Thackerville, OK— February 15, 2019— The World Conformation Horse Association, WCHA, is unveiling a unique three-phase Versatility Program to reward horses that can maneuver through a Ranch Riding pattern, move freely in a Ranch Pleasure class, and then will pull their saddles off and be judged for positive, form to function conformation.
“Twenty to thirty years ago, our Quarter Horses, Paints, and Appaloosas, who were promoted as the most versatile horses in the world, competed in Halter in the morning and were then rode in Western Pleasure, Reining, Trail, and Roping events later in the day,” says Don Falcon, Executive Director of WCHA. “This is no longer the case because our Western disciplines have become very specialized because certain bloodlines excel in events that suit the owners and trainers that prefer a specific event. In an effort to bridge the gap between Halter bred horses and performance bred horses, we wanted to showcase the all-around equine athlete that could reach into all disciplines.”
This concept came to life with input from leading trainers, owners, and breeders representing both Ranch Riding and Halter interests with the primary goal of creating a market for all-around type horses that also are pleasing to the eye, to show the world a pretty horse can also perform in an all-around format our ancestors envisioned when they formed AQHA, APHA, and ApHC.
WCHA will offer two separate Versatility Classes during the WCHA Breeders Futurity, held in conjunction with the APHA World Championship in Fort Worth, TX later this fall. The first class is a slot class for Ranch Horse prospects and late two-year-old horses. The Prospect slot will be offered to 20, maiden, two-year-old horses that are sired by one of the 200 plus WCHA nominated stallions. The prospects will be asked to compete in three phases of competition. 30% of the total score will come from basic Ranch Pattern work. 30% will be based off a Ranch Rail Pleasure class. The remaining 40% will consist of a Conformation class. This class has a $1,000 slot purchase fee, plus Steve and Kathy Headley are putting up an additional $2,500 to add to the purse. Only 20 slots will be available. You can reserve a slot with half now and the balance is due June 1st. You don’t have to name your entry until August 20th.
The second Versatility Class is for All Age Horses with four divisions of eligibility. The four divisions are:
Division 1 (D1): Open to any age horse, any rider.
Division 2 (D2): Non-Pro Rider, any age horse.
Division 3 (D3): Maiden, any age horse that has never competed in a performance event, any rider.
Division 4 (D4): WCHA Bred. This division is for any age horse but must have been sired by one of the over 200 stallions in the WCHA Futurity program, any rider.
An entry can compete in as many divisions that they are eligible for. Only 30 total entries will be accepted, and a champion will be crowned in each division. Steve and Kathy Headley have donated $7,500 to the purse, with $2,500 of this allocated to the WCHA Bred division. 100% of all entry fees will be added back to the purse.
Additional prize money and awards will be awarded to the colored horses with Paint, Roan, Palomino, Buckskin, Appaloosa registries. A huge thank you to Steve and Kathy Headley who have generously committed to sponsor $2,500 for the Versatility Prospect Class and $7,500 in the Versatility Stakes Class.
We are looking for additional sponsors for saddles, tack, and buckles. Call the WCHA office for sponsorship opportunities.
Entry forms along with additional information and a complete list of rules can be found at www.conformationhorse.com. Entries are now open and are being accepted until June 1, 2019; but, once 20 slots are sold in the Prospect Class and 30 entries processed in the Four Division class, no other entries will be accepted, so enter early!
Click here to read more about the idea behind these classes in this Equine Chronicle article. http://www.equinechronicle.com/wcha-introduces-new-versatility-classes/