Versatility Ranch Horse

The Versatility Ranch Horse competition promotes the athletic ability and versatility of the horse and is demonstrated in six classes – ranch riding, ranch trail, ranch cutting, ranch reining, ranch cow work and ranch conformation. There are divisions for open, amateur, cowboy and youth. For complete rules and regulations, refer to the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations.

VRH Ranch Riding -- Horses show individually, and the class can be conducted inside or outside an arena. Judges are looking for relaxed, responsive horses with soft and cadenced gaits. The horse should make timely transitions in a smooth and correct manner, plus the horse should be soft in the bridle and yield to contact.

VRH Ranch Trail -- Obstacles found in a ranch trail pattern are approximate to those found during the course of everyday work. Judges are looking for a well-broke, responsive and well-mannered horse that can correctly navigate and negotiate the course, and do so in a correct and efficient manner.

VRH Ranch Reining -- Ranch reining measures the ability of the stock horse to perform basic handling maneuvers. This class can be held with or separate from the ranch cow work class; if the two are held together, they are still scored and placed as individual classes. What the judges are looking for is: “To rein a horse is not only to guide him but also to control his every movement. The best reined horse should be willingly guided or controlled with little or no apparent resistance and dictated to completely.”

VRH Ranch Cutting -- Similar to other cutting classes, ranch cutting is judged on the ability of the horse to work a cow by separating it from the herd and holding it. The objective is to cut one or two cows, based on the division. For open, cowboy and amateur division competition, there is a two-min- ute limit where each exhibitor must work two head, but has the option of working the full two minutes. In youth competition, on the other hand, there is a one- and-a-half-minute time limit where the exhibitor must work one cow but has the option of working the full minute and a half.

VRH Ranch Cow Work -- When it comes to the ranch cow work class, riders have the choice between ranch cow work or limited ranch cow work for youth and amateur exhibitors, where riders are al- lotted one minute and 45 seconds to complete the work. There are three parts to the limited ranch cow work: boxing the cow; setting up the cow and driving it down the fence to the opposite end of the arena; and boxing it at the opposite end of the arena. For ranch cow work, there are three parts to the class: boxing, fence work and roping or circling. The horse and rider must accomplish all three parts in three minutes.

VRH Ranch Conformation -- To be eligible to compete in this class, the horse must be shown in at least one other class the day of the show. Judges are looking for balanced, structurally correct horses with adequate muscling. You’ll need to show your horse in a good working halter – rope, braided, nylon or plain leather – exhibit your horse at a walk and trot, then line up for inspection by the judge.