The day before Mother’s Day, Highbrow Supercat, a distinguished mom herself, was laid to rest. The mare had been in colic surgery at Oakridge Equine Hospital in Edmond, Oklahoma, but didn’t recover and passed away May 11.
“It’s just been tough,” said her owner for the last 16 years, Paul Dean, of Cross Timbers Cutting Horses. “It’s something you don’t expect in a horse that age. We had the best veterinary team we could with her, but there was just nothing they could do to save her. She had a ruptured bowel. I pretty much lived with that horse for the last 16 years, so it’s just a different deal for us. She was part of our family.”
The mare, a daughter of High Brow Cat, was 17 years old. While her passing was unexpected, Dean was grateful to have had so many special moments with her.
Out of Holly Dolly Too (by Colonel Freckles) and bred by C. Anderson Inc., “Kitty” garnered $366,231 in the cutting pen. One of Dean’s favorite memories was watching her carry Tommy Marvin to the 2005 National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Futurity Open Championship, which made up the bulk of her lifetime earnings.
Other highlights from her career include a Derby Open Reserve Championship at the 2006 Cotton Stakes and a top 10 finish in the Open at the 2006 NCHA Summer Spectacular. The first time Dean showed her, the duo won the 2007 NCHA Summer Spectacular Classic/Challenge Amateur Championship.
The mare’s final money-winning performance came at an Arklahoma Cutting Horse Association event in November 2009. She was bred in 2006, and her first baby, a sorrel colt by Dual Rey, hit the ground in 2007. Reydini went on to bank nearly $13,000 as a cutter, but Highbrow Supercat was just getting warmed up.
From 2006 to 2008, Kitty was bred to only two stallions: Dual Rey and Peptoboonsmal. In total, she and Peptoboonsmal produced five foals, while Dual Rey sired 15 of her American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA)-registered offspring.
“That’s been a really good cross,” Dean said of Kitty and Dual Rey. “Wesley Galyean rides all of our horses for us, and he gets along good with them and likes that cross, so we’ve just kind of stuck with that. It seemed to cross really well with her.”
In 2008, Kitty produced four foals. Peptos Supercat and Cinca De Maya both made the Open finals at the 2011 NCHA Futurity, and Principessa was a Limited Open finalist. Kitty’s fourth foal that year, Highbrow Superpep, is also a money-earner. Dual Rey mare Cinca De Maya went on to earn more than $107,000, making the list as her dam’s third-highest performer, and she, as well as Principessa (by Peptoboonsmal), is now a dam herself. Her 2013 daughter Cinca Im Hot is nearing the $200,000 mark as a performer.
2009 was Kitty’s biggest year as a producer. She had five babies, including Lil Rattler, her No. 1 earner with $338,967. Lil Rattler (by Dual Rey) won two NCHA Super Stakes Classic Non-Pro championships, the NCHA Western Bloodstock Showdown in Cowtown Non-Pro Reserve Championship and the NCHA Western Bloodstock Winter Showdown in Cowtown Open Reserve Championship.
In 2011, Kitty only produced one foal, but it was a special one. A full sister to Lil Rattler, Button Down Supercat became the mare’s No. 2 money-earner after collecting $289,597. She made the Non-Pro finals at the 2014 NCHA Futurity, took Reserve in the Derby Open at the 2015 Breeder’s Invitational, was first at the 2016 Bonanza in the Open and won the 2016 Breeder’s Invitational Classic Open, consistently making the finals at top shows throughout her career.
Zeus, another Dual Rey, rounds out his dam’s top four earners with $102,142. Of the 26 AQHA-registered foals Kitty produced, 20 are money-earners so far, collecting $1.3 million total for an average of $68,723. Nine of those 20 have won more than $50,000 individually and four boast more than $100,000.
Kitty’s last foals have not yet hit the show pen, meaning the full impact of her legacy is yet to be felt. In 2016, she had three foals born — two Dual Reys and one Woody Be Tuff — and in 2017, two more Dual Reys. Her 2018 Dual Smart Rey colt is still pending registration with the AQHA, and she has two 2019 Dual Rey weanlings on the ground and two more Dual Reys in recipient mares for this year, too. Dean said he also has frozen embryos from the mare.
Already at No. 14 on the Dams chart in the 2018 Lifetime Cutting Statistics, time will tell just how big of a mark Kitty will leave on the industry.
“I think she was just a really great show mare,” Dean said. “She was smart and not out of position very often, so she was just a really good show mare for us. Tommy Marvin really had good success with her.
“As a producer, she has been excellent,” he added. “Almost all of her babies have earned money in the show pen, so it’s not like her production record is based on one or two that have earned a tremendous amount of money. I think that’s probably her legacy, that she was just a consistent producer.”