I have been involved with horses for over 40 years, not only with riding in different disciplines but more appropriately with running events and administration.
I have been a steward at show jumping, driving, dressage cross-country at local, county and national level.
For many years I was on the Surrey Union Hunt committee and chaired a number of committees running horse shows and hunter trials. I was Clerk of the Course for the Point to Point for four years.
I have been on the Council of and am a director of the Surrey County Agricultural Society and was Chairman of Council for 2 years. I undertook a fundamental review of the Society a number of years ago to ensure that it was “fit for purpose” and could face the challenges of the changing world. We run the largest one day agricultural show in the country. I have chaired the horse and show rings committee for many years now and am the chief horse steward as well as being on the Executive and Finance committee.
I became interested in reining and quarter horses some 10 years ago when my wife, Caroline, bought Zips Hot Gossip and Docs Remi Nick. Since then I have been a supporter and more latterly helper at shows.
I have been involved in reining since 1996, grooming and helping my wife Vivien with her showing at non-pro level. This lead to my taking some judging seminars to learn all about the intricacies of reining, and being a scribe. I also am qualified as an FEI reining steward.
Being on governing bodies of a number of professional institutes, I have useful experience to offer in developing policies and delivering strategic objectives.
I have been a member and supporter of BR for many years, and I have been on the BR Council since 2014 and now have responsibilities for the UKCC programme. This fits in with my own experience as a UKCC professional coach in skating and formerly a British Association of Ski Instructors professional instructor, and also my work in education as a professor and lecturer in forestry and environmental economics at the University of Cambridge, and the teaching, personal development and skill development in that context.
I have immersed myself in reining culture and practice and find it an amazingly skilful and exciting sport. It is great to be part of such a progressive sport for the future.
Originally from a background of Eventing, Show horses and Jumpers, Francesca has made her mark in the world of Western Riding.
With multiple AQHA European Champion titles, Francesca has placed or been in the Top Ten in almost every major Reining event, worldwide. Becoming the first European lady rider to break the $100,000 earnings barrier, Francesca is now nearing the next level of $200,000. She has represented Great Britain at virtually every team event since 2000, where she demonstrated Reining at the Rome WEG. Notable achievements include 3rd Place a the AQHA World Championships, Individual Finalist at the 2006 WEG, placing 11th, 4th place in the Individual at the FEI European Championships 2008, and 4th at the FEI World Masters in Oklahoma City 2009. This year has started well for Francesca with top ten finishes at the European Futurity and making the finals at the NRBC in Houston, Texas. Francesca lives in Kent with her husband Doug Allen and children Tabitha and George, who she notes as her greatest achievements to date.
NRHA/Euro Rep, Head of FEI Team Selection Committee & Liaison with Affiliates
BR Facebook, Sales Page, Show Team Manager & Chairman, Selection Committee member
I grew up on a horse farm in Ohio, USA and moved to England about 10 years ago. I started showing at 8 and participated in 4-H with horses for 11 years. I also competed regularly in open shows and on the Quarter Pony/POA (Pony of Americas) circuit. Our Top Guns Team I competed at the national and world level in Horse Judging, Hippology and Horse Bowl competitions bringing home High Point Individual at the World Morgan Horse judging competition. As a senior member of the Ohio QH Judging we team won Reserve World Champion Youth Quarter Horse Judging Team at the AJQHA World Championship Show.
I competed for several years on the NRHA circuit shows and at the AAQHC.
I am currently show manager for the British Reining shows and an NRHA steward, having worked the European futurity, European Derby and the US Futurity.
Doug was born in Springer, New Mexico, raised in Scott City, Kansas, and now lives in Sandhurst, Kent.
A professional horse trainer for the last 35 years, Doug started his career training Western Pleasure and Roping horses with his father, the renowned World Champion Billy Allen.
In 1989 he moved to Bodiam, East Sussex and became the trainer at Sterling Quarter Horses. Over the next ten years he trained and showed well over 100 European Champions for himself and for his amateur customers, in every discipline offered.
In 1999 he began to specialise in reining exclusively. He has been a member of the British Team at the first two World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain and Aachen, Germany. He was on the national team at the 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007 FEI European Championships, and was on the Bronze medal winning team at the 2009 European Championships in Kreuth, Germany. He has represented Great Britain at five World Reining Masters. In 2008 and 2009 he was European Champion at the AQHA European Championships in Kreuth, Germany.
Doug is also an accredited NRHA judge.
He is married to Francesca Sternberg and the have 2 children, Tabitha and George who also both compete.
Vix has been involved with horses all her life, going through the Pony Club and then playing Polocrosse at international level.
For many years she was groom to Shane but in 2007 she decided to have a go! Sons Royal Chic had very little to do since he had been gelded so he and Vix partnered up! 2008 was their first full season together but unfortunately the partnership came to an end in 2009 when Chic found a new role as BQH lessons horse!
Vix has been involved in NQV assessing and verification with colleges, this led to her involvement with the new BEF UKCC qualification. At first as the lead assessor for BR but now the BR Representative.
“This is a great qualification that will enable the progression and development of Reining in the UK ensuring that it is standardised along with all the member body disciplines. It is an opportunity to increase our standing in the Equine Industry in the UK and increasing participation”