A celebrity quarter horse whose distinguished career has included mounted patrol work and working as a university football team mascot has been honored with the inaugural “Horse Personality of the Year” award in New Jersey.
Lord Nelson, who is 42, picked up the honor at the recent New Jersey All Breed Luncheon, an event at which the state’s top horses and horsepeople were recognized.
The award to Lord Nelson in particular honors his commitment to education. His retirement as football team mascot several years ago saw him take on a new role with the Rutgers University’s Equine Science Center in 2010, becoming the subject of an interactive youth component of the center’s website.
His efforts include a popular blog written in the equine first person.
Lord Nelson’s award was given by the New Jersey Equine Advisory Board, a division of the state’s agriculture award.
Lord Nelson, whose blog lists his occupation as a professor, has enjoyed a colorful career since the Equine Science Center bought him in 1978 to help the university’s Department of Public Safety.
His first job was carrying out mounted patrol duties. He also carried the Scarlet Knight mascot at university football games.
One day, as he puts it in his blog, he became famous when he got excited, stepped on to the field, and became the only horse in history to receive a penalty in a football game.
Lord Nelson is said to be curious and mischievous. He prefers the outdoor life, so his caregivers are unwise to leave his stable door open.
He is a food connoisseur – although not especially fussy. Virtually nothing at a picnic is safe, his blog suggests. However, cheese puffs are said to be safe.
Lord Nelson earned his retirement from active horse work a good many years ago, but made a comeback for his education role at the science center.
The All Breed Luncheon also honored Horsepersons of the Year Jacque & Cyndee Roszel; Horse Breeder of the Year Deo Volente Farm in Flemington; Equestrian of the Year Kirsten Jeansson; as well as the recipient of the Ernest Bell Scholarship, Rutgers senior Catherine Seeds.
Lord Nelson is stabled at Gales Way Farm, Wrightstown.