Full of Fiesta (Nivour de Cardonne x Full of Finesse)

Fiesta joined the SOF team in 2015 as Tom’s endurance prospect after a successful career as a flat track race horse at Cre Run.
He is a 15.1 hand Arabian with bloodlines of French and Egyptian lineage, his father Nivour De Cardonne and mother Full of Finesse, both spectacular horses at Cre Run.

As a flat track horse Fiesta competed in 2009, 2010 and 2013.
Race Starts: 24
Firsts: 4
Seconds: 6
Thirds: 5
Total Earnings $68,693 (previous owners, not us!)

As an endurance horse Fiesta has logged 250 endurance miles and 60 LD miles, 10 rides entered, 7 completions, 6 Top Ten finishes.

Endurance in 2015

Fiesta’s success on the flat track proved he had the speed, but led to a learning curve on endurance. His first race in the 2015 Spring Fling @ The Sand Hills ended with lameness, which did not heal completely before the Biltmore Challenge FEI a month later resulting in a disappointing pull at the second vet check. Fiesta then went back to the pasture to rest up for the summer.

We lined up 2 fall races for Fiesta, both in the mountainsIron Mountain Jubilee and Run for the Horses to benefit Hope for Horses at Biltmore. We did a nice and easy ride at the Iron Mountain Jubilee limited distance 30 where Fiesta proved he will be a solid endurance horse. He lingered in mid-pack through the first section and gained time through the vet check. On the second loop he maintained his position and raced with his half-brother through to the finish line and ultimately passed him at the pulse timer to finish 16th.

After 3 weeks of from Iron Mountain Fiesta was set to prove himself once again by going out for a strong limited distance race. We left the start in the front third of the 50 plus riders and maintained our position through the first loop. Coming into the vet check Fiesta proved his excellent metabolics with a quick heart rate recovery to gain position and bring him into Top Ten contention leaving out on the second loop. Fiesta maintained his position through the loop but was caught by a large group of riders about 5 miles from the finish. Fiesta came into the finish last in the group in 9th place, but was the first of the group to the pulse timer giving him a very respectable 3rd place win.

Finishing the 2015 with two strong finishes Fiesta enjoyed a couple weeks off before starting his winter conditioning for the 2016 season.

Fiesta’s 2016 started off with 3 tough mountain 50 miles races, 3 weeks apart starting with Leatherwood, followed by South Mountain and wrapping up with Biltmore. Fiesta was amazing for each ride, all Top Ten finishes. We took a few weeks off then competed in a moonlight ride at Broxton Bridge for another Top Ten finish, and worked through the heat at Big South Fork 50 mile race for another Top Ten. We learned a hard lesson at the fall Broxton Bride with getting off with our electrolyte plan and ended the season with a metabolic pull. We took the time to rest and recover after a hard season and looking forward to getting back to competing in 2017.

In 2017 Fiesta had a couple key placings. We entered him in the FEI 1* at Biltmore and completed.

A rocky start to the 2018 season ended on a high note in the fall. Fiesta did not show signs of a brewing hoof abscess until 4 miles into the Leatherwood 50 mile when he came up lame in the middle of a snow storm on the top of the mountain and the furthest point from camp. With no other options we hiked back side by side. He strained a ligament trying to keep from bearing weight on the abscess. That put him on 6 months of recovery. By November Fiesta was ready to get back to action and complete the Broxton 50 mile where we were pulled a year earlier. He was stunning that day, he felt great, looked great and pulled off a personal best time of a sub-6 hour 50 mile.

In 2019 Fiesta continued to prove he is a horse with heart. At the Biltmore 50, of the 4 horses we brought to compete that weekend, Fiesta was the only one to Finish, just behind the Top Ten riders. We entered Fiesta as an FEI competitor at the Biltmore. It was 2 years since he last competed in an FEI competition and it was time to renew his status and allowed Tom to have a backup 2* horse for the North American Championship in the Fall.

In the heat of the summer we brought Fiesta and Tribecka to South Mountain Summer 50 mile ride. Our intention was to give Tribecka a completion and Fiesta to have an easy day leading Tribecka. Tribecka needed more time at the first vet gate and knowing we had the toughest loop coming up we made the hard decision to retire Tribecka from the competition. That meant Fiesta had to go alone on the tough loop. Fiesta dug deep to get through the hot and dry 20 mile mountain loop. Fiesta finished under the minimum time and chalked up another completion.

Fiesta got his shot at being the top horse for the North American Championship. Tom missed a key qualifying ride on Bella in October, that meant Bella would not be able to ride in the 2* (75 mile ride) and Fiesta would get called for the 2*.

The weather was the worst possible for Fiesta on the day of the North American Championship, cold, wind and rain. Fiesta is a hot weather horse and we never tested him in a cold competition. Fiesta proved us wrong, all heart, he hung in for the entire 75 miles, making steady and consistent pace. Unfortunately he had a stumble on the last loop and was off on the final trot out. Our first finish line pull. We are so proud of him, digging deep to carry Tom through course. He doesn’t know he didn’t get the completion that day, he is our winner!