Ranch Pleasure

New levels of ranch pleasure classes will be offered in 2014.

American Quarter Horse Association
November 8, 2013

Mozaun McKibben and Lil Ruf Catalyst win the very first AQHA world championship in ranch pleasure

Mozaun McKibben of Whitesboro, Texas, piloted Lil Ruf Catalyst to the first world championship in ranch pleasure at the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show. Watch their entire winning performance in the video below. (Journal photo)

With the resounding success of ranch pleasure, it’s only fitting that more is on the horizon for the class in 2014. Beginning January 1, 2014, AQHA show management will be able to offer junior and senior ranch pleasure for the open division, as well as Level 1 (formerly Novice) for youth and amateur.

Additionally, clarifications have been made for the gaits called for in ranch pleasure, with a specific emphasis on what judges are looking for in each gait.

“In all gaits,” the 2014 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations reads, “movement of the ranch pleasure horse should simulate a horse needing to cover long distances, softly and quietly, like that of a working ranch horse.”

The 2014 AQHA Handbook will also clarify that posting at the extended trot and holding the saddle horn will be acceptable riding techniques in ranch pleasure classes.

Ranch pleasure was first offered in 2012, but only in the open division. Youth, amateur and Select amateur ranch pleasure classes were offered for the first time in 2013.

“The numbers we have seen in ranch pleasure since its inception have been outstanding,” said Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity.

Due to the popularity of the class, the points required to qualify for the AQHA world championship shows in ranch pleasure have been increased for the 2014 qualifying period.

Thanks to the response to not only ranch pleasure but AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse and Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge competition, as well, more ranch-oriented initiatives are in store for 2014.

“There is no denying the positive response from AQHA members when it comes to the ranching-based classes,” Persechino added. “With that in mind, we are exploring more AQHA-approved ranch classes with some of our alliance partners that we hope to debut in 2014.”

Stay tuned to www.aqha.com/showing for details as the developments progress.

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