January 16, 2013
Youth, amateur and Select amateur competitors can now vie for the first ranch pleasure world championships at their respective shows. (Journal photo) BELOW: Watch what exhibitors have to say about ranch pleasure.
Making its debut at the 2012 American Quarter Horse Association World hampionship Show, ranch pleasure was met with an enthusiastic response by exhibitors and spectators alike. However, ranch pleasure was only offered as an open-division class in its inaugural year. For 2013, youth, amateur and Select amateur competitors can now compete in ranch pleasure in their divisions and vie for the first ranch pleasure world championships at their respective shows.
The points required to qualify in ranch pleasure for the 2013 Built Ford Tough AQHYA, Adequan Select, Bank of America Amateur and AQHA Open world championship shows is set at two points.
“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 show entries, plus requests from competitors, solidified that ranch pleasure needed to also be offered in the youth, amateur and Select amateur divisions.”
The horse’s performance in a ranch pleasure class 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.
“In ranch pleasure, judges look for a perfect, handy horse with manners, versatility and movement,” said AQHA Senior Director of Judges Alex Ross. “There’s a real emphasis on forward movement and ground-covering gaits, while rules of cadence still apply.”
Refer to Rules SHW416-419 for ranch pleasure class guidelines in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.
What does it take to win a world championship in ranch pleasure?
To find a show that offers ranch pleasure, check out the AQHA Calendar of Events featured 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.
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