The story of Pimped Up Cat starts with his Dam, a mare that Lloyd & Carlee Neilsen imported in 2010, called Dainty Pepto Girl.
Lloyd Neilsen saw an opportunity to bring top class genetics into Australia in 2010, when the US was experiencing an economic downturn, resulting in a number of notable horse breeders selling a lot of their stock. Lloyd was keen to buy a broodmare and searched high and low for a mare with the right breeding. Fortunately, when Lloyd found a prospect, Vince Bonello was in the US and able to bid on his behalf at a sale in Texas. When the bidding was underway, Lloyd was linked up while in a meeting back home in Australia. It turns out that the noisy meeting room environment would play a hand in Lloyd’s purchase.
When the bidding got to $50,000 Lloyd said to Vince, ‘that’s me done’, but Vince didn’t hear him and kept bidding. She was knocked down to Lloyd for $55,000 US which he said felt like a kings’ ransom at the time. “Lucky for me though, because if it wasn’t so noisy he would have stopped bidding”.
The mare, called Dainty Pepto Girl, was in foal to Dual Rey. She foaled out in the US and then Lloyd set about breeding her to High Brow Cat. “At the time High Brow Cat over Peptoboonsmal mares was the hottest thing out”.
High Brow Cat was getting on in years by this stage and that breeding from chilled semen was unsuccessful. The mare was booked to come home to Australia when Lloyd got a call that he could access frozen High Brow Cat semen. He delayed her flights and quarantine. The breeding was successful and she was 45 days in foal when she went into quarantine in the US, before boarding a flight for Australia.
The colt foal was born in late February, having been bred in the US breeding season. He was a stunning foal with a lot of white on him (coming from Smart Little Lena on both sides of his lineage). Lloyd knew that this colt foal, with his genetics would one day enter a competitive breeding market, because he is very closely related in blood to Metallic Cat; being out of a Peptoboonsmal mare, and having a Freckles Playboy granddam and Smart Little Lena great-granddam.
Lloyd named the colt Pimped Up Cat, but refers to him simply as ‘Mr Cat’.
Lloyd gave Pimped Up Cat his first few rides, then sent him to Glen Jones to continue his foundation. Glen commented that after 2 weeks of riding, he felt like a 3-year-old. He was mentally very mature and trainable. From there the horse went home to undergo cutting training with Lloyd.
“I took him as far as I thought I could before he needed to go to Todd Graham”. He finished the final year of his Futurity preparation with Todd. “He really liked him a lot, and thought he was a really trainable horse with a lot of stop and a lot of cow”.
Being born in February is a challenging start for a Futurity prospect in Australia. They are 6 months behind right from the start, started 6 months later and consequently enter the Futurity with 6 months less training than the average Australian-bred horse. Pimped Up Cat was fortunately very trainable, had good bone and is a good size. He handled it well but Lloyd felt he needed some more maturity before hitting his stride.
Lloyd made the NCHA Non Pro Futurity final, however the Open Futurity didn’t go to plan when the first cow Todd Graham cut ducked straight under the horses neck. For both Lloyd and Todd this was devastating, even though they knew the horse had a bright future. Lloyd was shattered, saying “I just put my head in my hands”.
We knew he was a good horse, and had been competitive all the way trough. After the NCHA Futurity there weren’t too many finals that he missed. In his Derby year, Pimped Up Cat hit his straps and among his results he finished 3rd in the Open Derby at Comet, and 2nd at Goondiwindi.
By his second Classic Challenge year, Lloyd was showing him more in the Non Pro events, wanting to enjoy showing him as much as possible before he finished aged events. His last big event was the NCHA Non Pro Classic Challenge, which he won. That is no easy feat, the Classic Challenge is always full of top level show-horses that are seasoned competitors.
“You can’t make any mistakes in the Classic if you want to final. To win it is a huge achievement”.
In 2020, Pimped Up Cat officially retired as a cutting horse and was sent to Steve Comiskey to prepare for his future camprafting. While Lloyd recognises that a lot of cutting stallions go that way, he would not have sent Pimped Up Cat if he didn’t truly believe he was capable of camprafting at a high level. “I think he is perfectly suited to it. Steve Comiskey also thinks a lot of him”.
Covid put a stop to 2020 events so Pimped Up Cat stayed with Steve Comiskey and didn’t enter his first campdraft until April 2021. He has had only a few starts as of mid 2021 and will continue to campdraft.
Lloyd says that he always knew Pimped Up Cat would cross over well to campdrafting. “He has a big stretch and a good stride, we knew he would be able to draft. He is a good size and finer than the average QH. He has a lot of integrity and never has had any tricks about him.
His potential as a sire is so great – he has size, a great nature, a big stop and he is cowy. He has a lot to offer both cutting and campdrafting”.
Pimped Up Cat was joined to a handful of mares as a 4-year-old and his oldest progeny are now 3-year-olds in 2021. They are all noticeably good-minded and extremely trainable like their sire. They are quiet to break in, move nicely, have their sire’s big stop, and are a good size. The progeny are soft and willing to help you, like their sire.
It is a case of ‘watch this space’. The Pimped Up Cat story is just getting warmed up, and everyone who has had anything to do with him is eager to be part of his journey as his progeny start competing.