The Ranching Heritage Challenge highlights the versatility, soundness and willing attitude of American Quarter Horses that are ranch born and raised. First, the goal of the Ranching Heritage Breeders program is to recognize AQHA’s ranching members who have steadfastly continued to maintain the ranching tradition by raising American Quarter Horses for use in working cattle.
Second, through a series of ranch horse competitions and trail trials, the Ranching Heritage Challenge is intended to increase demand for ranch horses by providing an opportunity for ranches and horse owners to compete in a unique ranch horse competition or set of trail trials for a significant purse.
As interest in the program increases, AQHA anticipates having six regional events around the United States – each with a purse in excess of $100,000! These purses will be generated through nominations and sustaining payments for horses in the program and from added money in the form of sponsorships.
Learn about 2013 Ranching Heritage Challenge events.
Ranching Heritage Breeder Qualifications
Foals raised by Ranching Heritage Breeders will be eligible for nomination to the Ranching Heritage Challenge. The Ranching Heritage Challenge will be exclusively for foals bred and nominated by Ranching Heritage Breeders that remain eligible via payments by their owners. By 2013, AQHA anticipates having up to three regional events at stock shows, state fairs, ranch rodeos and other industry events.
Read more about Ranching Heritage Breeders qualifications.
What makes a horse eligible for the Ranching Heritage Challenge?
All foals bred and raised by a Ranching Heritage Breeder will be eligible to be nominated into the Ranching Heritage Challenge. Ranches have the opportunity to nominate weanlings to the program for just $10 before December 31 of its weanling year. Nominations can even be taken along with the foal’s registration papers. Because much of the benefit of the program is adding value to young ranch horses, ranches are encouraged to ensure the horse is nominated and ownership is transferred at the time of sale.
However, as long as the foal is eligible for the program, anyone can nominate and sustain the payments for the horse into the Ranching Heritage Challenge.
Nominate a horse to the Ranching Heritage Challenge.
What is the payment schedule?
Ranching Heritage Challenge enrollments will begin with the 2011 foal crop and the payment schedule will apply to 2011 and subsequent foal crops. All older Ranching Heritage-bred horses will be eligible to compete in events on an entry-fee basis.
Starting with 2011 foals, the penalty for missing a payment is double any missed payments, along with the current year's payment. For example, if a horse is nominated as a yearling, the cost would be $70. ($10 x 2 [the penalty for missed weanling payment] = $20 + $50 [current year's payment]). For the best deal, nominate your weanlings now for only $10.
What classes will make up the Ranching Heritage Challenge?
Open Sweepstakes for 4-Year-Old Horses
Limited Open for 4-Year-Old Horses
This division is for AQHA members with less than $10,000 lifetime earnings in any of the following: National Reined Cow Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association, National Reining Horse Association, American Cutting Horse Association, Ranch Horse Association of America, American Stock Horse Association or Stock Horse of Texas earnings or less than 25 AQHA or American Paint Horse Association Open Points in Reining, Cutting or Working Cow Horse within the previous 10 years. No exhibitor can have earned more than $10,000 in any individual association.
Cowboy Class for 4-Year-Old and Older Horses
Amateur Division Eligibility
Ranching Heritage Challenge Class Rules
This class should exemplify the reining ability, cow sense and roping ability of the ranch horse. Each contestant will perform individually, first in the reining pattern and then releasing one cow into the arena.
Amateur Trail Trial Rules
AQHA is in the process of finalizing trail trial rules.
What is the expected pay-out for the event?
The payout will be based on the number of horses nominated and paid into the program for that year. In time, AQHA anticipates having six regional events across the United States – each with a purse in excess of $100,000.
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