- Created on Monday, 30 January 2012
Gaines, a Weatherford, Texas, trainer who has earned more than $6.3 million riding cutting horses, plus Equi-Stat Open Awards as 2001, 2002 and 2005’s top Open earner, gave the 2011 Equi-Stat Open winner his first shot despite the lack of direct experience.
Allen, who turned 38 on Dec. 14, has earned more than $3 million as a cutter the past 10 years. He earned $528,023 last year to secure his first Equi-Stat Open Award.
“That was one of my goals,” said Allen, who earned $102,866 aboard 2007 stallion Blue One Time (One Time Pepto x Quintan Blue x Mecom Blue), $93,082 aboard 2007 stallion Moms Stilish Cat (High Brow Cat x Moms Stilish Pepto x Peptoboonsmal) and $80,727 by winning the 2011 Australian Futurity aboard 2007 mare Ducks Dux (AS) (Sophisticated Catt x Dashing Duckling (AS) x Docs Spinifex) with a record 152 score.
In the mid-1990s, a childhood friend of Allen’s moved to Texas. She married Texas cutter Tim McCloud. During Julie and Tim McCloud’s honeymoon visit to New Zealand, Allen mentioned that he’d sure like to take a shot at working with horses in America, too.
“Within three weeks, he [Tim McCloud] told me Matt [Gaines] had a job opening,” Allen recalled. “Matt told me the job was mine if I wanted it. I sold everything I had, just packed up, and didn’t think about it. I came over to stay for a year to see if I liked it.”
Allen then spent several years paying his dues and handing behind-the-scenes work without earning much glory, or money, as a rider. His nine years working with Gaines, the only trainer Allen apprenticed with, finally started paying off big around the time he reached his late 20s. At 29 and 30, he earned $55,818 and $89,283. Over the past eight years, he’s topped $200,000 seven times, $300,000 five times and $500,000 twice.
“I still enjoy it today as much as I did then [when he started rider cutters about 17 years ago],” Allen said.
Clint and his wife, Shayla Allen, will celebrate their 11th anniversary in May. Their twin daughters, Kate and Addison, are both 4 ½, and their son, Max, turned 3 on Jan. 22.
Allen earned more than $40,000 last year with five different horses and more than $30,000 with six of them. Olenasduallyfeather (Cats Red Feather x Olenas Dually x Dual Pep), a 2007 mare started by Sean Flynn, Weatherford, Texas, and owned by Australia native Lisa Hewitt, topped $200,000 in overall earnings. While in training most of last year with Allen, Olenasduallyfeather earned Open limited-age victories with Allen and catch-rider Darren Simpkins, Weatherford, Texas, and she competed well with Hewitt during Non-Pro events.
Equi-Stat, a statistical division of Cowboy Publishing Group, owned by Morris Communications Corp., Augusta, Ga., originated in 1985 to research and compile cutting earnings for Quarter Horse News. It also tracks money earned by reining, working cow horse and barrel racing horses. Equi-Stat Awards have been presented since 1982 to the top earning Open and Non-Pro cutters, so this year’s awards are the 20th annual editions.
“Winning the Equi-Stat Award has been one of my goals the past five or six years,” Allen said. “I think one year, it came down to me and Phil [Rapp, a three-time Equi-Stat Open winner] and Austin [Shepard, the 2008 winner]. I’ve been second two or three times and winning has been one of my goals for a while.”
Shepard, Summerdale, Ala., guided 2006 stallion Bet Hesa Cat (High Brow Cat x Bet Yer Blue Boons x Freckles Playboy) to the 2011 National Cutting Horse Association Open World Championship and finished in second with $403,663 earned overall. Rapp, Weatherford, Texas, guided 2005 mare Dont Look Twice (High Brow Cat x Tapt Twice x Dual Rey) to 2011 NCHA Open Horse of the Year honors. Rapp finished third in the Equi-Stat standings with $375,489 in total Open rider earnings.