Mike Kemna & DBL Smart • Photo by Kristin Pitzer

4-Year-Olds Shine at First Show of the Year

When Mike Kemna purchased DBL Smart after the 2017 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity from one of Lloyd Cox’s customers, he was drawn to the mare for a couple of reasons. Even though she and her previous owner did not get past the Unlimited Amateur semifinals, he liked the way she looked on a cow. Cox thought she was going to be a good horse, so Kemna took his advice and bought her. That faith quickly paid off when she carried him to the Abilene Spectacular 4-Year-Old Unlimited Amateur Championship.

The duo rode from the first draw in the finals, a position that Kemna isn’t normally a fan of. While he was a little nervous waiting to see if his score would hold, he needn’t have worried – his 220 topped the Reserve score by 2 points. It was a welcome increase over the 216 they marked earlier that day in the go-round.

“I tried to cut smoother. I didn’t cut smooth in the go-round,” Kemna said. “I just cut three good cows, and it worked out for us. The horse is really good; she was ready.”

DBL Smart collected $3,000 for her Abilene Spectacular title. She is by Dual Smart Rey and is the only money-earner out of the WR This Cats Smart mare This Cats Smilen.

“She’s real sensitive,” he said. “She’s kind of a hot mare, so you can’t really kick her anywhere. You just have to squeeze her and ask her to go somewhere. She just goes down there and does her job.

“Hopefully Lloyd likes her enough that he’ll keep showing her in some Open [classes],” he continued of the plans for the mare’s future. “Hopefully I won’t get kicked off her if he starts doing well!”

4-Year-Old Amateur

About 17 years ago, Viki Williamson finally realized her lifelong dream of showing cutting horses. One of the first mares she purchased was Ms Dualin Colonel (by Dual Pep), who she showed up until 2009.

In 2013, she bred Ms Dualin Colonel to Metallic Cat, and the result of that breeding – a filly named Metallic Princess – carried her to the Abilene Spectacular 4-Year-Old Amateur Championship on Jan. 8. The duo marked a 217 for the title and also won the Senior Amateur, collecting a total of $4,790.

“It feels fantastic,” Williamson said. “It’s extra special because I won a lot on her mother. To know that she’s a Metallic Cat and out of such a great mare and to be able to win on her is just emotional. It’s awesome.”

Williamson and “Princess” showed at the 2017 NCHA Futurity, where they made the finals in both the Unlimited Amateur and the Amateur.

“I always wanted to cut,” Williamson said. “I grew up pretty much in the city in the suburbs and always dreamed of being a cowgirl. In the [19]80s I started roping in women’s pro rodeo, but I always dreamed of cutting one day. Finally, all my dreams have come true.”

Williamson rides with T.J. Good and Nate Gribble and thanked them and their crew for all of their hard work, particularly Gribble for the “fantastic job” he has done with Princess.

“You can ride her out in the pasture and she’s just got a real sweet personality. I’ve started giving her treats to flex her, so now she’s getting really spoiled,” she said with a laugh.

Outside of cutting, Williamson works with handicapped children through equitherapy, particularly Wings of Hope in Burleson, Texas, and Victory Therapy in Argyle, Texas. She is trying to start up a center in Southern Oklahoma to give more back to the community.

For more news and information from the Western performance horse industry, subscribe to Quarter Horse News.