Alexia Heney is one lucky lady. Her farm in Morrice, MI is home to the stallion, Hesa Special Hotrod. They have been at this farm for 19 years, and they are proud to say they built it themselves!
AJ, as he is known around the barn, was bred by Stanley & Susan Scott of Halo Farm located in Ocala, FL. Alexia, Lexi, was introduced to him by a trainer who happened to see him show at the Tom Powers Futurity as a yearling. Being something special, AJ won or tied for the win in all four of the yearling longe line classes that he showed in becoming the first ever Paint Horse in history to accomplish that!
Lexi watched one video of his warm up at the show, and he was just absolutely phenomenal. She was sold! They were able to bring AJ home about 10 days before the Southern Belle. And of course, AJ won the Open Longe Line. He then went on to several Top 10s and Top 5s at the NSBA World Show, and then on to APHA World Show with Top 5s (3rd in the Open Challenge, 3rd in Amateur, and 4th in the Non Pro Challenge).
As a two year old, AJ still had it going on. He came back to the Tom Powers and was the 2 Year Old Breeders Limited Western Pleasure Reserve Champion. Then back to the NSBA World Show as the Reserve World Champion in the Breeders Champion Futurity 2 Year Old Color Western Pleasure, and then later at the APHA World Show was 3rd in the 2 Year Old Western Pleasure Sweepstakes and Reserve World Champion Southern Belle. All while under the guidance of Tim Gillespie and Wade Parks.
Unfortunately, at three years old, AJ suffered a career ending tear to his high suspensory in his right front leg. Even after trying stem cell and shockwave therapies, the team was not able to bring him back to the show pen. But with every situation, you can have some positive. Lexi now got the chance to get to know AJ on a day to day basis, finally coming home after being away with trainers.
Lexi bought AJ knowing she wanted a stallion prospect, and boy, did he prove himself. AJ was super cadenced at the jog, had a beautiful front leg and deep hock at the lope, and not to mention- he was drop dead gorgeous. Plus he was bred to the nine as well! As a two year old, you would have thought he was a lot older just because he loped around the pen like he had been doing it for ages. He was just so physically mature and so strong.
AJ is known for passing on his lovely jog, but also his trainability, and of course the pretty factor! But AJ, himself, likes to be the barn clown. He enjoys begging for treats to anyone who passes by, and being a class act with his jolly ball by throwing it over his stall for others to play with too. What a pal. But his absolute favorite pastime is laying right down in water that he can almost disappear in!
Structurally correct and stunningly beautiful, “AJ” is a perfect cross for the modern pleasure mare and the big, slinky hunter under saddle mare. He is successfully producing on both types. “AJ” is passing on a fantastic work ethic, trainability and sweet personality. He has a beautiful, flat front leg combined with a wicked deep hock, and incredible self carriage. — Alexia Heney
Lexi loves all of her ‘grand babies’ but his first foal holds a dear place in her heart. Imagine Mea Hotrod is an adorable, sweet, and very talented mare. They still own her dam, today! Lexi showed her and placed 3rd in the Amateur Longe Line at the Pinto Worlds and Alan Wood of Mason, MI showed her to win at the APHA World Show in the BF Gold Futurity In Hand Trail. This little mare has gone on to win many things at Paint Horse Congress and APHA World Show.
This goes hand in hand with Lexi’s favorite memories- every time someone calls or messages her about their own Little Hotrods and how much they love them. It really makes the struggles worth it. And speaking of struggles, Lexi says it’s just so hard to know if you’re doing the right thing, and you know, sometimes its just inevitable that you make a mistake. Not to mention, the expense to proposition a campaign and stand a stallion to the modern market!
AJ will continue to do his job as an outstanding sire and live the easy life. He has been spending several months each year during breeding season with Jim & Laura Dettmer of Dettmer’s Rising Sun located in Huntington, IN. They, too, absolutely adore AJ like he is one of their own. Their young sons can’t wait to have him back each season.