Louis The Cat carried his second rider to the winner’s circle at the Transwest National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Western Nationals this week. After topping the $25,000 Novice with Casey Crouch, the 2009 stallion won the $35,000 Non-Pro for Tyler Delange.
In the finals, Delange marked a big 224 – a full 5 points over Reserve Champions Israel Valles and Smokem Jo Lena (Joes Midnight Son x Peppys Smokem x Peppy San Badger), who earned $2,782. “Louis” (High Brow Cat x Louella Again x Dual Pep), owned by Delange’s parents Amy and Mike, and Rick Dubay, secured a $3,339 paycheck.
“It is amazing what he can do with his body,” said Delange, of Fort Gratiot, Michigan. “He is a super calm stallion, and he’s just electric when he enters the pen and sees the cattle.”
Delange said he was pleased he drew in the second bunch, because the herd in the first set was quite tough.
“We had a great draw in the finals,” he said. “Casey and I had picked out three cows and we talked about each of them. It was our time; it all came together.”
Delange credited his herd help for how well he did.
“It makes a difference when the guys helping you want you to win and they stand behind you,” he said.
With his second winner’s check, Louis has lifetime earnings of more than $200,000.
“My mom had a special eye for Louis and thank God she did,” Delange said. “He has been a blessing and a gift to our family.”
Earlier this season, Louis and Delange finished reserve in the NCHA Eastern Nationals $35,000 Non-Pro. Last year, the 23-year-old rider topped the $25,000 Novice Non-Pro World standings and Crouch won the $25,000 Novice World Championship.
Originally from Michigan, Delange moved to Corsicana, Texas, in December of 2016 to ride and show with Crouch. Last year was the first full season he competed every weekend. Team Crouch will head to Colorado in July for a three-week stint to compete at events in Ignacio and Westcliffe.
“That’s my favorite time of year,” Delange said. “I like being Colorado for those shows.”
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