The Ranching Heritage Challenge highlights the versatility, soundness and willing attitude of American Quarter Horses that are ranch born and raised. First, the goal of the Ranching Heritage Breeders program is to recognize AQHA’s ranching members who have steadfastly continued to maintain the ranching tradition by raising American Quarter Horses for use in working cattle.

Second, through a series of ranch horse competitions, the Ranching Heritage Challenge is intended to increase demand for ranch horses by providing an opportunity for ranches and horse owners to compete in a unique ranch horse competition for a significant purse.

Ranching Heritage Classes and Rules

2015 Ranching Heritage Challenges

The challenges slated thus far are:

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo – January 15-16 in Fort Worth, Texas | entry materials, schedule | event coverage | results

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – March 22 in Houston | entry materials, schedule | event coverageresults

Colorado State Fair – September 3 in Pueblo, Colorado | entry materials, schedule

Tri-State Fair – September 19 in Amarillo, Texas | information | entry materials, schedule |

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity – September 26 in Reno Nevada | information | entry materials | schedule

NILE – October 14 in Billings, Montana | entry materials, schedule

2013 and 2014 Ranching Heritage Challenges

Access coverage of the 2013 Ranching Heritage Challenges and the 2014 Ranching Heritage Challenges.

Ranching Heritage Breeder Qualifications

Foals raised by Ranching Heritage Breeders will be eligible for nomination to the Ranching Heritage Challenge. The Ranching Heritage Challenge will be exclusively for foals bred and nominated by Ranching Heritage Breeders that remain eligible via payments by their owners. By 2014, AQHA anticipates having up to six regional events at stock shows, state fairs, ranch rodeos and other industry events. 

Read more about Ranching Heritage Breeders qualifications.

What makes a horse eligible for the Ranching Heritage Challenge?

All foals bred and raised by a Ranching Heritage Breeder will be eligible to be nominated into the Ranching Heritage Challenge. Ranches have the opportunity to nominate weanlings to the program for just $10 before December 31 of its weanling year. Nominations can even be taken along with the foal’s registration papers. Because much of the benefit of the program is adding value to young ranch horses, ranches are encouraged to ensure the horse is nominated and ownership is transferred at the time of sale.

However, as long as the foal is eligible for the program, anyone can nominate and sustain the payments for the horse into the Ranching Heritage Challenge. 

Nominate a horse to the Ranching Heritage Challenge.

What is the payment schedule?

Ranching Heritage Challenge enrollments will begin with the 2011 foal crop and the payment schedule will apply to 2011 and subsequent foal crops. All older Ranching Heritage-bred horses will be eligible to compete in events on an entry-fee basis. 

  • Weanling - $10
  • Yearling - $50
  • 2-year-olds - $100
  • 3-year-olds - $150

Starting with 2011 foals, the penalty for missing a payment is double any missed payments, along with the current year's payment. For example, if a horse is nominated as a yearling, the cost would be $70. ($10 x 2 [the penalty for missed weanling payment] = $20 + $50 [current year's payment]). For the best deal, nominate your weanlings now for only $10. 

Nominate a horse to the Ranching Heritage Challenge.