Nina Gill Stewart, athlete

Nina Gill Stewart, an equestrienne and athlete, died of cancer Monday at her Unionville, Pa., home. The former Glyndon resident was 71.

Born in Baltimore and raised at Meadow Run, her parents' home in Glyndon, she was the daughter of Redmond C. Stewart, a lawyer who owned Grand National steeplechase champion Ben Nevis II, and Ann Cochran Stewart, a fox hunter.

She attended the Calvert School and was a 1959 Garrison Forest School graduate. She also earned a diploma at the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Va., and made her debut at the Bachelors Cotillion the same year.

In the 1950s, she rode with the Green Spring Valley Hounds. She also competed in numerous tennis tournaments. Family members said she was "a ferocious competitor."

She was the master of hounds for Mr. Stewart's Cheshire Hounds, a great uncle's pack in Unionville. Family members said she enjoyed spending her summers in Northeast Harbor in Maine, where she took guests on island picnics. She was an accomplished boater.

"She loved the Maryland timber races and three of her children won the Hunt Cup, two as riders, another as a trainer," said her nephew, Charles Fenwick.

She also skied regularly and played golf at the Elkridge Club and the Green Spring Valley Club.

A life celebration will be held at 11 a.m. July 1 at 196 Greenlawn Road in Cochranville, Pa.

Survivors include a son, Redmond Stewart Strawbridge of Portland, Maine; two daughters, Sanna Hendriks of Coatesville, Pa., and Katherine Neilson of Unionville, Pa.; two sisters, Ann Donnell Stewart of Cockeysville and Kathy Ingalls of Chagrin Falls, Ohio; and 10 grandchildren. She was formerly married to Louis Neilson III and George Strawbridge.

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