• Photo by Jay Hardy.

AQHA Approves Versatility Ranch Horse Rule Change

American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) points earned in Versatility Ranch Horse (VRH) classes will now only count toward ranch-horse division events and will not affect leveling in any other class, the association announced.

The AQHA Executive Committee made the change in April, effective immediately, when it approved an amendment to SHW554. The registry’s Ranching Committee had forwarded the proposal, which asked AQHA to specific VRH points do not cross over to AQHA ranch riding points, during the 2018 AQHA Convention in Jacksonville, Florida. The Executive Committee approved the rule change protecting exhibitor level status and VRH points.

Effective immediately, the second sentence of SHW554 reads, “Points earned in each individual class only count toward any award or qualification for the ranch-horse division and do not count toward any other award or qualification for any other approved AQHA class or AQHA show award, and shall not affect leveling in any other class.”

This means an exhibitor’s AQHA ranch riding points and Versatility Ranch Horse ranch riding points are calculated separately and are not combined. If an exhibitor has less than 25 points in AQHA ranch riding, (not including VRH ranch riding points), then the exhibitor is Level 1 eligible for 2018.

Levels are formulated from an objective handicapping system that assigns exhibitors and horses to competition levels. That handicapping system is based on real data from AQHA shows. For more information on leveling or how to find your level for 2018, visit To read the full rule and for more information on AQHA’s rules and regulations, visit

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