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WCHA Announces 2 New Halter Classes Coming to 2018 AQHA World Show

For Immediate Release
Fort Worth, TX – July 23, 2018
By: Brittany Bevis

In an effort to create new opportunities for limited competitors and late foals, WCHA is pleased to announce two new halter classes that will be coming to the AQHA World Championship Show in 2018 : Junior Weanling Fillies and Junior Weanling Colts. How are these any different than the typical weanling classes, you may ask? These classes mirror those held at the WCHA Breeders’ Championship Futurity, wherein eligible foals must have been born March 1st or later with the exception that these classes are offered for “Limited Exhibitor Eligibility”.

Don Falcon, WCHA Executive Director and Futurity Coordinator explains. “AQHA has always offered weanling classes, but they’re ‘All Age classes.’ These classes have traditionally been comprised of foals born in January or February and those early foals have tremendous advantage in maturity in comparison to foals born in March or April. Some of the fall futurities offer junior classes in September, which, for some foals, still doesn’t give them time to lose their bellies and get nice hair coats. However, by November they’re looking their best but they still can’t compete against the January/February babies, so they stay home.”

“We’ve seen our breeders stop breeding in April and May because there hasn’t been an incentive to compete with late foals. Hopefully, these classes will provide a lucrative incentive for stallion and mare owners to extend their breeding season and for exhibitors to get those late babies in training which is also beneficial to our halter horse trainers.

There is a need for junior classes, and I feel these World Champion Junior classes will fill that void.”

If the opportunity to compete against foals of similar maturity level wasn’t enough each class will offer $5,000 in added money. In addition, 100% of entry fees will be added to each class, less office fees. If paid by September 1st, the entry fee is $200. If paid by October 1st, the entry fee is $300. If paid by November 1st, the entry fee is $400. No entries will be accepted after November 1st. The office fee is $30 and WCHA membership fees are as follows: Open = $50, Non Pro = $40, Youth = $25.

“June Rhea, who owns River Oaks Ranch in Wynnewood, OK. has been involved in horses for over 50 years, and she’s also the owner of AQHA stallion, Valentino. Kathy Smallwood, is the breeder and the manager of Valentino, so contact her for breeding information on this great young stallion, who is already a World Champion Sire. This team will be sponsoring the Junior Weanling Fillies class. Terry and Stacy Kull, owners of the young stallion KR Hes Xceptional whose first babies are creating tremendous excitement in the Halter world are donating an additional $5,000 to fund the Junior Weanling Colt Class. Kull Ranch is located in Pilot Point, TX and is managed by Brenda and Dave Kellerman. Stacy showed KR HES EXCEPTIONAL to two Reserve World titles, and his first babies are Xceptional! We truly appreciate June, Terry, and Stacy for supporting these inaugural WCHA World Championship classes!”

“We also want to thank AQHA for the opportunity to add these two classes to the AQHA World Show. As an alliance partner AQHA has been very supportive of our association. AQHA wants to support owners and exhibitors in their efforts to raise and show Halter horses and are eager to be able to provide these classes at the 2018 World Show.”

Another exciting aspect of these classes is the requirement for Limited Exhibitor status. In order to be eligible to compete, a Open, Amateur, or Youth competitor may not have won a World or Reserve World title in the past five years. (Select and Youth Titles or titles won in other associations are exempt from this rule.) “This rule will allow open and non-pro exhibitors to compete against exhibitors with the same level of expertise. It will create a level playing field for all competitors, because they won’t have to compete against elite trainers and elite amateur exhibitors that dominate most AQHA World Show Halter classes. These limited classes will encourage owners to come and ‘show their own’ at the World Show.”

“I think we’ve covered all the bases here: a class for junior weanlings, that otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to compete in the regular AQHA classes; a class for limited exhibitors that otherwise wouldn’t feel like they could compete against the top competitors in the regular AQHA classes; a lucrative purse of $5,000 added to each class and 100% of entry fees added back to the purse; and a minimal entry fee of only $200. This is an opportunity to get back the people that have become discouraged when showing at the World Show. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun and something we can build on for the future.”

In order for horses to be eligible to compete, they must have been sired by a stallion that is nominated into the WCHA Futurity program. Junior horses are defined as those foaled March 1st or later. Horses will enter and be lined up according to their birthdates. Colts and geldings will show together.

For more information about these new classes including entry forms, visit the WS Junior Classes page on this website. For additional information or questions, contact Don Falcon at 480-229-9767 or by emailing

WCHA Futurity News

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