Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges



The AQHA 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. 

These Challenges are open to any horse bred by an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder. Anyone can own and show these eligible and enrolled horses in the Challenges.

The Challenges offer multiple divisions for various ages and skill levels for both horse and rider. Classes include working ranch horse, ranch riding, team roping and barrel racing.

2019 Original Ranching Heritage Challenges

2019 Ranching Heritage Challenge Rules

January 17-19 - Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo, Fort Worth, Texas 

Summer - 2019 - SDQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge, Rapid City, South Dakota  

June - 22-23 - Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals - Guthrie, Oklahoma 

August - Colorado State Fair, Pueblo, Colorado

September 15 - Tri-State Fair, Amarillo, Texas

October 13 - NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, Fort Worth, Texas

October - Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE), Billings, Montana

2019 Ranching Heritage Challenges - These are qualifying events for the 2020 RHC Finals.

April 13 - RCR Spring Works RHC, Camp Verde, Arizona | Entry Deadline April 1

May 18-19 - Central Coast Ranch Horse Classic, Carmel Valley, California | Entry Deadline May 4

October 26-27 - WSVRHA Championship, Las Vegas, Nevada | Entry Deadline October 14


2018 Original Ranching Heritage Challenges 

2018 Ranching Heritage Challenge Rules

January 11 & 13 – Fort Worth Stock Show & RodeoFort Worth, Texas event coverage | results

May 26 - SDQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge, Rapid City, South Dakota  event coverage | results 

June 17 - Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals - Guthrie, Oklahoma results

August 29-30 - Colorado State Fair, Pueblo, Colorado | event coverage | results

September 16 - Tri-State Fair, Amarillo, Texas | event coverage | results

October 14 – NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, Fort Worth, Texas | event coverage | results

October 17 – Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE), Billings, Montana | event coverage | results

2018 Ranching Heritage Challenges - This is qualifying event for the 2019 RHC Finals.

October 28 - Stock Horse of Texas (SHTX), Abilene, Texas | results


Coverage of Ranching Heritage Challenges

Access coverage of the 2013-2017 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 is exclusively for foals bred and nominated by Ranching Heritage Breeders that remain eligible via payments by their owners. 

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 enrolled and ownership is transferred at the time of sale.

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

Enroll a horse to the Ranching Heritage Challenge program.

What is the payment schedule?

Ranching Heritage Challenge enrollments began with the 2011 foal crop and the payment schedule applies to 2011 and subsequent foal crops.  

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

Grandfathered Horses 

All Ranching Heritage-bred horses born in 2010 and before are automatically enrolled and eligible to compete in Challenge events on an entry-fee basis. 

Check here to determine if your horse was bred by a Ranching Heritage Breeder or call the Ranching Department to confirm.