Elizabeth Quirk finally has a Mercuria/National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Series of Cutting title she doesn’t have to share.
With the help of her husband’s horse, Kattalyst, she broke a two-event tie streak Friday afternoon with a solo win in the World Series of Cutting Non-Pro at the Calgary Stampede in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“(Quirk’s husband, Todd Quirk) is so kind and he encouraged me. He’s like, ‘You really need to go show Kattalyst’,” Quirk said Friday evening. “It’s intimidating. I walked in there on a 6-year-old today and I don’t know the ages of the other horses that I was showing against, but they all, I believe, are a little bit older than her. But, she was unreal and just took care of me and it all came together.”
Their solo win was a change. Riding her own mare, Cat Sheree, Quirk had shared the Mercuria Non-Pro title with Bill Cowan in February at The Mane Event V. She and Cowan shared another Mercuria Non-Pro title last month at the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Derby, where they finished in a three-way tie for the win with Jill Roth and Bea Pure Cat.
Cowan and Roth also made the Mercuria Non-Pro finals at the Calgary Stampede, but Quirk’s 227-point run with Kattalyst was too much for anyone to catch, landing her and the daughter of Equi-Stat Elite $19 Million Sire Metallic Cat the Non-Pro Championship.
Quirk was excited she and the mare were able to get experience showing together. In April, the daughter of Hottness (by Spots Hot) was the NCHA Super Stakes Classic Open Reserve Champion with trainer Adan Banuelos.
“I have loved this mare every since we bought her,” Quirk said. “She’s the most athletic horse that we own and I feel like I’m just trying to develop a relationship with her.”
She credited Banuelos, his staff at Adan Banuelos Performance Horses and her family for the “huge team effort” it took to win in Calgary.
“It takes a team to make this happen,” she said.
Quirk, who was making her first trip to Canada, said she loved her time at the Calgary Stampede. Home to one of the most famous rodeos in the world, the event is billed as the “Greatest Outdoor Show On Earth.”
It meant even more that she was able to share the experience, and the travels earlier this year, with Todd and 16-month-old son, Rhett.
“Honestly, you feel like a celebrity just walking around in a cowboy hat and your boots,” she said, of her Calgary experience. “Everybody’s so nice and welcoming and they just do an incredible job of putting on the event here.
“I can’t say enough nice things. I’m tickled. I want to come back. I want to come up here all the time.”
The winner’s paycheck of $9,647 boosted Quirk’s Equi-Stat record to more than $730,000. Kattalyst’s lifetime earnings have passed the $140,000 mark.
Kylie Rice earned the Reserve Championship by marking a 221 with Snap Crackle Cat, a 2009 gelding by Equi-Stat Elite $78 Million Sire High Brow Cat out of Dualsnap (by Dual Rey). They earned $8,117 for owner T Bar K Cutting Horse LLC, of Weatherford, Texas.
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