

The suggested classes are:
13 hands and under. Fences to have a minimum height of 60cms, a maximum of 75cm with a maximum spread of 85cms
Over 13 hands and not exceeding 14.2 hands. Fences to have a minimum height of 75cms, a maximum of 90cm with a maximum spread of 100cms

Generally, the type required is much the same as the Show Hunter Pony but may exhibit slightly less quality with more substance, and obviously able to carry a child on a cross country ride, where small fences, logs and ditches would be jumped. Since these ponies are expected to be able to jump and perform across country, an honourable bump or lump can be overlooked as long as the pony is still perfectly sound.

It is up to the judge to decide how much emphasis should be placed on type and how much on performance. However, the pony must exhibit an ability to jump and be fit enough to go a distance. Over conditioned ponies should be scored down.

The jumping phase is always judged first and there are 50 marks for jumping and 10 for style and manners while jumping. Knocking down a fence incurs 10 penalties: the first refusal costs 15 penalties, the second 20 and the third disqualification. A complete turn in the front of the fence counts as a refusal. A fall of horse or rider is a disqualification. In the jumping phase judges expect the ponies to jump the course fluently and smoothly, neither going right into the bottom of the fences, nor standing too far off. As manners are taken into account, pulling, jibbing or a disobedience of any kind will be penalised.

The second phase is judged as a Show Hunter class but with definite points allotted. Conformation, soundness and freedom of action carry a maximum of 30 marks and style and manner while jumping 10 marks. Included in the second round are at least all ponies which have jumped a clear round or had only 10 faults plus whatever others the judge chooses to include apart from those eliminated in the first phase. Competitors are not permitted to change saddlery between the first and second phases. A running martingale may be used.

Photo: Horizons Photography

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