$15,000 High-Performance Hunters Classic at Washington International Horse Show Generates Interest in Growing Discipline
RELEASE: October 17, 2007
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Phelps Media Group
The United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) High-Performance Hunter Committee has been hard at work hosting demonstrations and classes this summer and fall, and the horse world is starting to take note. On Saturday night, the Verizon Center and the Washington International Horse Show played hosted to a $15,000 High-Performance Hunter Classic that wowed riders and spectators alike with its natural, rustic obstacles and similarity to a true hunt field.
Diane Carney, a Chicago-area trainer and a member of the High-Performance Hunter committee, has been a driving force behind the movement since inception. The goal of the committee is to bring the art back to the sport with more traditional classes, as opposed to the plain fences, ascending ground lines and all-weather footing that are common in today's hunter rings.
"The Washington class was a great success for the hunter industry and the high-performance hunter classes scheduled for 2008," Carney explained. "This provided for the largest audience of horsemen and women at all levels of the hunter industry a chance to give us their feedback. I am pleased to report that from the top of our sport to the recreational rider they enjoyed the style of riding and as spectators enjoyed the athletic effort and expressions of the horses."
The classic was by invitation only, and riders qualified by earning a championship or reserve championship in the rated hunter divisions. West-coast professional rider John French won the class aboard Wesley, a regular working hunter. Other participating riders included Jennifer Alfano, Cortie Wetherill, Jessica Springsteen, Amelia McArdle, Archie Cox and Tammy Chipko.
"The High-Performance Hunter Committee would like to thank the sponsors and management of the Washington International Horse Show for their important and well-timed assistance by offering the classic in this year of development. Their help gives the movement and our mission a real leg up!" Carney said.
Carney, based out of Hampshire, IL, has been both an active participant and influential trainer in the hunter and jumper community for many years. Her contributions to the industry extend to the many clinics that she teaches every year, in addition to those that she hosts annually for U.S. Show Jumping Chef d'Equipe George H. Morris and top hunter/jumper trainer Don Stewart, Jr. Carney is also a driving force behind the United States Hunter Jumper Association's High-Performance Hunter Committee, which seeks to develop a program that will bring the lost art of tradition and horsemanship back to the show ring.
The next high-performance hunter demonstration will be a $10,000 challenge at the St. Louis Horse Show in December. Carney's Telluride Farm students will compete next at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show in Harrisburg, PA, from Oct. 18-27, 2007.