Has A Winner In Its Annual Hunter Classic
American Hunter Jumper Foundation Continues to Achieve Its Goals
years ago when the American Hunter-Jumper Foundation, Inc. (AHJF)
decided to debut the first ever AHJF Hunter Classic it was the beginning
of a new vision for the sport of show hunter competition. The concept
was to have a very special class, different than what had been done
in the past. The class would premiere in the evening under lights,
offer the largest prize money purse in the history of show hunter
competition and serve a fine dinner affording spectators a quality
view of the class. All of this was designed around the needs of
the exhibitors and created to serve as the single largest fundraiser
of the AHJF. Money from the fundraiser would enable the organization
to continue its many programs geared to benefit hunter horses and
riders. As the years pass the Hunter Classic continues to achieve
AHJF are doing such a good job promoting the hunters, commented
Scott Stewart, who has both participated in and trained a number
of the riders who have competed in this competition. One of his
riders, Cody Baird, won the class on Most Wanted in 2000. Most Wanted
placed eighth in the 2001 Classic and was fourth in 2002, when Baird
was also ninth on Allstar.
under the lights was special. Then all the people watching. It really
is a fun class, commented Baird after winning the 2000 Hunter
Kerr watched the crowd react warmly to Bairds victory, I
think the size of the crowd speaks for itself. People love seeing
the hunters in the spotlight. I hope more effort will be made to
give the hunters more events that showcase their beauty and artistry.
It is an art form all to itself.
hunter rider Holly Hays, who annually competes in this event, commented,
People are more interested. Hays placed second (The
Winning Edge) and third (Spectacular Ruler) in 2000. In 2001 she
again placed second, this time on Regall.
worked equally as hard and are equally as skilled as the jumper
riders, but we didnt have any of the pomp and circumstance,
added Louise Serio, Kennett Square, PA, the founder of the AHJF.
American Hunter Jumper Foundation grew out of the idea of a World
Champion Hunter Rider Association. Eventually the AHJF became the
umbrella organization, which incorporated the WCHR awards, a system
that rewards the hunter riders based on the strength and consistency
of their performances. The WCHR Awards Program sanctions a limited
number of shows throughout the U.S. and Canada, and presents a limited
number of special events, including the AHJF Hunter Classic. The
program offers both national and regional awards. The National Championships
take place at the Capital Challenge Horse Show in the fall.
if this werent already enough, the AHJF supports its own by
offering a Retired Equine Placement Resource, an Emergency Relief
Fund, Educational and Member Programs, Industry Seminars and Forums
and a Business Support Association for its members.
a membership organization, the dues go towards all of the above,
but in the end it is fundraisers like the Hunter Classic, which
raises the funds that allow the AHJF to provide the hunter industry
with the support and rewards it deserves.
of us at the AHJF work tirelessly during the months leading up to
the Classic. By the time the night arrives we are exhausted, stretched
too thin and overwhelmed by the anticipation of the evening ahead
of us. But, then the people begin to arrive, the horses walk the
course, the dinner is served and the night begins. The crowd gets
excited, the horses perform beautifully, and Kenny does his magic
from the Tower. It is then that I take a moment to see the results
of our hard work, when I look around and see the crowd of people
actually watching, understanding and cheering for 26 show hunters,
it makes it worth every sleepless night," comments Executive
Director Michele Perla.
the year it began the Hunter Classic continues to prove that hunters
can offer something special to an audience if presented properly.
And so annually the AHJF Hunter Classic proves to be a winner!
information about purchasing tables for the fundraising dinner call
the Winter Equestrian Festival Special Event Office at 561-753-3389.
For information about the Hunter Classic contact the AHJF at 335
Lancaster Street, West Boylston, MA 01583-0369, call 508-835-8813,
fax 508-835-6124 or email AHJF@aol.com.
For point standings: http://www.ryegate.com
week the Winter Equestrian Festival runs Wednesday through Sunday
beginning at 8:00 AM)
Gold Coast Classic - January 29 - February 2
Wellington Dressage January 30 February 2
Kilkenny/ICH Internationale February 5 9
Florida Classic/WCHR Spectacular February 12 16
Florida Dressage Classic February 13 - 16
Zada Enterprises, LLC Wellington Masters February 19
Tommy Bahama Palm Beach Open February 26 March 2
Cosequin Wellington Finale March 5 9
Zada Enterprises, LLC WEF Dressage Classic March 13
to the Winter Equestrian Festival are available by phone at 793-JUMP
or at the gate. Admission is free on Wednesdays. Children 12 &
under are free all days. Senior admission is $5 every day. Adult
admission is $5 on Thursday and Friday, $10 on Saturday, and $15
on Sunday. Parking is free.