True to her name, Khaleesi Kat took command of the Kit Kat Sugar National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes Limited Open finals on Sunday evening. She and pilot Cody Green walked out of the “Big Pen” as champions.
Green could hardly wait to put his fancy new buckle on after he collected his prizes from his winning run aboard Khaleesi Kat (Bet Hesa Cat x KD Shorty x Kit Dual), a 4-year-old mare Kathleen Moore purchased from breeder Ten/27 Ranch LLC for $80,000 out of the 2017 NCHA Futurity 2-Year-Old Sale. The duo’s 217.5 edged out the stiff competition by merely a half-point.
In a deep field of 16, the spread between the bulk of finalists was miniscule. Reserve Champions Arosesuchastyle (Docs Stylish Oak x Arosesuchaclatter x Smooth As A Cat) and Armando Costa Neto set the pace as the first draw with a 217. The majority of the remaining pack — eight horse-and-rider teams, to be exact — finished 2 points or less back. Green, who thanked his herd help and loper Jennifer Cabral, grabbed his lead from draw 12.
“It was unreal. That Hereford cow we finished on was just amazing,” Green said, admitting the show had him “loped down” enough to master his adrenaline for this win. “My horse is such a gamer. We’ve shown her for about four or five days straight now, and she’s just a gamer. She’s tough, and I love her!”
April 7 seems to be a lucky day for Green, who has worked as James Payne’s assistant trainer for around two years in Overbrook, Oklahoma. On the same day in 2018, he asked fiancée Cody Lee to marry him.
“I cant wait to see what happens on this day next year,” the 31-year-old professional said, reflecting on how far he’s come in the decade he’s been cutting. “I always loved horses and cattle. I cowboyed for a while and I just wanted to refine my horsemanship skills, so this [cutting] was a natural fit for me. There’s been so many people that have helped me through the years.”
Green started showing Khaleesi Kat, a full- or half-sister to earners of $711,000-plus, before the 2018 NCHA Futurity, where they qualified for the Limited Open finals. At the same show, Moore piloted her mare to eighth in the Non-Pro. Thanks to this $6,651 paycheck and an additional $18,762 from finishing 14th in the Open on April 6, the horse’s Equi-Stat record passed the $55,000 mark.
“I think I quadrupled my earnings in the last two nights. It’s unbelievable,” Green said as he stood in the arena dirt trying to wrap his mind around the success he had in Fort Worth. “James Payne did all the hard work. I can’t take any credit for this; this isn’t possible without him. I’m just so, so blessed.”
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