Become a Ranching Heritage Breeder
American Quarter Horses bred and raised by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders epitomize the breed’s work ethic and versatility.
April 21, 2014
American Quarter Horse Association
From the earliest days of western cattle ranches, cowboys needed a horse that could handle the strain and hardships of working cattle each day. While the West has long since been settled, American Quarter Horses are still the preferred partner for working cattle ranches.
To recognize the ranches and individuals who continue to uphold the ranching tradition, the American Quarter Horse Association and the AQHA Ranching Council developed the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders program in 2011.
Ranching Heritage Breeders are AQHA member-owned ranches and individuals that represent longevity, honesty and integrity in raising quality American Quarter Horses, while upholding the ranching heritage.
To be accepted into the program, a Ranching Heritage Breeder must own and breed a minimum of five American Quarter Horse mares used to produce ranch horses and must maintain a remuda of horses used to operate a working cattle operation.
“Ranching Heritage Breeders uphold the true definition of ranching heritage,” said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway Jr. “Status as a Ranching Heritage Breeder is not only recognition for the ranch’s dedication to the American Quarter Horse, but also to the western tradition. Acceptance into the program is also a seal of approval on the Ranching Heritage Breeder’s ability to produce versatile, hard-working American Quarter Horses.”
The benefits of becoming an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder are many. Once accepted into the program, Ranching Heritage Breeders receive access to the exclusive Ranching Heritage Breeder logo, which many breeders proudly tout on their websites and in advertisements.
Additionally, all Ranching Heritage Breeders are listed on AQHA’s website at www.aqha.com/ranching-heritage-breeders.
Horses raised by Ranching Heritage Breeders are eligible for nomination to the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge competitions. The prizes and prestige of the Ranching Heritage Challenges are great, with the six events in 2014 offering more than $90,000 in added money.
“Buyers are actively seeking horses raised by Ranching Heritage Breeders,” Treadway said. “Whether buyers are looking for a trusty ranch mount or one they can take to town to win a Ranching Heritage Challenge, buyers know that horses bred by Ranching Heritage Breeders are guaranteed hard workers.
“We encourage breeders who fit the Ranching Heritage Breeder criteria to join the program.”
Visit www.aqha.com/ranchingheritageto learn more about the program and other AQHA programs developed just for ranchers or to download the Ranching Heritage Breeder application.