USHJA Announces the Creation of the USHJA Hunter Restructure Committee

July 15, 2008

An Open Letter from the Chairman, Geoff Teall.

Dear USHJA Members,

Recognizing that our sport of showing hunters has undergone a lot of change over the years, but our rules and structure have not necessarily kept pace, the USHJA hosted a retreat in Naples (FL) this past April. People involved in our sport representing all levels of our membership, and all geographical areas, spent two days in productive meetings skillfully facilitated by Kathy Meyer of the USEF.

From this meeting, the USHJA recognized the need to form a committee to continue to develop the needs and concepts identified through the two days of discussion. The Hunter Restructure Committee was formed with the following mission:

Our mission is to identify and preserve the core traditions of show hunters, while re-structuring the hunter division. We will encourage innovation, create expanded opportunities for participation, and provide for flexible competition choices. Our objectives, while always considering the well-being of our horses, are:

* Focus first on the professional rider divisions
* Create a national hunter championship event
* Evaluate and re-define our qualifying and awards systems
* Evaluate and re-define our competition approval and rating systems.

It is the committee’s intention to move slowly and deliberately through this process while seeking input from all interested USHJA members. To facilitate getting a huge and almost insurmountable project off the ground, we divided the committee into four sub-committees, based on the four points of our mission statement above and are as follows:

Professional Riders Division Committee- This committee will be looking at anything to do with the professional hunter divisions. The main objective is to create more interest in these sections and to try to get them better supported.

National Hunter Championship Committee- The main objective of this committee will be to form a new event that will be a true national championship, and one that will better serve the needs of the horse show community in the 21st century.

Qualifying and Awards Committee- This committee will consider how winners are determined for all our hunter awards, and any qualifying systems we have in place.

Competition Approval and Ratings Committee- This committee will take a look at the systems we have in place to approve horse shows, but also how and why they are rated as they are.

The complete USHJA Hunter Restructure Committee will ultimately be involved in all of the work of the four sub-committees. The intent of this committee is to thoroughly look at any and all problems we are facing in the hunter community today and try to come up with new and innovative solutions. We plan to be open minded, creative, and at the same time respectful of the existing strong points of our sport.

This is a huge project and will take a great deal of time and effort on all of our parts. The committee feels that there are two very important points vital to the success of this process that we want to convey to the membership:

* Our intention is to move very slowly and carefully on all of the above projects, making sure to carefully analyze the impacts on our sport from top to bottom.
* It is of the utmost importance that we get input from any and all interested parties at every step along the way

If you have any ideas, or are interested in helping the USHJA Hunter Restructure Committee please feel free to contact Melanie Fransen, Director of Programs and Education at or 859.225.6960 or any committee members listed below:

Chairman-Geoff Teall

Vice Chairman-Larry Langer

Professional Riders Division Committee-Susie Schoellkopf, Chairman, Chris Collman, Jenny Karrazissis, Kim Stewart, Betty Oare, and Lynn Walsh.

National Hunter Championship Committee-Louise Serio, Chairman, Coleen Mc Quay, Charlie Moorcroft, Lynn Jayne, Skip Thornbury, and Bob Bell.

Qualifying and Awards Committee-Marnye Langer, Chairman, Louise Serio, Otis Brown, Charlie Moorcroft, Lynn Jayne, Shelby French and Andre Dignelli.

Competition Approval and Ratings Committee-Shelley Campf, Chairman, Shelby French, Bob Bell, Skip Thornbury, Otis Brown, Chris Collman, and Lynn Walsh.


Back to Archived News