In January, KD Shorty was laid to rest at the age of 16. For many years, KD Shorty and Elizabeth Quirk formed an inseparable and memorable team in the cutting arena, where the mare’s foals are continuing to shine.
KD Shorty was bred by Ron and Judy Washburn, of Madison, North Carolina, and made her debut at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity in 2004, where she made the Open finals with Equi-Stat Elite $6 Million Rider Austin Shepard and kick started her record with checks totaling $50,000 for then-owners Robert and Aly Brown.
In early 2005, 16-year-old Quirk, then Elizabeth Brumbaugh, purchased “Sadie.”
“To a young, 16-year-old girl, a horse can literally be a dream come true,” Quirk said. “The feeling you get when you step on a horse of another caliber is indescribable. I will never forget the first time I rode KD Shorty; it was unlike any other experience I had ever encountered. Her sheer athleticism made my heart beat uncontrollably and, of course, the smile was glued to my face. It was something you couldn’t fight. It’s why we all do it – for that feeling. It was later that day that [she] would become a permanent fixture in my life. She helped me accomplish many accolades in the show pen as a non-professional, and her Open career was also one for the books.”
KD Shorty is by Equi-Stat Elite $3 Million Sire Kit Dual and out of Shorty Lena Sue, by Shorty Lena. Shorty Lena Sue produced earners of nearly $390,000, and Sadie sits at the top of her produce record. She is also the second-highest earner by Kit Dual.
Sadie amassed an Equi-Stat record of $236,352 throughout her show career. During the 2005 season, she and Quirk made the Derby Non-Pro finals at the NCHA Super Stakes, Breeder’s Invitational, Brazos Bash and Southern Cutting Futurity. Shepard showed her in the Open and made the finals at several major limited-age events, as well.
Sadie’s success continued through the rest of her aged-event career. She continued to show in weekend events with Quirk and a few youth riders until she retired from the show pen in 2011.
Sadie’s excellence in the arena has been passed on to her foals. She has produced seven money-earners to date and boasts an offspring record of nearly $600,000. Her top performers include Acatbequick ($243,800, by High Brow Cat), A Cat Be Nimble ($140,908, by High Brow Cat) and Tick Tock Shorty ($106,665, by One Time Pepto). With several foals approaching performance age, that total is only expected to grow.
“That feeling I felt when I rode her for the first time in 2005 is a feeling that comes flooding back with her foals,” explained Quirk, who has an Equi-Stat record of nearly $585,000. “The thrill that we all seek, the adrenaline rush that keeps us coming back for more, is something that is all too familiar when I throw a leg over the back of one of her progeny. I find myself seeing her in every one of her up-and-coming foals. It isn’t one characteristic or physical attribute, but rather a culmination of her spirit that exudes from their eye.”
While the money she and her offspring have won is impressive, Sadie will be remembered for more than the paychecks and the buckles. She was part of Quirk’s family and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
“She was more than just a competitor or a broodmare; she was the horse that every little girl dreams of – the one that knew who you were when you came for a visit, the one who made everythign else seem to fade away. She enveloped your heart, mind and soul when you spent a mere five minutes with her. Her time here on earth has come to an end. I will deeply mis having the opportunity to see her on a regular basis. She always saw me for me. She always looked at me with that discerning eye and big nostril. She was mine. What a blessing it was to have [her] in my life.”