Practical Horseman is excited to bring you our first Virtual Hunter Over-Fences Class. 

These last few months have brought us all a lot of uncertainty and the staff at Practical Horseman wants to give you something to be excited about. We’ve teamed up with USEF “R” Judge Tom Brennan, who will judge our virtual hunter over-fences class.

We realize that not everyone is able to ride right now, and we’re sorry to those of you who are missing time with your horses. (Trust us, we’re in the same boat!) For those of you who can ride, we hope that by offering this opportunity, we can help you have fun—and maybe win a nice prize or two!

A big thank-you to SmartPak for their support of our first virtual show with gift cards!

How to Enter

Read on to learn more about how the class works, how to enter and the rules to follow.

Good luck and have fun!

General Information

Entry period: Thursday, May 7, to Sunday, May 17

*NOTE: SPACE IS LIMITED TO THE FIRST 60 ENTRIES*

How the Class Works

• One class open to all hunter riders at the following heights: 2’, 2’3, 2’6, 3’ and 3’3

• To be judged riding over our predetermined hunter course that you will adjust to your chosen height (see course below)

• A helper records your round on video

• You email a link to your YouTube video to practicalhorsemanvirtualshow@gmail.com. Please see the section below on how to record your video.

PH-Virtual-Hunter-OF-Class

Judging

To be judged on your horse's manners, performance, suitability and soundness. You will be evaluated on the judge’s interpretation of the ideal for your fence height (2’, 2’3, 2’6, 3’ and 3’3). The judge determines which riders come closest to those ideals collectively and places riders in 1st–8th place.

Judge: Tom Brennan

Tom Brennan

Tom Brennan

Hunter rider, trainer and U.S. Equestrian Federation ‘R’ judge Tom Brennan was a co-trainer at Tony Workman’s training business, Winter Hill Farm, in Hillsboro, Virginia, for 14 years. During that time, he piloted several horse to multiple major championships, including the WCHR Hunter of the Year for Lynn Rice’s Gramercy Park in 2012, the same year Tom was named the WCHR National Emerging Professional Champion.

Tom and his wife, Tracy, now operate their Vineyard Haven Farm, based out of Round Hill, Virginia, where they have a robust training operation. In addition to teaching and training, Tom holds his USEF “R” judging licenses in Hunter and Hunter/Jumper Seat Equitation. He has judged the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association International Hunter Derby Championships, the ASPCA Maclay National Championship Regionals, the USEF Pony Finals, ANRC National Equitation Championships, the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championships and the New England Equitation Championships.

For more on Tom Brennan, check out our two-part training story, "Ride Your Hunter Round Like a Pro" (Part 1 and Part 2) and his podcast episode

Class results

Class results will be posted online and the 1st–8th-place finishers will be notified via email. Your video WILL NOT be posted publicly.

Prizes

• 1st place: $150 SmartPak gift certificate; audio evaluation of the round, courtesy of Tom Brennan’s Judge My Round; a 1-year membership to U.S. Rider (annual value: $159) and 1-year-subscription to Practical Horseman magazine (annual value: $15)

• 2nd place: $100 SmartPak gift certificate; 1-year subscription to Practical Horseman magazine

• 3rd place: $50 SmartPak gift certificate; 1-year subscription to Practical Horseman magazine

• 4th–8th places: 1-year subscription to Practical Horseman magazine

Rules

1. The class is $25 to enter (plus $2.99 data-entry fee; 5% charge-card merchant fee). Enter and pay here.

2. When entering the Practical Horseman Virtual Hunter Over-Fences Class, you ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND VOLUNTARILY AGREE TO THE RELEASE & WAIVER OF LIABILITY & INDEMNITY AGREEMENT posted here.

3. You must set our pre-determined hunter course (see downloadable course diagram). Choose your fence height (2’, 2’3, 2’6, 3’ and 3’3) and set all fences to that height. Be sure to include ground lines in front of every fence.

4. You must wear an ASTM/SEI approved helmet and appear in proper hunter-show attire; heeled boots and half-chaps are permitted.

5. Your horse’s legs must be bare (i.e. your horse must not be wearing any boots, polos, bell, etc.)

6. Coaching during the test is not allowed.

7. The natural background sound for the test must be audible. Rounds with no sound at all will be disqualified and your entry fee will not be returned.

8. You must submit your video via a YouTube link to practicalhorsemanvirtualshow@gmail.com

9. If the judge determines that the horse appears lame, the judge has the right to eliminate the rider from consideration.

10. Horses and riders are required to abide by standard equipment rules for hunters. You acknowledge that by submitting your entry, you agree to abide by standard rules of fair play and for the welfare of the horse.

11. Violation of any of these rules may result in the refusal to accept the entry or non-refundable scratch.

12. This virtual show does not count toward any awards points for any organization.

13. We will make every effort to judge this class fairly with the knowledge that there are inherent challenges to judging online shows that make it different from the real-life experience.

How To Record Your Round

Study our course, choose your fence height (2’, 2’3, 2’6, 3’ and 3’3) and set all fences to that height. You are ready to record your video.

Note: Videos of rounds must be one continuous filming; unedited from start to finish.

Step 1

Using a phone or video camera, have a helper video your round: Your helper will stand outside the arena, midway down the long side (see course diagram for which side), ideally in an outdoor arena/field during the daytime. For best results, the camera should not be facing into the sun. An indoor or covered arena may be used if the lighting is good—the better the lighting conditions, the better you will look.

Step 2

Scene 6_Time stamp

Prior to your opening circle, your videographer must show a cell phone displaying the date and time with you in the background, mounted on your horse. With the video still recording, speak into the camera and state your name, your horse’s name and the fence height you will jump. Proceed directly (no stopping and starting the video camera) to your opening circle and ride the course. The sound must be turned on throughout the entire video. From the time your round begins, make sure that you and your horse are in the video frame at all times and when jumping the fence, the entire fence is in the video frame.

Step 3

Upload your video to YouTube, (set to private if you want ) and email the YouTube link to practicalhorsemanvirtualshow@gmail.com

Please email questions to practicalhorsemanvirtualshow@gmail.com.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I enter?

A: You will fill out your entry form and pay here.

Q: How do I send you my video?

A: Upload your video to YouTube and email the YouTube link to practicalhorsemanvirtualshow@gmail.com

Q: Where can I find the course?

A: Click here for the downloadable course diagram.

Q: Can my coach offer tips/advice while I’m riding?

A: No. Coaching during the test is not allowed.

Q: Can I record my round without any sound?

A: No. The natural background sound for the test must be audible. Tests with no sound at all will not be accepted.

Q: Do I have to wear show attire for my test?

A: Yes, you must appear in proper hunter-show attire; heeled boots and half-chaps are permitted.

And you must wear an ASTM/SEI approved helmet.

Q: Can my horse wear wraps or boots?

A: No, your horse’s legs must be bare (i.e. your horse must not be wearing any boots, polos, bell boots, etc.)

Q: How will my round be judged?

A: We are offering one class open to all riders at the following heights: 2’, 2’3, 2’6, 3’ and 3’3 that will be judged over our predetermined hunter course adjusted to your chosen height. It will be judged on your horse's manners, performance, suitability and soundness.You will be evaluated on the judge’s interpretation of the ideal for your fence height. The judge determines which riders come closest to those ideals collectively and places riders in 1st–8th place.

Q: Who will judge my round?

A: Hunter rider, trainer and U.S. Equestrian Federation ‘R’ judge Tom Brennan.

Q: Will this round count toward my end of year awards?

A: This virtual show does not count toward any awards points for any organization.

Q: How will I be notified if I’ve won?

A: Class results will be posted online and the 1st–8th-place finishers will be notified via email.

Q: Will my video be used by Practical Horseman on their website or social media platforms?

A: No. Your video will be viewed only by the PH staff and the judge. They will not be made public. If you win the class, PH may ask for a nice photo of you and your horse to post on its Facebook and Instagram pages.

Q: Will I receive a prize?

A: Yes.

Q: Will you offer more virtual shows?

A: If this first class is a success, we’ll be offering more!

Still have questions? Email Practical Horseman at practicalhorsemanvirtualshow@gmail.com.

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