Holly Allen to race to the States for World Champs
YOUNG GUN: Eureka barrel racing star and horse sport enthusiast Holly Allen is fundraising her way to the World Youth Barrel Racing Championships in Georgia, USA.
THE rise of Holly Allen in the world of barrel racing will be one to keep an eye on for years to come.
The Eureka teenager took up the sport about two years ago, but already her skill on horseback has opened the door to an opportunity of which veteran riders can only dream.
Just five months from now the Isis District State High School student will go on the trip of a lifetime to compete in Georgia, USA.
The 16-year-old qualified for the Youth World Barrel Racing Championships, but it is not just the attraction of competition that has drawn Allen stateside.
It is an opportunity for Allen to glimpse what could be her future, with the Year 12 student dreaming of a professional career.
“I definitely want to follow barrel racing further,” she told the Town & Country earlier this week.
“I would love to become a pro but that’s really hard to do here so I’d have to go overseas.”
It is a life-changing sacrifice Allen is more than happy to make, and of which she has the full support of her family.
Mum Julie Allen is right behind her daughter, and will spend the next few months raising money so the former violinist can take full advantage of the chance.
Allen’s Brisbane-based aunt will sell raffle tickets in Queensland’s capital to help get her across the Pacific Ocean, while local businesses have already jumped on board for local raffles.
Biggenden Meats has offered a voucher for the lucky winner, as has Caltex Childers.
Everyone’s focus is squarely on Allen, who spends almost every afternoon on horseback fine-tuning her skills.
“You could say Holly had a shortcut as her first horse was already trained,” explained Julie.
“She could learn on good horses so she knows how they should feel.”
As comfortable as she has recently been on horses Carla and Bella, the 16-year-old said it was not always that way.
While Allen said she tried to relax before competitions, she admitted it “took 12 or so months” to get her nerves under control.
Before her first event she was “extremely nervous”, but has managed to get to a point where she controls her nerves during regular state championship appearances.
“I try to walk around, talk to people and try not to think about it,” Allen said.
“It took me all year before that – I used to get pretty sick beforehand.”
Allen is in the process of organising what she hopes is a huge National Barrel Horse Association event at Dallarnil next weekend.
16-year-old barrel racer Holly Allen I would love to become a pro but I’d have to go overseas.
To enter the event or for more information phone the Allens on 4126 2664, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IN FORM: Holly Allen shows how it’s done at a recent barrel racing event. She will take on the best in the world later this year.
Holly Allen is fundraising for the world championships.