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Surrounded by horsepower

(Editor's Note: the following article was written by Jason Reynolds and is being reprinted from the Murfreesboro Post)  

An MTSU graduate is expanding her family’s multi-faceted business ventures which range from showing horses to owning NASCAR championship racing teams to developing real estate.

Allison Thorson owns and manages ThorSport Farm on Barfield Crescent Road in Christiana. The 500-plus-acre farm has an indoor training facility and 80 stalls, plus countryside riding trails, she said. Although Thorson is known for showing Tennessee Walking Horses, some of which reside in Christiana, a variety of horse breeds stay in the barn, many belonging to clients who board them.

Thorson graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 2017, where she interned in sports broadcasting.

NASCAR champs

Thorson is the daughter of Duke and Rhonda Thorson of Sandusky, Ohio. One of their many business ventures is ThorSport Racing, which owns and manages four teams in the NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series.

Thorson works with drivers and team members, meeting with potential sponsors and maintaining business relationships and conducting business planning. 

She will be attending the NASCAR Awards Banquet in Nashville on Thursday because one of ThorSport’s drivers, Matt Crafton, won his third series championship last month. He also won series championships in 2013 and 2014.

ThorSport Racing, based in Sandusky, is the longest-running team in the NASCAR truck series, Thorson said. Her parents started the team in 1996, and the truck series began in 1995. Her parents’ interest in owning a team goes back to when they were dating.

“It’s been neat to see them grow it,” Thorson said.

Farming business

While the racing team operates out of Sandusky, Thorson has enough happening in Christiana to keep her busy even when she’s not traveling up north. 

The Christiana site serves as a distributor for a line of paint, dust-free turf and other farm products. Thorson recently bought Tenda Horse Products, a manufacturer of topical care products.

The family businesses provide opportunities for partnerships and sponsorships, Thorson said. For example, family brands like Tenda and The Carolina Nut Co. sponsor ThorSport Racing drivers. 

Equine businesses

Even though Thorson works with race teams and farm products, it’s Tennessee Walking Horses that are her passion.

In the Walking Horse industry, Thorson is a 38-time national champion, 59-time international champion and is the holder of 78 world titles, including 12 World Grand Championships, according to her biography. She served as youth vice president of the Tennessee Walking Horse Breeders’ and Exhibitors’ Association from 2014-2018 and was the youngest member of the board of directors at age 20.

She holds riding clinics for youths and in January will resume providing lessons for young riders. She also said she recently began competing in reining, a western horse sport.

Building off of the equine activities, the family is branching out into a new venture — real estate development.

In 2020, it plans to start work on the first phase of The Farm, a residential community of about 300 homes to be located on the Christiana property. Amenities will include riding trails and access to membership at the horse barn. There will be a clubhouse with a high-end restaurant and a sports pub named Dario, in honor of one of Thorson’s dogs. 

There will be a golf simulator and three golf holes with different pars — the thinking being that some people do not have time for a full round of golf.

Thorson said the current clients who board their horses in Christiana are like a community, and once The Farm opens, that sense of community will continue to grow.

“I eagerly look forward to what’s next,” she said.

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