Michelle Lemaster and Mootalic Cat entered the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro World Finals with an insurmountable $34,567 lead over the next-closest pursuer. But, they weren’t done winning yet.
With the pressure off, Lemaster focused squarely on the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) World Finals Show Championship. Even then, she still didn’t feel any pressure. “I was smiling most of the time, I think, during my run,” she said.
That approach must have done the trick. The Las Vegas, Nevada, rider and the mare by Equi-Stat Elite $23 Million Sire Metallic Cat continued their roll and added the show title with a composite of 439 (218.5/220.5) and show earnings of $3,675. The finished the year with a total of $55,924.67.
The NCHA World Finals Show Championship goes to the horse with the most earnings during the show, which is held in conjunction with the NCHA Futurity. The NCHA World Championship is won by the horse that earns the most money in the class throughout the course of the year.
This has been one of several World Championship chases for Lemaster, who had a horse as a young child but didn’t get into cutting until later in life. She posted her first cutting check to Equi-Stat in 2007, and has since shown a number of NCHA World champions.
In 2010, Lemaster campaigned $35,000 Non-Pro World Champion Budha Cash. The 1994 mare by Cash Quixote Rio out of Budha Lady (by Docs Budha) also was her mount for that year’s $15,000 Amateur World Championship.
“That year I just wanted to figure out the sport, because I didn’t know about [it],” she said. “You tell me a Charolais…I didn’t know what a Charolais was. Give me a color.”
She hauled again the next few years, and in 2015 won the $15,000 Novice Non-Pro World Championship with El Gato Bonito, a horse she bought from Brian Butlin. She’s since sold the 2008 gelding (WR This Cats Smart x Unique Badgette x Playboys Badge) back to Butlin, who entered the horse in this year’s $50,000 Amateur World Finals.
In addition to winning the $5,000 Novice Non-Pro with Mootalic Cat, Lemaster also made this year’s Non-Pro World finals with Some Kinda Highbrow (High Brow CD x Some Kinda Memories x Smart Little Lena). The best part of hauling with trainer Gavin Jordan’s barn has been meeting new people, Lemaster said.
“This year’s been a blast, because we didn’t go to our normal places. We went to Oregon, and Washington and Kansas, Texas, Utah…and, I’m from Vegas, so when I first started, we’d go to Utah, so it was fun going back to Utah and seeing all those people,” she said. “It’s amazing how many wonderful people there are in this sport.”
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