English Performance Division

  1. General English(Rules 301-302)
  2. Hunter Under Saddle/Hunter Hack(Rules 303-304)
  3. General Hunter/Jumper(Rule 310)
  4. Working and Warm-up Hunters(Rules 311-312)
  5. Jumpers(Rules 313-315)
  6. Hunter/Jumper Courses

301. General English Rules – Bridled, Green, Open and Amateur.

  1. Equipment – Mules must be shown in appropriate English tack.
    1. English bridle shall be light show type, with regulation snaffle, English bit or full bridle.
    2. Must have a cavesson noseband.
    3. Hunt seat mules to use a hunting or forward seat saddle.
    4. Saddle seat mules to use a show, cutback, or park saddle and full bridle (double reins on Weymouth or Pelham bit).
    5. Dropped, flash, and figure eight nosebands, hackamores, tie downs, martingales, and draw reins are PROHIBITED. Tie downs and running martingales are allowed in Hunter/Jumpers.
    6. Whips are allowed in all English classes but must not exceed 30″ for hunt seat and English classes and 47″ including lash, for dressage. Only one whip can be carried when riding. Whips that are weighted are prohibited.
    7. Maximum spur length is 1.5″ with curve of the spur shank pointing down, no rowels allowed., except in dressage.
  2. Exhibitor must hold reins in each hand and use direct method of reining.
  3. Attire – Exhibitors must be neatly dressed in suitable attire for type of English equipment for which they are showing in. When allowed, by the judge, to show without jacket a shirt must be long or short sleeved; no sleeveless shirts unless worn under jacket. This includes all English flat and fence classes.
    1. Approved safety headgear with chin strap fastened must be used in all over fence classes, all dressage levels and by all riders under 18 years old.
    2. Exhibitors showing in hunt seat tack must be neatly dressed in suitable attire – hunt cap, hunt coat, breeches, and tall English boots or jodhpurs with matching half chaps mandatory. Gloves are optional.
    3. Saddle seat riders must be properly attired; conservative saddle seat suit or coat, derby or soft hat, tie, and boots mandatory. Gloves are preferred. Formal attire may wear top hat.
    4. English spurs are optional.
  4. See Rule 109.A,D,E and F for English gaits.
  5. Mules to reverse to the inside; away from the rail.
  6. Characteristics of a good English working mule; in addition to Rule 107, are as follows:
    1. Moving with long, low strides reaching forward with ease.
    2. Able to lengthen stride and cover ground willingly.
    3. Supple in the poll, neck and body, especially while turning.
  7. Faults of an English mule in addition to Rule 108.
    1. Quick short, vertical strides.
    2. Excessive speed at any gait or running away.
    3. Slowness at any gait, loss of forward momentum.
    4. Wrong lead at the canter.
    5. Evading or lugging on the bit so light contact cannot be maintained.

302. English Pleasure – Bridled, Green, Open and Amateur. Hunt seat or Saddle Seat attire and equipment permitted.

  1. To be judged as a pleasure class suitable to purpose. Emphasis on manners, disposition, and performance. Judge may ask to work on a loose rein. To be shown at a walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring with light contact of the mules mouth.
  2. Judge will ask mules to back in a straight line.
  3. It will be at judges discretion to ask for extended trot.
  4. To be judged on:
    • Performance 70%
    • Conformation 20%
    • Appointments 10%

303. Hunter Under Saddle – Bridled, Green and Open. Hunt seat tack and attire, no saddle seat tack or attire allowed.

  1. To be shown at a walk, trot, and canter both ways of the ring with light contact of the mule’s mouth. To be judged for suitability to perform as a hunter. Emphasis on quality of gait / movement and way of going as per Rule 107 D. OUTLINE 301 F.
  2. Judge may ask for extended trot, canter from the trot, or trot from the canter, at his / her discretion. Not to jump.
  3. Hand gallop may be asked for of all, or just top six mules, one or both ways of ring. No more than 12 mules to hand gallop at one time.
  4. During the hand gallop, judge may ask the group to halt and stand quietly on a free rein.
  5. Judge may ask mules to back in a straight line.

304. Hunter Hack – Bridled and Green Hunt seat equipment to be used. NO saddle seat equipment.

  1. The hunter hack mule should move in the same style as a working hunter.
  2. Mules to be shown at a walk, trot and canter both ways of the ring with light contact.
  3. Mules required to jump two jumps on a line 44 feet to 69 feet apart.
    1. Green mules to jump 2′ maximum.
    2. Bridled mules to jump 2’6″ maximum, but at least 3″ higher than the green mules.
    3. A ground line is mandatory for each jump. Should be set approximately 1′ forward of the jump pole.
    4. Jump standards may be plastic/PVC but must be heavily weighted with sand/dirt. Standards must be a minimum of 2′ higher than the jump pole it is holding.
    5. The use of plastic/PVC jump poles is NOT allowed.
  4. At the discretion of the judge, may be asked to hand gallop, pull up, then back and stand quietly.
  5. To be judged with emphasis on fence work, with the recommendation that flat work be performed after fence work.
    1. Style over fences, even hunter pace 70%
    2. Flat work, manners and way of going 30%
  6. Faults over fences will be judged as in Working Hunter class. See Working Hunters – Rule 311.


310. General Rules – Refer to USEF Rulebook for any issues not covered here. The use of plastic/PVC for jump poles is not allowed.

  1. Martingales and Tiedowns are allowed in Hunter Classes. (see appendix VI-B). Hunter: Bridled mules to be shown in regulation snaffle, kimberwicks, pelham, and full bridles as described in appendix A III. Exception: Bridled mules may also show in hunter classes using a mild twisted wire snaffle. Green mules to be shown in a regulation snaffle. Exception: Green mules may also show in hunter classes using a mild twisted wire snaffle. (Exceptions described in appendix A – under approved snaffles for exceptions – rule 3). Jumper: Bridled mules may be shown in any humane bit. Green mules may be shown in a regulation snaffle, mild twisted wire snaffle, or gag snaffle.
  2. Jump poles must be a minimum of 10′ long and 3″ in diameter.
  3. See Appendix B for Hunter/Jumper courses.

311. Working Hunter – Bridled and Green.

  1. Mules to be worked over a course of eight or more jumping efforts. Approved courses must be used. Two options for approved courses may be used. Option 1: Any approved course or set of courses may be used from Appendix B. Option 2: Management may choose to design the courses but must have them approved prior to the start of their show by the AMA course committee. If taken from the Appendix, the show manager shall choose the course( s). Courses are to be designated Bridled, Green, Bridled and Green (with different height requirements) and Open. Course to be posted one hour prior to class.
    1. Course must contain at least two changes of direction.
    2. Fences should simulate obstacles found in the hunting field, such as post and rails, brush, stone wall, chicken coop, gate, etc. At least one spread fence consisting of at least two elements is required. Spread of fence will not exceed height of fence. Square oxers are prohibited. A minimum 2″ difference is required for the back element of an obstacle. A ground line on the take off side is required for all obstacles.
      • Green Mules 2’6″ maximum.
      • Bridle Mules 2’6″ to 3′ maximum (but at least 3″ higher than green mules.)
    3. Distances between obstacles at 11 1/2 foot increments with 46 foot minimum, except for some combinations.
    4. Combination set: one stride in-and-out at 22-23 feet; two strides in-out at 34-35 feet.
  2. To be judged on performance and manners, with preference shown to the mules covering the course with free-flowing strides and which jump the fences from these strides without interrupting the rhythm.
    1. Judge shall penalize unsafe jumping and bad form over fences.
    2. Incorrect leads around corners or ends of arena or cross cantering shall be penalized.
  3. Upon completion of entire class, finalists may be jogged past the judge for soundness at judge’s discretion.
    1. Any mules showing lameness, broken wind, or impaired vision shall be refused an award.
    2. Judges shall award mule on merit of performance; this shall break all fault ties.
  4. In case of broken equipment, the rider may either continue without penalty or stop and correct the difficulty, in which case he will be penalized four (4) faults.
  5. Faults
    1. The following faults are scored according to the judge’s opinion and depending on the severity of the fault or the division, may be considered minor or major.
      1. Light touches or rubbing the jump
      2. Swapping leads in a line or in front of a jump
      3. Simple changes of lead
      4. Late lead changes
      5. Spooking
      6. Kicking up or out
      7. Jumping out of form
      8. Jumping off the centerline of jump
      9. Bucking and/or playing
      10. Adding a stride in a line with a related distance
      11. Eliminating a stride in a line with a related distance (Should take into consideration the size and stride of the mule competing as classes are not split according to height)
      12. Striking off on a wrong lead on the courtesy circle. (May be corrected with either a simple or flying change of lead)
    2. The following are considered major faults.
      1. Knockdown
      2. Refusal
      3. Refusal or stopping while on course, (any loss of forward motion anywhere on course).
      4. Dangerous jumping
      5. Addressing a jump – coming to a stop in front of a jump in order to show the jump to the mule.
      6. Completely missing a lead change
      7. Adding or eliminating a stride in an in and out.
      8. Breaking stride, or Trotting while on course. (Exceptions-Where posted on the course diagram i.e. trot jumps, steep banks, etc, and also as outlined above in 311. E. 1 c.)
      9. Bolting while on course
  6. Elimination – The following shall result in elimination:
    1. Refusals-Three (3) refusals. Deduct 4pts. For first (1st) refusal. Deduct 8 pts for second (2nd) refusal. Elimination for third.
    2. Crossing path is counted as a refusal.
      • Off course.
      • Jumping a fence before it is reset.
      • Bolting from the ring.
      • Fall of mule or rider.
    • (Fall of mule – When shoulder and haunch of same side touch ground or the obstacle and the ground)
    • (Fall of rider – Rider becomes separated from mule that has not fallen, in such a way as to necessitate remounting or vaulting into the saddle)

312. Warm-Up Hunters – Judged the same as Working Hunters with the fences being set at the following heights:

  1. Green Mules 18″ to 2′.
  2. Bridled Mules 2′ to 2’6″(but at least 3″ higher than green mules.)

313. Jumpers – Bridled and Green.

  1. Martingales and Tiedowns are allowed. Bridled mules may be shown in any humane bit. Green mules may be shown in a regulation snaffle, mild twisted-wire snaffle or gag snaffle. (See Rule 106) Draw reins prohibited.
    1. Protective boots are allowed.
  2. Course to be made of a minimum of four obstacles and require mule to make at least eight jumping efforts.
    1. One spread fence consisting of two or more elements is mandatory. Spread of fence will not exceed height of fence.
    2. First fence to be no more than minimum height.
      • Green Mules 2′ to 2’6″.
      • Bridled Mules 2’6″ to 3′(but at least 3″ higher than green mules.)
    3. To jump post and rail at least twice, other fences are optional to type such as chicken coop, stone wall, triple bar, brush jump, etc.
    4. Obstacles, other than combinations (see Rule 311.A.4), to be set at 11 1/2 foot increments, a minimum of 46 feet apart. (1)stride should be set at 22′-23′ (2) strides should be set at 34′-35′ depending on height.
    5. Starting line at least 12 feet in front of first jump, and finish line at least 24 feet beyond last jump marked preferably by vertical poles. Markers must be at least 12 feet apart but can be as far as the width or length of the arena and they can be a common set of start/finish poles if warranted
    6. Mules must start by passing through the markers in the proper direction and finish the course by passing through the finish markers in the proper direction with the rider mounted. Passing through the starting markers in the improper direction before starting, does not incur penalty. Once a mule has started on course it may pass through the start/finish markers in either direction without penalty, while on course.
    7. A bell or whistle will signal the course is ready for the mule to begin (jumpers only, no signal is used in hunter classes). Upon receiving the signal the rider has 60 seconds to pass through the markers and begin the course. The mule must not resist for 60 consecutive seconds or take more than 60 seconds to jump the first obstacle after the time of the round has begun or take more than 60 seconds to jump the next obstacle on course.
  3. Jumpers are scored on penalties incurred between the start line and the finish line. To be SCORED MATHEMATICALLY with penalties for knockdowns, disobedience and falls. Touches not to count.
    1. Knockdown of jump or standard by mule or rider: 4 faults
    2. 1st disobedience-refusal, bolting, circling, stopping: 4 faults
      • 2nd cumulative disobedience anywhere on course: 4 faults
    3. ELIMINATION will result from any of the following:
      • 3rd cumulative disobedience anywhere on course.
      • Fall of mule/rider.
      • Jumping obstacle before it is reset.
      • Starting before judge’s signal to proceed.
      • Failure to enter arena within one minute of being called.
      • Failure to begin course within one minute of signal.
      • Jumping obstacle before crossing start line.
      • Going off course.
      • Deliberately addressing an obstacle any time in ring.
      • Leaving arena before finishing the course.
      • A mule resisting for 60 consecutive seconds
      • Taking more than 60 seconds to jump the first jump after the time on course has begun.
      • Taking more than 60 seconds to jump the next jump on course.
    4. Broken equipment – In cases of broken equipment the rider may continue on with no penalty or retire.
    5. Loss of shoe – May continue on with no penalty or be eliminated.
    6. Mule must maintain forward movement, while on course at any gait (unless due to uncontrollable circumstances such as when an obstacle is being reset) or shall be penalized as a disobedience.
    7. A refusal is when mule loses forward motion(1 step backward) anywhere on course or in front of an obstacle to be jumped and whether or not it knocks it down or displaces it, is penalized as disobedience.
      1. Stopping at an obstacle without knocking it down and without backing, followed immediately by jumping from a standstill, is not penalized. However, if the halt continues, or if the mule backs even a single step or circles to retake the course, a refusal is incurred.
      2. In combinations, the faults committed at each element are scored separately. In case of refusal or run-out at one element of a combination (and upon the judge’s signal that the obstacle has been reset, if necessary), the competitor MUST re-jump the entire combination.
    8. Run out occurs when the mule evades or passes obstacle to be jumped.
    9. Any circling or crossing one’s path between two consecutive jumps once on course,.
    10. If obstacle falls after passing through finish markers, no penalty for knock down.
    11. Use of Audible Signal. An audible signal (bell, horn, whistle, gong or buzzer) is sounded for the following purposes:
      1. To give the signal to start;
      2. To stop a competitor in the event of an unforeseen incident (which also designates a time-out);
      3. To interrupt the 60-second period which a rider has to begin the course in the event of an unforeseen incident;
      4. To indicate that an obstacle has to be reset before being retaken after it has been knocked down during a refusal (designating a timeout);
      5. To give the signal for a competitor to continue his round after an interruption.
      6. To indicate by repeated and prolonged ringing that the competitor has been eliminated; and
      7. To indicate that the rider should not proceed to the jump-off round in a Table II Sec. 2. (c) class, or a Table IV(c) class
    12. During rounds where time is a deciding factor, a re-jump of the entire course may only be considered as an option if there is no automatic or manual time due to very exceptional circumstances. In these cases a competitor may elect not to re-jump the course and instead be placed after competitors with equal faults. If a re-jump does take place, the original score will be void.
  4. Jump offs to determine placing(s) of clean rounds shall be timed.
    1. Shortened course of no less than one half original length.
    2. Sequence of jumps in any order, but remain in original direction.
    3. Increase of height and spread, of at least half of jumps, only in clean round ties for first place or when points involved.
      1. Height 3″ increase and spread at a maximum of 3 feet wide, not to exceed the height.
      2. In case of ties with faults, fences shall not be raised.
    4. When jump off is required, winner will be decided by fastest time only if faults are equal.
  5. Time is to be taken as mule’s chest crosses start line and ends when chest crosses finish line.
    1. Time will be stopped if knocked down rail must be reset to finish the course or jump must be reset after refusal. Time starts when judge blows whistle to indicate permission to continue.
    2. To avoid above rule, jump off should be over each jump on shortened course one time.

314. Class Descriptions

  1. Time First Round (Table II, Sec. 1)—The first round is decided by adding together the faults incurred over the course and any penalties for exceeding the Time Allowed. Mules with clean rounds or equal faults are classified according to their time taken to complete the course.
  2. Time first jump-off
    1. Table II, Sec. 2 (a/b)—The first round and first jump-off, if any, are decided by add-ing together the faults incurred over the course and any penalties for exceeding the Time Allowed. In the event of equality of faults after the first round, there will be one jump-off for first place only in which time will decide in the event of equality of faults. If a competitor has gone clean in the first round, the competitor will have the option to:
      1. Leave the arena and return for the jump off after all of the first round of mules has competed, or:
      2. without leaving the ring, upon an audible signal, commence the designated jump-off course.
  3. Table II, Sec. 2 (c)—Two Phase Competitions – The first phase to consist of 8 to 10 jumping efforts and the second phase (immediate jump-off) of 5 to 7 jumping efforts. Scores are decided by adding together the faults incurred over the course and any penalties for exceeding the Time Allowed if any. If a competitor has gone clean in the first round, he will, upon crossing the finish line, immediately start the designated jump-off course. Time starts as the mule crosses the finish line for the initial course. If there are no clean rounds and a tie exists for first place, there will be one jump-off, in which time will decide in the event of equality of faults. The use of a Time Allowed is optional in the first round.
  4. Fault and Out – Competition is timed and takes place over single obstacles (no combinations/in-and-outs). The competitors round ends with the first fault incurred under Table II. Points are awarded instead of faults, two points will be awarded for each obstacle jumped cleanly, and one point for each obstacle knocked down. The winner is the competitor that scores the greatest number of points. Time will decide in the equality of points.
    1. If the fixed time is reached at the moment when the horse is already taking off, this obstacle counts whether it is knocked down or not. If a fall or disobedience occurs after landing, the horse is scored as though the fault had occurred at the next obstacle. When the penalty of elimination is incurred, the rider is credited with obstacles cleared.
    2. When an obstacle is knocked down or the Time Allowed, if there is one, has been reached, a signal is sounded. The competitor must then jump the next obstacle and the clock is stopped at the moment the horse’s forefeet touch the ground. No points are scored for obstacles jumped after the signal has been sounded.
      1. When a fault constitutes a disobedience or fall, or when the rider is eliminated or does not jump the obstacle at which the clock should have been stopped, the signal is sounded, and the competitor is placed last of those gaining an equal number of points.
      2. Fault and Out classes can be conducted in one of two ways: which must be designated on the course map as either: Once Around, in which case the maximum number of obstacles to be jumped is fixed, and the clock is stopped when the competitor crosses the finish line, or; With a Fixed Time Allowed which must not be set at less than 50 seconds, nor more than 60 seconds. If the competitor has jumped all the obstacles before the expiration of the Time Allowed, he starts around the course again but is not required to go back through the start markers.

315. Gambler’s Choice Jumpers – Bridled, Green, and Open.

  1. To be ridden over a course of obstacles, in no particular order, with each jump assigned a specific point value according to its difficulty and each rider tries to amass as high a score as possible within the time allowed. Combination obstacles are not allowed. The obstacles must be built so that they can be jumped in both directions.
  2. After passing through the starting line, the rider may ride the course in any order, from any direction. Each obstacle may be jumped twice but not in succession. If jumped a third time, no points will be awarded.
  3. A whistle/ bell will signal the end of the round.
  4. The competitor is credited with the number of points carried by each obstacle that was jumped correctly. No points are awarded for a knocked down obstacle (the height lowered). No obstacle may be jumped again once it is knocked down. A knocked down obstacle will not be rebuilt.
  5. All disobediences are penalized by the time lost by the competitor. The competitor must retire after a fall; nevertheless he is placed according to the points obtained up to the moment of his fall, disregarding the time.
  6. Each competitor has 45 (minimum) to 60 seconds (maximum), at show management’s discretion. 45 seconds is recommended as to not overwork the mules. Time starts when the mule crosses through the start line and the time stops when the mule crosses back through the finish. The start and finish are the same line and can be crossed in either direction. The competitor who has accumulated the highest number of points will decide the winner. In the event of a tie in points, the fastest time taken between the starting line and the finish line will decide. In the event of equality of points and if he does not cross the finish line, he is placed last of the competitors with the same number of points.
  7. In this class the circling rule does not apply. If a mule should refuse or run-out at a jump, the rider may elect to circle and re-attempt the jump. If it is jumped correctly appropriate points will be awarded. If the rider chooses not to attempt it he may ride to another obstacle without penalty. The jump may be attempted later, and if correctly jumped, the appropriate points will be recorded.
  8. If the signal sounds when the competitor is committed to a jump the competitor may complete the jump and receive the appropriate points, then proceed through the finish markers for total time recorded. Whether or not the competitor was committed to the last obstacle at the signal will be left to the discretion of the judge.
  9. Placing(s) are determined on a high score basis. Time decides ties. If a tie occurs in points and time, the winner will be decided by a jump-off. In the event of equality of points and time for first place, there will be a jump off according to the same formula with a fixed time of 40 seconds.