• QHN File Photo.

AQHA Adds Age Divisions in Ranch Riding

The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) announced it will add more age divisions to its popular ranch riding classes. The changes will become effective in 2021.

The Amarillo, Texas-based association said the changes include:

  • For horses 3 years of age and older, the class can be offered as Level 1, junior, senior or an all-age open-division class. 
  • For youth and amateur exhibitors, options include an all-age class for Level 1 youth, youth, 13-&-Under and 14-18 youth, Level 1 amateur, Level 1 Select amateur, Select amateur and amateur. The rule change is designed to enhance the showing experience by providing more opportunities for exhibitors in this ever-popular class.

Each year, AQHA members have the opportunity to submit rule-change proposals to be reviewed at the annual AQHA convention. In 2020, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the AQHA Standing Committee meetings were held virtually, and the AQHA Executive Committee met via conference call to review the rule changes submitted by the AQHA Standing Committees. 

In April, AQHA announced the rule changes approved by the AQHA Executive Committee, which included this rule change to AQHA Rule SHW416.1 (ranch riding). However, at the time of the rule change, the rule was pending computer programming. That programming has been completed and the new age divisions will be available at AQHA-approved shows beginning in January, 2021.

The AQHA says anyone interested in competing in one of the new age divisions for ranch riding at an upcoming show and the class isn’t on the show schedule should contact the show management of the AQHA-sanctioned event to inquire if it’s possible to add the new age divisions. 

More information about the AQHA’s official rules and regulations is available online at