Cade Shepard entered three horses in the 4-Year-Old Non-Pro at The Ike, but it was family favorite Skeeter Pop who carried him to victory.
The Summerdale, Alabama, rider and homebred mare marked a winning 223 in the finals on Friday, Feb. 5, at The Ike Hamilton Arena in West Monroe, Louisiana.
Earlier in the week the duo marked 220 in both first and second go-rounding, tying them for second heading into the clean-slate finals.
“She was very consistent,” he said. “We got good cows and she cut everything smooth.”
Shepard has trained “Skeeter,” who is a daughter of the family’s top-producing mare, MH San Tules Dually (by San Tule Freckles). The 4-year-old by Kit Kat Sugar is a maternal half-sister to the winners of nearly $900,000, including top cutters Bamacat ($352,194, by High Brow Cat); Christy Hughes ($180,299, by Thomas E Hughes); Bama Dawg ($119,068, by High Brow Cat).
“I rode Skeeter’s Mom as a youth and it’s been fun to ride Skeeter since we bred, raised and broke her,” said Shepard, who thanked his parents, herd help and his girlfriend for helping him at the show. “She is consistent, smooth and cowy.”
Skeeter’s debut came last December at the National Cutting Horse Association Futurity (NCHA) with Cade’s younger sister, Caylee. That duo made the finals of the Limited Non-Pro, making the filly a money-earning cutting horse with $7,762 on her Equi-Statrecord.
At The Ike, nearly every member of the Shepard family showed Skeeter Pop. Cade and Caylee’s dad, Austin, finished in a tie for fourth in the 4-Year-Old Open Novice Horse. Caylee showed her in the 4-Year-Old Novice Non-Pro – and was a mere half point away from making the finals.
Combined with her victory with Cade in West Monroe, Skeeter Pop now has lifetime earnings of more than $24,298 in earnings.
“She’s a family horse and she is easy and fun to ride,” Cade said.