The Handy Hunter is a horse that is easy to manoeuvre round the course with a little more adaptability that a regular Show Hunter round requires. The judge will want to see a horse that can handle tighter turns easily and take some options while being responsive. It is still a Hunter class judged on style, pace and quality of the jump.
Judges will place emphasis on promptness, tight turns, and adaptability while not sacrificing performance and style. Horses that show adaptability for additional elements should be rewarded if it is done well, e.g. cantering straight to the first jump without circling, easily coming down to walk at the end of the round without circling, riding an inside turn, riding transition to trot closer to the trot fence rather than further away.
A Handy Hunter is required to show handiness, which is defined as: time and ground saving movement incorporating promptness, tighter corners, roll back turns, jumping fences on angles or using clever approaches with out adversely affecting performance or style.
The Handy Hunter course could include any of the following:
- At least two changes of direction
- At least one related line
- Trot fence - at a lower height than the class height
- Bending line
- Rollback turn
- Inside turn
- Halt and reinback
- Narrow fence
- Hand gallop a jump
- A gate