Bernie Traurig’s 1960s round at the Fairfield Hunt Club would make your average show hunter today pee their Tailored Sportsmans.
According to the Medal Maclay website, a show hunter competes “over simplified courses meant to mimic traditional hunt field obstacles and the judging is subjective. In general, judges are looking for horses that are well mannered, athletic and attractive to ride safely and smoothly over the fences.”
On paper, that hasn’t changed over the years. In practice? Well, I’m not quite sure how this is supposed to mimic what you might see in the hunt field.
Counting strides? Crest release? Psh. Back in the day when your show hunter was your field hunter, it was more about just getting over all the jumps alive.
Though if you’re Bernie Traurig, equitation is just part of the package.
Compare to the baby green hunter class at the 2010 Washington International. Here’s a lovely, adjustable horse… but with the pace and size of the jumps, I have a feeling that for the hunter riders of old, this might as well be dressage.
Do you wish we could go back to the good old days? Or would you rather die before bringing your Antares saddle out into the mud? Battle it out in the comments!