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AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge: August 28

Rhoda Rein and Dig My Peppy Steps win the amateur division of the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo.

By Sara Gugelmeyer
The American Quarter Horse Journal
August 28, 2013

Rhonda Rein and Dig My Peppy Steps

Rhoda Rein and Dig My Peppy Steps at the win the amateur division of the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge at the 2013 Colorado State Fair in Pueblo. (Sara Gugelmeyer photo)

Rhoda Rein and Dig My Peppy Steps dominated the first day of the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge competition at the Colorado State Fair August 28. Rhoda and her 6-year-old mare are new to Ranching Heritage Challenge events, this was her first, but not to reined cow horse competition.

Rhoda, who is from Watkins, Colorado, and Dig My Peppy Steps won the amateur division of the Ranching Heritage Challenge at the Colorado State Fair in Pueblo, sponsored by Zoetis and Tractor Supply Co. Bryan Lee of North Platte, Nebraska, won the Novice amateur aboard BC Docs Sail Wind.

Rhoda’s win was made extra special by the fact that Dig My Peppy Steps is home-raised. Rhoda and Darren Miller show in reined cowhorse events and were excited when they realized their Quarter Horse breeding program was eligible for the AQHA Ranching Heritage program earlier this year.

Dig My Peppy Steps is by Diggers Rest, a horse she and Darren showed, and out of the mare Pep In My Step by Hickory Chic Olena, whom they also showed with great success. This is that mare’s first foal and although she was somewhat late maturing, Rhoda said, she has definitely hit her stride with recent big wins in the reined cowhorse pen.

At this event, the pair marked a 218 and a 218.5 in the double-judged class for a composite score of 436.5 and a $1,650 check.

Bryan took home the second-place check, $1,100, on his other horse, 8-year-old stallion Lees Doc O Sunrise, marking a 206 and a 207 for a 413 composite. Although this was the pair’s first Ranching Heritage Challenge event, Bryan and this horse have seen much success in ranch events – having shown at every AQHA Ranch Versatility World Championship Show since the event’s inception. Lees Doc O Sunrise is by Docs Croton Lobo and out of the mare Watch This Sunrise by Sunrise Enterprise.

Bryan and his wife, Christine, own and operate Lee’s Quarter Horses, where they raise and train horses for use on their ranch and to show.

In the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge events, horses and riders complete a short reining pattern, then box a cow and turn it down the fence, once each way. In the amateur and Novice amateur divisions, riders have the option of circling the cow or roping and stopping it. Rhoda circled, Bryan and the other three contestants roped.

In the amateur and cowboy divisions, riders must show horses 5 years of age or older, bred by an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder. In the open and limited open divisions, only 4-year-old horses are eligible. The Colorado State Fair Ranching Heritage Challenge event continues August 29, with the open, limited open and cowboy class divisions.