by Burt Hunter
I appreciate the opportunity of telling the story of my sorrel stallion, Hunter's Allen F-10 that we called Little Allen. I rode him for many years and he was just as supple, with as quick an ear and the same gait as when a three, four or five year old. At the age of 16 to 20, he was as grand a saddle horse as ever lived, regardless of his years. Little Allen is a family tradition, appreciating as we did the great foals that he gave to the Tennessee Walking Horse world, and we point with pride the fact that in the first two volumes of the Tennessee Walking Horse Stud Books, through his numerous progeny, his name is comparable with any sire.
The great mares that were sired by Little Allen were no disappointment to their owners, as they, in turn, produced performers of great ability and value, and they were highly appraised by all judges. We call attention to the fact that champion Midnight Sun, the first stallion ever to win the World Grand Championship at the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, is a great grandson, through his dam, by Dement's Allen, by Hunter's Allen F-10.
In advanced years, there was not a pimple or blemish that could be found on this great stallion and no horse ever lived that traveled thousands of miles, under saddle with a better foot or set of limbs. I never knew him to stumble or even tip his toe. He had the wind of a fox and he could actually walk around eight miles an hour in perfect form. His canter was perfect with a flat foot walk that was straight and fast.
At the time we purchased Hunter's Allen F-10, he was called Allen II, Little Allen and Walker's Allen.
He made his first show at the Tennessee State Fair in 1912, winning the class for the best Walking Stallion, any age. He repeated this performance in the same class in 1913. In 1916 he won the Stallion Class and then came back to win the Walking Horse Championship, Stallion, Mare or Gelding. He won the Stallion Class again in 1917 at the Tennessee State Fair. He was not shown again until 1924 (at 18 years of age) when he won the Stallion Class again at the State Fair. He won, all told, the Stallion Classes at this last court of resort five times.
In 1926, at the age of 20, Fred Walker, who had trained and shown Hunter's Allen F-10 in his younger years, wanted to show him again at the Bedford County Fair, Shelbyville, Tennessee. There he defeated his famous show son, Brown Allen, a recognized stallion of today, also Bud Allen, who was rated among the best. It seemed the old show horse realized he must show up the young tribe and especially his son, brown Allen in a contest that the "old timers" still recall as one of the greatest stallion classes ever witnessed.
His get left a great record in show performances, his sons and daughters winning a the Tennessee State Fair, including the Tennessee Walking Horse Stake in 1920, 1921, 1922, 1925, 1927, 1928, 1929, 1932 and 1933. This achievement has not been surpassed by any living stallion.
He sired the famous show mare, Mary Allen, owned and shown by Z.R. Pickens, Bell Buckle, Tennessee. She won both the Junior and Senior Stakes, Tennessee State Fair. He also sired the famous mare, Queen, owned by Dr. R.B. Berry, Lewisburg, Tennessee, who won the Junior Stake, and was a full sister to Mary Allen. He was the sire of the grand old mare that passed away this year (1945), Old Hunter, owned and developed by Ed Jones, Lewisburg, Tennessee, also winner of the Junior Stake. One of his famous daughters, Lady Turner, 26 years of age in 1945, was the first mare that ever defeated the renowned performer, Merry Legs F-4. Other outstanding daughters of the old sire must include the great mare Springtime, owned by Z.R. Pickens, Bell Buckle. She was undefeated in open classes or stakes at all shows for one season. At the close of the show season she was sold to a new owner in New York, topping all known prices at the time of her sale. She was a full sister to Orr's Hal Allen, owned by Newton Orr, Farmington, Tennessee and he also made many shows as a three and four year old.
Perhaps the most outstanding son of Hutner's allen F-10 as a show stallion was Brown Allen, who was owned and shown by J.F. Womack of Flat Creek, Tennessee; he was campaigned throughout Middle Tennessee by Fred Walker, winning Stallion and Gelding classes and many stakes, showing one entire season without defeat.
Mary Allen, daughter of Hunter's allen developed into a great broodmare, producing Greater Glory by Wilson's allen, the Junior Champion Stake winner at the Shelbyville Celebration in 1941. owned and shown by Col J.H. Haynes, Springhill, Tennessee.
The late A.M. Dement, owner and breeder of the celebrated mare Merry Legs F-4, bred her to Hunter's allen F-10 and produced the proven sire, Last Chance, who was also one of the greatest two-year-old stallions of his time and was successfully shown throughout the season by the late Floyd Carothers. Mr. Dement stated to me that he believed Merry Legs crossed better with Hunter's Allen F-10 than with any stallion she was ever bred to. Two of the foals by Hunter's Allen F-10, out of Merry Legs died as yearlings. Last Chance is also a producer of top walking and show horses including Tommy Tell, undefeated two year old, and there were other sons and daughters of equal importance. The records of the TWHBA disclose a total of 49 registered stallion offspring of Hunter's Allen foaled up to 1933 with many others being recorded since that year.
Another great producing matron by Hunter's Allen F-10 was Ella II, dam of Hall Allen; also Minnie Black , the dam of the famous mare Maude Gray, one of the recognized all-time producing mares of the breed. Another famous granddaughter is Lynnie Gray, by Neal's Allen, out of Maude Gray. She was Grand Champion Stake winner at the Tennessee State Fair, 1938, also winner the same year of the Junior and Senior Stake at the Kentucky State Fair.
Allow me to refer to Hunter's Allen's breeding ability for reproducing the perfect gaits of the Tennessee Walking Horse; meaning from young foals to those fully matured. The winner of the first Futurity, held at the Tennessee State Fair, was a weanling filly shown by Jim Farrar, out of a Hunter's Allen F-10 mare. Dr. W.F. Fessey won the Futurity Championship with a filly out of Mary Lou, by Hunter's Allen F-10. His great-grandson, Arkansas rambler is by Neal's Allen, and Tennessee Rambler by Brown Allen, a grandson, were outstanding performers in Mississippi, West Tennessee, Arkansas and Missouri.
Hato Benito by Milky Way Allen by Golden Sunshine with the dam Nell Hightower, a Hunter's Allen mare, was shipped to Puerto Rico as a walking two year old as head stud on a large sugar plantation with 400 horses under saddle every day. He was the first Tennessee Walking Horse exported after the TWHBA was organized.
Through public and private sales, the blood of Hunter's allen F-1- has been distributed wherever the Tennessee Walking Horse had gone, including many of his famous sons and equally-as-good daughters. They have found their way into some of the greatest bands of brood matrons and stallions in the country. They are highly appraised today by small and large breeders everywhere.
The get of Hunter's Allen F-10 have been in continuous demand since his death, January 15, 1932, by breeders who saw the prepotency of the old stallion and the fact that he could produce the true gaits of the Tennessee Walking Horse. His career as a show horse of top rank and perhaps on of the greatest all-time pleasure mounts of the breed, with abundant stamina and gameness, carried him successfully through long years of active service, participating in the best shows of the day and winning his last championship when 20 years of age at Shelbyville. No other stallion of the breed can surpass his years of usefulness, and when he passed away, his conformation was that of a horse not over eight or nine, unblemished, with all the gameness he possessed as a youngster.
I believe the records will sustain me in the statement that only two sons of the renowned allen F-1 have ever shown male progeny in the Stud Books of the TWHBA. They are Hunter's Allen F-10 and Roan Allen F-38. There are several outstanding producing mares by Allan F-1 that show progeny in the first and second volumes. Of course, they are further removed at this time.
Yes, we are proud of the record of Hunter's Allen F-10 and the good name that he has helped to mold, with his blood passing on for the benefit of the Tennessee Walking Horse tribe. Those who seek and know the Tennessee Walking Horse as we how have them developed, can appreciate, I hope, the contribution that this great stallion has made.
Let me wish for the entire fraternity who love, own, show and develop the Tennessee Walking Horse every success as breeders. In the years to come, we hope, in turning the pages of breed history, they will reflect on the achievements and progeny this great sire of the breed has left for all.