Riding Skeeter Pop, by Kit Kat Sugar, Cade Shepard scored 223 points to win the 2021 Ike Hamilton Non-Pro Derby, on Friday, February 5. It was the fifth Ike Hamilton championship win for the 19-year-old Summerdale, Alabama youth, who claimed his first in the 2015 Non-Pro Limited showing Twistful Thinking LTE $280,813, the mare he would also show to win the 2017 Ike Non-Pro Classic, and who his father, Austin Shepard, would show to win the Ike Open that same year.
Shepard, the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $885,755, won both the 2018 Ike Non-Pro Derby and the 2018 Ike Classic showing homebred Bama Dawg LTE $119,701 and Christy Hughes LTE $177,839, respectively. He also collected Non-Pro reserve championships in 2015 with Twistful Thinking, and in 2016 on Christy Hughes.
In addition to his $11,529 winner’s share of the Non-Pro Derby purse, Shepard also collected $2,038, the top payout in the Non-Pro Novice with 440 cumulative points on Skeeter Pop LTE $9,826, and $1,529 for second, with 435 points on A Spot In Bama LTE $5,801, by Bama Cat.
Skeeter Pop, also a Shepard family homebred, earned her first paycheck as a 2020 NCHA Futurity Non-Pro Limited finalist with Cade’s younger sister, Caylee Shepard.
Cody Hedlund, Lipan, Tex., the NCHA Non-Pro Hall of Fame earner of $1,126,762, scored 216 points on Fancy Meteles LTE $24,578 for the Ike Derby Non-Pro reserve championship and a payout of $8,854. Hedlund and his Meteles Cat daughter had previously placed seventh in the NCHA Non-Pro Futurity.
Hedlund won the 2016 Ike Hamilton Non-Pro Classic on Meteles Cat LTE $433,565; Fancy Meteles is from Meteles Cat’s first full crop of foals. Hedlund also won the 2019 Ike Non-Pro Derby with Wood Ya Teles LTE $56,233, by Woody Be Tuff, and the 2019 Ike Non-Pro Classic with Teles One Time LTE $124,016, by One Time Royalty.
The 2021 Ike Hamilton Derby and Classic continues through Sunday, February 7.
To read more from Sally Harrison, visit her blog at sallyharrison.com.