As one of the oldest breeding societies in the United States, it should come as no surprise that the American Hackney Horse Society offers a number of different competitions for those who wish to show their Hackney Horse in the ring. Outside of the Society, competitions also exist which pit Hackneys against other breeds on a national scale. Back in its native country, a week long competition dedicated to the Hackney Horse brings together breeders, competitors and enthusiasts alike. Here, we'll take a look at just a few of the outlets that are available for those that wish to show their Hackney Horse.
The National Breeders Hackney Futurity is held every October during the Fall Classic at the Kentucky Horse Park. This competition is open to those offspring of mares and stallions that have been nominated. The offspring may show as young as weanlings all the way to four and five years old, where they can be shown in a variety of driving classes. This program has become very popular with owners and breeders thanks to prizes, national recognition and earning potential. There are also regional Hackney associations that sponsor futurities.
The American Hackney Horse Society Youth Medallion Series is a program that encourages the involvement of riders under the age of eighteen. Open to youngsters in a variety of disciplines, such as Pleasure Driving Horse, Pleasure Horse under Saddle, Reinsmanship and Showmanship, competitions begin with local medallion classes and participants can qualify all the way to the National Championships which take place in Kansas City, Missouri. Those that accumulate the most points over the course of the year may qualify to win recognition with the Youth Medallion High Point Award series, which is awarded at the National Championship.
The American Hackney Horse Society Open Competition Program is designed to honor those horses that compete against horses of different breeds. In order to be eligible, the horse must be registered and the owner and riders must be AHHS members. Prizes are awarded based on points given for the open events the horses compete in. This serves as a way to award those horses that act as ambassadors outside the Hackney community.
Outside of the AHHS, those Hackneys that participate in competitions against other breeds on a national level can earn awards from the United States Dressage Federation. Breeders of Hackneys can also participate in the USDF's Breeder of the Year program, which encourages the participation of small breeders as well as larger ones by only counting the scores of the larger breeder's five best horses. In order to be eligible, the breeder must be a member of USDF.
In the Hackney Horse's native country, the horse is celebrated during the first week of June at the Hackney Horse Society's National Breed Show held in Sussex. The first two days are mostly devoted to in hand classes, with the harness classes competing during the rest of the week. Not only is the National Breed Show the place for owners and riders to get together and compete, but it is open to enthusiasts and those curious about the horse to learn more about this special breed.