Photo by AQHA Press Release

Top Ranching Heritage-Bred horses named at AQHA Level 1 Championships

The 5-year-old gelding Drift To Skip was named the top AQHA Ranching Heritage-Bred horse at the 2023 Nutrena East AQHA Level 1 Championships, which was April 25-30 at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio.

Drift To Skip is by Zans Tyree Drifter and out of Poquita Harlita Skip (Skips Poquito), bred by Reed Kettlewell. This breeder has seen horses he bred earn more than 780 AQHA points as well as having EquiStat Breeder earnings of $5,322. Kettlewell’s horses have been successful in the National Reined Cow Horse Association, National Cutting Horse Association and National Reining Horse Association.

Drift To Skip is owned and shown by Gabriella Grace Powalie of Painesville, Ohio. Who rode the horse in Rookie Ranch Riding and Level 1 Ranch Riding.

At the AQHA Level 1 Championships in the West, Pursuing the Dream (Hes A Dream Weaver x Ziptentiously x Hot Pretense) was named the Top Amateur Ranching Heritage-Bred Horse with rider/owner Virginia Barnes. The Nutrena West AQHA Level 1 Championships was held May 16-21 at WestWorld of Scottsdale, AZ.

Wouda Coulda Shoulda (Machine Made x A Certain Gypsy x Certain Potential) and Piper Anderson captured the Youth award for Top Ranching Heritage-Bred Horse. The pair showed in L1 Youth Hunt Seat Equitation taking reserve. They also took home a bronze in the Youth Trail Finals.

Anderson’s horse already has $12,466 in EquiStat earnings and Piper has $1,482 herself.

The AQHA Ranching Heritage program highlights the versatility, soundness and willing attitude of American Quarter Horses that are ranch-born and -raised.

Only the horses produced by Ranching Heritage Breeders are eligible to participate in the program, but anyone can own and show these horses.

Ranching Heritage Breeders are those operations that have steadfastly continued to maintain the ranching tradition by raising American Quarter Horses for use in working cattle.

In addition to top horse awards, AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred horses are eligible to compete in AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges, which are offered across the country. Competing in these events, many of which have added money, make horses eligible to compete at the AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Finals.

To find out more about the Ranching Heritage program, visit