2021 AQHA VRH World and AQHA RHC Finals Qualifying

2021 AQHA VRH World and AQHA RHC Finals Qualifying

AQHA waives qualifying requirements for the 2021 AQHA VRH World and AQHA RHC Finals, due to the pandemic’s impact on qualifying events.

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Based on an extensive comparison of the qualifying data and discussions with AQHA alliance partner the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance, AQHA Show Council, AQHA Affiliate Advisory Board and affiliates, the AQHA Executive Committee has waived the qualification requirements for the 2021 AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships and AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals, slated for June 22-27, 2021, at the Lazy E Arena in Guthrie, Oklahoma. NRSHA also made the decision to waive qualifying requirements for the 2021 NRSHA National Championships, held in conjunction with the AQHA VRH World.

In June 2020, the AQHA Executive Committee approved rolling over qualifying requirements for those who qualified to compete at the 2020 AQHA VRH World, due to the cancellation of the 2020 event. That change gave exhibitors and horses who qualified to compete at the 2020 AQHA VRH World, the opportunity to also compete at the 2021 AQHA VRH World. In September, the AQHA Executive Committee made the decision to move forward with traditional qualifying requirements for the 2021 AQHA championship shows, with the commitment to continue to monitor the effect of the worldwide pandemic on qualifying events and make modifications accordingly.

The qualifying period for the 2021 AQHA VRH World is March 1, 2020, to February 28, 2021. To date, 146 qualifying shows have been offered for the 2021 AQHA VRH World, compared to 173 during the 2019 qualifying period and 218 during the 2020 qualifying period. A review of shows indicates that there are 29 qualifying show opportunities available through the rest of the qualifying period; however, the qualifying opportunities are not available across the country. In fact, there are very few scheduled in the southwest, and none in the northeast or north central United States. In 2019, 4,546 individuals qualified for the 2019 AQHA VRH World, and in 2020, 6,445 individuals qualified for the 2020 AQHA VRH World. To date, only 2,339 individuals have met the qualifying requirements for the 2021 AQHA VRH World.

For the 2021 AQHA RHC Finals, with a qualifying period of January 1, 2020, to December 31, 2020, only seven qualifying events were held, compared to 14 in 2019. Since there are no other qualifying events between now and the end of the qualifying period, only 217 individuals qualified for the 2021 AQHA RHC Finals, compared to 518 individuals in 2020.

“Even though qualification was rolled over from 2020 to 2021, due to the 2020 AQHA VRH World being cancelled, we believe it is in the best interest of our exhibitors and their American Quarter Horses to waive qualifying for the 2021 AQHA VRH World and AQHA RHC Finals,” said Karen McCuistion, AQHA senior director of member programs. “In a traditional year, we would continue with the qualifying requirements, especially because we understand the impact on our affiliates; however, under these extenuating circumstances, we want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to compete in 2021, especially because most affiliates were only able to hold a fraction of the events compared to a typical year. We also took into consideration that the rolled qualification would not benefit our youth and amateurs with new horses or horses that were too young to qualify in 2020. We still encourage exhibitors to compete at the qualifying events now through February 28, especially to have the opportunity for the chance to win the $20,000 John Deere VRH Double-Qualifying Incentive.”

The John Deere VRH Double-Qualifying Incentive is a special side pot available only to Versatility Ranch Horse competitors who qualified for the 2020 AQHA VRH World and who also meet the original qualifying requirements for the 2021 AQHA VRH World. Read more about the John Deere VRH Double-Qualifying Incentive.

For more information about the AQHA VRH World and AQHA RHC Finals, visit www.aqha.com/versatility.

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AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHA on Twitter and visit www.aqha.com/news.