Chantz Stewart has competed in reining, barrels and roped a few different ways, but this year the versatile non-pro found success at the National Reined Cow Horse Association (NRCHA) Stallion Stakes.
Stewart, of Cave Creek, Arizona, rode Cowsmackin (Smooth As A Cat x Esthers Rita x Dual Pep) to the NRCHA Stallion Stakes Amateur Championship on Wednesday at the South Point Hotel, Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Their composite of 626.5 (204 herd/209.5 rein/213 cow) also qualified for the Non-Pro, Intermediate and Novice Non-Pro finals. Stewart, who showed extensively while attending Texas Christian University, went into the show with a positive outlook.
“Same as I always approach every show – just keep trying to do the best I can,” she said. “It didn’t start off exactly how I wanted, but luckily when I went down the fence he was there when I called on him.”
Their strong fence run of 213, her best score in the preliminary rounds, helped make up for a mistake Stewart said she made in the herd work. She was quick to take responsibility, deflecting blame from “Smackin.”
“It was more me than him,” she said. “I just didn’t get cut quite clean enough. He was good.”
They banked $1,904 for the win in the Amateur. On Saturday, they added another $2,643 to their Equi-Stat records in the Non-Pro, Intermediate Non-Pro and Novice Non-Pro finals.
The wins pushed Stewart’s lifetime earnings past the $35,000 mark. Although she didn’t start out showing cow horses, she soon followed her parents, Rod and Lissa, into the sport.
“I started off reining when I was about 8,9 years old and quickly was bored with that and started cowhorsing,” she said. “I ended up roping, and I went to school, showed reiners, quit cowhorsing for four years, [and] went back to it just a couple years ago.”
Although she’s glad to be back showing cow horses, don’t expect Stewart to give up her passion for other disciplines. In fact, Smackin might get to add a little variety to his life in the future.
“I’ll probably eventually start roping on him, just because everything I own normally turns into a rope horse,” Stewart said.
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