Union youths continue to prove tough enough at nationals
Along with older sisters Kate and Brook, Chase, of Union, competed at the 15th Annual Youth National Arabian and Half Arabian Championship Horse Show last July. The week-long event was held at the Expo in Albuquerque, N.M., and attended by more than 30,000 people.
Competing in the Arabian Country English Pleasure Walk/Trot for age 10 and under class, Chase took first place.
"Chase came home with a beautiful bronze trophy, roses, ribbons and a National Champion jacket. That means he went undefeated in 2007 — not bad for a little guy from Union. The girls both brought home National Top Tens in their classes, as well. I'm so proud of them all," said Beth Stewart, the trio's mother.
Chase rode Huckleberry Blues, an Arabian owned by father Doug Stewart, Junction City. Horse and rider impressed the three-judge panel, which all tapped the pair as first pick for champions in their class.
Last year, the Stewart kids had their first taste of the big dance when they spent the summer qualifying to compete at the 2006 Youth Arabian Nationals. They did.
Kate competed in both the junior to ride and junior owner to ride in the 13 and under age class and made it as a finalist in the top 10 in both competitions. Brooke competed in the half-Arabian walk/trot western pleasure competition for the 10 and under class and made it into the top 16.
Last year, Chase competed in the Arabian walk/trot country pleasure for 10 and under and also made it to the final top 10. But this year, the young horseman took his summer's worth of hard work and rode it all the way to the top.
More than 1,000 horses from across the United States and Canada competed in 124 classes in a wide variety of disciplines at 2007 youth nationals. The 4,000-member Arabian Horse Youth Association across the U.S. and Canada makes up approximately 10 percent of the Arabian Horse Association.