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Markel Joins as Title Sponsor of 2021 USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships and USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships

Friday, January 29, 2021
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The U.S. Hunter Jumper Association is pleased to welcome Markel as the title sponsor of the 2021 USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships and USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships.

"USHJA's programs wouldn't be possible without the support of generous sponsors like Markel," said USHJA Executive Director Kevin Price. "We appreciate their dedication to the sport and welcome them as a title sponsor."

Applications are currently open for the 2021 Markel/USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships and Markel/USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships and close on the final day of the qualifying period for each zone.

"Markel is extremely pleased to be able to partner again with such a great organization as the United States Hunter Jumper Association. We continue to be dedicated to the horse industry, with over 50 years of experience in providing equine and farm insurance options customized to fit your needs. We have some exciting new coverages being offered this year. I look forward to even greater things to come for both organizations, and the equestrian community, in 2021," said Markel Executive Underwriter Chris Norden.

In 2021, both the Zone Jumper Team Championships and the Platinum Jumper Championships will be held at the following competitions:

• USHJA Zones 1 & 2 at HITS-on-the-Hudson V in Saugerties, N.Y., on July 28-Aug. 1
(Qualifying Period: August 25, 2020-June 13, 2021) 
• USHJA Zones 3 & 4 at Tryon Summer 6 in Mill Spring, N.C., on July 21-25 
(Qualifying Period: August 18, 2020-June 6, 2021) 
• USHJA Zones 5 & 6 at Great Lakes Equestrian Festival V in Williamsburg, Mich., on Aug. 4-8 
(Qualifying Period: September 1, 2020-June 20, 2021) 
• USHJA Zones 7 & 8 at Hipico Santa Fe Summer Series - Sonrisa Week in Santa Fe, N.M., on July 28-Aug. 1
(Qualifying Period: August 25, 2020-June 13, 2021)
• USHJA Zones 9 & 10 at National Sunshine Series II in Thermal, Calif., on November 10-14 
(Qualifying Period: December 8, 2020 - September 26, 2021)

All Championship dates and locations are subject to change.

Markel/USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships:
Providing Children's and Adult Amateur Jumper (1.10/1.15m), 1.20/1.25m Junior and Amateur, and 1.30/1.35m Junior and Amateur riders with a competitive team experience and an opportunity to earn Zone Horse of the Year points in their respective jumper sections, the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships are held by zone and consist of both team and individual competition. Individual medalists from the Zone Jumper Team Championships receive the designation of Gold Star Emerging Jumper Riders and are invited to attend a USHJA Gold Star Clinic.

For a chance to qualify for the 2021 Zone Jumper Team Championships, riders must complete an application and earn a minimum of 20 points in their respective section(s) at USEF-licensed competitions held with fence heights of that section during the qualifying period. Each of the USHJA Zone Jumper Team Championships accepts a maximum of eight teams per section. The point standings (ranking) in each zone from 30 days after the conclusion of the previous year's Zone Jumper Team Championship to 45 days prior to the start of the current year's Championship will be used to determine the athlete/horse combinations accepted to compete in that zone or combined zone's championships. Riders must also meet all other eligibility and qualification requirements as outlined in the Championship specifications.

The Zone Jumper Team Championships are part of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program, which rewards competitive achievement with education to advance athletes in the sport.

Markel Title Sponsor USHJAMarkel/USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships:
The USHJA Platinum Jumper Championships are for professionals, amateurs and juniors at the 1.40/1.45m level and represents the highest level of the USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program.

Athlete/horse combinations qualify for the Platinum Jumper Championships by earning a minimum of $250 prior to the end of the qualifying period, and completing an application 45 days prior to their zone's Championships. The Championships are restricted to those athlete/horse combinations that have not competed in a High Performance Standard Grand Prix or any class held at 1.60m in the current competition year.

Athlete/horse combinations earn a position on a team of four riders composed of professionals, juniors and amateurs. The Championships offer three days of team and individual competition and use a cumulative scoring format with the first round and individual final held as overlay classes with special 1.40/1.45m open classes and grand prix classes held at the American Standard, and the team competition classes are held as standalone classes.

The USHJA Emerging Jumper Rider Program serves as the entry point for the Show Jumping Athlete Pathway, a joint USHJA-US Equestrian effort that identifies and nurtures Jumping athletes as they advance through the sport to enhance future success for Olympic and international teams representing the United States.

For more information about the Emerging Jumper Rider Program visit ushja.org/emergingjumper. To learn more about each of the championships, visit ushja.org/zonejumper and ushja.org/platinumjumper.

About Markel Corporation:
Markel Corporation is a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The Company’s principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products. In each of the Company’s businesses, it seeks to provide quality products and excellent customer service so that it can be a market leader. The financial goals of the Company are to earn consistent underwriting and operating profits and superior investment returns to build shareholder value. Visit Markel on the web at markel.com.

About the U.S. Hunter Jumper Association:
The United States Hunter Jumper Association, as the official hunter/jumper affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation, is a competition-based sport organization that serves our members through educational programs, awards and recognition, communication and rules. We provide a wide array of programs for all hunter/jumper levels, and we are mindful of the well-being of our equine partners. Additionally, we are committed to preserving the history of our sport and through our Foundation we support charitable and benevolent services. Learn more at ushja.org.

Photos: Terisé Cole and Tori Bilas