I think you are forgetting the true emphasis of the hunters is a horse suited to the huntfield. A horse that over jumps every fence is not saving his energy for a long trip over many miles. That is why some horses who are even and don't exagerate their form over fences often win, they are easy to stay with and set an even rythym or pace, a jumper pace would exhaust a hunt horse to early, and remember hunt horses are not meant for master riders to be able to handle, they are made for the average person to have a safe dependable mount. Something that won't refuse, won't jump a rider off it's back (esp after a few nips from the flask) and has an easy ground covering even stride. Also, even if you remove boots in an undersaddle class, to prove a horse is clean legged, that means the horse will only be penalized in the undersaddle class. So a horse with obvious scarring or bowed tendons or ring bone could succesfully place in the over fences but would be eliminated in the undersaddle. The jog eliminates some of this, but not every hunter class has a jog, so in order to be fair, not wearing boots is the only option. Most 4 ft hunters jog for soundness after every class, so obviously the horses have to stay sound in order to develope a show record, and if they are doing it without boots they must not be that neccesary. There are also some shady things people can do with boots in order to make a horse jump in better form, but I won't discuss them, but not wearing boots eliminates that temptation also.
Troubled TB ~"A thorn by any other name will prick just as deep." @-'--,---