Do the TB hunter classes fill outside of WEF?

I’m in zone 8 specifically. Is there a way to search the usef website to see if these classes typically fill at the shows I’d want to attend?

I can’t reliably memorize jumper courses, or even eq courses if the old lady eq would fill. I’d blame it on the lifetime of concussions, but I couldn’t do it as a kid either so maybe it’s just my awesome brain.
I CAN memorize a hunter course! :grin:
I can NOT afford a $40k hunter, or even a $20k project (maybe I could, but I won’t). I CAN afford a $5k OTTB and make a nice riding animal out of it. I would prefer to not have to compete against warmblood hunters. I’m not sure I could get a TB fat enough.

I’ve only seen a TB hunter division run years back when I was the help at a big jumper barn doing WEF for the winter. Didn’t pay much attention. I know the TB hunter division exists in the rule book. There is also a small hunter class listed in the hunter divisions and I’ve never seen it run.

So does it run/fill? If not here in the Rockies, does it run in other zones?


I’ve seen it fill for years and years at the USEF shows in Saratoga, but that might be a little bit of a skewed sample, given the number of thoroughbreds in that town.

I think you could check show results on sites like and and the like to see what divisions have run in your area. I believe you can also look at the prize lists on those sites, so you can see if it was even offered in the first place.

Fun fact. Some friends of mine own a thoroughbred who has been champion in that division at Saratoga many times. One of the other horses who often shows against him in that division is owned by the person who used to train my friends’ horse when he was still a racehorse. Small world.

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Yes, yes you can.


It’s interesting in my area (PA) - there are TONS of TBs that show up at local shows for the 2’3/2’6 TB hunter divisions (plenty that are quite nice), but also I like to show my TB in the 3’ TAKE2 classes and at smaller B/C shows they sometimes do not fill. I have taken my guy to bigger A shows and they pretty much always run, albeit with 3-5 entries total typically.

You can totally get a TB fat enough to compete against WBs! I do my horse in the Adults and when I put in a good trip we are quite competitive at B/C shows and some A shows I’ve attended at State College, McDonaugh, Swan Lake, etc. He jumps well and has a pretty nice canter and we’ve gotten him super tubby with Purina SuperSport supplement! Of course we probably wouldn’t be competitive at WEF or something like that but for what I want to do, mostly local rated shows within my zone (Zone 2 which is pretty competitive), he is perfect! If I was able to show him enough we likely would be able to qualify to Zone finals given our results.


You totally can. I’m literally doing exactly what you propose (cheap TB project). We might do some TB classes (especially given that some of them actually pay money!), but I have no qualms about taking my girl out against some warmbloods. If you lay down eight jumps, judge doesn’t care what breed your horse is. I do still believe that.


I’m on Zone 8 and I’ve never seen the TB hunters fill, unfortunately.

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[quote=“jonem004, post:1, topic:754340, full:true”] I’m not sure I could get a TB fat enough.


Most hunters are too fat anyway. Think about any other aerobic activity where you want the athlete to be fat.


We had a girl on a $5k TB get ribbons in the childrens and then adults (when she aged out) hunters and eq. Sometimes you get a judge who really likes that way of going, this was at AA shows at WEC Ohio. A good jump is a good jump.


This is what I see at the local/regional shows around here as well. The 3’ might not fill and gets combined for placings with 2’6”, but the show usually still put the jumps up for anyone who wants to do their trips at 3’.

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I also think that USEF shows might have better luck filling the thoroughbred division if it ran at 2’9” instead of 3’, for the people who want to save the horse’s green status for the following year.


It definitely runs/fills/is reasonably competitive here in the mid-Atlantic. There are also plenty of TBs out there on the regional level doing the child/adult/3’eq stuff.

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You can absolutely bet a TB “fat enough!”

The thought that you can’t really bugs me because it shows a lack of knowledge and is dismissive to a wonderful breed of horses. People say it all the time, but it’s not true. It’s just a sentiment that is repeated over and over for some reason, ad nauseam .

Back in the 70s, 80s, and 90s, ALL the hunters were TBs. Did they appear too skinny”? :roll_eyes:

No, no they didn’t. They looked wonderful and they were wonderful. Yes, they’re a more sensitive ride than is favored these days, but when they’re good, they’re fantastic!

My TB is always mistaken for a WB. I mean always! With the right program and feeding, you can get a TB “Hunter-fit”. Yes it can be harder to manage their diet than a warmblood who can live on air, but with a working knowledge of horse nutrition it can 10000% be done.


I knew a horse years ago who was extremely successful and won everywhere from WEF to Washington. He was a warmblood, but he had a lot of thoroughbred in him. So you could look at him and imagine that he was whichever one you preferred. Lol.


Certainly there are plenty of TB’s that do well in the hunters. But I would rather compete like to like instead of riding a TB against the dolphinesque WB’s. I also wouldn’t mind getting a piece of the hack and that’s an even trickier place for TB’s to compete. Let me also say that if you have a source for hack winning TB mares over 16hh and under $5k, I’d be interested in knowing about that!!

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Go to any racetrack in the fall. You will be inundated with choices!

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Interesting point, especially with the addition of pre-green incentive. We shall see where I end up with my horse before the end of the year, but I suspect that we will stick to the 2’6" at the max in order to preserve her green if I sell her. Luckily, most TIP classes up here (Zone 2) run at that height and do fill. (I do think the “image issue” with the Thoroughbreds is that no one is willing to go through the work of bringing them along. I don’t think they’re any less sale-able than a comparable warmblood doing the same work, but I’ll report back when I cross that bridge myself.)

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Really? I just bought one and we are on her third post-track ride… She is skinny and furry, but she is a legit 16.2 and already floats around on the buckle at the trot. She came from Mountaineer Park in West Virginia and I bought her off a 10-second jog video.

I had a hack-winning TB in Zone 7 for awhile, and you’re in Zone 8 which is arguably less competitive. I guess no one told the horse he shouldn’t be winning under saddles out of 18-25 horses.


Are the TB hunters filling in your region?

Yes, see my post above. I’m in Zone 2 now and they do fill, likely because they often offer money, but I would say you see the bulk of TBs up here in the 3’ divisions with amateurs or juniors.

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I’m in Zone 6 and they fill out here all the time.