Nelson Among Hot Ones on Horseback: Diminutive Rider Going Good Once More Following Hiatus In Cattle-Raising Business, Daily Racing Form, 1954-05-08


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Nelson Among Hot Ones on Horseback HorsebackDiminutive Diminutive Rider Going Good Once More Following Hiatus In CattleRaising Business BusinessPIMLICO PIMLICO Baltimore Md May 6 The hottest rider on the Maryland circuit at the moment is diminutive Eldon Nelson the fivefoot 108 pound Oklahoma born lad who beat out Nick Shuk for Bowie riding honors 26 winners to 25 25The The seriousfaced polite little fellow known facetiously around the jocks room as Half Nelson has zoomed up to a place beside Shuk leading Maryland rider for the past three years through a sensational spurt during the past 10 days in which he has brought 15 steeds home in front He rode four winners here Tuesday or as one jockey room wit explained it Thats why we call him Half Nelson he won half the card cardNow Now 28 Nelson actually is beginning all over again a riding career which he in ¬ terrupted after the 1949 campaign to go into the white face cattleraising business on a farm he bought at Cedaryille Kan with his earlier earnings as a jockey He expects to go back into the cattleraising business again but the time is somewhere in the indefinite future for he means to make the most of his present return to the saddle and stick exclusively to riding as long as his present spectacular success con ¬ tinuesAccepted tinues Accepted Outside Mounts for Calumet CalumetAnalyzing Analyzing his career Nelson has always been a successful jockey Had he continued to ride without his selfimposed hiatus as a cattle breeder he might well be up among the nations top jockeys today for from the time he started to ride regularly as contract rider for Herbert M Woolf of Kansas City in 1947 until he quit after the 1949 season he was a firstrate reinsman who won his fair share of stakes on some of the best horses of the period and piloted several of them home in record time timeWhile While he was under contract to Woolf he also accepted outside mounts from the Calumet stable and he rode such famous campaigners over Chicago and Florida i tracks as Armed Ponder Bewitched and Coaltown Indeed aboard Coaltown in the Valentine Purse at Hialeah he equalled the world record for a mile and an eighth and he set the sixfurlong track record at Gulfstream aboard another Calumet horse Theory TheoryNelson Nelson out of Ponca City Okla where his father is a wheat farmer has five sis ¬ ters and one brother all of normal size His brother is 59 and scales about 165 But Eldon just quit growing remaining a mite of a lad and he just naturally drifted to riding the ponies and quarter horses which raced informally at a little track called Newkirk on the Oklahoma plain out ¬ side of Ponca City While thus engaged with no serious thought of a professional career as a jockey a representative of the Woolf stable came to Newkirk one day to buy some stable ponies watched him per ¬ form in some of the quarter races and asked him if he wanted to come and break yearlings on Woolfs Woolford Farm in Kansas City That was his beginning and after only eight months on the farm he was beckoned to Chicago and the races racesLittle Little Eldon thought he had his life ¬ time stake when he quit riding to buy his cattle ranch in 1950 He got himself a good registered Hereford bull of the Domino strain to use as a breeder and proceeded to raise not only whiteface steers for the market but breeding stock as well He built up a fairsized herd and was having a happy time of it settled down on the ranch with his wife and two children then adversity struck him not once but twice twiceFirst First came the falling beef prices which created a severe economic condition for cattlemen throughout the whole South ¬ west Then followed the drought the most calamitous in the history of our country which was so devastating and ruinous to the cattle industry that President Eisen ¬ hower stepped in proclaimed the stricken dusty ranges disaster areas and brought in government help But the combination flattened Eldon and thus he was driven back to the saddle again to recoup his losses and to gather another stake against the time when he will go back to the ranch and to cattle raising raisingThis This time he says I hope to get enough ahead so that I can stand off an ¬ other drought if I run into one oneSo So in this instance it can be said that Nelson reversing the old copy book maxim is saving up for a dry rather than a rainy day

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