If you’ve ever ridden a ranch-bred American Quarter Horse, chances are good that you are already familiar with the versatility and work ethic of the ranch-type Quarter Horse. There’s a select group of breeders — the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders — that are devoted to breeding, raising and maintaining these horses to preserve the tradition of the ranch-type American Quarter Horse.
To earn the right to be dubbed an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder, ranches must meet certain criteria, such as owning and producing remudas that consist of American Quarter Horses and earning at least an AQHA 10-year breeder award. As Ranching Heritage Breeder members, ranches are entitled to use special logos on their advertising and registration certificates and to enter their horses in exclusive competitions and sales.
AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges are the quintessential venues for putting horses raised by Ranching Heritage Breeders to the test. In January 2012, the first Ranching Heritage Challenge debuted in Fort Worth, Texas, in conjunction with the Fort Worth Stock Show.
Now, on August 30, the second AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge will take place at the Kjerstad Event Center in Rapid City, South Dakota. Exhibitors will compete for their share of $15,000 in added purse money. The open and non-pro will split $10,000 of the purse, and an extra $3,500 will be added to the limited open class, courtesy of Open Box Rafter Ranch.
In addition, the Ranching Heritage Challenge in Rapid City will feature a cowboy class for family members and full time employees of Ranching Heritage Breeders, as well as a Novice amateur class for participants who are just getting started in ranch horse competition. Each of the new classes will have $1,000 added to the purse.
The deadline to enter is August 15. Any 4-year-old horse that was bred by an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder can compete in the open or limited open divisions, while any 5-year-old or older horse that was bred by a Ranching Heritage Breeder can compete in the non-pro, amateur or Novice amateur classes.
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