Jr. & Sr. Ranch Riding debut at 2015 Congress
October 10th, 2015Tweet
By: Barbara Aitken
Bennie Sargent & Smart and Angelic
Ranch Riding made its debut as Junior and Senior Ranch Riding at the All American Quarter Horse Congress (AAQHC) yesterday in Taft Coliseum. With 19 entries in Junior, and 48 entries in Senior, the Ranch Riding was a success.
AQHA judge Bennie Sargent rode in the Junior class on Smart and Angelic placing 4th with a score of 221.00. After his run, Sargent broke down the elements of Ranch Riding.
“I enjoy the ranch riding because it takes a really well broke horse,” says Sargent. “You don’t have to cramp your horses up and be unnatural.”
Since AQHA began offering the Ranch Riding classes (formally Ranch Pleasure) discussion has remained on how and who this class is designed to feature. Questions are asked, “Is this class for “using ranch” horses? Reiners? Pleasure horses?” However, Sargent believes that AQHA is taking a hands on approach to answer these questions and enhance the scoring component.
Jenny Honey & Suddenlyoutoftheblue NSBA Champion/ Reserve Congress Champion Amateur Ranch Riding
“It’s getting better all the time. It’s a new class and a new set of rules so everyone has their own idea of interpreting the rules.”
Sargent explained that AQHA is planning to host a seminar for all carded judges on ranch riding, “so they can get everyone on the same page.”
As for what exhibitors should focus on, Sargent says, “follow the rulebook.”
“Some people think the faster you go, that’s important…but when it says extend, extend. When it says trot, trot. Whatever the rulebook says, do it—all with quality of movement.
So what does Sargent attribute Ranch Riding’s popularity, especially at the 2015 AAQHC?
“It’s just fun and you get to do a little bit of everything—lead changes, poles, spins, you get to go slow, you get to go fast. It’s got everything that you’d want to do on a horse all in one class.”