In an effort to work together with like-minded groups across the country, six partnering organizations are proud to introduce the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance (NRSHA). The alliance was developed to preserve and promote ranching traditions and heritage through competitive ranch and stock horse events, highlighting the versatility of the ranch and stock horse including its innate ability to handle livestock, on a national level.
The American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), East Coast Stock Horse Association (ECSHA), National Versatility Ranch Horse Association (NVRHA), Oklahoma Stock Horse Association (OkSHA), Stock Horse of Texas Association (SHTX), and Western States Versatility Ranch Horse Association (WSVRHA) have worked for over a year to organize the alliance. With several regional ranch and stock horse associations in existence, the group felt a unified presence on a national level was important.
“We wanted to come together on a large scale as a unified group with the mission of preserving and promoting ranching traditions and heritage through ranch and stock horse events, highlighting the versatility of these horses including their innate ability to handle livestock,” said Jill Dunkel, executive director of Stock Horse of Texas. “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.”
NRSHA will be a strategic marketing alliance with AQHA. That means each alliance partner will turn in major awards and earnings to AQHA so that accomplishments by registered American Quarter Horses will be placed on the horses’ permanent show records with AQHA.
One goal of the alliance is to offer a nationwide calendar of ranch and stock horse events hosted by alliance members. This calendar will make it easy for riders across the country to find ranch horse events with a variety of formats where they can compete.
National Championship Show
The six associations will continue to host competitions with their own rules and divisions, and will come together for a NRSHA National Championship Show in June 2018, held in conjunction with the Zoetis AQHA Versatility Ranch Horse World Show in Guthrie, Okla. 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 one alliance partner show in the all-around or in the classes they wish to qualify in between January 1, 2017, and February 28, 2018.
Members of the alliance hope coming together as a unified group will promote all of the 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 the National Versatility Ranch Horse Association. “This will help all of us secure a presence for both members and sponsorships on a national level.”
Western States Versatility Ranch Horse Association, which hosts competitions in Arizona and California, is excited to be a founding member of NRSHA. Becky Grant, WSVRHA president said, “The popularity of the Ranch Horse is booming across the country and our association feels extremely privileged to link arms with other associations that are dedicated to preserving the history, culture and versatility of the American ranch horse. 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!”
Additional information on the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance can be found at www.ranchorse.net.