By: Brittany Bevis
It’s slightly ironic that Joni Nelson won a Congress Championship title in the NSBA 3 and 4-Year-Old Open Trail Stakes on a horse named Too Hot To Frisk, on a morning when it’s snowing at the Congress. It was certainly enough of an oxymoron to provide Nelson with a good laugh as she attempted to prepare “Tadpole” today in the 37 degree weather.
“I thought he was very good,” she says. “He was real snorty and fresh [when we practiced] outside, because it’s so cold and it’s snowing. I was thinking, ‘this is not going to be good…’ But he went out and showed great. He was wonderful. He listened to my feet, and he was great.”
Tadpole is a four-year-old gelding by Blazing Hot that was purchased as a two-year-old from a client in Jay and Kristy Starnes’ barn. Actually, the horse was Kristy Starnes’ Equine Chronicle Congress Masters mount just two years ago.
“We bought him for a hunt seat all-around horse, and he’s turned out to be a great trail horse,” Nelson says. “Reid Thomas’s customer just bought him last month, so the World Show will be my last time showing him. I will miss him so much. I love him. He does all the events very well, and he’s so pretty. He is also great-minded. We just absolutely love him.”
This win is especially bittersweet for Nelson, because it marks the last Congress she will compete at with Tadpole. After the AQHA World Show next month, the gelding will go to his new home in Reid Thomas’s barn.
Before letting Nelson go, we had to ask her how this particular horse received his amphibian-themed nickname. As it turns out, there is quite a touching story behind it.
“The owner that bought him, when I went to look at him, had a horse named Toad,” she says. “Unfortunately, we had to put him down, so we named this one Tadpole, because he had to grow into a Toad.”
Tadpole has a busy week ahead at the Congress. He will be showing in the very next class, Novice Amateur Equitation, with his new owner, Juliana Carlisle. He will also compete in the Novice Amateur Hunter Under Saddle.
NSBA Three and Four-Year-Old Open Trail Stakes:
1-Too Hot To Frisk/Joni Nelson
2- Unfaithfully Good/Garry McAllister
3-Simply One Hot/Bruce Vickery
4-Smartly Packaged/Kellie Hinely
5-Smooth and Chocolate/Whitney Lagace
6-The Publication/Mark Dunham
7-Surely Im Sultry Hot/Whitney Lagace
8-Hot Star/Ryan Cottinghim
9-Lover Treat Me Good/Carmen Moss
10-Some Kinda Lazy/Joni Nelson