Earning Equestrian Royalty: Rodeo Queen Campaigns on Rescued Arabian

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Sterling as he appeared at the time of his arrival at the rescue ranch in January.

It's been a long Sunday; I have been checking stories about horses from Sunday papers around the world, thanks to the Internet.

My favorite story this week is from Kansas, where fourteen-year-old Paxton Kerley won the competition to be the 2008 Chautauqua County Rodeo Queen. Paxton gives the credit to her horse, Sterling, a 26-year-old Arabian.

Riding such an elderly steed is worthy of praise in my book, but the story only begins with the horse's age.

Paxton borrowed Sterling from Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue and Retirement Inc. of Sedan, Kansas, where she is a volunteer.

Six months ago, Sterling was rescued from a neglectful owner and judged by veterinarians to be near death. He had teeth problems, worm problems, hoof problems and was severely underweight.

Talk about a makeover! Someone call Disney! This great story is told in today's Winfield Daily Courier. Click here to read about Paxton and Sterling's rise to royalty, and feel better about kids and horses and the world in general.

Paxton and Sterling training for the rodeo queen competition six months after his rescue. He is awaiting adoption and was loaned to Paxton, who volunteers at the rescue ranch.