Don Stewart has been bringing students to the Washington International Horse Show for years. He runs Don Stewart Stables in Ocala, Fla., home to more than 65 horses. The hunter/jumper stable competes year-round across the nation and is dedicated to training the best young riders.
What are some of your biggest accomplishments at the Washington International?
I am the only stable that has trained a double grand champion. In 2001, we had a horse named Hilton, who was both Grand Champion Open Hunter and Grand Champion Junior Hunter with my daughter, Erin.
What has it been like having your daughter compete at WIHS?
Well, that’s always fun and rewarding. She was Best Child Rider there twice, in 2001 and 2002. We had a Grand Champion Pony Hunter, Buffalo Soldier, with Best Child Rider Paige Dekko. Paige also was Grand Champion Pony Hunter again with her pony Mokoo Jumbee in 2006. We’ve had champions at Washington since 1985.
What do you like about competing in Washington, D.C?
The restaurants … Ruth’s Chris Steak House. It’s close to the show and has the best steaks around.
What do you think about competing in the city?
I find it very, very difficult, but exciting at the same time.
Will you be attending the show this year?