Gettin’ Ranchy with West Coast Ranch Horse

Launched in January 2020, West Coast Ranch Horse (WCRH) has experienced tremendous growth in a short amount of time. After observing that ranch horse classes at horse shows in Southern California were often an afterthought held at shows intended for other disciplines, WCRH was founded with the vision to ensure that ranch horse classes would be seen as a discipline in its own right. WCRH recognized classes include Ranch Riding, Ranch Rail, Ranch Trail and Ranch Conformation. WCRH aims to offer a division for every level with divisions such as Open, Amateur, Amateur Select (50&Over), Green Horse, Green Rider, Youth (18&under) and Short Stirrup (12&under). The WCRH aims to create a cohesive ranch horse community, promote ranch horse competition and recognize top competitors throughout the West Coast region (live shows) and internationally (online shows).

WCRH offers a year end awards program called the ‘Best in the West’, in which ranch horse competitors nominate for a division and earn points for attending any ranch horse shows in the west coast region. The west coast region includes CA, NV, AZ, UT, WA, OR, and ID. The WCRH approves sanctioned shows which automatically transfer points for nominated riders. For a list of WCRH sanctioned shows, go to: For any show that a rider attends that is not sanctioned, they submit a competitor report form. The Best in the West program offers belt buckles, ribbons, sashes, WCRH swag, medals and more to year end champions in each division. For more information on the Best in the West program, go to:

When the pandemic hit, 8 of the 40 sanctioned shows were immediately canceled. As a new organization, it had been a painstaking process to reach out to show managers to find sanctioned show partners. At that point, WCRH had about 150 members with about 30 nominated for year end awards. Canceling shows was devastating to the new organization, so WCRH management got creative. In the early days of quarantine, when shows were first canceled, WCRH was one of the first horse show organizations on Facebook to go virtual. The response was overwhelming. With so many shows canceled around the country and the world, competitors from all over began to show virtually. The first online show offered by WCRH ended up with about 800 entries from all over the world. The second online show topped that with over 1200 entries. Even currently as live shows have been opening up, the online shows still have solid participation. There is a segment of riders that prefer virtual showing for a variety of reasons. WCRH has created a new program, dedicated to online showing, called International Ranch Horse or iRanch Horse for short (for details and 2021 schedule, go to: Through the online shows, the WCRH awarded over $30,000 in awards and prizes in 2020 and has expanded the program for 2021. The organization has seen participation from riders and horses in just about every state in the US with strong international participation from riders in Sweden, Germany, The Online Spring Round-Up Buckle series is just wrapping up the third and final show. The iRanch Horse online show program will offer a Ranch Riding Challenge and Fall Buckle Series. The online show season will culminate with the WCRH iRanch Horse World Show 2021, which is the first all ranch horse online world show of its kind. The iRanch World Show will be double judged and competitors will vie for iRanch Horse World Champion buckles.

The popularity of the iRanch Horse program, helped WCRH to attract new members and made the organization visible to top ranch horse trainers and judges. Now in its second year, WCRH has gained well over 1000 members. Many of these members started as online members, but have since converted to full members and are now participating in the Best in the West program and/or WCRH live shows in the Southern California area. WCRH offers winter, spring and fall buckle series as well as their longer events the Ranch Horse Spectacular, June 25-27, at Green Acres Ranch and the Ranch Horse Rendezvous, November 5-6, at Tucalota Creek Ranch. The Ranch Horse Spectacular is approved as an AQHA special event and will feature clinician and judge, Laurel Walker Denton. Laurel is well-known for her knowledge of and success in the ranch riding show pen. Laurel’s June 25th clinics have already sold out, though WCRH has added 1.25 hour mini-clinics with trainer Kelly Miller. Topics for the mini clinics include pattern placement, lead changes and transitions. The Ranch Horse Spectacular will offer AQHA and WCRH ranch horse classes Saturday and WCRH classes on Sunday. Buckles will be awarded to the WCRH all around high point champion in each division. In addition to the 2 day show and clinic day, the Spectacular will also feature a BBQ dinner with live music by cowboy musician Eric Gorsuch and a silent auction on Saturday night.

For more information on the Ranch horse spectacular, go to: The Ranch Horse Rendezvous show held in November is the organization’s year end culmination which features a ranch horse show with buckles to champions, a 3/4 and 5/6 year old futurity, live music, banquet dinner and western lifestyle vendors. All events held to date and scheduled at this time are held in Temecula, CA though the organization intends to increase its reach. WCRH has a large member base in Northern California and plans to expand its show schedule to include this geographical region in the near future. At the request of its members, WCRH has also added a Cow Horse division which offers classes such as Ranch Cutting, Ranch Boxing and a new class coined ‘Ride & Gather’ which incorporates a ranch riding pattern and simulation of moving cattle from pen to pen as one would do on a ranch. WCRH is offering a two show buckle series on June 6th and July 24th at Tucalota Creek Ranch in Temecula, CA.

West Coast Ranch Horse is bringing a full slate of opportunities to learn about and show in the ranch horse classes to Southern California and beyond.