Inaugural International AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenge Exceeds Expectations

AQHA Ranching held the inaugural International Ranching Heritage Challenge in Chihuahua, Mexico.

American Quarter Horse staff and representatives were on site October 14-15 in Chihuahua, Mexico, to produce the inaugural International Ranching Heritage Challenge, as well as a variety of AQHA-approved classes, during the 2023 Expogan Chihuahua at Unión Ganadera Regional de Chihuahua.

Open exhibitors competed in:

  • RHC team roping
  • RHC breakaway roping
  • RHC barrel racing
  • AQHA heading
  • AQHA heeling
  • AQHA tie-down roping
  • AQHA breakaway roping
  • AQHA barrel racing

There were nearly 80 entries representing 50 unique horses, seven of which were AQHA Ranching Heritage-bred. All classes were held during the slack of the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association circuit finals on October 14, with top 5 finals in the heading, heeling and barrel racing classes being held during the rodeo performances on October 14 and 15. Jason Hershberger of Congress, Arizona, served as the judge and Dean Johnson of Mud Butte, South Dakota, chairman of the AQHA Ranching Performance Subcommittee, served as the show secretary.

The well-attended event hosted 2,500 spectators on Saturday and a standing room only sell-out crowd of over 3,600 on Sunday.

AQHA International also hosted an on-site services booth at the Expogan. The on-site service booth generated the highest amount of work that has been done at an international event in the past 10 years.

About AQHA Ranching Heritage Challenges
Ranching Heritage Challenges are open to any horse bred by an AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeder. Anyone who owns an eligible horse can compete in one of the multiple age and skill level divisions offered for both horse and rider, as well as a variety of classes.

 AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders is a breeder referral program. To become part of the Ranching Heritage Breeders, ranches must be members of AQHA and their ranch remudas must consist of American Quarter Horses, which must be used primarily to work ranch cattle. The ranch must own at least five American Quarter Horse mares that are used to produce the remuda, and the ranch must have received at least an AQHA 10-year breeder award.

Learn more about AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders.

AQHA news and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more information visit or tune into our Podcast, “Let’s Talk AQHA.”