On Feb. 2, the 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro finalists took to the arena at The Ike Derby and Classic. Out of six horse-and-rider combinations, two – Cade Shepard with Twistful Thinking and Mandy Chisum with Cats Double Down – came out on top to tie for the Championship.
Shepard was the second horse out and marked a 221, which put him at the top of the leaderboard with Twistful Thinking, who had already picked up the 5/6-Year-Old Open Championship with Shepard’s dad, Austin. Chisum walked to the herd as draw No. 4 and matched the highest score. The final two riders were unable to top their scores, making Shepard and Chisum the Co-Champions.
Shepard, of Summerdale, Alabama, and Twistful Thinking have had a very successful career together. In 2014, they tied for the Reserve title in the Limited Non-Pro at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity. During the 2015 season, they picked up several championships, including wins in the Derby Non-Pro at the NCHA Super Stakes and NCHA Summer Spectacular, making Shepard eligible for the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame. They enjoyed more success during 2016, when they tied for the Reserve Championship in the Classic Non-Pro at the NCHA Super Stakes, won the Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Reserve title at the Breeder’s Invitational and claimed the Classic/Challenge Non-Pro Championship at the Southern Cutting Futurity.
With the $12,752 they won in West Monroe, Louisiana, the 6-year-old mare’s (One Time Pepto x Some Kinda Twister x Freckles Fancy Twist) lifetime earnings now total nearly $240,000, while Shepard’s Equi-Stat record reflects more than $450,000 won in the cutting pen.
Atascadero, California-based Chisum also took home a check worth $12,752 for her efforts aboard Cats Double Down (Reys Dual Badger x This Cats Stylish x High Brow Cat). The mare, who was bred by Gully Enterprises Inc., surpassed the $100,000 mark with this title, and Chisum boasts a lifetime record of more than $370,000, according to Equi-Stat.
Cats Double Down has also been successfully shown in the Open by trainer Clint Allen. In 2015, the mare made the 4-Year-Old Open finals with Allen and the 4-Year-Old Non-Pro finals with Chisum at the Abilene Spectacular. She also made the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Derby Open finals and won the Novice Championship with Allen the same year. At the PCCHA Futurity, Allen piloted the mare to the Co-Reserve title in the Derby Open.
Chisum and Cats Double Down kicked off the 2016 season with a finals appearance in the 5/6-Year-Old Non-Pro at The Ike Derby and Classic, where the mare also made the 5/6-Year-Old Open finals with Allen. Cats Double Down made several more finals in the Open and Non-Pro to finish out the year.
4-Year-Old Amateur continued on page 2