National Alliance Formed To Promote Ranch Horses

The newly formed National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance (NRSHA) has been created to serve as a unified presence for preserving and promoting ranching traditions and heritage through competitive ranch and stock horse events.

The new group was created through a partnership of several industry organizations: American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), East Coast Stock Horse Association, National Versatility Ranch Horse Association(NVRHA), Oklahoma Stock Horse Association, Stock Horse of Texas (SHTX) and the Western States Versatility Ranch Horse Association (WSVRHA).

With the number of regional ranch horse and stock horse association in existence, organizers felt the group needed to be unified on a national level, said Jill Dunkel, executive director of SHTX.

“There are multiple regional associations, and we felt it was important to join forces as an all-breed, national alliance promoting ranch and stock horse events across the country,” Dunkel said.

The newly formed group, NRSHA, is part of a strategic alliance with the AQHA, which means each of the groups in the alliance will turn in major awards nad earnings to AQHA so accomplishments by registered Quarter Horses will be recorded as part of the horse’s AQHA show record.

The NRSHA also wants to offer a nationwide calendar of ranch and stock horse events hosted by its alliance members, so riders can find ranch horse events across the country.

National Championship Show

Although the six associations will continue to host competitions with their own rules and divisions, they also will come together for the NRSHA National Championship show. The first national championship will be held in June, 2018, in conjunction with the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Show in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Five events will be offered: ranch cutting, cow work, ranch trail, ranch reining and ranch riding.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase the top ranch horses, regardless of breed, at one big event,” Dunkel said.

In order to qualify for the inaugural NRSHA championship show, riders must have competed in at least once alliance partner show in the all-around or in the classes they wish to qualify in between Jan. 1, 2017, and Feb. 28, 2018.

Members of the new alliance hope coming together as a unified group through the NRSHA will promote all of associations nationwide.

“As a smaller association, we will be able to reach more riders who are interested in our events,” said Jay Henson, president of Colorado Springs, Colorado-based NVRHA. “This will help all of us secure a presence for both members and sponsorships on a national level.”

The WSVRHA, which hosts competitions in Arizona and California, also is excited to be a founding member of the NRSHA.

“The popularity of the ranch horse is booming across the country and our association feels extremely privileged to link arms with the other associations that are dedicated to preserving the history, culture and versatility of the American ranch horse,” said WSVRHA President Becky Grant. “We strongly support the mission of developing a horse that can handle livestock as the primary goal of our alliance. We are very optimistic about the future of versatility ranch and stock horse associations, and we are eager to see what is next.

For more information, visit www.ranchhorse.net.