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Travis Cullen, Future Star

Published: January 30, 2014 8:10 pm ET

Last Comment: January 30, 2014 9:30 pm ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

In the second part of Future Star features, Trot Radio profiles the first-time finalists in the newest O'Brien Award category.

Travis Cullen, 21, now residing in Edmonton, Alta., closed out Alberta Downs' 2013 meet with five wins on the last day of racing while securing both the Lacombe track's driving and training titles. Amidst a career-best year of more than $407,000 in trainer earnings and nearly $620,000 in driving earnings, the Edmonton horseman concluded the Alberta meet with a chart-topping 64 training victories and 86 driving wins. His 2013 total of 120 training wins in Canada placed him third among all trainers while his .430 UTRS lead the nation.

"I had a great year. My horses raced really good and I kept getting more and more horses," said Cullen. "I started out the year with just eight horses and I ended the year with 25."

The quality of stock, according to Cullen, certainly helped his numbers. And it could be said that the young horseman took advantage of trainers east of Alberta reducing stable size.

"I kept buying horses from Ontario and I watched the classes out here in Alberta closely," noting that he concentrated on plucking lower-ranked claiming horses. "They raced really good here and they fit in the classes."

When asked by Trot Radio's Norm Borg if he'd rather specialize in training or driving, Cullen suggested that he'd like to do both.

"I love to train but I've always had a passion for driving horses...ever since I was a little kid," stated the Manitoba native. "If I had to choose, I don't know which one I'd pick."

Travis' knack with the horses clearly doesn't fall far from the family tree. His father Ron is a long-time horseman with more than 1,500 driving wins to his credit and once represented Manitoba in the Canadian Driving Championship.

"My parents have taught me a lot," noted Cullen. "I started out doing stalls, just like everybody else...jogging, getting up early before school, going out training with my dad, going to school all day and then go back [to the stable] and start putting them away."

Much like his co-finalist Shepherd, Cullen is thrilled with the opportunity to attend the O'Brien Awards as a nominee.

"It's a big honour, I never ever thought I'd get a chance to go to the O'Brien Awards with my name on the paper. It's a pretty big thrill for me."

To listen to the full interview between Cullen and Borg, click the play button below.

Trot Radio - Episode 315 - Travis Cullen, finalist for the Future Star Award
Audio Format: MP3 audio
Host: Norm Borg

The opinions expressed are those of the participants and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

January 30, 2014 - 9:30 pmCongratulations Travis!

Ross Sharp SAID...

Congratulations Travis! Simply amazing what you have accomplished since arriving in Alberta.....good thing that you won the toss for Feelin Flush

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