The William Woods University Hunter/Jumper Show team will host its annual fall Jumping Derby on Saturday (Oct. 3), from 8:30 a.m. to mid-afternoon. The derby will be held on the WWU cross country field, and is free and open to the public.
The show will consist of traditional hunter classes and jumping competitions. The culmination of the hunter classes will be the Back to Our Roots Hunter Classic. The jumper competition includes favorites, such as the Rotating Pairs class, and the High and Low Jumping Derbies.
Prizes will be awarded to the winners of each class, division championships and the winners of each featured class. The show is recognized by the Missouri Horse Shows Association (MHSA) and the Missouri Hunter Jumper Organization (MOHJO).
The derby is organized and managed by the WWU Hunter/Jumper Show Team and Dr. Linda McClaren, professor of equestrian science and the team’s faculty sponsor. Proceeds from the event will help finance members to compete in nationally recognized horse shows on WWU horses.
According to McClaren, the annual derby has grown each year, and many “outside” horses and riders now compete against WWU students. Family and friends usually make up the majority of the audience, but members of the Fulton community also enjoy watching the event.
“The derby is an excellent opportunity for everyone who rides horses to fences,” McClaren said. “Riding over jumps on natural terrain is how our sport began. Forward seat riding began in the cavalry, when it was found that if you stay off of your horse’s back, he can gallop faster, jump higher and wider and last longer before getting tired or sore.”
She added, “In our contemporary hunter/jumper show world, the value of riding outside the ring is recognized. Currently we are seeing a resurgence of riding outdoors over natural obstacles in both hunter and jumper competitions nationwide.”