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Collage of ranch horse team pictures.

UW Ranch Horse Versatility Team

The University of Wyoming Ranch Horse Versatility team is an organization designed to enhance student’s horsemanship and knowledge of the ranch horse industry, and to motivate students to compete in the show pen. Members practice throughout the school year to better prepare for competition in four different events (ranch horse pleasure, trail, reining, and cow work) at local, regional, and national shows sanctioned by the American Stock Horse Association (ASHA), Stock Horse of Texas (SHTX) association, CoWN (Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska) Stock Horse Association, Slidin Daze Enterprises, and the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA).

The team practices once weekly on Thursday nights at the Cliff and Martha Hansen Teaching Arena. Practices are organized by members and advisors to provide a comfortable and worth-while learning opportunity for riders of all levels. In the past, the team has consisted of members with little riding experience, as well as members who have a very thorough working knowledge of this industry. Often times, students choose to become active members of the team because they enjoy receiving instruction from their peers and from horse industry professionals as they work to improve their horsemanship skills. Participation on the Ranch Horse Versatility team does require you to own or have access to a horse. Beyond weekly practices, the team works hard to invite clinicians to Laramie who are excited to provide lessons to the group and our community. If you are a clinician and are interested in working with the UW Ranch Horse team, please contact us here.

Are you excited to start riding with the team? We’d love to have you! If you have more questions or want more information, you may contact us at the link on the bottom of this page. We hope to see you at practices and we can’t wait to cheer you on at the next horse show!


Ranch Horse Show Events

Stock/Ranch Horse Pleasure: The Stock Horse Pleasure class measures the ability of the horse to be a pleasure to ride while being used as a means of conveyance from one ranch task to another. The horse should be well-broke, relaxed, quiet, soft, and cadenced at all gaits. The horse should be ridden on a relatively loose rein with light contact and without requiring undue restraint. The horse should be responsive to the rider and make timely transitions in a smooth and correct manner. The horse should be soft in the bridle and yield to contact. The ideal stock horse should have a natural, levelheaded carriage at each gait.

Stock Horse Trail: The Stock Horse Trail class, as the name implies, tests the horse’s ability to cope with situations encountered in everyday riding. The horse is ridden through a pattern of obstacles which should nearly approximate those found during the course of everyday work. The horse/rider team is judged on the correctness, efficiency, and pattern accuracy with which the obstacles are negotiated and the attitude and mannerisms exhibited by the horse. Judging emphasis is on identifying the well-broke, responsive, well-mannered horse which can correctly navigate and negotiate the course.

Stock Horse Reining: This Stock Horse Reining class measures the ability of the stock horse to perform basic handling maneuvers. SHTX has several recognized regular patterns (please see “Patterns” in the SHTX Handbook). Each pattern is a combination of maneuvers and these maneuvers include stops, spins, rollbacks, circles, back up, hesitate, lead changes and run downs.

Working Cow Horse: The ideal stock horse must also be a cow horse and this class demonstrates and measures the horse’s ability to do cow work. The SHTX working cow classes have varying requirements depending upon the division. Open and Non Pro complete a traditional working cow horse pattern consisting of boxing, taking the cow down the fence and executing at least one turn in each direction, and then circling the cow in each direction. Riders have the option of roping instead of circling the cow. Limited, Intermediate, Junior divisions demonstrate their ability to control a cow by boxing on one end, driving the cow to the opposite end and boxing on the opposite end. Novice and Youth divisions box only.


You may find more information about eligibility, rules, and awards at the following links:

American Stock Horse Association
Stock Horse of Texas
Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska Stock Horse Association
Slidin Daze Enterprises


The University of Wyoming Ranch Horse Versatility Team strives to fill a full team for each show. A full team consists of two Non-Pro or Open riders, two Limited Non-Pro riders, and two Novice riders. We may enter more than one team and an unlimited number of individuals in ASHA Collegiate and other sanctioned competitions. Below is a description of each division.

Open – This division allows any professional or non-professional rider to compete with any horse regardless of past winnings.

Non-Pro – A Non-Pro rider has not received payment, directly or indirectly for riding, training, assisting in training, or showing horse(s) at any time during the past 5 years, and has not received payment directly or indirectly for instructing another person or conducting a seminar in riding, training, driving or showing a horse any time during the past five years. Finally, this division only allows riders who have not had any expenses (including lodging, transportation, mileage, etc.) paid by someone else other than family members.

Limited Non-Pro – Exhibitors who qualify as a Non-Pro Rider may choose to show in this division because of class routine or other personal choice. Riders in this division will work a modified version of the working cow horse class which will not involve turns down the fence, circling or roping.

Novice – This division is reserved for individuals with limited riding and showing experience who wish to learn more about showing at a beginner’s pace. You do not necessarily need to start showing in this division if you are new to showing. To be eligible for this division, you must adhere to all non-pro eligibility requirements and have limited showing experiences. Riders will work Novice and Youth Working Cow Horse patterns, which are shortened and do not involve turns down the fence, circling or roping.

Horse Show Schedule

Spring shows (2020)

March - CSU Collegiate Stock Horse & AQHA show
March - LCCC Collegiate & Open Stock Horse show
April - NCTA Collegiate & Open Stock Horse & AQHA show
May - Palooza Black Forest Stock Horse & AQHA

Fall shows (2019)

August 1-5 - Estes Park Stock Horse & AQHA show with CRCA
September 6-8 - NJC Collegiate & Open Stock Horse
October 3-6 - Fall Classic Black Forest Stock Horse & AQHA
October 12-14 - CSU Silver Jubilee
October 25-27 - SHOT World Show

Other events

NRHA Secrets of Judging hosted by Rocky Mountain Reining Horse Association
University of Wyoming Rodeo fundraiser
UW Ag Day BBQ fundraiser


Spotlight Member: Charlie McKenna

Charlie McKenna is this year's Ranch Horse Team Spotlight Member. In addition to studying agriculture business, this is Charlie's fourth year on the team. Though he does not show, Charlie does ride and helps out at all practices. Charlie rides a university-owned horse, named Starbuck. 


"I joined the Ranch Horse Team to better my horsemanship skills and meet new people," Charlie said. 


This past year, Charlie was selected for the Top Hand Award. This award is presented to an individual who participates consistently, with a smile and goes the extra mile to help the team in any way possible. Charlie exhibits these qualities well.


"When I was selected for the Top Hand Award I was very surprised," Charlie mentioned. "I come to practice to have a good time and help out. I help out when I can because it's the right thing to do and I never thought I'd get a reward for it."


Charlie plans to continue bettering himself while on the Ranch Horse Team throughout his college career and plans to ride in his free time after college. 


Congratulations Charlie!


Charlie McKenna was awarded the Top Hand award.
Charlie McKenna

Current Officers

Katie Bammel


Katie Bammel

Madelline Ogborn

Vice President

Madelline Ogborn

Kaitlyn Faye


Kaitlyn Faye

Christiana Hewlett


Christiana Hewlett

Cecilia Hewlett


Cecilia Hewlett

Travis Smith


UW Ranch Horse Team Advisor, Travis Smith

McKensie Harris


McKensie Harris

Elias Hutchinson



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