Brian Walkington is only 36 but even now he has no idea how many standardbreds he has sold throughout the world. And the Illinois born and educated former postal worker turned harness racing agent is in no hurry to sit back, count and rest on his laurels.
“I love the industry. Selling horses is what I do. I love the adrenalin of racing especially the excitement before a race.
“I’ve never really sold a top-liner – yet – but I still get such a thrill passing horses on and then seeing the delight on new owners’ faces when that horse wins.
“That’s what keeps me going. That’s why I don’t want to pursue another career or do anything else. I love my work,” Walkington said.
He prefers selling rather than owning standardbreds himself. He said placing horseflesh in new hands was big enough a buzz for him.
“I’m not one driven by wanting to have a piece of this or a piece of that. By staying out of ownership I believe I can give 100 per cent and be a better and more committed agent.”
Walkington attended Carrollton high School and worked in the postal Service until he was 25. He wasn’t born in to a harness racing family but was always fascinated by the standardbred industry. He clearly remembers the first standardbred he sold. It wasmare Just Justine who went on to win 37 races.
“I actually owned her back then and then sold her for $10,000. That’s when I became hooked on selling and wanted to do it as a job,” Walkington said.
Springfield-based (Illinois) Walkington is so immersed in his work it’s become a non-stop occupation. He said he particularly enjoyed selling mares and then watching them develop into quality broodmares.
Restive Hanover, a now 9-year-oldmare, immediately sprung to mind. She won 17 races and more than $1 million and Walkington believes she will develop into a quality dam.
This year he has sold interests in some possible future starts as well including 3-year-oldcolt – the winner of four of his six starts and another 3-year-old colt named Swan In A Million. The son of has so far won three of his seven races.
Walkington has also sold and bought horses from ‘Down Under” as well. These include Miss Galvinator Miss Galvinator (1:50.3), the winner of 60 races and $1.1 million; Time Frame N (1:51.2) who won 17 times and $186,026; and Mo Emotion (1:52) who won 17 races and $168,822.
He is yet to visit New Zealand or Australia but it is definitely on his ‘to do’ list.
“I like to listen to your races down there and then watch the replays on my dish the next day. I keep up with the play and know you have some really nice horses ‘Down Under’. History has proven that.
“I know that both New Zealand and Australia and very beautiful countries and the racing there, although different to here, is very good. I would love to get there one day – and will,” Walkington, said.
Married to Felicia with three children – Jacob (7), Miley (3) and Carson (7 months) Walkington is a big sports fan.
He loves basketball, baseball, and football (gridiron). He supports the University Of Illinois football team and is a big St Louis Cardinals baseball fan.
But most of all he loves harness racing.
“I’m so lucky to be working in an industry I love. Even though I’m not a regular at the big tracks here in North America I have been to most of them. I have met so many interesting people in this game. “Eric Cherry is one person who has helped me a lot. He is a fantastic person to work with,” Walkington said.
Footnote: A profile on Eric Cherry can be read on Harnesslink today.
By Duane RANGER (editor)