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Young Jumper Championships

DIRECTIVES FOR COURSE DESIGNERS FOR YJC QUALIFYING CLASSES

The Young Jumper Championships events are designed to be an inviting and positive way for young horses to gain experience. To achieve this end it is important that course designers throughout the country are of the same mind as to the objectives of the Qualifying Classes.

  1. All courses should be designed to accommodate the greenness of the horses. Tracks should be flowing and smooth, without unpleasant turns or approaches; closely resembling a hunter track except utilizing jumper obstacles and distances.
  2. Keep in mind that the YJC class will most probably be the first and only opportunity for the horses to jump in the main jumper ring. This in itself will add a degree of difficulty to any course that you build. It is most important that the experience for the horses is positive.
  3. When an immediate jump-off format (Table II, 2b) is used, keep the first round track to a maximum 9 numbered fences, especially for the six-year-olds.
  4. Five-year-old classes should only use double combinations (triples are prohibited before June 1st), preferably in the later half of the course, and not involving difficult approaches or tricky fences. Course difficulty is set at Level 4 (3'6" - 3'9") before June 1, and Level 4 or 5 (3'9" - 4') later in the year, according to the prize list. Keep fences going into the combinations lower and only the verticals at the maximum height. Remember, even at the League Finals, the fences won't exceed 4'.
  5. Optimum Time scoring method requires an accurately measured time allowed. Keep the track generous but accurate for the first round, and tighter but fair if there is a jump-off. It is best to have the finish line close to the last fence, and facing away from the read-out board. This together with finishing with a line or a double keeps riders from 'playing with the clock.'
  6. Six-year-old classes should have both double and triple combinations, but again always presented in an encouraging manner. Course difficulty is set at Level 5 (3'9" - 4') before June 1, and Level 5 or 6 (4' - 4'3") later in the year, according to the prize list. Height at the League Finals won't exceed 4'.
  7. Seven-year-old (or classes combining seven and eight-year-olds) should be one step below an Intermediate class. When two rounds are used, keep in mind the scores of the horses from the first round in setting the course for the second round. Later in the season, the level of difficulty should approximate that of a strong Jr-AO Classic.
  8. Liverpools are encouraged for all age groups, however, for five-year-olds it can never be part of a combination, and if one with water in it is used, it must be used as an option. A water jump up to 10' in size (with a rail over it) should be used whenever a suitable one is available for the six-year-olds and seven-year-olds.
  9. The level of difficulty should increase slightly for all age groups as the show year progresses and the horses have had more opportunities to compete and gain experience.