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About Ranching Heritage

The AQHA Ranching Council develops new ways to market and promote ranch horses.

Four Sixes RanchHighlighting the efforts of American Quarter Horse ranch breeders and their heritage to AQHA is the reasoning behind the AQHA Ranching Council and its three initiatives to recognize ranch breeders.

The AQHA Ranching Council's three initiatives are:

  1. AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders
  2. Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge
  3. AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program

AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders
The first initiative is a breeder referral program called the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders.

To become part of the Ranching Heritage Breeders, ranches must be members of AQHA and their ranch remudas must consist of Quarter Horses, which must be used primarily to work ranch cattle.

The ranch must own at least five Quarter Horse mares that are used to produce the remuda, and the ranch must have received at least an AQHA 10-year breeder award.

Ranches that qualify can download the application from www.aqha.com or call AQHA Customer Service at (806) 376-4811.

The Ranching Council will approve the applications, and the program will cost $10 per year.

Ranching Heritage Breeders will be entitled to use a special logo on their advertising, and that logo will also appear on their AQHA registration certificates.

Ranches that are members of the Ranching Heritage Breeders will also be able to enter their horses in exclusive competitions and sales.

Download an application

Find Ranching Heritage Breeders

AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge
The first exclusive opportunity for Ranching Heritage Breeders is the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge. The Ranching Heritage Challenge will eventually grow to be six regional competitions to drive the market for ranch horses.

The Ranching Heritage Challenge will consist of three classes working ranch horse, boxing, and ranch pleasure. These classes will be offered to different level of riders and ages of horses. 

The horses entered must have been foaled at a Ranching Heritage Breeder’s ranch and nominated by that ranch.

Purses will be generated from a nomination payment of $10 per weanling, along with sustaining payments made by the new owner of the horse. Zoetis, AQHA’s corporate partner, will provide additional money for these purses.

Foal nominations will be accepted, beginning in September for competition in the coming years. However, in 2014, 4-year-old and older foals bred by ranches that become Ranching Heritage Breeders that year will be eligible to compete in six entry-fee competitions.

Learn more about contest rules

Learn more about 2014 Ranching Heritage Challenge Events

Young Horse Development
The Ranching Council is also interested in getting more youth involved with horses.

The AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program will help youth learn how to develop young horses the right way and get breeders’ foals in the hands of future buyers. Ranching Heritage Breeders can make weanlings eligible for youth to apply to receive for free or at a nominal fee. The youth will apply through AQHA to be a recipient of a foal. They will take the weanling home and train it for an in-hand competition during one of the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge events as a yearling and then be able to show it again as a 2-year-old in a ranch pleasure class.

To apply, or for information, visit www.aqha.com/aqhya.

The AQHA Ranching Council members are 

Chairman Stan Weaver: Big Sandy, Montana 
AQHA Executive Committee representative Sandy Arledge: Rancho Sante Fe, CA
Rob A. Brown: Stinnett, Texas  
Jim Hunt: Faith, South Dakota 
Jim Brinkman: Ericson, Nebraska
Lavert Avent: Pueblo, Colorado 
Kris Wilson: Solano, New Mexico
Trace Cribbs: Harrold, Texas
John Hovde: Epping, North Dakota