Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships Top Ranching Heritage-Bred Horse

Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships Top Ranching Heritage-Bred Horse

Hawks Nine Five earns Top Ranching Heritage-bred award at the Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships.

A rider jumps a horse over a fence. Photo credit: Shane Rux Photography.

text size

The 17-year-old gelding Hawks Nine Five was named the top AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horse at the 2022 Nutrena AQHA East Level 1 Championships, which was April 27 - May 1 at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio.

Hawks Nine Five is by Tens Hawkeye and out of the Black Chick Gold mare Gold Personality, bred in Texas by Bill and Dana Smith. These breeders have seen horses they bred earn more than 370 AQHA points and more than $70,000 in National Reined Cow Horse Association, National Snaffle Bit Association, Ranch Horse Association of America and Stock Horse of Texas competition. Among the horses produced from the ranch is AQHA World Champion Judys Ten.

Hawks Nine Five is owned by Lori Franssen of Norwell, Massachusetts, and was shown by Claire Bailey Franssen. Among his accomplishments at the show is a finalist finish in youth equitation over fences.

The AQHA Ranching Heritage program highlights the versatility, soundness and willing attitude of American Quarter Horses that are ranch-born and -raised.

Only the horses produced by Ranching Heritage Breeders are eligible to participate in the program, but anyone can own and show these horses.

Ranching Heritage Breeders are those operations that have steadfastly continued to maintain the ranching tradition by raising American Quarter Horses for use in working cattle.

In addition to top horse awards, AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horses are eligible to compete in AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges, which are offered across the country. Competing in these events, many of which have added money, make horses eligible to compete at the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals.

To find out more about the Ranching Heritage program, visit

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