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How To Ride Round Two of a Hunter Derby

Photo Credit: Hunter Messineo 2009

Submitted by member: Angie

The hunter derby classes have grown so much in popularity, and I would love to learn more about them. How would you ride the second round differently than the first? Is the second round similar to riding a handy?

Answer by Julie Winkel

The second round of the USHJA International and National Hunter Derby Competitions ARE judged as a handy round. In fact, there is an extra set of bonus points awarded to each competitor for the handy round in the International classes. A bonus score from 1-10 (10 being the highest) is awarded and determined by the judges—based on efficiency of track and brilliance of pace. Additionally, the second round of both the International and National classes are scored as a handy round and should be ridden as such.

A handy round should show that your horse can make tighter turns, daring approaches, and inside turns, where possible, without sacrificing jumping style. However, inside turns resulting in cross cantering, loss of lead and/or poor jumping style are NOT going to result in a higher score. Good jumping style with efficiency and brilliance is the key to winning the handy round.

julie winkel barn flood

Julie Winkel’s Farm, Maplewood Stables, recently experienced a devastating flood that resulted in $300,000 in property damage. And although Julie has paid $15,000 each year for the past 30 years for flood insurance, none of the damage is covered. Learn more about the flood on her website. If you want to help, you can donate to the gofundme page that has been set up to help raise funds to repair the damage. You can also spread the word about the nice horses she has decided to sell to help fund the rebuilding of Maplewood. For more information on the horses Julie has available, please visit the Sales page on her website:


Video Recommendations:

how to ride a handy hunter course

Riding The Handy
Peter Pletcher
Peter shares some of his secrets to successfully navigating the different elements of a Handy Hunter course. Along with many tips to produce a seamless round, he demonstrates several exercises you can practice at home to prepare for the show ring.
Running Time:  21 minutes

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tips to turn your horse over the jump

Turning Over Fences with Timing & Technique
Bernie Traurig
As implied by the title, this video examines the components of turning in the air. The ability to successfully turn over a fence without compromising your horse’s jump is crucial in the equitation ring, in handy hunter classes and in most jumper rounds.
Running Time:  16 minutes 21 seconds

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Julie Winkel

Julie Winkel has been a licensed Hunter, Equitation, Hunter Breeding and Jumper judge since 1984. She has officiated at prestigious events such as Devon, Harrisburg, Washington International, Capital Challenge, The Hampton Classic and Upperville Horse Shows. She has designed the courses and judged the ASPCA Maclay Finals, The USEF Medal Finals and The New England Equitation Finals.

For more information, visit her website:

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