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<em>Journal</em>

The Rundown: Ranch Remuda Challenge

Are you looking for a chance to watch working ranch horses and cowboys show off their skills? One of the many events featured at Battle in the Saddle July 5-9 in Oklahoma City is the Ranch Remuda Challenge.

By Tara Christiansen
The American Quarter Horse Journal
June 3, 2011

Mike Major at the 2010 Battle in the Saddle

Above: Mike Major and Black Hope Stik won the Ranch Remuda Challenge at the 2010 Battle in the Saddle. Journal photo. Below: Mike Major wins the inaugral Project Cowboy.

A remuda is a group of working horses bred for ranch work, and AQHA has long recognized the value of a good remuda. 

AQHA began the Best Remuda Award in 1992 to recognize outstanding ranches for their efforts in raising American Quarter Horses, an important tool of the trade. Pfizer Animal Health, an AQHA corporate partner, sponsors the award.

The Battle in the Saddle Ranch Remuda Challenge will offer $10,000 in added money. This competition is open to all ranches that meet the criteria of the AQHA-Pfizer Best Remuda Award, but the ranch does not have to have won the Best Remuda Award. To be eligible for the AQHA-Pfizer Best Remuda Award, a ranch must:

  • Be a member of AQHA
  • Have a remuda consisting of registered American Quarter Horses
  • Own a minimum of five AQHA-registered mares used to produce ranch horses
  • Maintain a remuda for the specific purpose of operating a working cattle ranch

The Ranch Remuda Challenge will be judged on the horses’ reining ability, cow sense and roping ability. Each contestant will perform individually, first completing a reining pattern and then working and roping a single cow that’s released into the arena.

Here’s what the competition will look like:

  • Each exhibitor will be allowed a maximum of six minutes to complete his or her run.
  • Each portion of the run – reining, cow work and roping – will have an average score of 70. The composite average score is 210.
  • The reining portion will be performed first using the prescribed pattern. Check out the preliminary-round pattern and the finals pattern.
  • After the exhibitor has completed his reining pattern, he will call for the cow to be turned into the arena.
  • Upon receiving the cow, the contestant has to hold the cow on the prescribed end of the arena for sufficient time to demonstrate the ability of the horse to contain the cow. Next, the contestant has to take the cow down the fence, making at least one turn each way on the fence.
  • The exhibitor must then rope the cow and bring it to a stop, without dragging the cow. The exhibitor is allowed two throws. For a catch to be legal, the loop must hold in front of the shoulders.

To enter the competition, ranches must adhere to additional requirements:

  • Ranches must own and have bred the horses entered.
  • Registered American Quarter Horses ages 4 to 7 are eligible.
  • Each ranch may enter six horses, but each rider can only show two horses.
  • Riders must be full-time employees for a minimum of 90 days for the ranch they ride for

For more information on the judging and scoring of the event, check out the Ranch Remuda Challenge fact sheet.

Want to learn more about the great American western-horse showdown? Visit the Battle in the Saddle website for breaking news on this action-packed event.