Originally Printed as the Story in the Jan-Feb 2013 Equine Chronicle
In 1939, Katherine Tobin’s grandfather owned a working cattle ranch in Prescott, Arizona. He along with his son, Robert Kieckhefer, would grow up in the wholesome, rugged lifestyle of breeding, training and showing ranch Quarter Horses. Growing up with a love of her family’s ranch horse lifestyle, Tobin would create a third generation of horsemanship traditions by showing her father’s horses in western pleasure classes, 4-H and gymkhana events, which eventually led her on the path to owning a stallion that the industry admires.
Today, Katherine Tobin and her husband, Jerry, live between Scottsdale, Arizona, and Flower Mound, Texas, and have defined a distinct place for themselves in the Quarter Horse showing industry. But the most distinguishable point in their journey would begin when they saw a 2 year-old stallion trotting in a warm-up pen. His name was Allocate Your Assets, a 2000 bay stallion by Protect Your Assets and out of Kat Sass (TB). Tobin said, “My sister, Susie Johns, and my trainer, Deanna Searles, saw Brian Isbell riding Allocate Your Assets as a 2-year-old in a warm-up arena at the Redbud Spectacular. Since Susie didn’t show English, they called me and they persuaded Brian to sell him to Jerry and I. Deanna set up a meeting for me to watch Brian ride him. As he trotted him off, he pushed him into a strong, graceful long trot. Without missing a beat, he asked him to canter off and Al just effortlessly transitioned into this slow canter that showed off his strong hock and flat front leg. He really just took our collective breath away. Not only was he a gorgeous mover, his calm, sweet disposition won us all over. I bought him right then and there.”
The future seemed unlimited with Allocate Your Asset’s quiet mind, willing attitude and excellent reviews from AQHA Professional Trainers Deanna and Jim Searles. Tobin elaborated, “Deanna and Jim (and my sister) all said he was one of the best movers at the trot and the lope that they had ever seen. He just had the total look. Deanna and Jim began training Al after we bought him from Brian Isbell, and Brian continued to show him in the two year-old classes the rest of the year. Al’s personality was wonderful and he never acted ‘studdy’. He was and always is a perfect gentleman.”
His rave reviews were not proven wrong. A few months later at the 2002 NSBA World Show and the All-American Quarter Horse Congress, Isbell piloted Allocate Your Assets to wins in the NSBA Gold and Silver Futurity Championships and the 2 Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle Futurity. Al ended the year by earning the NSBA High Point 2 Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle Open Horse title.
Allocate Your Asset’s resume would continue to prosper by winning the 3 Year-Old Hunter Under Saddle Futurity Championship title at the Scottsdale Classic in 2003, followed by a third place at the 2004 Select World Show in Hunter Under Saddle shown by Tobin. 2005 would bring a Congress Championship in Junior Hunter Under Saddle with trainer Deanna Searles, and Sue Ellen Vickery would take the reins in 2006 winning a Congress Championship in Senior Hunter Under Saddle and an AQHA Reserve World Championship in Senior Hunter Under Saddle. “Every win was so special. Starting out as a 2 year-old with his Congress wins, to the last Reserve World Championship; we were overjoyed! The wins also helped people recognize how special he was in his show career,” Tobin said delightedly.
His described ‘floaty’ trot, flat-kneed lope and solid mindset are attributes Allocate Your Assets is passing down to all of his offspring. Since his first foal crop in 2006, Allocate Your Assets has sired AQHA World Show Champions and a Reserve World Champion, multiple Congress Champions (noting that two of those championships were in Over Fence classes), a European World Champion and multiple NSBA World Show Champions.
Permanently retired on Jim and Deanna Searles’ Circle S Ranch in Scottsdale, Arizona, Allocate Your Assets has earned his luxurious retreat. Leading the Equi-Stat sire list for Hunter Under Saddle in 2011, his foals have earned over 1,855 points and counting. Today, he enjoys the Searles’ immaculate and beautifully maintained facility with its natural desert surroundings, large saguaros, views of the surrounding mountains. He is still ridden occasionally by Searles.
Tobin said appreciatively, “Al has stamped his foals with his great mind and beautiful movement. You can usually recognize his foals in the show pen because of their large floating trot and flat-kneed canter. Our hope for Al and his foals are to continue to bring success and happiness to their owners. I also want to say ‘thank you’ to all the mare owners who have chosen Al. We are truly grateful for you all.”