McKenzie Merrill won the NCHA Derby Limited Non-Pro Derby back in 1999 on Roobun, whose sire and dam were both out of Reserve World Champion Doc’s Starlight.
On Friday, she won the same event on Kausac Kat, marking 219 as the first rider, to win by three and a half points over Austin Adams on Pur Tee. Merrill’s 1999 paycheck was $2,588. This year, she collected $8,430.
Kausac Kat was bred by Ronald Dowdy by Smooth As A Cat out of Lenas Tangygirl, by Lenas Telesis. Lenas Tangygirl is from the family of million-dollar sire Tangys Classy Peppy.
Russell Harrison developed Kausac Kat and Merrill’s trainer, Grant Setnicka, put the horse on his radar at the NCHA Futurity. Merrill got him this spring, and won the Cattlemen’s Derby Limited Non-Pro, as well as placing fifth in the Cattlemen’s Non-Pro finals.
Merrill, who had shifted her focus to reined cowhorse competition between her NCHA Derby Limited Non-Pro wins, said, “I was more nervous than usual, but he just felt ‘on’ tonight.”
Kausac Kat’s earnings will go over $19,000 with his latest paycheck.
Austin Adams marked 215.5 for the reserve championship on Pur Tee, a daughter of Cat T Masterson and Purdy Aristocrat, by Smart Aristocrat, bred by Jack and Susan Waggoner.
Adams was an NCHA Futurity Non-Pro finalist on the mare and won the Abilene Spectacular and Arbuckle Mountain Limited Non-Pro on her. Pur Tee comes out of the Derby with earnings of more than $95,000.