Ranching Heritage Programs

Learn more about the Ranching Heritage Breeders program, Ranching Heritage Challenges and the Young Horse Development Program.

AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders

AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders is a breeder referral program. To become part of the Ranching Heritage Breeders, ranches must be members of AQHA and their ranch remudas must consist of American Quarter Horses, which must be used primarily to work ranch cattle. The ranch must own at least five American Quarter Horse mares that are used to produce the remuda, and the ranch must have received at least an AQHA 10-year breeder award. Ranches that qualify can download this application or call AQHA Customer Service at (806) 376-4811. The AQHA Ranching Committee and AQHA Executive Committee review the applications. The program cost $25 per year. Ranching Heritage Breeders are entitled to use a special logo on their advertising, and that logo also appears on the AQHA registration certificates of horses bred by Ranching Heritage Breeders. Ranches that are members of the Ranching Heritage Breeders also are eligible to enter their horses in exclusive competitions and sales.

AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges

The first exclusive opportunity for Ranching Heritage Breeders is the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge. The Ranching Heritage Challenge includes six regional competitions that help drive the market for ranch horses. Beginning in 2019 there are even more opportunities for Ranching Heritage bred horses as AQHA and the Ranching Heritage Committee have begun approving additional challenge competitions. Ranching Heritage Challenges consists of five classes – working ranch horse, limited working ranch horse (box-drive-box-drive for amateur and youth only) ranch riding, along with team roping and barrel racing (offered at discretion of show management). These classes are offered to different levels of riders and ages of horses. The horses entered must have been bred by a Ranching Heritage Breeder and fully enrolled in the Challenge.

AQHA Young Horse Development Program

The Ranching Committee is also interested in getting more youth involved with horses. Ranching Heritage Breeders interested in donating a weanling, please download the donation form here. The AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program helps youth learn how to work with young horses. Ranching Heritage Breeders can make weanlings eligible for youth to apply to receive for free or at a nominal fee. American Quarter Horse Youth Association members apply through AQHA to be a recipient of a foal. Youth take the weanling home, train and develop the the young horse for a chance to win scholarships and prizes from Montana Silversmiths, Justin Boots and Wrangler. Plus, they keep their horse.

AQHA Top Ranching Heritage-Bred Horse Awards

These awards recognize the top Ranching Heritage-bred horses competing at major competitions. The horse owner receives $250 and a specially created ranch-horse trophy, and the breeder also receives $250.


AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse Competition
Versatility Ranch Horse competition allows American Quarter Horses to demonstrate their ranching abilities in fice classes – ranch riding, ranch trail, ranch reining, ranch cow work and ranch conforma ...
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