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AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges

This is an exclusive opportunity for Ranching Heritage-bred horses.

The AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge highlights the versatility, soundness and willing attitude of American Quarter Horses born and raised on a ranch. 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 working cattle. Second, through a series of ranch horse competitions, the Ranching Heritage Challenge is intended to increase the demand for ranch horses by providing an opportunity for ranches and horse owners  to compete in a unique ranch horse competition with a significant purse. 

Ranching Heritage Challenges are open to any horse bred by an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder. Anyone who owns an eligible horse can compete in one of the multiple age and skill level divisions offered for both horse and rider. Classes include working ranch horse, ranch riding, team roping and barrel racing.

View the 2021 Ranching Heritage Challenge Rules

2021-22 AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Events

Compete in a class at one Challenge in order to qualify for the 2022 RHC Finals

* featuring AQHA added money

2022-23 AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Events

Compete in a class at one Challenge in order to qualify for the 2023 RHC Finals

* featuring AQHA added money

Ranching Heritage Breeder Qualifications

Foals bred 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

Horse Eligibility for the Ranching Heritage Challenge

All foals bred by a Ranching Heritage Breeder and their associates will be eligible to be nominated into the Ranching Heritage Challenge. Ranches have the opportunity to nominate weanlings to the program. Nominations can be submitted 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. As long as the foal is eligible for the program, anyone can enroll and make the nomination payments for the horse in the Ranching Heritage Challenge.

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
  • Full enrollment includes all fees - $310

Please keep in mind, all payments must be made in order for the horse to be considered fully enrolled. Payments can be made at any time, just be sure your horse is fully enrolled prior to entering its first AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge.

Grandfathered Horses 

All Ranching Heritage-bred horses born in and before 2010 are automatically enrolled (no enrollment payments due) and eligible to compete in Challenge events on an entry-fee basis. 

Call AQHA to determine if your horse was bred by a Ranching Heritage Breeder.