For Illinois cutter Shae Forby, 15, winning at Jackson was far more significant than collecting a Championship title and buckle. Competing at the NCHA Eastern National Championships, presented by 6666 Ranch, Shae rode Cats Miller Time to a 214.5 to place first in the $2,000 Limited Rider division.
Shae’s parents, Jason and Sarah, own a cutting horse operation in Goreville, Ill. Jason is a professional trainer. Tragedy struck in January of 2011 when a faulty refrigerator caught fire and set the family’s barn ablaze. Everything was lost – tack, equipment and Jason’s livelihood. Only one horse survived. Treated for severe burns, that horse – Cats Cant Dance – recovered, and he was shown in the $15,000 Amateur at Jackson with Elvis Cameron.
According to Shae’s grandfather, Kenny Forby, Cats Miller Time is the first “legitimate” horse that Shae has had since the fire. Kenny couldn’t have been happier after watching his granddaughter top her division.
“It’s more than just a win – it’s extra special,” he said with a big grin. “This is really the first good horse she’s had since the fire. I bought this horse for both of us to show. But Shae’s done so well with him that I’m going to let her have him. She earned him.”
Cats Miller Time (High Brow Cat x Little Smashed x Peppy San Badger) is a 6-year-old gelding bred by Rodney Sharp. Kenny said that Tommy Marvin was the horse’s original trainer. Matthew Dedden showed Cats Miller Time to success, including winning the Rios of Mercedes Amateur division at the 2013 NCHA Summer Spectacular. After his recent win at Jackson, Cats Miller Time has right at $25,000 in earnings.
Kenny purchased the horse last December. Cats Miller Time was in the process of enjoying a little down time in the pasture at Nick Pilcher’s place in Indiana. The gelding had long hair and no shoes. Kenny looked at the gelding, and then asked Dedden if he could try the horse for 30 days before writing a check.
“The horse has just got so much ability and talent. I knew that Nick could get that out of him,” Kenny said. “Nick has done a wonderful job with him and I’m tickled to death. That horse is so athletic. He’s got so much personality. He’s a 6-year-old now, but he’s got the brain of a 4-year-old. He wants to play, and I just really like that.”
Shae was thrilled with how Cats Miller Time performed Jackson. The horse certainly came to town on their final cut, which presented quite a challenge.
“I felt him really stop hard a couple of times,” Shae said about how her horse handled the determined steer. “The third cow made me a little nervous – it was running a lot, more than I wanted it to. But I really like the way this horse works, and he’s got a good personality.”
Reserve in the $2,000 Limited Rider division was shared by riders who marked identical 214 scores. Kristyn Kleeman, Madill, Okla., rode Imaginerey (Dual Rey x Peek A Boon x Smart Little Lena), a 7-year-old mare bred by Double Dove Ranch. Sandra Halliday Patton from Ohio competed on Magic Abbie (Abrakadabracre x Little Peppy Polka x Peppy San Badger), a 10-year-old mare bred by Mark Stucks.
Patton also tied with Kelsie Archer and Need A Nurse Now, owned by Larry and Karon Sullivant, to win the go-round of the $2,000 Limited Rider with a 215.5. Both ladies received a $100 gift certificate, courtesy of Circle S of Summerdale, Ala.