Major Hunter Jumper Faults

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Hunters should have good form and have their knees up and even


Hunters are judged on their jumping style, manners and way of going in the competition ring. Usually judges score hunters on a percentage basis and assign horses a score that reflects the way the hunter round was presented in the ring. 

Based on the horses jumping style – the horse should have a round, symetrical arc over the jump and use his head and neck to make a smooth jump, with his/her knees folded up- the judge will assign a score and the horse with the highest score wins. 

When there are similar rounds the judge must decide which horse is the better jumper and which horse will win the class. The judge determins which faults and mistakes are major, minor and which faults they can live with. 

Major Hunter Faults 

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A refusal is considered a major fault


Some major faults that will cause you to be eliminated are: 

  • Fall – falling off is instant elimination
  • Off course – going off course or not jumping the proper posted course is not allowed
  • Jumping an obstacle before it has been reset
  • In back to back classes, riders must jump the first course first and the second course second.

 Other Major Hunter Faults 

Major hunter faults include (but not limited to): 

  1. Refusal or Disobedience
  2. Bucking and or Rearing
  3. Kicking Out
  4. Jumping in bad or dangerous form
  5. Adding a stride in a combination

Other Major hunter Mistakes include: 

  1. Trotting on course (including trotting to get the correct lead or trotting anywhere on course)
  2. Wrong lead or counter lead
  3. Disunited lead (cross cantering)
  4. Bad take off spot
  5. Hard rubs/knocks (especially with front legs) without a knock down

Minor Hunter Faults 

Some minor hunter faults include issues with the way of going of the horse: 

  1. Tense or stiff way of going
  2. slight loss of form
  3. Poor movement
  4. Tail Swishing or pinning of the horse’s ears
  5. General lack of scope

Some other Minor Hunter Mistakes include: 

  1. Cutting the corners
  2. minor pace adjustments
  3. Slightly late lead changes
  4. Light rubs
  5. Slightly close or long take off spot

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