by Cheryl Erpelding
Kelly Maddox never gave up on her lifelong dream of owning an equestrian facility. When Denville Kanani, a stunning 23 acre equestrian estate and training center in Pleasanton, CA, came on the market in 2020, Kelly knew it was the spot for her! Unfortunately, she was outbid by the Little family. Two years later on her birthday, Kelly got the call that the exquisite facility was back on the market. With her brother Kevin’s help, they jumped into action and she was able to purchase the well known horse property three months ago. She and her sister Kieran Dulik quickly began to make upgrades with help from her family and customers who all joined in to help make the new farm their own, The Maddox Family Farm.
At a young age Kelly quickly became addicted to horses by watching her older sister Kieran. She followed in her sister’s footsteps and began riding in Japan at age 7, where her family, who moved every two to three years, was living at the time. Both sisters rode successfully as junior riders and both became accomplished trainers. They also rode under Victor Hugo Vidal and many other top trainers. Two years ago, Kelly talked Kieran into moving from Indiana to join her as a trainer and barn manager.
Previously Kelly has run her successful hunter/jumper training business for 20 years at Shiloh West in Castro Valley before moving to her new facility. The new home of Kelly Maddox Training comes complete with a beautiful 6,500 square foot home, which Kelly plans to use for corporate events and meetings, weddings and other functions that the beautiful setting would be perfect for. The first scheduled event at KMT is her nephew Kasey’s upcoming wedding set for June 2.
Kelly’s entire clientele of 37 horses moved with her to the new facility and she has already added five new horses in training. Kelly’s training business caters to both the serious A Circuit riders and also offers a riding academy with wonderful school horses to those that are either beginning riders or riders that don’t own their own horses. KMT will also start back up their Tri-Valley Classic Horse Shows that were on hold during Covid. The schooling shows are a great place for riders to gain confidence, show off their skills and have fun getting the experience of riding for ribbons for an affordable price. Kelly has also lead many IEA teams to top awards and enjoys working with both junior and amateur riders.
The amenities at KMT include: 3 barns with adjoining paddocks, which can house 45 horses; 2 large covered arenas, a large outdoor arena; a covered round pen; an Eurociser; grass pastures; grass turn-outs; all in a peaceful setting. While under the care of the Little’s, the property was extensively upgraded as it had been sitting unused for several years. The riding school horses live in the large mare motel. The footing in the arenas is state of the art and was installed by Rudy Leone with a high tech watering system that waters from the ground up.
In addition, Kelly plans on opening The Show Closet, which will be an onsite consignment shop of gently used show clothes, to help riders save on their show expenses.
Keeping it a family affair, Kelly’s niece, Ashleigh Culiver, runs the KMT Riding Academy. Ashleigh’s husband Collin operates Culiver Cultivation located on the property. Here he grows vegetables and herbs, collects water from the facilities’ roofs, and manages many of the environmental aspects that come along with owning a fully operational horse facility.
This summer, Kelly is excited to be offering advanced camp at KMT for her junior riders. The young riders will learn all aspects of horses and horsemanship with lectures and clinics from professionals in the fields such as a veterinarian, a farrier, a sports psychologists, and a dressage trainer to help improve their flatwork, which will improve their jumping skills overall. The older students will manage the camp as part of their leadership training. The campers will be vying for the KMT Gold Cup, which includes scoring from a written test, the week’s activities and a horse show. Kelly’s philosophy is that it is very important that all of her students learn not only how to ride, but all aspects of horse care and horsemanship. They all tack up their own horses at home, as Kelly believes her students need to know their horse from head to tail, whether they have any swelling, any physical changes or what mood they are in, is all apart of the KMT program. Constantly learning and growing in their horsemanship is always the focus at KMT.
Kelly’s clients share some of their thoughts about KMT:
“Moving to the Maddox Family Farm has allowed Kelly’s business to thrive more than ever before. There is a perfect balance of peacefulness and productivity. The horses love their time out grazing on grass, sunning themselves in their paddocks, there are trails with hills for both relaxation and building strength, and of course, we have THE BEST arena to ride in daily. It’s truly a dream come true!” – Erika Westhoff, Horse Property Specialist at Elation Real Estate and long-time client of KMT.
“Since I moved to KMT in 2012, I have grown tremendously as a rider and more importantly as a person. KMT has a positive and welcoming environment that inspires people of every age to pursue their love of horses. Personally, Team KMT has educated me from a young junior rider learning the basics to being extremely competitive as an amateur. The trainers constantly strive to make KMT feel like a family, whether it is sending out weekly updates to inform everyone on what is new or trying to incorporate clinics and activities to keep the barn interesting. Whether you are a part of the incredible IEA team, competing competitively at an A-rated level, attending our schooling shows, or simply learning the basics at the riding academy, Kelly truly aims to make everyone feel included. She is not only a wonderful and thoughtful trainer who seeks to make every experience a positive one, but a truly inspiring role-model and leader.” – Kiera Hennigan.
To learn more about Kelly Maddox Training visit www.kellymaddoxtraining.com or call 925-575-4818.