Todd Quirk has Reystylin Smooth to thank for a lot of his career highlights, and now he has the gelding to thank for a major win at the Kit Kat Sugar National Cutting Horse Association (NCHA) Super Stakes.
The gelding, known as “Levi,” and Quirk marked a 223 on Friday, April 16, to take the 6/7-Year-Old Championship at Will Rogers Coliseum. It’s just the latest in a line of accomplishments for the horse, who also has competed successfully with Quirk’s wife, Elizabeth, and trainer, Adan Banuelos.
“This horse has meant a lot to me,” Quirk said. “I bought him as a 4-year-old and then Elizabeth showed him in the world finals last year and won a World title on him. Adan has also had a lot of success. This horse is a lifer at my house, and he’s been really special to all of us.”
If forced to put pen to paper, Quirk estimates Levi has carried him to 60-70% of his lifetime earnings. People often ask if the gelding is for sale. Quirk’s answer is always the same: “Let me show you the oak tree where he will be buried here. He’s just one of those horses.”
“He’s got something mentally. He reads a cow and does things that you just can’t teach,” he said. “A cow might try to trick him, but he makes two to three turns back and forth before you realize what direction he’s going.”
This was Quirk’s last chance to go for a Non-Pro win at the Super Stakes. Technically, it should have been last year, but when COVID-19 forced organiers to the event it threatened to erase the final year of eligibility for aged horses.
The NCHA tried to mitigate that by allowing 7-year-old horses to compete in this year’s NCHA Super Stakes. As an aged event, the Super Stakes is typically only open to horses ages 4, 5 and 6.
“It was huge for NCHA to allow these horses to come back as 7-year-olds in the second leg of the Triple Crown,” Quirk said. “I appreciate the NCHA for making the extra effort to make it work.”
Quirk plans to enter weekend shows with Levi with hopes of staying in the Top 15 for a chance to ride at the NCHA World Finals in Fort Worth. The NCHA World Finals are held in conjunction with the NCHA Futurity show.
“I know how what it takes to win a World title and I have no desire to do that but to ride him in the World Finals would be a lot of fun,” said Quirk, whose lifetime Equi-Stat record is now more than $758,000. “All of our horses have done really well here and all the credit goes to Adan for that.”
A son of Equi-Stat Elite $30 Million Sire Smooth As A Cat, Reystylin Smooth is out of Rey N Style (by Dual Smart Rey). The first-place paycheck of $20,902 pushed his lifetime earnings of more than $324,476 — which unofficially made him the second-leading earner for his sire.