When Jenifer Whisler brought her homebred mare, Quixotes Royal Cat, to trainer Russ Elrod, it didn’t take very long for him to see the horse was something special.
“She had a little bit of attitude about her, which normally kind of tells me that they’re gonna be kind of a gritty horse,” Elrod, of Terrebonne, Oregon, recalled of the then-2-year-old. “She was, real cowy and always wanted to work a cow and get ahold of a cow when you were working it, so I knew she was going to be something.”
The 2015 mare by Cats Quixote Jack continued to make noise in the West Coast futurities when she and Elrod won the Open Intermediate Championship at the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association (PCCHA) Futurity. They marked a 219 to take the win on Tuesday, Oct. 9, at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa.
For Elrod, the plan in the PCCHA Futurity was to show off what the mare nicknamed “Jackie” does best. She’d already won the Intermediate Open Championship at the Idaho Cutting Futurity, Derby and Classic, and also made the Open and Open Intermediate finals at the Cascades Futurity in Redmond, Oregon.
“She can stop hard for a little horse, but running and stopping hard; she can do it, but that’s not what she’s best at,” Elrod explained. “When I show her I just try and cut cows that are gonna move her around, but also…try not to overmatch her.
The mare responded to Elrod’s cow selection with a strong run that ended on a high note, with the toughest cow being her last.
“It challenged her pretty good,” he said. “It made her have to run and go hit that ground and stop and really try hard, so my run kind of built all the way through to the end.”
The mare was one of three horses Elrod rode in the Open Intermediate finals. He finished third on Metal Mike (Metallic Cat x Its Stylish Royalty x Royal Fletch) for owner James Hobbs, and sixth on Lesley Day’s Light N Low (Light N Lena x It Must Be Your Day x Smart Zanolena). He also won this year’s PCCHA Classic/Challenge Open Intermediate Reserve Championship aboard Mr Opus Time, a son of One Time Pepto he rode earlier this summer to a win in the same class at the Cascades Futurity show.
The success so far in the Vegas show is just the latest in a very successful year for Elrod, who said he couldn’t do it without his owners, who have supported him with good horses to train and show.
“We’ve just had a really good year and we’ve been grateful to the customers that we have,” he said.
The win with Quiotes Royal Cat was good for a $6,000 first-place checking, pushing her official Equi-Stat record to close to $20,000. Elrod says the mare will get a short break, and then head to the Utah Cutting Horse Futurity and Aged Event, scheduled for Oct. 29 to Nov. 3 in Ogden, Utah. Long-range plans call for her to compete with Whisler next year in non-pro derbies.
Quixotes Royal Cat is the third money earner from her dam, Bunny Lena (by Smart Little Lena). The mare’s other earners are TR Smart Rey ($37,442, by TR Dual Rey) and Maytown Moonshine ($24,430, by Cats Moonshine).
The PCCHA Futurity Open Intermediate Reserve Championship went to Such A Dual and Scott Amos, of Loma, Colorado, who marked a 216. They earned $5,000 for owners Hank and Karen True, of Glenrock, Wyoming. A 2015 stallion, Such a Dual is by Dual Smart Rey out of Arosesuchaclatter (by Smooth As A Cat).
Click here for the full order of finish in the PCCHA Futurity Open Intermediate.
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