Kittennish and Austin Shepard * Photo by Scootem N Shootem Photography

Kittennish and Austin Shepard continue Horse of the Year Campaign in Las Vegas

A cutting horse’s 4-year-old show schedule can be strenuous, starting with the 2022 National Cutting Horse Futurity in the fall, and carrying on through a fall and summer of traveling. Kittennish and Austin Shepard are no strangers to the road. Especially as they near the end of Kittennish’s 4-year-old season.

Earlier this month, the pair took home a championship from the Cotton Stakes in West Monroe, La. Close to home for EquiStat Elite $10 Million Rider Shepard. Their campaign has also included stops in Texas, Oklahoma, Georgia, and Nevada. If all goes as planned, they’ll make another stop in Texas for the Brazos Bash and possibly attend the Southern Cutting Futurity in Mississippi.

In the Horse of the Year race, Kittennish’s lead keeps growing.

The pair marked a 228 to win the 4-year-old Open at the Pacific Coast Cutting (PCCHA) Futurity, and increase their lead to 200 points. The mare by Hottish and out of Show Biz Kitty (High Brow Cat) took home $15,000 for owner Billy Wolf.

“She feels great, I mean she feels ready to go again,” Shepard said.

The amount of points a horse gains at any show is determined by the amount of horses entered in their class. During this year’s campaign, Phil N Dangerous (Hottish x Lil Maddy Rey x Dual Smart Rey) obtained the most points at a single show (200) when he won the futurity with Lindy Thorn aboard.

During the PCCHA Futurity, Shepard was happy with how she worked. The cattle he picked out were just the ones she needed.

“My first cow was a very good cow, it was my favorite cow and it challenged her pretty hard. It was fast and really got her serious,” Shepard said.

Fast cattle and another championship might just allow Kittennish to run away with the Horse of the Year title, but the pair will have to see what the Brazos Bash and Southern Cutting Futurity have in store.