USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Championships Slated for 2019 on East and West Coasts 


Lexington, Ky. --- --September 7, 2018 --- - Based on the popularity of the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Program, sponsored by Markel, the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is excited to announce that 2019 will bring the inaugural USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Championships to either coast. Kentucky Summer Classic July 30-August 4, 2019, will host the 2019 East Coast Championship in Lexington, Kentucky, while Blenheim Fall Tournament September 11-15, 2019, will host the 2019 West Coast Championship in San Juan Capistrano, California.
The USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Championships aim to provide pony riders with a new, fun championship goal to set for 2019. Credit: Tricia Booker/USHJA
"The popularity of Derby competitions continues to increase across the country, and we're very excited to bring a Championship opportunity to some of our youngest Derby competitors," said Mary Babick, USHJA president. "We hope by offering the Championships on either coast, we provide ample opportunity for members to participate."
Since the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Program began in 2017, 825 ponies have earned points in the program, and competitions have hosted more than 70 pony derbies nationwide. The USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Championships will give pony competitors a new goal to set in addition to the longstanding USEF Pony Finals and new AON/USHJA National Championships at The Las Vegas National, CSI4*-W, which are offered for the first time this year.
Qualifying is based on the pony, and qualifying is already underway. All ponies that have competed in at least one USHJA Pony Hunter Derby within the qualifying period, which differs for each championship, are qualified. Qualifying for the East Coast is August 13, 2018-June 2, 2019, and qualifying for the West Coast is August 13, 2018-July 15, 2019. Riders may compete on a total of four ponies but no more than two of the same size.
The Championships follow a traditional Derby format, composed of two rounds: a Classic Hunter-style Round and a Handy Hunter Round. All qualified and entered ponies will compete in the classic round, and USHJA will invite a minimum of the top 12 ponies from the Classic Round to return for the Handy Round. Two panels of judges will adjudicate the Championships; each panel will consist of two judges. The two panels' scores will be averaged for a final numerical score in each round. Cumulative scores over the two rounds will determine the winner, and ties for first place will require a jump-off round.
USHJA extends special thanks to program sponsor Markel and inaugural host management companies Kentucky Horse Shows LLC and Blenheim EquiSports.
Learn more about the USHJA Pony Hunter Derby Championships coming to the East and West coasts in 2019 at

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