Tag Archives: Western

University of Findlay Repeats AQHA Team National Championship Title Honors

Julia Roshelli and Louise, owned by University of Findlay. Photo by alcookphoto.com.

Syracuse, N.Y. — May 5, 2018 — The final day of the 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championships featured the conclusion of the Western divisions. This year, the IHSA is celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Western Divisions. Young men and women from across North America qualified to compete at the Expo Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The University of Findlay successfully defended their 2018 title and took home the trophy for the second consecutive year with 49 points. The University of Wisconsin-River Falls was named reserve champion with 41 points and Ohio State University was a close third with 39 points.

Spencer Zimmerman, who became the Findlay Oilers’ head coach for the 2017-2018 season, is now two-for-two.

“We have a lot of the same riders that we had last year, but it’s a horse show so anything can happen,” Zimmerman said. “They came in with their A-game. They had the mindset and the technique and the tools. It was a lot of fun to see.”

Three Findlay team seniors just had their graduation day. The team will start back up in August and the riders will have to earn their spots on the team for next year.

“We won’t have a whole brand-new team, I’m sure, but they’ll all be fighting for their spot on the team again,” he said.

This is the University of Findlay’s seventh IHSA AQHA Team National Championship.

UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY’S JULIA ROSHELLI SWEEPS HER DIVISIONS AND EARNS THE AQHA HIGH POINT RIDER AWARD AND AQHA TEAM OPEN CHAMPION

Julia Roshelli won every class she qualified for at Nationals. She earned the championship honors in Individual Open Reining, AQHA Team Open Horsemanship, and the AQHA High Point Rider. Ironically, the University of Findlay senior’s photo graced this year’s IHSA 40th Anniversary of the Western Divisions graphic.

“It’s a little unreal,” Roshelli said. “This has just been a huge goal of mine, you know, for all four years.”

This was Roshelli’s first full year competing in the open division.
“From day one I was going for this and I’ve worked hard and my coaches have helped me along the way. It’s a great way to end my senior year.”

Roshelli rode Louise, owned by the University of Findlay, in the AQHA High Point Rider Reining Phase and Sarah from Alfred University in the AQHA Open Horsemanship, which helped to seal the deal for the Findlay team.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

USEF/Cacchione Cup Featured during Second Day of IHSA National Championships

Adam Edgar in Cacchione Cup Over Fences Phase. Photo by EQ Media.

Western Divisions Celebrate 40th Anniversary

Syracuse, N.Y. — May 3, 2019 — The 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championships resumed for the second day of action at the Expo Center at the New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse. The first two phases of the coveted USEF/Cacchione Cup, the Equitation Over Fences and the Equitation on the Flat, took place. The Western riders and horses also began competition, featuring AQHA Team Open Reining and Individual Open Western Horsemanship. All teams participated in the colorful Parade of Teams.

ADAM EDGAR CURRENTLY IN THE LEAD OF USEF/CACCHIONE CUP FIRST TWO PHASES
In the USEF/Cacchione Cup Equitation Over Fences, Adam Edgar, a sophomore from Lee, Virginia and member of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) team, produced the leading round aboard Vinny, owned by Miami University of Ohio that earned a score of 85. On the Flat, the judges awarded him an 86 aboard Sydney, owned by Penn State University.

“That horse (Sydney) was a little bit slimmer and more my type,” Edgar said. “He really made me feel beautiful. He was a great one – super comfortable; super sweet. All the horses have been so well behaved; they are such good horses.”

Edgar shared that no matter the outcome of the USEF/Cacchione Cup, they’ve worked hard and he feels that he has made his coaches proud.

“It’s taken a while for me to finally be very confident in my riding,” Edgar said. “That’s really been a game changer and it’s nice to go home at the end of the day and not be beating myself up. I feel great.”

Ashley Henry, head coach of the SCAD team, describes Edgar as a person who can go in the ring with multiple things to focus on.

“Honestly, he’s one of the best students that I’ve had that works well under pressure,” she said. “He’s been a very busy bee. A lot of people get distracted with too much information, but he absorbs it and keeps working.”

This year, the IHSA celebrates 40 years of Western divisions. A presentation began when a team of six Belgian draft horses led by the Morrisville State College lapped the arena for a demonstration with Bob Cacchione aboard. Then, AQHA judging professional Joe Carter and Ohio State coach Ollie Griffith joined Cacchione to speak to the audience about the longtime relationship with the AQHA. Concluding the presentation, Cacchione presented a plaque to AQHA representatives.

UNIVERSITY OF FINDLAY TAKES A WIN FOR THE TEAM IN AQHA TEAM OPEN REINING
Morgan Knerr, a sophomore at University of Findlay from Plain City, Ohio and the 2018 NRHA Open Reining Champion, nabbed the first notch to help her team defend their 2018 national championship. She drew one of eight horses provided by the University of Findlay, Louise.

“She was a sweetheart,” Knerr said about Louise. “I rode her at Semis a few weeks ago and so she was really great. I loved her. The pattern went really well. I was really happy with it.”

The University of Findlay Head Coach Spencer Zimmerman was pleased with the outcome. “This venue does not look anything like our arena,” he said. “It’s a little bit more modern, a little bit bigger. We’ve just been soaking it up. They’re all excited to show here.

Anna Woolsey, a 19-year-old freshman from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, earned the reserve championship. She and her parents, Morgan and Chris, made the drive from Oklahoma to Syracuse and spent some time at Niagara Falls before Nationals.

“I had a little bit of tough luck in the Individual Reining class but I pulled it together for the team reining and our team made it,” she said about qualifying to get to Nationals. According to Woolsey it is the first time Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College has qualified for Nationals.

KENDALL WOELLMER WINS INDIVIDUAL OPEN WESTERN HORSEMANSHIP AND TEAM NOVICE OVER FENCES
Kendall Woellmer is a junior from West Texas A&M University who competes in both the Western and hunter seat division and excels. Thursday, Woellmer won the championship of the Team Novice Equitation. She traded in her breeches and boots for chaps and a cowboy hat and bested the field of national qualifiers in the Individual Open Western Horsemanship. She was accompanied by West Texas A&M Assistant Coach Selena Finn. Head Coach Amanda Love cheered at home as the team Facetimed with her. Love is expecting her first child within the month.

“I drew Chester and his nickname is Ham Sandwich (provided by SUNY Oswego),” she said. “He was perfect – a dream come true.”

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

IHSA National Championship in Syracuse – USEF Network Live Stream Details

Photo by Madison Dempster.

Syracuse, N.Y. – April 30, 2019 – The 2019 Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) National Championship will be held in Syracuse, New York, May 2-5 at the Expo Center at the New York State Fairgrounds. For those unable to attend in person, USEF Network will capture every minute of the action via the live stream. USEF Network is providing the broadcast access free with a fan membership.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The IHSA is recruiting volunteers for Nationals. Come be a part of the collegiate enthusiasm and help produce the best event ever in the beautiful New York State Expo Center.

COLLEGE AND CAREER FAIR
In partnership with Cornell Cooperative Extension Madison County, the IHSA will hold a free college and career program during IHSA Nationals on Saturday, May 4 from 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. The event will provide an opportunity for youth and families to explore a myriad of educational and career options within the equine industry.

A presentation on college selection options will begin the activities for the day followed by an opportunity to interact with various college coaches, students, and career professionals. The program concludes with a career panel discussion.

Click here for a list of participating colleges.

About IHSA Nationals

IHSA Nationals will feature 450 men and women from across the U.S. and Canada competing in hunter seat and Western in all levels in divisions from Walk-Trot through Open. The riders have competed throughout the season to qualify and will vie for team, individual, alumni championships and the coveted USEF/Cacchione Cup and the AQHA Western High Point Rider national final. In 2019, the IHSA is celebrating 40 years of the Western divisions.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

Oregon State, Ohio State, and Findlay Take Top Team Spots at IHSA Western Semi-Finals

The 2018 National Champion University of Findlay team. Photo courtesy of University of Findlay.

Fairfield, Conn. – March 20, 2019 – The Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association (IHSA) held its Western Semi-Finals, sponsored by the National Reining Horse Association (NRHA), March 16-17. Hosting the events were Florida State University (FSU) at the Florida Horse Park in Ocala, Florida, Utah State University (USU) at their facility at the USU Equine Center in Wellsville, Utah, and University of Findlay at their facility in Findlay, Ohio. IHSA is celebrating its 40th anniversary of the Western divisions this year.

Semi-Finals Hosted by Florida State University
At Semi-Finals hosted at Florida State University the team from the Ohio State University, coached by Ollie and Debbie Griffith, clinched the overall team win with 36 points edging out Berry College with 22. Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, took the third spot earning 16 points. In 2014, the Ohio State team won the national championship. All top-three teams are National Championship-bound.

“The horse show was really well run and the stars were aligned for us,” said Ollie Griffith. “Our riders were ready to go and things just worked out really well and we got paid to what we did. It was nice.”

Griffith said that Erin Bosse, a senior this year, has come really far in the program and contributed to team win by earning the blue ribbon in both the Team Open Horsemanship and Team Reining. Bosse also clinched the win in Individual Open Horsemanship. Second-place finisher Sarah Cooper, from Berry College, will join her to compete at Nationals along with Travis Fortune, from Murray State University, and Matthew Winter, from the University of Florida, who were third and fourth, respectively.

“The way we look at it, there are eight teams we need to try to be better than, and those are the eight that qualified, including the two that followed us,” Griffith said and about the upcoming Nationals in Syracuse. “Many years at Nationals, the teams that don’t win the Semi-Finals step up and play their game.”

In Individual Reining, the judges’ top pick was Ethan Stratford, from the University of Guelph. The second and third place prizes went to Mary Catherine Wade and Jenna Seal, both from Middle Tennessee State. Fourth-place Bosse will compete at IHSA Nationals in both Individual Reining and Open Horsemanship. Lynn Palm, from Ocala, Florida, and Allen Mitchels, from Michigan City, Indiana, officiated at the FSU-hosted event.

Semi-Finals at Utah State University
Utah State University hosted their first-ever Semi-Finals at their Equine Center and live-streamed the event for fans and families across the country. IHSA founder and Executive Director Bob Cacchione participated in impressive opening ceremonies and was on hand to present prizes and greet coaches and riders. Judges Dawn Kreakie from Seville, Ohio and Lori Gordon of Washington, Pennsylvania presided over the event.

The overall Team championship went to the Oregon State University with the reserve championship to University of Wisconsin, River Falls. State University of New York at Morrisville finished third and punched their ticket to Syracuse.

“It was my fourth and final time going to Semi-Finals,” said Racheal Nordby, captain of the Oregon State University team. “It was awesome. I loved their opening ceremony.”

Nordby started as an Open rider and has competed on the team all four years and qualified for Nationals every year. After graduation, she plans to take a year then go on to get her master’s in clinical psychology. She credits her Oregon State coach Dawn Ross for her support through her years on the team.

“She is like a little angel from heaven,” Nordby said about Coach Ross. “She inspires us all to work harder as individuals and as a whole. She’s a very strong leader. She knows how to support us and how to challenge us.”

In the Individual Open Horsemanship at Utah State Semi-Finals, it was déjà vu for Rocky Mountain College’s Codi Uecker who won the for the second consecutive year. She will be joined by second-place finisher Danielle Paulson, from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, at Nationals. Third-place finisher Sarah Beth Felker, from St. Andrews University, and fourth, Christina Mulford, from Northern Kentucky University, will also make the trip to Syracuse.

Jacob Kamm, from the University of Cincinnati, grabbed the win in Individual Reining, with Aubrey Braham, from Slippery Rock University, in second, repeating her results from last year. Caitlyn Davis, from Utah State University, and Kindra Gingerich, from Saint Mary of the Woods College, were third and fourth.

Semi-Finals at University of Findlay
The 2018 IHSA Western National Champion Findlay Oilers hosted a third Semi-Final event. Carolyn Johnson Russell, from Ringgold, Georgia, and Pete McAllister, from Mitchell, Indiana, judged the event. The Findlay team finished in the lead on their home turf, winning five classes and earning 39 points. Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College and the University of Nebraska, Lincoln finished in the second and third positions with 23 and 20 points, respectively, in the overall Team competition and will progress to the IHSA National Championships in Syracuse.

“We have a great team that is willing to put in the work – the long nights and early mornings,” said Spencer Zimmerman, head coach of the University of Findlay Western team. “They love being around the horses and the competition and they take their jobs seriously.”

Zimmerman is only in his second year in the position at Findlay and he will lead his team to Syracuse to defend their 2018 championship title.

“Three of our team riders are returning (to compete at Nationals) from last year,” Zimmerman said. “I look forward to seeing them in the pen. But I also look forward to seeing our new riders that haven’t been to Nationals. To take on that challenge, and coach them through those nerves is a lot of fun. I like to try and help them to overcome their obstacles to be successful.”

In the Individual Open Horsemanship division, Matthew Graves, from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, owned the day. Arianne Cox, of Texas Tech University, took second place, Kendall Woellmer, from West Texas A&M University, was third, and Carla Carfora, from Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College, was fourth.

Carfora brought her game to the hotly-contested Individual Reining division, finishing in front. Woellmer scored second. Julia Roshelli, from the University of Findlay, and Cailyn Simonis, of North Central Texas College, had the third and fourth slots to qualify for IHSA National Championship Horse Show in Syracuse.

For more information, go to IHSAinc.com or contact media@IHSAinc.com.

Kentucky Horse Park Announces Spring Opener Horse Show

Second park-owned event kicks off season April 6-7

LEXINGTON, Ky. (February 26, 2019) — The Kentucky Horse Park is excited to announce the creation of a new horse show, the Spring Opener, which will debut April 6-7.  This show is an unrated, two-day, open level show with English, Hunter classes, and Western pleasure classes. The Spring Opener will offer competitors and their equine partners a wide variety of divisions and classes.

“The Spring Opener is the second event owned and operated by the Kentucky Horse Park,” said Executive Director Laura Prewitt. “Our first event, the Bluegrass Rockin’ Rodeo, continues to gain momentum and aligns with the long-term initiatives set forth in our strategic plan of creating park-owned events. For our show we wanted to create an event which encourages riders who might not normally have the opportunity to show at the Kentucky Horse Park, to participate.”

The Spring Opener will be held at the Park’s covered arena. English classes will be on Saturday and Western classes on Sunday. All breeds of horses and ponies are welcome. Pre-Entry Fee per class is $20 and $25 the day of the show.

For more information about the Spring Opener including sponsorship opportunities, visit www.kyhorsepark.com/springopener.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center Races into New Year with Timed and Championship Events

No Bull Grand Slam competitor showing her speed at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center. (Photo courtesy of SD Photography)

Jacksonville, FL (January 11, 2019) – The Jacksonville Equestrian Center rang in the New Year with a dash for cash that attracted the country’s top barrel racers. The No Bull Grand Slam barrel race was held January 4-6, 2019 and paid out more than $100,000. Entries totaled 1,000 for the weekend-long event.

Teenager Michael Duffie was crowned the Open 1D Champion riding Reclaim Fame. The 13-year-old rider also finished fourth with a second horse, JJ Three Famous Bars. The young rider, who has also won a youth world championship through the National Barrel Horse Association (NBHA), outran a field of tough competitors.

“Some of the top barrel racers in country were there,” said Kyle Rictor, who maintained the footing during the show. “Anita Randle won the Grand Slam’s short-go and she is a NBHA World Champion. Brett Monroe finished third. He’s won over $1million in barrel racing.”

This was the third year the No Bull Grand Slam returned to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center.

“This is a full-service facility with the best staff that we see throughout the year,” said Jamie Cagle, the event secretary.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center staff quickly stowed the barrels and reset the arenas to welcome the Florida Feathered Horse Classic January 11-12, 2019. The show is the longest-running Gypsy Vanner breed show series and has been held at the Jacksonville Equestrian center for eight consecutive years.

“It is a great location, with a nice facility that continues to evolve as the needs of its exhibitors grow,” said Gail Shrine, owner of the Feathered Horse competition series.

The Jacksonville Equestrian Center wraps up the first month of the 2019 with another action-packed, timed event — the National Team Roping League Finals scheduled for January 24-27, 2019. More than $500,000 is paid out each year at the finals, which has been held at the Jacksonville Equestrian Center for 14 straight years.

“We really love having our finals here,” said Katie Smith, No Bull Barrel Race competitor. “There are plenty of stalls and RV hookups to accommodate everyone. The whole facility is top notch; the location is central and great for us.”

For more information and to find out about other upcoming events, please visit www.jaxequestriancenter.com.

Jacksonville Equestrian Center
Tim Jones
904-255-4225
timjones@coj.net
13611 Normandy Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32221

Victory Comes in Many Forms for Mother-Daughter Barrel Racers Angela and Jackie Ganter

Jackie Ganter and Howes A Tycoon at the 2018 WPRA World Finals. (Photo courtesy of Phifer Photography)

Abilene, TX (December 19, 2018) – When faced with setbacks like Angela Ganter and her daughter, Jackie, have experienced recently, most riders would simply hang up their cowboy boots and call it a day. But for this mother-daughter duo of barrel racers, victory comes in many forms simply because they refuse to give up on each other. 2018 has proved to be a great year for both women, in spite of the challenges thrown at them. Angela is back in the saddle after a long and rigorous battle with breast cancer and Jackie is racing to the top of the Women’s Professional Rodeo Association (WPRA) after a very rough start to the year.

For Angela, the thought of being a top-rated barrel racer after 8 years of battling breast cancer seemed pretty far out of reach.  However, with the help of her daughter, Jackie, and an awesome new horse, Angela has found herself back in the rodeos and riding better than ever.  “I bought a horse in February of 2017 after trying to put myself back together from being sick,” she explains. “Then, in March of 2017, Jackie told me one day that she didn’t think I was trying hard enough to fix myself – my balance and my nervous system. So I hired a trainer and got my balance back and I also found another horse who taught me how to run barrels again.”  Angela continues, “Then, about January of this year, I decided I was ready to have a better horse.” She describes how she found and bought a horse named Bogie French Bug after riding him for about 20 minutes at the stock show in Fort Worth. “Since then I’ve won six pro rodeos in Canada this year on him and made the Canadian Finals.  It was just kind of a dream come true and he’s just kind of a miracle for me!”

Looking forward, Angela says she has her sights set on making it to Calgary in 2019. “I’ll probably ride better now than before I got sick,” she explains. “After being sick for eight years, I guess you wake up and kind of decide that any day can be your last day, so you better make the best of it.”  She goes on to say that her main focus, however, is to help Jackie get to the National Finals Rodeo (NFR). “Whatever that takes, that comes first,” she insists.

Angela and Jackie have been traveling together for the last several years since Jackie has been in the WPRA. They usually haul 4 or 5 horses to each rodeo. Jackie explains, “We get to travel together, we get to compete together, and it’s fun when we can win together!  That’s something that a lot of people don’t get to experience.”  Jackie says that this year started out with a much different story than others. In only her second rodeo of the year, a horse fell on her and broke her ankle. She was out of the saddle all winter, and then explains that she tried getting back on too soon and couldn’t ride to the best of her ability. To top it off, two of her horses were injured and so she was down to only one main horse. “Then, in July,” she continues, “I got a phone call asking me to ride a horse in one rodeo.”  Jackie ended up winning the first round on him, and then, after the short round, she and her mom asked the horse’s owner, Gayle Howes, if they could buy him.  “She thought we were a perfect match,” Jackie smiles. She was definitely right about that.  Since then, Jackie and the 10-year-old gelding named Howes A Tycoon have been an unstoppable force. “I placed everywhere I took him,” Jackie remembers. “He got me in the top 50 for the year end, and then, when the new year started, we went to the WPRA Finals and won, which got us a spot in the Houston Rodeo next year.  So he’s been a huge blessing,” she adds. “He’s just amazing!”

Contact: Katie Stevenson
kstevenson@central.com

Deaf Horse Dazzles at Western Dressage World Show

With his pure white coat with just a black “sun visor” for a marking, Smokin White Gun, known as “Danny,” has become one of the best-recognized horses at the Western Dressage World Show.

But Danny is unique for another reason: He is deaf.

Deafness can be associated with lack of skin pigmentation, says his rider, Joanne Haughan from Pennsylvania. Joanne, who is a veterinarian, explains that the cells governing a horse’s pigment and its hearing have a similar origin in the embryo and genes responsible for skin pigmentation are associated with deafness in some Paint horses.

Working with a deaf horse does pose some unusual challenges, Joanne says. “He doesn’t spook at things ordinary horses spook at,” she says. At their farm, while the other horses will flee from the lawnmower, Danny will follow it around, hoping for treats.

But he will spook at things that suddenly appear in his field of vision. He hasn’t heard them coming, so they startle him. Joanne says she has learned to be his ears, listening for anything she can hear coming that’s likely to bother him, recognizing when it’s likely to appear for him and then distracting him or keeping him turned away from it.

Where he lives at Bally Vae Farm, near Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, his handlers have all learned that he may have issues with things over his head, or with sudden contrasts between light and dark.

“It has been a learning curve for both of us,” Joanne says.

But for all that, she wouldn’t trade him for the world.

He started life as a reining horse and came to a barn where Joanne was learning reining. Having been born in England and grown up in Austria, she’d ridden a number of horses there, but as soon as she met Danny, she knew he was special.

That was three years ago.

“The minute I sat on him, I thought, ‘This is the horse for me’,” she said. She rode him for about two weeks, under the tutelage of her trainer, Lauren Annett, then bought him.

She started riding him as a reining horse, but after a while, “I think both of us were getting a little bit burned out with that.”

Joanne in particular was having a particularly hectic year. She was working full time, trying to finish work for her Ph.D. in veterinary medicine (her subject of study is analysis of the relationship between osteoarthritis and periodontal disease in horses), working full time, and trying to ride and show, as well.

She ended up moving Danny to Bally Vae Farm, which is much closer to her home, and gradually switched to Western Dressage.

“It has really done him a world of good,” she says, noting how much his gaits have improved. “But I think he chose it more than I did.” He made it clear that this was work he liked, and “he does have a great work ethic.”

But still, she laughs, “I think his dream job would be to be in a petting zoo… he’d love to stand around being petted all day and being given treats.”

By Barb McLintock
Western Dressage Association of America

© 2018 US Equestrian Federation

Some Tips on Getting Your Horse to Roll Back Perfectly

Practice makes the perfect rollback. Journal photo.

The rollback consists of three separate maneuvers – a stop, a 180-degree turn and a lead departure. The rollback should be one continuous, fluid motion. However, this is easier said than done. National Reining Horse Association $3 million-dollar rider Craig Schmersal describes some of the techniques he uses at home to ensure precise rollbacks.

Getting Started

1. The first thing you need on a horse before teaching the rollback is suppleness. He must be willing to give his face. Using two hands, if I pull his head to the right, I only want him to move his head. I do not want his body to move to the right until I add the left neck rein.

2. The horse needs to know how to yield to leg pressure.

3. The horse has to know how to back up. When I take hold of him and back him up, I don’t want to be pulling him back. I want him to back up on a fairly loose rein.

I want the horse to almost lock in the reverse position in the backup. I then apply the outside rein to see if the horse will step into a turn by himself. If he doesn’t, then I’ll take my direct rein and pull him through a time or two into a good spin and a half or two spins.

I’ll stop, back up and ask him with the neck rein again. I don’t want to crowd my horse too much, especially in the beginning steps of learning the rollback.

I just want him to back up, and when I add the neck rein, to come to me. I don’t want him to pick up his head. I don’t want him to take three more steps backward as soon as he feels the neck rein. When I move my hand, if I’ve done my job properly, the horse goes. He won’t get stuck.

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104

Ranching Evolution

A little history and a look at the current offerings in AQHA ranch-horse competition.

No bling. No fancy clothes. Those were the tenets of the first AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse classes that debuted 16 years ago.

Exhibitors were looking for something different from the usual AQHA show classes. So a task force comprised of ranchers, exhibitors, judges and representatives from other ranch horse organizations developed the five-class VRH shows, and at each VRH show, exhibitors competed in ranch riding, ranch trail, ranch cutting, working ranch horse and ranch conformation.

The classes harkened back to a day when an American Quarter Horse would show in halter in the morning and do all of the other classes – cutting, western pleasure, etc. – through the rest of the day. Since then, AQHA has added a hugely popular standalone ranch riding class, as well as AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges that are open to all AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horses.

Versatility Ranch Horse

AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse events debuted in 2002. The five-class VRH shows required exhibitors to compete in five classes: ranch riding, ranch trail, ranch cutting, working ranch horse and ranch conformation.

To read more about ranch classes, go to AQHA Daily.

By Becky Newell and Larri Jo Starkey

American Quarter Horse Association
1600 Quarter Horse Drive
Amarillo, TX 79104