In a now-deleted post in TPH lounge, there was a pretty interesting discussion going on about the incredible cost of competing in the Green Hunter National Championships. One of the more hotly contested comments was that the Nationals aren’t meant to be for everyone, and are not meant to be accessible. It’s for the “best of the best” and so that means its okay that there’s such a high cost to enter. One individual mentioned that they’d interviewed a professional who had worked her whole life to show their with her homebred horse, and that this was an example that the event should only be for the cream of the crop.
While a lot of these comments gave the ick, it did make me curious as to the origin of the Green Hunter Incentive and oh boy was it interesting. I’ll link the article here, from the founder of the Incentive back when it was the Pre-Greens that has since morphed into the Greens as we know it, but will include the most fascinating quotes below.
There’s nothing wrong with going to Europe to buy a horse. There you see quality horses with more mileage in greater numbers than what you’ll typically see in the United States. And often times you can see more of a finished product. But with the right incentive program in this country, we may be able to develop more of that same opportunity here as well.
Many of us really enjoy training pre-green horses and developing hunters. For many people, budget alone will direct them to a pre-green horse. By developing an incentive program there’s a way to compete your young horse without overtaxing him, and there’s more of a chance that you’ll be able to develop a pre-green horse and recoup some of your investment.
Our goal is to provide an inclusive, stable, reputable, accessible and level-appropriate high-money competition as an incentive to develop young hunters here in this country.
In my vision, being inclusive also means having a final where we can have huge numbers of pre-green horses from across the country. To participate in the final you would have to be enrolled—a reasonable fee that funds the pot for the final—but otherwise the requirements for participating in the final would be extremely minimal, maybe just competing in one or two of the qualifying classes through the season. We don’t want anyone to over-show his or her horse to qualify, and we do want to encourage everyone to come to the final!
Part of being inclusive means paying out money beyond the top tier. I’m not a big proponent of giving all the money to the top players at the championship. In both the hunter and the reining worlds, you’ll always have the top players, and it would be very discouraging to the second tier, much less the third tier, if they thought they didn’t have a chance. More people need to win more money in the hunter world!
So what do you think?