Canadian Lauren Minshall and Iowa resident Mandy Kirchner marked 218 and 217 scores, respectively, with two 6-year-old geldings to finish as Champion and Reserve Champion in Sunday’s Classic/Challenge Limited Non-Pro finals at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular in Fort Worth.
The daughter of Shawn and Lisa Minshall, Hillsburgh, Ont., Can., had earned more than $220,000 as a cutter, and she had competed in Will Rogers Coliseum several prior times in the Youth and Amateur divisions. Winning in cutting’s most famous arena still ranked as something she’d always regarded as a dream.
“Winning in this pen is something I always hoped would happen, but I never expected it to happen,” Minshall said. “It’s extremely tough. I was just tickled to be here and tickled to show my horse in the finals.”
Cats Merada x Leanin Nita x Peponita) while competing at her first Fort Worth cutting. Kirchner, now a career earner of more than $60,000 as a cutter, earned $9,792 last year. She earned all of it with the same horse while competing well at many weekend events and a few smaller limited-age shows.Mandy Kirchner, 34, Clarinda, Iowa, is a former barrel racer who discovered cutting after she met horse trainer Seth Kirchner, whom she married seven years ago. She finished second aboard Nitas Cats (
Kirchner offered her husband a warning after picking up the $6,597 Reserve Champion’s check – the largest so far of her ongoing cutting career. “He’s going to have to keep me in enough horsepower now to come down here all the time.”
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