By Brandy Von Holten
The American Horsemen’s Challenge Association (AHCA) is a national organization that combines obstacles and horsemanship. Their national championship is in October at the Missouri State Fair Grounds in Sedalia, MO. Here are the 2017 MO State Champions and a few words about the state championship being held at Von Holten Ranch located just 14 miles SE of Sedalia, MO.
Words from Kiley Gibson: “I like the competition because it helps me improve. I like the people in MO AHCA because they are nice and friendly. I was happy that Von Holten Ranch has a covered arena so I didn’t get rained on. My haflinger made me happy by becoming a competition horse. I like that the AHCA is about horsemanship and I like riding the great trails between competitions.”
Words from Andrea Caponetto: “My favorite thing about AHCA has been meeting amazing new friends, challenging myself to reach new goals, and being able to accomplish those goals and grow as a team.”
Words from Sherri Cale: “The best part of the season was by far the people that I competed with in the championship. The support we had for each other to do better every ride, the challenge of each competition, and of course, my beloved Pete was my favorite part of the State Championship.”
Words from Emily Gomez: “My favorite part of the MO State Championship Series was advancing my relationship with Maya. We’ve really been through a lot this year and I have learned so much about her and myself. My other favorite part was meeting so many new wonderful friends.”
Words from Kathy Tyre: “I really enjoyed the opportunity to experience so many different obstacles! Through this year’s training, I have improved my riding skills and strengthened the bond between myself and my mule. It was a pleasure to meet so many wonderful people and form new friendships for life.”
Words from Debbie Murry: “My favorite part of the championship series was riding this incredible horse and enjoying every moment of her training. She has taught me as much as I’ve taught her.”
Words from Terri Hatcher: “What I liked about the State Championship was showing how barrel horses are well educated, spending a lot of time with my horses, wonderful new friends and treasured old friends, helping others, and camping conversations.”
Now that AHCA has grown in Missouri, Von Holten Ranch has partnered with Eagle Ranch in Collins, MO for the 2018 Missouri State Championship. The two facilities believe in the vision of AHCA and with AHCA requiring the host to pay back 50% in each division. Von Holten Ranch and Eagle Ranch will provide options for competitors to take their winnings, apply winnings to future camping, or credit them toward a buckle or leather products. At this time championship buckles are not able to be provided but are available at a discounted price for purchase. With the foreseen growth in AHCA by 2019, the divisions should be large enough to provide buckles and other amazing prizes to competitors.
In order to become the next MO State Champion, your top 8 scores will be combined. Ties will be broken by greatest number of firsts, seconds, etc. World Champion Lee Hart will be at Von Holten Ranch before each AHCA in 2018 for a training clinic. Here is the 2018 schedule for the MO.