GoHorseShow is sad to report the unexpected passing of World Champion Suddenly A Good Time (Stuart) due to heart failure. The 2002 red roan gelding by A Sudden Impulse and out of Goodliness was owned and loved by Stefanie Pullin Austin of Conroe, Texas.
The duo won the AQHA World Championship in Amateur Horsemanship in 2009 and placed in the Top 10 several times in the Western Riding and Showmanship at the AQHA World Show.
According to Stefanie, trainer Curtis Reynolds was the first person to mention that there was a nice roan gelding that she needed to go check out at Pete Garcia's barn in Ocala, Florida.
"I tried a few other horses in the area before riding him. He was my last horse to try before flying back home. I immediately fell in love and I knew I had to have him," Stefanie recalls. "He was young and a little immature looking but very cute. He had the typical, 'Roanie' name for a roan-colored horse, but we decided that he was too special to have such an unoriginal name."
Stefanie continues, "The girls in the barn at the time were trying to help us come up with something cute and catchy. Finally, one day, Ashley Rodriguez comes to me and says you know he is kind of small and I know he is growing but he reminds me of 'Stuart Little'--the famous mouse in the movies. So of course we all giggled and the name stuck. As he grew up and wasn't so small anymore, we ended up dropping the 'Little' part and he became known as 'Stuart.'"
Pullin showed Stuart for four years where the team earned over $20,000 in awards and amassed over 550 points. In 2011, Pullin decided to show at the World Show but then retire to begin a new life with her soon-to-be husband and his three boys.
"I wanted the boys to have their own horse so we decided to keep Stuart as our family horse. They enjoyed the summers and weekends with him. He was so good to the boys. They could climb on him while being in the pasture," she remembers. "They could crawl under him, play with his tail, lay in the grass with Stuart grazing, and he would simply step over them to go where he wanted. We have all thoroughly enjoyed having Stuart in our lives. He will be missed everyday."
While Stefanie was writing down some of her thoughts about her beloved gelding, the urn with his ashes was delivered to her home. "It was a very emotional moment," she says. "One of the hardest things for me is to see his empty stall. It took me a week to even walk through the barn. However, my peace of mind comes from knowing that he is being well taken care of by my mother (Bobbi Pullin) who passed away in 2008."