A hunter pace is a low-key competitive event derived from foxhunting. Teams of two to four riders follow an outdoor course laid out over terrain which is meant to simulate the riding conditions encountered during a foxhunt – that is, a mixture of gaits that a foxhunter typically uses.
It is up to each team to guess what the pace we decided is the ideal time to complete the course and to adjust its progress accordingly. The ideal time is determined by sending out one or more test teams to ride the course before the event. On the day of the event, the team which completes the course in a time closest to the ideal is placed first. Most hunter paces are divided into two divisions, with different ideal times. GMH offers a “field hunter” division for those experienced in the hunt field who wish to take the course at a faster pace, and a “trail rider” division for those who wish to travel more slowly. Although jumps are found along the course, taking them is always optional for both divisions. Even though there is a competitive aspect to a hunter pace, most riders simply regard it as an enjoyable way to spend a day in the countryside with their mounts and congenial company. The placings are almost secondary.
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