The Will Rogers Memorial Center was filled with applause as 13-year-old Cade Shepard and Twistful Thinking worked during the last draw of the Lucas Oil National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Non-Pro, held April 18. The crowd roared when Shepard’s score, which carried him to victory, was announced.
“It was pretty loud; that’s probably the loudest I have ever heard it for me,” Shepard said. “I was really excited. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, because my last cow was a little crazy.”
The duo marked a 217.5, earning the win and making Shepard, of Summerdale, Alabama, the youngest rider to win an NCHA Non-Pro Triple Crown event. Prior to the Super Stakes, Shepard boasted an Equi-stat record of $49,415, with $25,277 earned in 2015 alone.
Twistful Thinking (One Time Pepto x Some Kinda Twister x Freckles Fancy Twist) was trained by Shepard’s grandfather, Sam Shepard, and has an Equi-Stat record of $23,627.
Ashley Galyean, of Fort Worth, Texas, and Pedaltothemedal (Metallic Cat x Fairlea Magnolia Gal x Colonel Pic) marked a 216.5 to capture the Non-Pro Reserve Championship. The gelding went on to show in the Open finals with Galyean’s husband, Beau Galyean, and finish 11th.
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