Over the past year, Ali Good has learned how to cut shape when the cows won’t cooperate. Learning that lesson helped Good mark a 221 on Cat Atat Cat and win $327 as the Senior Youth champion at the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Eastern Nationals.
“It’s pretty cool,” Good said of winning her first Eastern Nationals title on her first visit to the show. “I’m the only one who works him and the only one who does anything with him. I like knowing that I’m able to do that by myself.”
The only trick to getting Cat Atat Cat ready to show is to keep him slow.
“My first cow wasn’t great. My second two cows I just cut shape, and they ended up being my two best cows,” said Good, who was helped by Brett Davis, her grandfather Bill Riddle, Austin Shepard and Casey Crouch. “I made the decision to cut shape because the cows we wanted weren’t in a very good spot. I’ve been cutting shape quite a bit at the weekend shows.”
Had the duo been able to cut choice cows, they would have been challenging ones.
“We always cut cows that try to run him over because Grand-dad likes to cut really fast cows for him,” Good said. “He can handle such a tough cow that Grand-dad wants me to cut them because at a weekend show you’re there to win, not to qualify.”
A career earner of $82,675, Cat Atat Cat (High Brow Cat x Miss Stylish Pepto x Peptoboonsmal) has been in training with Riddle since he was 2 years old for breeders Glenn and Debbie Drake. Back then, when Good’s mom Kelly Riddle was getting Cat Atat Cat ready to show, Ali liked watching him work. When the gelding turned seven, the Drakes sold the now 8-year-old to Good’s dad Jim Good.
“I never got to show really until my dad bought him in May of last year. I showed him in Oklahoma City at The Non Pro [Plus the Open], and that was my first time to start showing him,” said Good, who had instant success there when she won the $35,000 Non-Pro and the Youth. “He was a stallion for the longest time and we cut [gelded] him. In my opinion, he’s a great horse. He tries his heart out every time and he never gives up.”
Good, 18, graduated from high school last year and works for Riddle. She has been hauling to cuttings in a bid to make the NCHA Youth World Finals, and last year, she tied for the 2017 NCHA Futurity Limited Non-Pro title on Sneakish.
“This is my first year to ever haul,” Good said. “I’m second now, and I want to stay second.”
Pittman Turner, of Franklin, Georgia, rode Hickorys Handy Cat (High Brow Cat x Hickorys Handy Kandy x Doc’s Hickory), bred by Drs. M.J. and Sue Christensen, to a score of 216. The duo received the Reserve Championship and a check worth $284, which boosted the gelding’s lifetime earnings to more than $169,000.