Devon Kane Moving To Next Step in Dressage Career

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Devon Kane riding Destiny at Global Dressage Festival. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com
Devon Kane riding Destiny at Global Dressage Festival. © 2013 Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

By KENNETH J. BRADDICK

Devon Kane was riding at Junior level when she first moved to Wellington, Florida graduated to Young Riders where she won gold at the North American Championships and is now preparing a new phase in her life to train young horses for a future she hopes will take her to the top of the sport.

A new specially designed version is on the drawing board to replace Diamante Farms that her family bought almost a decade ago for Devon to live her dream of training and competing.

Now, at the age of 27, she is setting out on a new path. But some core features of her equestrian life remain unchanged–the passion for horse sports and to maintain the ties with U.S. Olympian Michelle Gibson, her trainer and mentor through good times and bad since those junior years that has evolved into a partnership.

“It has been an amazing journey so far,” Devon told dressage-news.com of her life after the family’s purchase of Diamante Farms in 2002 and her moving to Wellington from their home in San Antonio, Texas, three years later.

Devon Kane - Douwe“I’ve learned so much about the daily operation of everything to do with horses. I’m excited to be able to put together all those pieces into something that will be built to our function.”

The Diamante Farm they bought in Wellington was built with 22 stalls in courtyard style, full size covered arena and outdoor riding rings. It was sold to the Kane family when the previous owner wanted a more manageable operation.

Michelle Gibson, the leading rider on the United States team that won bronze in the Olympics that were in her home state of Georgia in 1996, had been coaching Devon in Texas and became the in-house trainer at Diamante.

Devon went to the North American Young Rider Championships once, in 2007, and left with an individual gold medal.

And she has been raising her son Colton who is now eight years old and prefers the more energetic horse sport of polo.

Colton on Don Angelo
Colton on Don Angelo

“Everything is so nice here,” Devon said, “but I’m looking forward to the next step.”

The next step is not downsizing but switching the focus to training young horses rather than boarding. She will remain in Florida year-round and that makes a covered arena essential in the extreme heat and humidity of summer.

The family owns four horses and some foals in Europe all ages and plan to train them mostly for sale.

Destiny, a Danish Warmblood gelding (Diamond Hit x Midt-West Regina – Rubinstein) she started as a four-year-old and is now aged 10, started at small tour in early 2012 with considerable success and will most likely be at Grand Prix this year. She will compete him at national shows and developing Grand Prix classes.

“It’s the first horse I’ve trained to Grand Prix,” she said. “I’m very excited. We will take our time. I want him to be really confident when we go in the ring.

“He’s really cool, but super sensitive. I love him. He’s just crazy, very smart, very talented.”

Devon said the aim is to buy more foals and young horses and train them up for sale that will be factored into the design of a new barn to keep everything functional and safe.

“I’m really excited about developing that aspect of the business, that we can actually be sucessful and have fun at the same time,” she said.

“I can’t afford a seven-year-old Grand Prix horse so if I want something nice I’m going to have to make it and that’s even more fun.

“I’m very lucky that my parents have supported me and Michelle has taught me how to do so much.”

Michelle has been her trainer since Devon was 15 years old.

“We help each other,” she said. “We’ve gotten through some tough times. Now it works both ways some of the time. It makes me more confident when Michelle asks my opinion.”

Devon beat Michelle for the first time ever at the Wellington 5* CDI that was presented by Diamante Farms–twice in the same weekend in the small tour.