Junior hunter question

I have a question re: small vs large junior hunters.

First of all, are they always run separately? Or do they frequently combine them?

Second, are smalls generally cheaper due to lower demand? Methinks not, but maybe I’m wrong.

The division is designed to be run separately in 4 sections - Small 15U, small 16-17, large 15u and large 16-17. Often you will see multiple sections combined if there are not at least 3 in sections to fill. The small junior sections, at least in my zone, fill less frequently.

I can’t comment on price - I never had a small junior horse nor have I purchased or sold one - but I would assume no, they aren’t any cheaper just because of the lack of large numbers. A 16h or smaller horse with the scope and step for 3’6” has a lot of value - I would assume maybe even more than a large junior simply because there are fewer of them so if you have a good one, you have a much larger shot at having the winner. Just my thought - I’d be curious to hear a more informed perspective on this!


I think you are probably right about this.


Concur with @blondewithchrome’s thoughts, a good small junior is frequently pricier than a good large. But Smalls also have a lot more proving to do than the typical Large so that price tag usually only comes after they establish a 3’6" record with a kid, whereas a Large that’s showing talent can catch a killer sum fresh out of the Greens.


From our experience any discipline small proven will command very top dollars, usually it is the grand parent with bulging finances that is willing to spend whatever it takes to get beginner grand kid on the best mount

A successful small junior CAN command more than an equally successful large junior. That being said, a few factors to consider:

  1. Most parents still prefer to buy a bigger horse because they think their kid will fit it longer.
  2. Some people are more comfortable on a small because they feel that it may be too big a step to go from a large pony to a large horse… so the small junior size is popular at least in the 3’3".
  3. Because the small juniors usually don’t fill on their own, at least in my area, they are likely going to be combined with the larges and often do not do quite as well if they have to run for strides. My daughters 17+h large junior literally has to whoa in the lines sometimes, and we will see a small junior on the same course flying down the lines and sometimes ending up adding. Well they do usually jump better than my horse since he doesn’t have to try as hard, but some judges will favor the horse that just lopes around. Not interested in debating the relative length of a 15.3 h horses stride to one that is over 17 h because unlike ponies, we could be talking about a significant difference in size.
  4. I do not see real 3’6" smalls lasting very long or staying successful at that height unless they are with top programs and riders…lot more room for kid error to really mess up a horse if it can’t get itself out of trouble at that height as easily as a 17 h horse can.

The small junior hunters rarely fill around here.

I have seen trainers putting in unsuitable horses, just to get around for a low ribbon; so the horse can be advertised as a competitive small junior hunter. Adds, rubs, galloping just to make it around.

Um; no!!

Yes; a truly competitive small junior 3’6” hunter is probably worth more $$$ than a large. Maybe not more $$$ for the 3’3” division?

This is a very interesting point. I know this happens with regular large ponies, because there is SO little room for error to jump around a pony on a horse stride at 3’. I know many don’t last for this reason. I guess the same logic applies to a small junior. Thank you for calling that out.

This good news about that though is that they have the 3’3" junior option which is where i see alot more smalls. It is the same concept though as large ponies, however in the larges, you’re talking about for sure less than an inch in height differences at the worst case, but once you get into small vs large juniors you could literally have a 15.2 horse in the same class as an 18 h horse. That’s a huge difference.

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