GoHorseShow would like to congratulate trainer, Joni Nelson of Davenport, Iowa on being named the AQHA Team Wrangler Leading Exhibitor. This is the first time since the start of the competition that a woman and a non-roper has won this award.
"I was ecstatic to win the leading exhibitor for Team Wrangler," Joni Nelson told GoHorseShow. "I received $2500 and a personalized Montana Silversmith buckle. It was a huge goal of mine that I wanted to win, but I knew it would be tough against the ropers. This goal and winning the Congress this year are now things I can cross off my bucket list! This year will be so tough for me to top, but, yet, I am still missing a world championship that I will still work toward."
In the Team Wrangler competition, teams of top AQHA Professional Horsemen across the disciplines – from halter to all-around and racing – compete for points all year. The team with the highest combined number of points wins, and is honored at the AQHA World Championship Show. Each member received a $1,000 cash award from Wrangler and an award medallion.
In 2012, Joni was selected/qualified in the pattern classes (trail and western riding), and she has been a member of Team Wrangler for six coming seven years.
"I like being on Team Wrangler because of the honor and AQHA has you do clinics all over the United States and Canada. I like to help people that want help," Nelson states. "I also like the clothing that they provide you and the extra publicity you get for being on such a great team of professional horsemen."
Nelson said that she knew she had a chance of being the leading exhibitor because of reading the results in the AQHA Journal.
"I had more points than any of those exhibitors, but, in the AQHA year end leading exhibitor, your green points don't count, but in the Team Wrangler competition they do. So, all of my points on all of the horses that I had shown from Sept 1, 2011 through Aug 1, 2012 counted toward winning that award. I believe I put 1200 points on horses that I showed in that time period."
Joni says that she is thankful for and blessed to have the support of her husband, parents, family, customers, Wrangler, AQHA, judges, peers, and the very talented group of horses that she had the opportunity to ride!
Check out this list of next year's Wrangler Teams
Captain: Jerry Erickson
Ronald Stratton, Whitney Lagace, Tommy Buckner, Lainie DeBoer, Adam Wainscott, Mark Wray, Clay Logan, Bobby Lewis, Cody Jensen, John Buchanan, Jeff Acuna
Team Cowboy Cut
Captain: Joni Nelson
Chris Arentsen, Cheryl Hawkins, John May, Peter Oen, Alfred Hewitt, Mitch Leckey, Jody Ramer, Teddy Johnson, G.R. Carter, Wesley Giles, Mike Joiner
Captain: Ryan Cottingim
James Becker III, Jason Smith, Carolyn Rice, Jim TenHoeve, Linda Crothers, Beth Case, J.D. Yates, Ed Dufurrena, Freddie Martinez, Cody Joiner, John Hammes
Jillian Bergstresser, C.R. Bradley, Tucker Clark, Jason English, Teresa Kackert, Ryan Kail, Jessica Lange, Josh Little, Genny Miller, Kristin Pokluda, Marty Simper, Trey Wood
*Some of the information about Team Wranger was taken from a press release from AQHA