A Judge’s Perspective: Select Hunt Seat Equitation

Horse Showing: AQHA Judge Gary Duffy explains a winning hunt seat equitation run.

Kelley Simonsen and A Beautiful Moxie won a world championship at the 2016 AQHA Select World Championship Show, presented by Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). Let’s see what AQHA Judge Gary Duffy has to say about Kelly's go:

1. Posting trot, right diagonal for 1/2 of the line posting trot, left diagonal around end

“This young lady walks in the ring as if she owns the ring. She has very good basis support with her lower leg, and I like the forward trot, instead of the slow trot. Very nice change of her diagonal. She’s telling where she’s going with her eyes. I like her turn there; how she took the time to shape her horse before she made the turn.”

2. Transition to a walk without losing forward motion.

“As she comes down to a walk transition, she never loses impulsion and continues at the walk very smoothly.

3. Right lead canter.

“Again, she has her eye contact, looks to the the right and and then picks up her canter very smoothly. I do like the fact that she follows the motion - not behind the motion at the canter. She has a nice relaxed arm, and it’s obvious how relaxed her horse is.”

4. Change lead.

“As she approached her lead change, you can see her focus, waiting for the center of the ring. It was a very smooth change, I did give her a plus on that change, with a check.” (A plus with a check means “correct and good.”)

5. Left lead canter building into a hand gallop. Collect to the canter.

“Here she gets in her two-point. I do like how she opened her horse's stride up, instead of that slow canter that I had seen on a few other riders and that's what separated this one out for me.” “Right there, she has a very nice collection of the canter.”

6. Sitting trot; halt.

“Down to her sitting trot, which is nice, forward and even. A very smooth halt.”

7. Exit at a walk or trot

“All in all, that was my top rider. Smooth and very elegant.”