Elizabeth Stevens has been riding horses since she was 18 months old, but the Evans resident has been riding competitively only since January 2003.
Elizabeth Stevens, 17, is in the Athlete Spotlight.
Photo by Andrew Davis Tucker
Considering she is one of the best quarter horse riders in the country, her limited experience is impressive.
"She hasn't been riding as long as some of the other competitors," said her mother Kay Stevens. "I'm proud that she has come so far in so little time."
Stevens, 17, recently returned from Fort Worth, Texas, where she competed in the American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship show.
"It was a pretty big deal," the Westminster High School senior said.
Stevens made the finals in the equitation over fences event with her horse, Royal Evening Star. She finished fourth out of 65.
Stevens has had Royal Evening Star, a 14-year-old gelding, for nearly two years. With Royal Evening Star, the pair starting winning in January of 2003.
Stevens won the equitation over fences, hunter hack and working hunter events at the Florida Gold Coast Circuit in January 2003.
She followed that with three more first place finishes in April at a weekend competition in Camden, S.C. She won eight first place finishes at a show in Venice, Fla. in October 2003. The Venice show was preparation for the All American Quarter Horse Congress in Columbus, Ohio in mid-October.
"The Quarter Horse Congress is the largest horse show in the world," Stevens said. "I was tremendously excited for that show."
She finished third in working hunter and 10th in equitation over fences.
"That was a tremendous win for Elizabeth," said Kay.
Stevens was given the High Point Award for Georgia after her 2003 performance, but she took off from riding most of 2004.
An honor student and member of the French and Beta Clubs at Westminster, Stevens headed to Florida in June to work with her trainer, Clay Farrell, to prepare for the Fort Worth show. After the competition, Royal Evening Star went back to Florida to work with Farrell to get ready for a Florida show at the Quarter Horse Congress.
"I really want to do well at this year's Quarter Horse Congress," Stevens said. "That is definitely a goal."
She said another goal is to secure a equestrian scholarship for college, something that former Lakeside student Sarah Lowe did at South Carolina..
"I am looking at Georgia and College of Charleston," Stevens said. "I am really working hard to earn a scholarship."
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