Ferris Allen is a charter member of the MTHA, serving on the board of directors from 1986 to 2002. He was awarded the Outstanding Service to Maryland Horsemen award in 1990, and he served as the board’s Vice President for 12 years.
Allen considers the establishment of the Backstretch Recreation Program as his most important accomplishment. He was also instrumental as chairperson of the Condition Book Committee in creating condition book protocol that is still in use today. He pushed hard for the successful Backstretch Pension Program as well.
He lives in Clarksville and has resided in Maryland continuously since 1979. He has two grown children, Jane, who leases Hickory Ridge Farm, and Finney, who has a horse-vanning service. After graduating from the College of William and Mary, he taught government and coached baseball and basketball at his hometown Varina High School, and spent his off hours training a few race horses.
A full-time trainer since 1976, Ferris has been a solid performer on the Maryland circuit for over 35 years, has won more than 2,000 races, trained many stakes winners and won numerous training titles. His stakes winners include Passeggiata (Arg), Chrusciki, Palette Knife, Miracle Wood and Aunt Ellen. He is Colonial Downs’ all-time-leading trainer and he led all Maryland trainers in 1999.
His chief role as a board member in his new term has been the chairman of the MTHA Recreation Committee. Allen has led a revival of this program which has seen a huge increase in participation and services offered highlighted by the MTHA Express transportation service for backstretch employees.