A Lifelong Passion Begins
Born and raised in Australia, Clinton grew up with a love of horses. Although he lived in the city with his father, Rob, mother, Cheryl, and sister, Andrea, he looked forward to the weekends he got to spend on his grandparent's farm where his grandmother would give him rides on her old Thoroughbred mare. By the age of 12, he began playing polocrosse and was eventually chosen for a national team representing his state.
When he was 13, he met Gordon McKinlay, a horseman and clinician who would change his life, and ultimately set Clinton on his career path. After attending one of Gordon's clinics where he learned how to do the groundwork and riding exercises that now make up the basis of the Method, Clinton began a two-year apprenticeship with the revered horseman. Under Gordon's expert guidance, Clinton started and trained over 600 horses, many of which were rank brumbies from the Outback.
Apprenticeship with Ian Francis
At age 17, Clinton graduated Gordon's apprenticeship and began working for Ian Francis, a three-time National Cutting Horse Association Futurity Champion and five-time National Reining Horse Association Futurity Champion. While the focus of Gordon's program was on safety for horse and rider and starting colts, Clinton looked to Ian for his ability to get a horse soft and supple and ready to compete on a national level. Clinton worked steadily with Ian for a year and then used his knowledge and expertise to open his own training facility in Rockhampton.
Clinton continued running his training barn and teaching clinics until coming to the United States in 1996 for a brief apprenticeship with Al Dunning, winner of multiple American Quarter Horse Association World Championships. Clinton then returned to Australia and his training horse business where he won the first go and placed third in the 1997 Australian National Reining Horse Association Futurity on his mare Mindy.
In October of that year, Clinton made the United States his home and officially launched Downunder Horsemanship and his renowned horsemanship method. Clinton's Method is based on mutual respect and understanding between horse and rider, and gives horsemen the knowledge they need to train their horses to be safe, consistent and willing partners. A step-by-step program, the Method has helped thousands of horses and owners form safe, enjoyable partnerships. Clinton began touring the country, instructing clinics and creating DVDs and training tools to make learning horsemanship as easy-as-possible for horse owners.
In 2001, he became the first clinician to create a made-for-TV horse training program that aired on RFD-TV. The use of untrained horses and a variety of topics covering common problems faced by horse owners quickly made Downunder Horsemanship the network's number one equine program. In 2011, Clinton launched a half-hour version of Downunder Horsemanship on Fox Sports Net, a national broadcast station that reaches 80 million viewers. Later that year, he created and released DownunderHorsemanship.TV, an internet TV site that gives horse owners around the world free access to the Downunder Horsemanship television show.
Becoming an Industry Leader
In 2003 and 2005, Clinton faced the country's best horse trainers and clinicians in the prestigious Road to the Horse, an event that challenges trainers to gentle and ride an un-touched horse in less than three hours. Clinton became the first person to win the event twice in a row.
In addition to being a clinician, Clinton breeds, trains and shows his own reining and cow horses. He currently competes and wins at the highest levels of competition.
Nearly 15 years after establishing Downunder Horsemanship, Clinton continues to instruct horsemanship clinics, presents Walkabout Tours across the country, produces two television shows, hosts an internet TV website and is constantly creating comprehensive study kits and training tools to make learning horsemanship as accessible and easy as possible. Clinton and Downunder Horsemanship are recognized as world leaders in the equestrian industry and continue to offer the very best in innovation, inspiration and instruction.