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Only one horse has been penalized in an NCAA football game

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New Jersey has had more than its fair share of star horses, winners of every major stakes, including many who captured the Kentucky Derby. But few have captured as many hearts as Lord Nelson, whose achievements may not be derby-related but include his the only horse receive an official football penalty in an NCAA football game.

Bred in Oklahoma, his lordship landed in New Jersey in 1978. He was the first police horse at Rutgers University, where he worked during his 20-year career. It also involved working with the Student Mounted Patrol and having the Scarlet Knight ride to Rutgers football games. In 1994, during a game against Army, Lord Nelson was awarded a unique penalty: he stormed the field and raced down the sideline to the opposite end of Giants Stadium. “Getting a yellow flag for his ‘un-sportHORSE-man-like behavior,” he nearly cost Rutgers the game,” Rutgers Today reported.

Beloved by many, Lord Nelson was also an emeritus professor at Rutgers. He retired from the state university in 2000 and went to live at Gales Way Farm in Wrightstown, where he was cared for by Wendy Gale-Hale (Class of 1989), a former Rutgers Horse Patrol student. He retired in 2009 and headed up Equine Science 4 Kids. Lord Nelson died in 2015 at the age of 42, equivalent to a human age of 126 years.

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