While it may be hard to go first during the finals, it worked out pretty well for Lil Jackson Cat and Nate Miller, who came from the first draw to win the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Classic/Challenge John Deere Open Championship. The duo marked a 219, scoring 4.5 points higher than the 214.5 Reserve Champion score that resulted in a tie.
“Ideally we’d be about third or fourth,” Miller said of his perfect draw position. “Being third or fourth you just get a better idea of the cattle, but being first worked out tonight.”
Miller had only praise for Lil Jackson Cat (High Brow Cat x Money Talks Smart x Smart Mate), who was bred by Ken Jackson, of Hermann, Missouri, and is proudly owned by Thomas and Natalie Humphreville. He described having a small miss on his second cow, but said that the mare handled it with no problems.
“That mare just got better as we went. The first cow really started her off good,” Miller said.
Three days before showing in the John Deere Open finals, Miller and the mare competed in the Classic/Challenge Open finals, where they tied for eleventh place with a score of 215.5. That score earned them an $8,221 paycheck, which combined with the $4,272 check they earned for winning the John Deere Open, bumps Lil Jackson Cat to cutting earnings of $60,447.
The tie for Reserve Champion went to Ima Hot Model and Greg Wright, and Hisstereya and Nathaniel Lansford. Both pairs scored a 214.5. Ima Hot Model (Spots Hot x High Classed Model x Gallo Del Cielo) and Wright also made the Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Open finals where they placed in the top 20. The mare belongs to Lincoln and Bonnie Clifton and was bred by Norda and Jim Berger. Hisstereya (Dual Rey x Hissy Cat x High Brow Cat) is a homebred mare belonging to Jennifer and Jeffrey Foland who entered the Summer Spectacular with earnings of $103,217. Both Ima Hot Model and Hisstereya earned $3,631 each for the Co-Reserve Championship.
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