Leaders lead in Calgary

July 6th, 2018

Hashtags, ridden by Tatum Rice. James Hudyma photo.

Both divisions of the Mercuria NCHA World Series of Cutting at the Calgary Stampede went to the current leader in the NCHA World Standings. Hashtags, ridden by Tatum Rice in the Open and Elizabeth Quirk on Kattalyst in the Non-Pro each won by big margins.

Hall of Fame Rider Rice and Hashtags marked 228 to win over Brent Erickson and Spookys Catchin Reys with 221.

Hashtags, who won four major limited age events last year, has already won at the Breeders Invitational and The Bonanza in 2018. He brought a lead of $12,000 in the World Standings to Calgary where he picked up another $9,600.

The 5-year-old stallion is by Metallic Cat out of Dual Rey Tag, a daughter of NCHA Super Stakes champion Playin Tag. Hashtags was bred by Jim Haworth and is owned by Hashtag Ventures of Weatherford, Texas. He has earned more than $350,000.

In second place, Spookys Catchin Reys was ridden by Brent Erickson for Jeff Barnes of Wilton, California. The 7-year-old mare was bred by Iron Rose Ranch by Dual Rey, out of Spookys Cash, a mare that Barnes bred and rode to take the reserve championship in the 2003 Non-Pro Super Stakes.

Elizabeth Quirk on Kattalyst. James Hudyma photo.

In the Non-Pro division, Elizabeth Quirk of Denham Springs, Louisiana, set a record by becoming the first Non-Pro to win three consecutive Mercuria NCHA World Series titles.

In Calgary, she marked 227 to win on Kattalyst, with Kylie Rice taking second on Snap Crackle Cat with a 222.

Previously, Quirk had ridden Cat Sheree to be co-champion (with Bill Cowan) at The Mane Event, and tri-champion (with Cowan and Jill Roth) at the Pacific Coast Derby. Only two other Non-Pros, Elizabeth Queen in 2009 and Dan Hansen in 2011, had won three Mercurias in a single year, but their triples were not in consecutive events. Among Open competitors, Phil Rapp and Dont Look Twice strung together three Mercurias in a row in 2012, as did Matt Gaines and Special Nu Baby in 2015.

Quirk, who entered the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame last year, is currently leading the NCHA Non-Pro World Standings. She was NCHA Senior Youth World Champion in 2007.

Kattalyst is a 6-year-old mare bred by Alvin and Becky Fults by Metallic Cat out of Hottness. Adan Banuelos showed Kattalyst to a reserve championship in the NCHA Super Stakes Classic this spring, while Quirk was also a Non-Pro finalist with the mare at that event. Kattalyst is a direct descendant of NCHA Derby champion Shesa Playmate and NCHA Futurity champion Lenaette.

Snap Crackle Cat is a 9-year-old gelding by High Brow Cat out of Dualsnap.