Cat Sheree was given to Elizabeth Quirk as a gift. The mare has been a blessing ever since for the Louisiana cutter.
Thanks in large part to the sorrel daughter of High Brow CD, Quirk entered the National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Non-Pro World Finals with a resounding and uncatchable lead in the year-end World Championship race. With one title in hand, they put together four strong performances — marking scores of 219, 220, 224 and 227.5 — to also take the Non-Pro World Finals Show Championship.
Both championships are determined at the end of the NCHA World Finals: the show champion is the rider who accumulates the most money during the show, while the World Champion is the rider who earns the most money in the class throughout the entire year. This year, Quirk won both.
She banked $120,587.39 in the Non-Pro World Championship race this year — including a show-topping $20,036 with Cat Sheree at the World Finals. The mare carried Quirk to some of her biggest wins of the year, including co-championships in the Mercuria/NCHA World Series of Cutting Non-Pro at The Mane Event V and the Pacific Coast Cutting Horse Association Derby. Quirk also added to her championship run with another mount, winning the Mercuria Non-Pro at the Calgary Stampede with Kattalyst, a 6-year-old mare by Metallic Cat out of Hottness (by Spots Hot).
“Had it not been for the Mercuria I couldn’t have done it,” she said of the global energy group, which concluded it’s NCHA sponsorship in 2018. “Huge shoutout to Daniel Jaeggi and Mercuria Global Energy. Everything they’ve done for the NCHA is incredible.”
She also thanked trainer Adan Banuelos and his barn, her husband, Todd, and their family for helping make the championship possible.
“This is a team,” she said. “Could not have done it without them.”
Cat Sheree, who was given to Quirk by her father-in-law, will be headed off to the breeding shed now that her cutting career is over. Bred by Bill Paxton, the daughter of Nurse Sheree (by Dual Rey) entered the NCHA World Finals with earnings of more than $224,617, according to Equi-Stat.
Although Quirk was excited to send Cat Sheree into the breeding shed on a high note, the NCHA World Finals was about more than winning for Quirk. She was also was touched that trainer Rich Timmons, who is battling brain cancer, joined her during rider introductions before the final round on Saturday night.
“It was just great to have him and his family and kids there,” she said. “To be honest, when I was riding to the herd I was like, ‘Let’s just do it for Rich. Let’s just put up a cool number since he’s here, and just have fun, really.’ It was really cool.”
An online stallion season has been created to benefit the family. The auction, which also includes art items, runs through Dec. 21.
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