When Elizabeth and Todd Quirk, the young married couple, drew up in the difficult last bunch of horses on Tuesday, she kidded about giving him advice.
“I gave him all the cows I didn’t cut,” she joked. “I told him all about them. I told him he needed to cut this cow first and this cow second.”
Todd responded: “Now she’s lying. She didn’t give me her list.”
Todd Quirk didn’t need any additional help in the Classic Non-Pro go-round. He and Cats In Ya Dreams marked 215.5, while Elizabeth and Rubys Firefly posted 214, the Quirks each advancing to the finals.
Brandon Dufurrena and Nievas grabbed the lead on the next-to-last run in the 50-horse competition, marking 217.5 to edge Elizabeth Queen and Lil Sting Rey (217). Jason McClure and Freckles Meow marked 216.5.
The top 15 horses with scores of 214 or better advance to Friday’s finals.
“It was kind of survival mode down there,” Todd Quirk said. “The cows weren’t honoring the horses real well. I was just trying to get through it without making any penalties. The bubble’s not real high. So I wasn’t trying to be a superstar.”
Quirk married his fiancee of two years, Elizabeth Brumbaugh, on Oct. 27, a bye week on the Louisiana State University football schedule.
Quirk changed the name of his operation to Ten/27 Ranch to coincide with his wedding date.
With the marriage, the Ten/27 Ranch doubled in size – he had his horses, she brought her broodmares. They now have 10 to 12 show horses, 20 to 30 total.
“We’ve got a lot of babies and we’re going to have a lot of foals this year,” he said. “It grew over night.”
The 28-year-old Quirk, of Denham Springs, La., works in the family business, which owns and operates nursing homes in Louisiana. Elizabeth, who holds a Master’s of Finance degree from Texas A&M, was working for an investment firm in Fort Worth, Texas, until she got married.
Last year, Todd Quirk had his eye on Cats In Ya Dreams, buying him from Australian cutters Ian and Billie Buckeridge after April’s NCHA Super Stakes. Cats In Ya Dreams is a 6-year-old gelding by High Brow Cat out of Dreams of Oak.
“He was one I always wanted,” Quirk said. “I liked his athleticism. He’s just so talented. He’s always been an excellent horse with Austin (Shepard) in the open. I thought he’d make a great non-pro horse.”