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Hoof Beats The Newsletter of the Montana Hunter Jumper Association

January 2009

Presidentís Letter:

Happy New Year to all. 2009 marks the beginning of the 15th year of MHJA, which was founded in 1994 by a dedicated group of riders wanting to see more opportunities for high-quality shows throughout Montana. Our own Pat Green was among the founders, and she continues to serve us well as Treasurer. MHJA is going strong and we have quite a few shows already lined up for the year, with more to come. But we also have seen our membership decline over the past two years and need to focus on keeping and adding new members. Your new board met earlier this month and plans to look into ways to publicize MJHA and bring greater attention to shows held during the year. If you know riders who might be interested in showing or otherwise supporting MJHA through volunteer work at shows or in other ways, please encourage them to join or to contact a board member or show manager.

I’d also like to highlight our contest for designing a new MHJA logo. You’ll find more details elsewhere in the newsletter and also on our Web site. The contest is open to members and non-members alike. Members will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred logo later in the year. The winning design will be announced and displayed at the year-end banquet, and the winning designer will be presented with a check for $200. So if you or someone you know has a talent for design, please enter this contest or encourage your artist friends to do so.

We have a great new board ready and willing to serve you. You’ll find the list of board members along with contact information in this newsletter. If you have any thoughts or concerns you’d like to pass along, please feel free to contact any one of us. This is your organization, and we want it to serve your needs.

I was honored to be elected president and will do my best to keep our board activities on track. But our board really does work as a team, and each member plays an important role. We thank you for your support and look forward to seeing you at shows this year.

Joanna Shelton


Focus on Rules 

Cruelty or abuse.  At our annual meeting in November, this subject was discussed at length.  It seems that at one 2008 show, a young rider (not an MHJA member) rode her horse into a near state of exhaustion.  She evidently was focusing on winning the show’s high point award.  One MHJA board member approached the show management and called attention to the rider, but nothing was done to encourage her to stop out of consideration for her horse. 

Even though most riders take great care of their horses, we thought it would be a good idea to remind all MHJA members of our rule concerning cruelty or abuse.  Section IV Paragraph 11 reads in full: 

Cruelty or abuse to a horse by any person at any MHJA show is forbidden.  The show management, the Judge, or any Board Member of the MHJA may bar the violator from further participation at the show, and/or cancel that person’s membership in the MHJA.  The Association considers it cruel to exhaust a horse as demonstrated by a horse exhibiting sourness, tail switching, profuse sweating, refusing to jump, and other signs of exhaustion.  The Association shall consider the weather conditions and the horse’s physical fitness in its decision.  Action and penalties to be determined by the MHJA Board of Directors. 

So if your horse is balking, refusing to jump or otherwise acting unusually during a show, it’s important to ask yourself if maybe the weather’s too hot or if the horse simply needs a break, including a drink of water and some shade.  And parents and trainers of young riders need to guide their charges in this and other areas.  It’s a good idea to err on the side of caution and concern for the horse, especially during hot summer months. 

Deadline for membership.  This rule was changed for 2008, but we would like to make sure all MHJA members are aware of the April 30 deadline for membership, after which a late fee of $5.00 will be assessed.  Memberships will not be accepted at shows, in order to free show managers from collecting membership applications and dues along with all the other show-related paperwork.  Riders may receive points at a show if they submit their membership application, including dues and late fee, to the MHJA Membership Secretary (Deb Anderson) no later than two weeks after said show.  The full rule can be found in Section I Paragraphs 2 and 4. 

The entire MHJA rulebook can be found on our website.


Winter Schooling Shows: Rebel Sky Farm, Billings MT Saturdays, Hunter, Jumper and Equitation.
Sundays, Dressage Schooling show
February 28-March 1
All Classes are $5.00-contact Ashley Wren at 406-672-4734 with any questions.

April 17-19: Red Rock Hounds Fox Hunt, Three Forks, Mt. Contact, redrockhounds.com


(Please refer to MHJA’s Web site for complete show list in coming weeks. As of deadline for this newsletter, details hadn’t been pinned down for shows in the Whitefish area, and there will likely be later additions elsewhere in the state.)

May 9: MDCTA, Missoula (Tentative). Contact, Susie Mayer, (406) 543-7904
JUNE 21: Bozeman Dressage & Combined Training Hunter Pace #1, Three Forks. Contact, bdctclub.com or Wendy Cochran, (406) 582-8889
JUNE 27-28: J&S Stables Hunter Festival, Dillon. Contact, John Xanthopoulos, (406) 660-0558
JULY 3-5: Freedom Classic, Rebel Sky Farm, Billings. Contact, Ashely Wren, (406) 672-4737
JULY 18: BD&CTA Jumper Show, Bozeman. Contact, Wendy Cochran, (406) 582-8889
JULY 19: BD&CTA Hunter Pace #2 Springhill Community, Bozeman. Contact, bdctclub.com.
AUG. 6,7, 8, 9: Great Falls All Breed Show. Contact, Sharon Pulfrey, (406) 453-3030
AUG.16: BD&CTA Hunter Pace #3 Bohart Ranch, Bridger Bowl
AUG 22-23: Rebel Sky Classic, Rebel Sky Farm, Billings. Contact, Ashley Wren, (406) 672-4737
SEPT. 18-20: UMW Benefit, Dillon. Contact, John Xanthopoulos, (406) 660-0558.

Member News:    
MHJA member and trainer, Elaine Coller, was chosen by the Rocky Mountain PHA Chapter to receive a 2008 United States Hunter Jumper Affiliate Award.  In addition to winning the Affiliate Award Elaine was selected by the Affiliate Task Force to win the USAHJA Western Regional affiliate Award.

This award was presented at the 2008 USHJA Annual Meeting, during the Evening of Equestrians Dinner on Dec. 10, 2008 in Nashville, Tenn.

 We wish to congratulate Elaine on this great honor.


Montana Hunter Jumper Association
2008 Show Results, High Point Winners


New MHJA Logo Contest

Enter to win $200. The MHJA Board met in January to launch our activities for the New Year. One proposal met with broad support – to update the MHJA logo. As MHJA celebrates its 15th birthday in 2009, the board thought it would be a good idea to look for a new logo that can take us into our next 15 years. We would put the new logo on our apparel and other official MHJA material.

Many members have artistic talent and/or experience in graphic design. And we all know non-members with similar skills. So we’re launching a contest for anyone interested in submitting one or more new designs for our logo.

MHJA’s current logo is found at our website www.mhjanews.com. Other logos can be seen at www.ushja.org,, www.feigames.org and other horse-related Web sites. It’s important, though, that any proposed design respect the copyright of other designs.

The deadline for submissions is August 1, 2009. Contestants should send their designs, preferably via e-mail, to Joanna Shelton or as a hard copy mailed to MHJA c/o Joanna Shelton, 46451 Schoolhouse Lane, Moiese, MT 59824 (406) 644-2090.

Members will have a chance to vote for their favorite logo (including the current logo) before the year-end meeting and awards banquet in November. The winning design will be unveiled at the banquet and the winning designer will be presented with a check for $200. Please enter or encourage your artistic friends to enter.

2009 MHJA Officers and the Board of Directors

Questions? Concerns? Suggestions? Contact your MHJA Board of Directors.
Have news to share for the next newsletter? Send it to Betsy


UPDATED February 14, 2009