PLATINUM PERFORMANCE/USHJA GREEN HUNTER INCENTIVE CHAMPIONSHIP
Returning for the fifth consecutive year, the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship, formerly known as the Pre-Green Incentive Championship, for horses competing at 3'0" and 3'3", will see 148 horses compete for more than $218,000 in prize money over three rounds of competition, as well as $14,000 in bonus awards. An additional $15,000 Tier II Rider Bonus Award will be open to riders who are 31st or below on the Green Hunter Incentive Program rider money won three-year earnings list. This bonus award is paid out across the top 10 placing Tier II riders, providing competitors more opportunities to win.
The Green Hunter Incentive Championship, beginning at approximately 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August 15, in the Walnut Ring will consist of three rounds, and will offer both 3' and 3'3" fence heights. Riders choose the height at which their horses compete. All horses will compete in the first two rounds, in which they receive numerical sores and prize money for their placings in each round. The 30 horses with the highest combined scores from the first two rounds of competition advance to the third round where they will start with a clean slate.
Additional prizes for the Green Hunter Incentive Championship include the Best Turned Out Award, presented by Shapley's, and a Style of Riding Award. The overall Champion will also receive product from Championship title sponsor Platinum Performance, a cooler from The Clothes Horse, a Charles Owen helmet, Professional's Choice Pro Mesh Sport Boots, a riding shirt from Essex Classics, and a pair of breeches from FITS Riding. Additionally, the rider of the winning horse will receive a CWD saddle and the owner will receive a TheraPlate Equine System.
USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship
Beginning Friday, August 18, the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship will kick off in the Rolex Stadium with 89 horse and rider combinations competing in the Classic Hunter Round over a course featuring traditional International Hunter Derby-style fences.
The week will culminate on Saturday evening, August 19, under the lights of the Rolex Stadium with the exciting Handy Hunter round. This year, prize money for the Derby Championship is more than $265,000 and an additional $1,500 in bonus prize money will be awarded to leading riders.
For the Saturday evening Handy Hunter Round, riders will be grouped into two tiers based on the amount of total money earned over the last three years in International Hunter Derbies as of December 1, 2016. Tier I riders are those ranked 1-40 on the three-year earnings list, and Tier II riders are those ranked below 40th. Horse-and-rider combinations (regardless of tier) placing in the top 20 of the Classic Hunter round will be eligible for 80 percent prize money and compete in Section A of the Handy round. The top 20 Tier II horse-and-rider combinations, including those who qualified for Section A, will be eligible for 20 percent of the prize money; those not in Section A will compete in Section B of the Handy.
Additionally, the overall champion of Section A will receive a TheraPlate Equine System, a Charles Owen Helmet, Professional's Choice Pro-Mesh Sport Boots, a pair of FITS Breeches, a cooler from The Clothes Horse, and an Essex Classics show shirt.
The overall Section A champion rider will also receive a CWD saddle and a $1,000 Rider Bonus provided by Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw. The Section B champion rider will receive a $500 Rider Bonus provided by Ron Danta and Danny Robertshaw, FITS riding breeches, an Essex Classics show shirt and a cooler from The Clothes Horse. Prizes will also be given for the Shapley's Best Turned Out Award, Rider Style Award, and to the top placing Junior-Owner rider and top placing Amateur rider.
Additionally, the $10,000 Derby Challenge, supported by the Spring Gathering Charity Horse Show and PJP Farm, will be held the afternoon of August 19, allowing riders that did not qualify for either Section A or Section B Handy Round to take home a substantial amount of prize money.
While exhibitors will be earning significant prize money, spectators will also have the chance to win prizes during the International Hunter Derby Championship. Saturday night, August 19, will not only play host to the Handy Hunter round but also USHJA Barn Night. Spectators will have the ability to watch the top hunter riders in the country compete for the International Hunter Derby Championship title, as well as a chance to win exciting prizes, including tickets to the 2018 Kentucky Three-Day Event. The barn with the most spectators in attendance will win. Spectators should stop by the USHJA Booth located on the concourse level of the Rolex Stadium beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 19, to enter.
Wall-to-Wall Live Streaming Coverage Online
For those not able to watch the week-long competition in person, EQSportsNetwill be providing wall-to-wall live streaming coverage of and on demand access to every round of both Championships. Coverage includes expert commentary on the final rounds, course visualization and live scoring.
USHJA members receive a 50 percent discount on their monthly EQSportsNet subscription. With this discount, Live Access is just $4.99 for members and includes both live and on demand coverage of the championships. Full Access is just $12.50 and includes the ability to search more than 16,000 videos from the most prestigious competitions of 2015, 2016, and 2017. Members access the discount by inputting their USHJA member number in the coupon code when subscribing to EQSportsNet.
Spectators from home are invited to host a viewing party and share their experience for a chance to win a free one-year EQSportsNet subscription. Just use the hashtag #USHJADerbyParty by August 20 for a chance to win.
Coverage begins on Tuesday, August 15, at 9:15 a.m. ET with the Opening Ceremonies of the Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship, followed by the first horse on course at approximately 9:30 a.m. ET.
For more information including the complete schedule, orders of go, and online results for the 2017 Platinum Performance/USHJA Green Hunter Incentive Championship, visit www.ushja.org/GreenChampionship. For more information, including the complete schedule, orders of go and online results for the 2017 USHJA International Hunter Derby Championship, visit www.ushja.org/IHDChampionship.
Photo by Shawn McMillen