SumSpec KausacKat MMerrill 15KBP

Merrill Clinches Derby Limited Non-Pro Championship

SumSpec KausacKat MMerrill 15KBPMcKenzie Merrill & Kausac KatA common theme among cutters is that most of them do not like to be first in the draw. McKenzie Merrill shares that sentiment, but today, after being first in the draw in the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Summer Spectacular Derby Limited Non-Pro finals and winning the championship with a 219, she decided that being first was not always a bad thing.

“I’m glad I did, because they kind of got tough as the set went on,” Merrill said. “Grant [Setnicka] kept reassuring me, ‘This is a good thing,’ because they looked pretty tough.”

Three days before coming into the finals, Merrill and Kausac Kat (Smooth As A Cat x Lenas Tangygirl x Lenas Telesis) entered the Non-Pro and Limited Non-Pro first go in their Limited Non-Pro slot and marked a 219, the high score in the Limited Non-Pro first go-round. They showed again in the next set of cattle in their Non-Pro slot, but they were unable to advance to the Non-Pro second go. Because of that, Merrill looked at the Limited Non-Pro Championship as sweet redemption.

The duo won $8,430, bumping the Grandview, Texas, rider up to cutting earnings of $254,991. Her Ronald Dowdy-bred gelding nearly doubled his record and now boasts $18,720 on his Equi-Stat record.

From the second-to-last hole, Austin Adams and Pur Tee managed to triumph over the field of difficult cattle and score a 215.5, earning the Reserve Championship. The duo recently won the 4-Year-Old Non-Pro at the Abilene Spectacular earlier this year. The mare was bred by Jack Waggoner, of Decatur, Texas, and is owned by Adams and his wife, Lindsey Adams. Pur Tee is by Cat T Masterson and out of the Smart Aristocrat mare Purdy Aristocrat. With the $7,802 the team won, Pur Tee has nearly reached the $100,000 in earnings mark in Equi-Stat, falling just shy by $4,146. Adams, of Poolville, Texas, now sits at $269,602.

For complete coverage of the NCHA Summer Spectacular, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.