This gelding’s pretty profile earns him second place, although he has a few major faults that concern me.
With his beautiful head and neck, he is definitely the type we look for in the hunter ring with an overall smooth topline and understated elegance. However, his shoulder is a bit straighter than ideal for optimal stride length. More angle or slope allows the horse to lift and reach with his forelegs to gallop and jump.
He also stands back at the knee, which is a worse fault than being over at the knee, as this causes undue stress on tendons and ligaments. Often this predisposes a horse to
chips in the knee. The long, upright pasterns and small feet do not appear substantial enough to support his body mass.
His midsection is adequate but his hindquarter slopes, called gooserumped. Combined with the sicklehocked angles of the hind legs, this slung-under conformation limits his range of motion behind and puts stress on hock joints. This often causes curbs, a strain or tear of the plantar ligament below the hock.
This gelding has qualities that make for a very pleasing picture, but his shoulder and leg construction mark him down.