AQHA’s Ranching Heritage Breeders Challenge to be held in Rapid City, SD

Jan Swan Wood

The American Quarter Horse Association’s (AQHA) development of the Ranching Heritage Breeders is an exciting new opportunity for horsemen everywhere. A Ranching Heritage Challenge event will be held in Rapid City, SD, in August, and give the owners of horses from the Ranching Heritage Breeders group an opportunity to compete for some tidy paychecks.

The first Challenge was successfully held in Ft. Worth, TX, in January, and the second will be at the Pennington County Events Center, Rapid City, SD, on August 30, 2012. Held during the South Dakota Reined Cow Horse Futurity, it will offer limited open and non-pro classes, with $13,500 added money offered. It’s an entry-fee only event, with the majority of the money paid back in the purse, along with the added money.

Many northern plains breeders have been accepted into the program, and any horse that is four years old as of January 1, 2012, and from a Ranching Heritage Breeder, is eligible to compete in the open or limited open at the Rapid City, SD, event. Those horses that are eligible have the potential to win back a substantial amount of money at the August event, therefore giving owners the incentive to pursue the training necessary to be in the competition. To determine if a horse is from a Ranching Heritage Breeder, the owner can check with the AQHA, either by phone at 806-376-4811 or and type, “ranching heritage” in the search box.

The Challenge will be a Ranch Horse class, with three segments being judged: reining, cow work and roping each have the potential of 70 points each, with the top possible score being 210 points. Besides showing a Ranching Heritage Breeder bred horse, the rider and owner must be AQHA members in good standing.

For this debut event, the horses don’t have to be nominated to compete at Rapid City. In the future, nominations will be required and fees paid to make a horse eligible. The AQHA is waiving the nomination requirement for 2012 to get the Challenge events off and running and to encourage the owners to put their horses in the competition.

With this kind of prize money already offered in the early stages of the Ranching Heritage Challenge, it is certain to increase the interest in buying horses from Ranching Heritage Breeders. This program is giving added incentive to buy horses from proven and long standing programs, and rewards those breeders with the potential of increased value of their horses at sale time.

With this win/win situation, this would be a good time to get involved with the Ranching Heritage Challenge, whether as a breeder or an exhibitor, and benefit from the Challenge being held in Rapid City, SD, in the heart of “good horse” country.