10 Reasons to Own a Ranching Heritage Horse

A quick insight to the benefits of owning a Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horse.

November 5, 2018

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Horses bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders are eligible to compete in Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges to earn money.

While the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders program is a fairly young American Quarter Horse Association program, the ranches that are members of the program have been in existence for many years. The program was established in 2011 and has been growing ever since. Horses bred by AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders are eligible to compete in Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges to earn money. Here are a few reasons you need to own an AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horse:

Reason 1: Own a horse that’s a part of history.

To be approved as a Ranching Heritage Breeder, ranches must have been breeding American Quarter Horses for at least a decade, though many participating ranches have actually been around for centuries. There’s other criteria that must be met to be approved, like breeding horses for daily ranch work, which keeps the program true to its roots.

Reason 2: Compete at exclusive events.

The Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders program includes the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges, a series of ranch horse competitions where horses compete in several classes for money. The Challenges culminate in a finals event, which is slated for June in Guthrie, Oklahoma, in conjunction with the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Championships.

Reason 3: Compete with your horse in the division that’s right for you.

Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges offer divisions based on horse age and rider experience. In general:

  • Open 
  • Cowboy
  • Amateur
  • Limited amateur
  • Youth 
  • Limited youth

See this full list of class rules.

Reason 4: Challenges offer a variety of classes.

  • Working ranch horse
  • Limited working ranch horse (box-drive-box-drive)
  • Ranch riding
  • Barrel racing (offered at some challenges)
  • Team roping (offered at some challenges)

Reason 5: Ride to win tens of thousands of dollars.

Challenges feature great purses – some up to $15,000 added – plus jackpot money! The Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals features $30,000 added money.

Reason 6: But wait – there’s even more money available.

At some of the industry’s top events, the Ranching Heritage Breeders program pays out $250 to the owner and $250 to the ranch that bred the overall highest-placing Ranching Heritage-bred horse.

Reason 7: Your horse’s registration certificate won’t look like any other.

The registration certificates of horses bred by Ranching Heritage Breeders carry the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder logo.  

Reason 8: Youth with Ranching Heritage-bred yearlings have one of the neatest opportunities in the horse industry.

AQHYA members can apply for the Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Young Horse Development Program. Selected participants either receive   or can purchase a Ranching Heritage-bred yearling. The youth then spends nine months in the program learning to train and care for the yearling. Participating youth develop their horses, track their progress and compete to win scholarships and prizes. Bonus – they have an amazing horse to keep.

Reason 9: They’re versatile, too!

Ranching Heritage-bred horses excel at more than ranch horse classes. Take, for example, the Four Sixes Ranch-bred mare A Red Bird, who won the reserve world champion title in jumping with Samantha Taylor at the 2018 Built Ford Tough AQHYA World Championship Show.

Reason 10: Thousands of great horses!

Ranching Heritage Breeders have bred thousands of horses that carry long-standing bloodlines and whose abilities are recognized worldwide. Find a breeder who offers horses to match your goals.  

For more information on AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders, visit www.aqha.com/ranching.

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