AQHA Programs Overview
From breeding to competition, AQHA has ranching programs that showcase the special talents of ranching American Quarter Horses.
Ranching Heritage Programs
Highlighting the efforts of American Quarter Horse ranch breeders and their heritage to AQHA is the reasoning behind the three initiatives to recognize ranch breeders.
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.
Best Remuda Award
AQHA and Zoetis present the Best Remuda Award – the oldest and most prestigious ranching award.
This award honors the contributions ranch horses have made to the heritage of the American Quarter Horse and has recognized 25 outstanding ranches since its beginning in 1992.
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.
Young Horse Development Program
AQHA's Young Horse Development Program showcases AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders’ ranch-bred American Quarter Horses and provides an opportunity for youth to become engaged in the horse industry at a fundamental level that’s fun and educational.