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Inspired by a post in TPH Adult Ammy lounge, the origin of the USHJA Green Hunter Incentive

I think one of the horses that did well this year was pretty much fresh off the plane from Europe. It maybe did one or two shows before the big event. I don’t remember now if it was doing the green incentive or the derby finals.

But that one would certainly be the exception more than the rule.

Look, a very nice green hunter at Lake Placid this year jumped 1.40m in Europe and cost 500k Euros off the the plane. These horses aren’t “green.”


This is the one I remembered. Reserve champion in the 3’6”-3’9” section of the green incentive finals. Pretty darn good for his third show.


I just have to chime in on this. WEC was never, ever going to be some affordable mecca that suddenly made Florida attainable for the masses. They offered free stalls and got in a fight with USEF so everyone thought they were the bees knees, but one look at that complex and what it cost to build and it’s pretty obvious those dollars were gonna need recouping somehow.

Marketing gurus they are (which I can appreciate), but they didn’t build a world class hotel so we could run affordable 3-day shows and leave the rings (and rooms) empty the other half of the week.

Back on track, I really have no problem with the Incentive Finals being a “pro” class, and there’s no shortage of jr/am finals. Didn’t see this in the quoted bit, but I thought one of the original goals was to encourage investment in horses for pros to develop… like the olden days. That said, an “Owner to Ride” set of ribbons would be nice (and probably far more interesting to watch lol).


As I recall, they did the same thing when they started running the H/J shows in Ohio. At first. Once word got around, I don’t think that continued for long.

I think the Ohio facility is super freaking useful for the midwest contingent and actually does make things more accessible. Similarly, the new crew running the St. Louis shows deserves a shout-out. They’re working really hard to make that venue viable again (not easy). Honestly, the drain of all the money & customers to Florida every winter has probably done more to damage to the industry than it gets credit for.

But I just laughed and laughed and laughed when people where shocked that they were closing the free stalls deal. Shocked, I tell you!


IIRC is was free one year, then pretty cheap for a couple more years in OH before going to more “normal” pricing. The year I went it was something like $75 for the stall?

I don’t remember the exact numbers, but I know that some friends of mine started going there back then, and have continued to go there ever since.

I do remember my friends were there when the Covid shut down happened, and they said the management and crew at WEC Ohio could not have been more kind and helpful as they had to rearrange all their shipping and travel plans at the last minute.

But it sort was advertised that way because they were giving the middle finger to usef. :woman_shrugging: People were sort of hopeful that finally things might change. :roll_eyes: You know the whole usef stranglehold. WEC was never going to be accessible to say back yard types, but us amateurs thought we would be able to swing a couple of weeks. Didn’t take long for that to head south literally.

Just came here to say, I’m always in it for the picture and to not scare my horse.


Anyone, and I mean ANYONE who thought WEC was going to be the cheaper option was taking better drugs than the Sackler family ever peddled.

USEF is the umbrella organization, so maybe that’s not the right place to point fingers. A whole lot of other disciplines show under USEF (and pay the same fees) and do not cost an arm and a leg. OK, maybe an arm, because showing horses has never been confused with a sport for the poor peeps. But the costs associated with this ONE organization under USEF should not be confused with everyone under USEF. I think USHJA is a better starting place for addressing what ails h/j land.


Both are pretty much run like factories now. All about corporate sponsorships, big money classes to attract the BNTS and Big Pros, and the amount of scammy ammys and pro-riding juniors is just ridiculous. It’s to the point where you can’t just have 1 horse and compete, because you’re against people with multiple horses in multiple divisions. Not only is it a matter of out-priced, it’s out-ridden since we all know that time in the saddle has value. In all my years of riding, I’ve never felt like having THE HORSE wasn’t enough, but with people entering so many levels of hunters with multiple horses, I now feel like I have so many less opportunities to get it right and that unless it’s absolutely flawless, I’m not even placing in the ribbons. It’s disheartening.


How is this any different than pony finals, which occurs the week after kids start school in GA? Is pony finals now considered inaccessible because it’s scheduled during school time in several states and parents have to take off work and kids have to take off school one week after they started? Talk about challenging!

We simply can’t expect major championship shows to all take place on weekends. It’s one week out of the year.

I enrolled my horse in the Green Hunter Incentive program with my horse in 2020. I was able to earn extra money at the regular rated shows in the Green Hunter Incentive classes which helped to offset the enrollment and show fees. The incentive program isn’t just about the finals. The program is accessible at the regional level as the likelihood of the likes of Nick Haness and John French showing up at your class at a regular week of TIEC or whichever show you happen to be at is pretty rare.

If we confuse the program with just the Green Hunter Incentive finals, then yes, it seems like a lot of money for nothing and would appear to be an inaccessible program.

However, you don’t need a $200k horse to have an ROI on your fees to enter this program or to show up and compete at finals.

To make it even more accessible, they could better tier the program and have sub-placings/divisions based on how much experience (how many shows entered) the horses have.

They could also tier the American bred and trained horses to give them a leg up since they are often competing against advantaged imports who competed in jumpers prior to import, whereas a purpose bred America. hunter lacks that show experience. I am aware hunters and jumpers are completely different disciplines, but let’s not fool ourselves that it takes months of conversion training to make a jumper a hunter. With the right demeanor they generally settle right in - we see trainers get them out of quarantine and take them to show the hunters one week later All. The. Time. #notreallygreenbutidigress


Brian Feigus’ horse, Magic Moment, did his first show there, did Derby Finals, and finished top 25. The Tier program is a joke. Tell me how people who have been tricolors at indoors, Devon, etc. can be considered a “Tier II” rider. They need to adapt a little to what WCHR has to differentiate between a Pro and Developing Pro. The whole program is a money maker for the USHJA. They need to cap how many horses a rider can do in each section, offer more incentives to those who aren’t the regular top 5 people, and make it a little more accessible. You have to pay to get into the program, and then $850.00 to enter the class as well. Insane.

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They are adding AO winner next year