challenges to offer big cash | TSLN.com

challenges to offer big cash

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.

At least $90,000 in added money will be up for grabs at American Quarter Horse Association Ranching Heritage Challenges for 2014 – and that's just one of the changes in store for 2014.

AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis has come aboard as the title sponsor for the six 2014 Ranching Heritage Challenges.

"As a world leader in animal health products, Zoetis is always interested in supporting programs that help animal producers," said Stuart Meikle, Zoetis marketing director equine segment. "The AQHA Ranching Heritage program is a perfect vehicle to create greater awareness for breeders of ranching American Quarter Horses. Zoetis is proud to partner with AQHA on the Ranching Heritage Challenge events."

At least $15,000 in added money will be in the pot for each of the six AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges, up from the two challenges that the program began with in 2012. Part of the entry fees will be jackpotted, as well, with even more fun classes added to provide opportunities for a wider group of exhibitors.

“The AQHA Ranching Heritage program is a perfect vehicle to create greater awareness for breeders of ranching American Quarter Horses. Zoetis is proud to partner with AQHA on the Ranching Heritage Challenge events.”

Stuart Meikle, Zoetis marketing director equine
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To date, AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges have included a working ranch horse class. For 2014, the challenges will include the working ranch horse competition for open 4-year-olds and limited open 4-year-olds. In the cowboy, amateur and Novice amateur classes of working ranch horse competition, horses can be 4 years old and up.

Boxing classes will be available for amateurs, Novice amateurs, youth and Novice youth, and ranch pleasure will be offered in open, amateur and youth. Boxing and ranch pleasure classes are for horses 3 years old and older.

"We're also adding open and limited open classes for 5- and 6-year-old horses," said Leman Wall, AQHA director of corporate partnerships and ranching programs. "That will give these horses even more time to develop and better prepare them for our amateur riders. If I was an amateur looking for a good horse, a horse raised by an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder would be my first preference. All the added competitions and prize money is pretty amazing. With the new classes we hope to see a lot of new people who want to win some money."

AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges and all the associated classes are limited to riders on horses bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, those breeders who have been breeding American Quarter Horses for at least 10 years and whose horses are primarily bred to work cattle on a cow-calf ranch.

"Our growth so far has been due to the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders who have believed in us and the program," Wall said. "Now we hope more owners of AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder horses will see our commitment to the program, the amount of money on the line and bring their horses to town to show them off."

Zoetis is the proud sponsor of the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges. AQHA Corporate Partner Zoetis cares about the well-being of your horse and understands the serious consequences of disease. In addition to being the official equine and cattle vaccine, Zoetis is pleased to offer the Equine Immunization Support Guarantee. Learn more about the Equine Immunization Guarantee.

To be recognized as a "Ranching Heritage Breeder," breeders should meet the following criteria:

The ranch must be a member of the American Quarter Horse Association.

Ranch remudas must consist of registered American Quarter Horses.

The ranch must own a minimum of five AQHA-registered mares used to produce ranch horses.

The ranch must maintain a remuda for the specific purpose of operating a working cattle ranch.

The ranch must have received, at minimum, an AQHA 10-year Breeder award.

The ranch must apply to and be approved by the AQHA Ranching Council

The ranch must pay a $10 annual fee to maintain status as a Ranching Heritage Breeder

Go to http://www.aqha.com/Showing/Content-Pages/Points-and-Rewards/Ranching-Heritage/Find-Ranching-Heritage-Breeders.aspx for a list of current Ranching Heritage Breeders including many in the Tri-State Livestock News readership area.

–compiled from AQHA information