Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges



The Zoetis AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge highlights the versatility, soundness and willing attitude of American Quarter Horses that are ranch-born and -raised. 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 in working cattle.

Second, through a series of ranch horse competitions, the Ranching Heritage Challenge is intended to increase demand for ranch horses by providing an opportunity for ranches and horse owners to compete in a unique ranch horse competition for a significant purse. 

These Challenges are open to any horse bred by an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder. Anyone can own and show these eligible and enrolled horses in the Challenges.

The Challenges offer multiple divisions for various ages and skill levels for both horse and rider. Classes include working ranch horse, ranch riding, team roping and barrel racing.

2017 Ranching Heritage Challenge Events

January 12 – Fort Worth Stock Show & RodeoFort Worth, Texas | event coverage | results

June 24 – Summer Spectacular SDQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge, Rapid City, South Dakota 

August 31 – Colorado State Fair, Pueblo, Colorado 

September 16-17 – Tri-State Fair, Amarillo, Texas 

October 8 – NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity, Fort Worth, Texas

October 18 – Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE), Billings, Montana 


2017 Zoetis Ranching Heritage Challenge Classes and Rules


2016 Ranching Heritage Challenges

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo – January 14 & 16 in Fort Worth, Texas | event coverageresults

Black Hills Ranching Heritage ChallengeJune 11 in Rapid City, South Dakota | event coverage  | results

Colorado State Fair – September 1 in Pueblo, Colorado | event coverage  | results 

Tri-State Fair – September 17 in Amarillo, Texas | event coverage | results 

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity – September 24 in Reno, Nevada | event coverage | results

Northern International Livestock Exposition (NILE)  – October 19 in Billings, Montana | event coverage | results

2015 Ranching Heritage Challenges

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo – January 15-16 in Fort Worth, Texas | event coverage | results 

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo – March 22 in Houston | event coverageresults

Colorado State Fair – September 3 in Pueblo, Colorado | event coverage | results

Tri-State Fair – September 19 in Amarillo, Texas | event coverage | results

NRCHA Snaffle Bit Futurity – September 26 in Reno Nevada | event coverage | results

NILE – October 14 in Billings, Montana | event coverage |results

Coverage of Ranching Heritage Challenges

Access coverage of the 2013-2015 Ranching Heritage Challenges.

Ranching Heritage Breeder Qualifications

Foals raised 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.

What makes a horse eligible for the Ranching Heritage Challenge?

All foals bred and raised by a Ranching Heritage Breeder will be eligible to be nominated into the Ranching Heritage Challenge. Ranches have the opportunity to nominate weanlings to the program for just $10 before December 31 of its weanling year. Nominations can even be taken 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 nominated and ownership is transferred at the time of sale.

However, as long as the foal is eligible for the program, anyone can nominate and sustain the payments for the horse into the Ranching Heritage Challenge. 

Enrioll a horse to the Ranching Heritage Challenge program.

What is the 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

Grandfathered Horses 

All Ranching Heritage-bred horses born in 2010 and before are automatically enrolled and eligible to compete in Challenge events on an entry-fee basis. Ranching Heritage Breeder membership fee must be current for the year the foal was born to ensure the foal is eligible to participate in the program.

Check here to determine if your horse was bred by a current Ranching Heritage Breeder or call the Ranching Department to confirm if the breeder was a past RHB.


Enroll a horse in the Ranching Heritage Challenge program.