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By Jessica DiCostanzo
So, who bought the private estate formerly known as Blenheim Farms? Will it stay a premier horse farm? The mystery is over, and we can thank the horse gods for the competitive western rider, Devon Martin. Even more fortuitous is that Devon is an Orange County native and understands the importance of preserving the equestrian community in Southern California.
Like most of us, Martin’s parents enrolled her in camp at Rawhide Ranch as a kid … and that was it! She was hooked on horses. Martin continued to ride and take lessons at Seahorse Stables in Newport Beach. Though she describes herself as “awkward and gangly,” she recalls the confidence that being around horses gave her.
Devon took a hiatus from riding during her late teens, but she was hit hard with the “horse bug” 15 years later during a family vacation at a dude ranch. She and her husband, Kevin, went all in. The Martins bought a horse property in Santa Ana Heights, where they kept their horses and boarded a few additional horses until they outgrew the facility. This property gave her the confidence and the experience to pursue what is now known as 5M Ranch (formerly Blenheim). As she looks around and envisions the future, she “feels very blessed to be here.”
Martin plans to fine-tune the facility for performance show horses and rehabilitation. The facility features Kayla McQuaig as the resident trainer for horses in the disciplines of all-around Western and English events for AQHA, APHA, and PtHA, such as trail Western pleasure, Western riding, ranch riding, ranch trail, horsemanship, showmanship, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, performance halter, and ranch conformation. Dr. Jennifer Clarke, highlighted in a previous article, will continue her rehab program out of 5M Ranch with Martin’s blessing and support.
We are grateful for Devon Martin in our equestrian community and happy to hear she loves San Juan Capistrano because of its equestrian heritage.
Jessica DiCostanzo is a San Juan Capistrano Equestrian Coalition Board Member, lifelong equestrian, and co-founder of equivont.com.