Bill Cowan entered his first Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting event on Saturday in Las Vegas, Nevada. After tying for the Non-Pro Co-Championship, it’s safe to say he’s a fan.
“I didn’t realize what these Mercurias were until I experienced this, but they’ve done tremendous things for these older show horses, and this industry, and I think it’s wonderful,” he said.
Riding Cowan Ranch homebred Billies Catty, the Purcel, Oklahoma, resident marked a 218 to tie with Elizabeth Quirk, of Denham Springs, Louisiana, for the win during The Mane Event V at the South Point Hotel & Casino. Quirk rode Cat Sheree, a mare she and her husband, Todd, own.
The two talented show mares hold a special place in the hearts of their owners.
Billies Catty was the first foal by her sire Catty Hawk, to be born at Cowan Ranch. An earner of $240,282, Catty Hawk (by High Brow Cat ) has sired earners of more than $874,000, according to Equi-Stat.
The daughter of Little Bonnie Blue (by Mecom Blue) is her sire’s second-leading earner. However, the 2011 mare reminds Cowan of both her parents.
“She’s almost a carbon copy of her mother,” he said. “But ‘Catty,” the way he moved his front end, he had a particular style, and she’s got a little bit of that.”
Cat Sheree is special to Quirk because she was a gift from her father-in-law after the death of her beloved mare, KD Shorty. The mare by Kit Dual was euthanized in January, 2017, as the result of an old injury.
Quirk had ridden KD Shorty to many successes in a cutting career that saw the mare earn $236,175. She then went on to produce a number of talented cutters, who so far have earned more than $650,000.
“Cat Sheree is a sorrel mare with a little star [like Sadie], and has the biggest heart in the world so it was just a huge gift that I can never really put into words what it means to me,” she said.
The $9,642 first-place check pushed Billie’s Catty to more than $174,000 in NCHA earnings. Cat Sheree’s NCHA earnings stand at more than $165,000.
Cowan and Quirk narrowly missed having to split the title three ways when the final rider, Kade Smith, marked a 217.5 with Hay U to take the Non-Pro Reserve Championship. The daughter of Third Cutting is a maternal half-sister to 2017 NCHA Futurity Open Champion Dual Reyish, as she and the son of Hottish are both out of A Little Reylena (by Dual Rey). The second-place finish earned $6,367 for Kade and Emily Smith, of Star, Idaho.
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