Western Show Events Explained: HUNTER IN HAND

Hunter in Hand is usually the first event of the day , this is mainly due to convenience with a change between this class and the western halter events. The winner of this class is the most suitable hunter under saddle type. The Hunter horse ideal should have a long and low stride, smooth and relaxed movement. The horse should be obedient, bright and willing. The class is judged 60% on movement 30% on conformation and 10% on temperament.

CLASS PROCEDURE: The exhibitor will enter the ring individually and present the horse to the judge for inspection. The horse will be set up in an “open” position so that all four legs are visible, as opposed to standing a horse square for Halter.  The judge will inspect from the front, rear and both sides.

Once the judge is finished his or her inspection, the exhibitor will then begin to walk the small triangle set out in cones. Then Trot the large triangle. Upon completion the exhibitor will leave the ring until all other competitors have finished.hunter_in_hand


  • You may be penalised if your hand touches the bit or chain.
  • you or your horse fall
  • you or your horse knock a cone
  • your horse breaks gait at any time


  • You will be disqualified if you go off pattern. ie complete trot before walk , or walk on the large triangle trot on the small, or fail to set up for inspection.


English attire is worn for this class , many competitors wear trousers. a polo shirt and sports shoes. Shirt or polo must be black or white . Jodhpur’s and jod boots are also acceptable.  Horses older than 2 years must be in a hunter bridle and under 2 years a leather halter.

NOTE You are permitted to show more than one horse in this class.



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