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Futurity Class Descriptions

SPORT HALTER: Weanlings and yearlings shown (preferably) in a brown, leather halter and matching lead and are not to be shod. Two-and-three-year-olds may be shown in a brown bridle with snaffle bit and may or may not be shod. Tan or black pants (casual or dress), shirt (knit polo or button-down cotton/cotton blend, short or long sleeves) are acceptable. Comfortable running shoes are recommended. Jackets, hats, gloves and dressage whips are optional. Blue jeans are not acceptable. There is to be no identification of horse, owner or farm anywhere on the horse or handler.
HITCH HALTER: Weanlings may not be shod. Yearlings and older may be shod. It is preferable for hitch entries of all ages to be shown in a white, patent leather halter and matching lead. Show sticks are optional. Handlers may wear comfortable clothes of choice. Blue jeans are not acceptable. There is to be no identification of horse, owner or farm anywhere on the horse or handler.
PLEASURE SINGLE WORKING CART: To be shown both ways of the arena at a walk, slow trot, working trot and a strong trot. Horses will also be asked to halt and to rein back. Gait descriptions are as follows:
      WALK: A free, regular and unconstrained walk of moderate extension. The horse should walk energetically, but calmly, with even and determined pace.
      SLOW TROT: The horse should maintain forward impulsion while showing submission to the bit. The trot is slower and more collected, but not to the degree required in the dressage-collected trot. The horse should indicate willingness to be driven on the bit while maintaining a steady cadence.
      WORKING TROT: This is the pace between the strong and slow trot and more rounded than the strong trot. The horse goes forward freely and straight; engaging the hind legs with good hock action; on a taut but light rein; the position being balanced and unconstrained. The steps should be as even as possible. The hind feet touch the ground in the print of the fore feet. The degree of energy and impulsion displayed at the working trot denotes clearly the degree of suppleness and balance of the horse.
      STRONG TROT (“TROT ON”): This is a clear, but not excessive, increase in pace and lengthening of stride while remaining well balanced and showing appropriate lateral flexion on turns. Light contact to be maintained. Excessive speed will be penalized.
      HALT: The horse and vehicle should come to a complete square stop without abruptness or veering. At the halt, horses should stand attentive, motionless and straight with the weight evenly distributed over all four legs and be ready to move off at the slightest indication from the driver.
      REIN BACK: Rein back is defined as a backward movement in which the legs are raised and set down simultaneously in diagonal pairs with the hind legs remaining well in line. To be performed in two parts:
      (1) The horse must move backward at least four steps in an unhurried manner with head fixed and straight, pushing the carriage back evenly in a straight line. The driver must use quiet aids with light contact.; and
      (2) move forward willingly to the former position using the same quiet aids.
      This class is judged 70% on performance, manners and way of going; 20% on the condition and fit of the harness and vehicle; 10% on neatness of attire.
      Black harness is considered appropriate for painted vehicles and natural wood vehicles having black trim (i.e. shaft coverings, ironwork, dash or upholstery). Brown or russet harness is considered appropriate with natural wood finished vehicles trimmed in brown. All metal furnishing should match, be secure and polished. Breast collars are appropriate with lightweight vehicles. Full collars are suggested for heavy vehicles such as coaches, brakes, phaetons, dogcarts, etc. A correctly fitting harness saddle is important for the comfort of the horse. A wide saddle is suggested for two wheeled vehicles as more weight rests on the horse’s back. Narrow saddles are more appropriate for four wheeled vehicles. Martingales and overchecks are prohibited in dressage classes for all vehicles. Sidechecks are optional. Snaffle bits and other types of traditional driving bits are allowed. Bits may be covered with rubber or leather. Drivers should strive to present an appropriate turnout. Appropriate indicates the balance and pleasing appearance of the combination of horse and vehicle. Factors determining the above include compatible size, type and weight of horse and vehicle. A groom is optional for a single horse turnout. Grooms assisting a turnout must be on the vehicle and attired properly.
      The driver should be seated comfortably on the box so as to be relaxed and effective. Either the one or two-handed method of driving is acceptable. Drivers should not be penalized or rewarded for using one style over another. The driver should sit on the off (right hand) side of the vehicle. An appropriate whip shall be carried in and at all times while driving. The thong on the whip must be long enough to reach the shoulder of the horse. The whip salute is used to acknowledge the judge at the start and finish of an individual test. The whip salute is performed in one of the following ways:
      1. For a lady, by moving the whip, held in the right hand, to a vertical position, the butt end even with the face; or
      2. By moving the whip, held in the right hand, to a position parallel with the ground, the handle before the face.
      3. A gentleman may place the whip in his left hand and remove his hat with his right hand.
      It is the responsibility of each driver to insure that harness and vehicle are in good repair and structurally sound. Bridles should be adjusted to fit snugly to prevent catching on a vehicle or other piece of harness. A throatlatch and noseband or cavesson is mandatory. It is the responsibility of each driver to insure that his horse is physically fit to fulfill the tasks required. The driver should always be the first person to enter the vehicle and the last to leave. Drivers should strive to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles both during the competition and in the warm-up and parking areas. Only the driver may handle the reins, whip, or brake during a competition. Under no conditions shall a bridle be removed from a horse while it is still put to a vehicle. The horse must never be left unattended while put to a vehicle.
      Hats, gloves, apron and whip are required for all pleasure drivers. Suit/sport coats and ties are recommended for men; tailored jacket/blouse and long skirt are recommended for ladies.
HITCH SINGLE CART: To be shown at the walk and trot. To stand quietly and back readily. At all times to show ability to work as a unit with evenness of tugs. To be judged on 60% on performance and 40% on driver and equipment. Presence, quality, manners, and matching will be taken into consideration. Show harness is recommended, with scotch top collars preferred, but not required.
      Men shall be attired in jackets, ties, slacks or suits. Ladies shall be attired in appropriate dress, slack suits, dress suits, dress or skirt with blouse. Whips, hats and gloves are optional for all hitch drivers. Blue denim jeans are not permitted.
ENGLISH PLEASURE RIDING: To be shown at a walk, trot, extended trot, canter and extended canter or hand gallop with light contact maintained on the horse’s mouth. To be judged on performance, manners, soundness, way of going, and the ability to give a good pleasure ride 60%; type and conformation 40%.
      Horses will enter the ring to the right, they will reverse either toward the outside or inside of the arena. Horses may be asked to back, perform in groups on the rail or be asked to perform individual patterns at the judge’s discretion. No more than 8 horses will be asked to hand gallop on the rail at one time.
      An English bridle is required, preferably with a snaffle bit. Harsh bits are unacceptable. Optional equipment includes spurs of an unroweled type, gloves, English breast plate, crops/whips, saddle pad. Prohibited equipment includes leg wraps, draw reins, flash, figure 8 or dropped cavessons, tie downs or martingales, rowelled spurs.
      Acceptable attire includes hunt coats of conservative colors (black, navy, green, melton/tweed coats). Shirts should be hunt style blouse with choker for women. Men or women may wear a man’s shirt and tie or a stock tie. Hunt type helmets must be worn at all times. Protective chinstraps and ASTM/SEI approved helmets are strongly recommended. A dark helmet cover should be used to cover protective helmets that are not of conservative color. Boots should be brown or black hunt boots worn with breeches, or paddock boots worn with jodhpurs. Breeches and jodphurs should be of conservative colors.
      Saddle seat exhibitors are included in the English style of riding and shall wear informal saddle seat attire, no hunt attire. Conservative colors such as blue, gray, black, beige or brown jacket with jodhpurs or day coats with jodhpurs are suggested. Boots and derby or soft hat are required. Contrasting vests, ties or hats are acceptable.
WESTERN PLEASURE RIDING: Horses will enter the ring to the right (counter clockwise) and be asked to walk, jog, and lope both directions of the ring. Extensions of gait may be required at the judge’s discretion. Riders will reverse toward the inside of the ring.
      Horses may be asked to halt or change gait from one other gait. Changes should be smooth, and made with light tactful use of reins.
      Riders will not be asked to reverse from a lope. Horses should be shown on a reasonably loose rein or light contact without undue restraint.
      A good pleasure horse has a free flowing stride of reasonable length in keeping with his individual conformation. Motion should be balanced and flowing. Neck and head should be carried in a relaxed natural position with the nose neither behind the vertical or excessively nosed out. Reins should be reasonably loose yet with light contact and control. The horse should have a bright, alert expression, be responsive and smooth in transitions and be able to move out in a smooth, flowing motion. The horse should be balanced, willing and a pleasure to ride. To be judged on performance, manners, soundness and way of going with the ability to give a good pleasure ride 80%, conformation and type 20%.
      Suitable western attire includes western style boots and hat. Shirts with long sleeves and a collar are required. Vests, slinkys and jackets are allowed. Jeans or show pants in good condition are appropriate. Chaps are optional. Helmets with chinstraps may be worn without penalty. It is recommended that the color of the hat or helmet cover coordinate with the outfit. Gloves and spurs are optional.
      Western riding classes are to be shown in a western saddle and bridle. Silver equipment will not count over a good working outfit. All equipment should be clean and polished. Curb chains or straps must be at least ½ inch wide and lie flat against the jaw. No wire, metal, rawhide or other substance may be used with or as part of the flat leather chin strap or curb chain.
      Hackamores (bosal) refer to a flexible, braided rawhide or leather, or rope bosal, the core of which may be either rawhide or flexible cable. No rigid material permitted under the jaws. Hackamores or standard snaffle bits may be used. Snaffle bit may be O ring, D ring or egg butt with a ring no greater than 4 inches. The mouthpiece should be smooth, round metal in two or three pieces. A three-piece connecting ring of 1 ½ inch or less in diameter or a connecting flat bar 3/8 to ¾ (measured top to bottom, with a maximum length of 2 inches), which lies flat in the horse’s mouth is acceptable. Two hands may be used on snaffle and hackamore (bosal) reins. Split type reins or closed reins with romal are equally acceptable.
      With the exception of hackamore and snaffle bit bridles, only one hand is used on the reins; hands may not be changed. The hand may be around the reins, index finger only between split reins is permitted. When a romal is carried with closed reins, the extension may be carried in the free hand with a 16-inch spacing between the rein hand and free hand. The romal may not be used in front of the cinch or to cue the horse in any way.
      Prohibited equipment includes hackamore bits, wire curb straps, nosebands, martingales and tie downs, twisted wire mouthpiece bits, protective boots or leg wraps.
NOTE: The three-year-old riding class will include both styles of riding, English and Western, within the one class
The two-year old performance class has been eliminated as of 2015. Canter has been eliminated from the three-year old ridden performance class as of 2015.