From the February 1993 Journal © MFTHBA
by Erin Stevens
My name is Erin Stevens. I’m 10 years old. I live in Shelbyville, Illinois. My parents are Tony and Debbie Robertson. I’ve been riding my black pony, Mamie, all my life. She taught me to ride. I’ve been riding Fox Trotters for about four years. The first one I rode was my Mom’s horse, Lady. I like riding her because she was so smooth. When I was seven, I got to take her to our Fair Show and we won two trophies. I rode her on trails, too. Sometimes I-rode my Grandma Lu’s horse, Gold. She was a pretty palomino Fox Trotter. I loved to canter on her! Then I started riding Rose. She also belonged to my Grandma and Grandpa Robertson. We decided to buy her. Lu said we could.
My horse; Missouri Gamblin Rose .A.M. is my best show horse. She is a six year old chestnut. Rose is by Missouri Gambler out of Lad’s Fancy Jewel. She is very natural and. has a good disposition. She is not only a good show horse, but is a good mother too. Mom says it takes a really good horse to be able to be a broodmare and top show horse at the same time. Rose has had three colts now. This year she had a pretty palomino and he is mine! I was so excited. He seemed so little with such long legs and such a cute face. He already trots good and shakes his head! I think he is going to make a pretty good show horse. My colt’s name is Gamblin For Gold. He is by my Grandpa Robbie’s stallion Robbie’s Zane’s Pride, who is by Pride of Princess S.
I was so excited to go to Ava this year. I wondered if we were going to get there though. Our truck broke in East St. Louis. We got to ride in a police car and Rose got pulled by a tow truck! We had to stay overnight at a man’s junkyard. Tony worked on the truck all night long. Robbie and Lu saved the day by bringing him parts all the way from Illinois. We finally got to Ava Monday afternoon.
Rose and I won the 1991 Ladies Costume Class at Ava. A lot of people remembered us from the Sidesaddle Class last year. Some people thought that I shouldn’t take Rose in that class again because we won last year. I should keep my title without getting beat. But I love to go in the Costume class and I love to ride Rose. She’s my show horse. So we entered anyway. Tuesday night it rained so they had to have the class on Wednesday. That day .I was in the stall with Rose and I was talking to her. I told her something my Grandpa Robbie told me once. I said “No matter what we place, you’re No. l!” I used my Grandma Lu’s sidesaddle again this year. My grandpa and grandma, Don and Betty Bridges bought my dress and purse at an antique store. Grandpa Don gave me good luck dollar for my purse (He always does!). Mom made ribbons and flowers for Rose to wear. Grandma Betty made my hat. My dress was from the 1920’s and shoes were from the 1930’s. It was fun getting all dressed up. Rose doesn’t care how many decorations we put on her. I think she likes it too! I still remember waiting -in the practice arena looking at all the ladies in their beautiful dresses. I was pretty nervous. My dress wasn’t as fancy as theirs, but was original. Rose worked good in the class. I was shocked to hear my number called for 1st place. I even had tears my eyes. I wasn’t sure they would let me win again this year. I’m glad they did. Grana Lu bought me a championship jacket again this year. On our way to order it, a nice man came up to us. His name was Quinton Middleton. He ‘gave me a dollar and told me he enjoyed watching me win as much as winning himself. It-made me nappy.
Rose and I did good in our other classes too. We got 3rd in Jr. Exhibitor (11 and under); 8th in Out of States; and 5th in Jr. Championship. I was so tired Friday night waiting for the Jr. Championship Class that I fell asleep on the bleacher, I think we showed around midnight. I was so cold I had to wear Tony’s coast in the DQP arena. The second we went in the gate I woke up and we went to work. Rose worked her best that night Tony even said so. Maybe because we practiced late at night at home.
Saturday was one of my favorite days. I just rode around the grounds for hours with some of my friends. It was nice to just relax! I was proud to carry the Illinois flag Saturday night. I hope we can do it again next year. -:
My step-father, Tony, has taught me a lot about riding Fox Trotters. He helps me and is my coach. Sometimes we get tired and a little mad at each other, but Rose and I are learning a lot. Tony just wants us to do our best. Showing is hard work but when we’re at the show it’s worth it!
It always makes me so excited and happy to think about going to Ava. I can’t wait till next year. Rose and I will be there. We will be working hard because my dream is to someday win a garland at Ava!
From the February 1993 Journal © MFTHBA