Ranch Pleasure

Ranch pleasure will be offered in AQHA youth, amateur and open divisions, starting January 1, 2013.

The American Quarter Horse Journal
November 2, 2012

Ranch pleasure at the 2012 Battle in the Saddle

Ranch pleasure should show the horse’s ability to work at a forward, working speed while under the rider’s control. (Journal photo)

One year ago the American Quarter Horse Association unveiled a fresh new class – ranch pleasure – that was effective for the 2012 show season. In its inaugural year, ranch pleasure was only offered as an open-division class, yet AQHA members responded enthusiastically in the first year. As a result of that success, the AQHA Executive Committee approved the addition of youth and amateur divisions to ranch pleasure competition, beginning January 1, 2013.

In 2012, 476 shows offered ranch pleasure and entries totaled 4,259. Those 4,259 entries were shown by 708 exhibitors – 247 open competitors, 395 amateur and 66 youth.

Effective January 1, 2013, AQHA show managers will have the opportunity to offer open, youth and amateur ranch pleasure classes.

“For the first year, ranch pleasure was solely approved for the open division so that AQHA could gauge the response of exhibitors,” said Tom Persechino, AQHA executive director of competition and breed integrity. “The time came to analyze the class, and the entries, plus requests from competitors, solidified that ranch pleasure needed to be offered in the youth and amateur divisions.”

Out of the 230 ranch pleasure qualifiers to the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show in Oklahoma City, 66 horses and their riders will square off on November 6 in the class’ preliminary round.

“The ideal ranch pleasure horse should reflect the versatility, attitude and movement of a working horse,” Persechino said. “The performance horse industry is very much looking forward to seeing those traits in action November 8 in the ranch pleasure finals, and the title of being the very first AQHA ranch pleasure world champion is definitely a coveted one.”
In ranch pleasure competition, the horse’s performance should simulate a horse riding outside the confines of an arena and that of a working ranch horse. This class should show the horse’s ability to work at a forward, working speed while under the rider’s control. To learn more about ranch pleasure guidelines, refer to Rules SHW416-419 in the 2013 AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

To find a show that offers ranch pleasure, refer to the AQHA Calendar of Events in every issue of The American Quarter Horse Journal and look for shows offering class code 430. An abbreviated version of the calendar can be viewed at www.aqhamembers.org, but this version does not feature class codes.

AQHA news and information is a service of AQHA Publications. For more information on The American Quarter Horse Journal or America’s Horse, visit AQHA Publications.