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The World Show Versatility Challenge – Building Blocks For The Future

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188 – March/April, 2023

By Megan Sacia Ulrich

The AQHA World Show’s Pleasure Versatility Challenge has become one of the most anticipated events of the show since its addition to the class list in 2018. Competitors thrive on the challenge of preparing young horses for the multi-faceted event while throngs of spectators expect to be­–and are–wowed by the talent displayed in the two-hour-long spectacle.

As the name suggests, the class is meant to showcase the versatility of the American Quarter Horse. It is open to three-year-olds whose riders are asked to demonstrate the horse’s ability sequentially in three areas: over poles through a pattern that is a blend of Western Riding and Trail (worth 40 percent of total score); on the rail for Western Pleasure (also worth 40 percent); and finally, on the ground for a conformation evaluation (worth the remaining 20 percent).

According to AQHA, the concept is to “highlight a well-conformed, athletic western pleasure horse, with a solid base of proper training, that has the potential to transition and become world-caliber in a number of classes–eventually reaching the level of the highest performing AQHA all-around horses.”

And many of the classes’ entries have done exactly that, including KM Flat Out The Best, Snap It Send It, Hot Lopin Lily, and Nothin But Nett, among others.

Click here to read the complete article
188 – March/April, 2023

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