About AQHA Ranching Heritage Programs

Marketing and promoting ranch horses.


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:

  1. AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders
  2. Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge
  3. Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program

AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders
AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders is a breeder referral program.

To become part of the AQHA 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.

AQHA 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 AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders program also are eligible to enter their horses in exclusive competitions and sales.

Download an application

Find AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders

Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge
The first exclusive opportunity for Ranching Heritage Breeders is the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge. The Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge includes six regional competitions that help drive the market for ranch horses.

Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenges consists of three 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.

Purses are generated from a nomination payment of $10 per weanling, along with sustaining payments made by the owner of the horse. Zoetis, AQHA’s corporate partner, provides additional money for these purses.

Download a Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge enrollment form.

Young Horse Development
The Ranching Council 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.

For more information, visit www.aqha.com/youth.