…from Alicante, Spain to Aiken, South Carolina U.S.A.

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Miguel Coves and Dorothea Darden met in Spain much by the hand of destiny. It is the beginning of a new life for both and the start of a series of projects together. One of which is Coves Darden Farm.
Both come from families with deep roots in the equestrian world. Dorothea’s family bred Trakehner horses since around the First World War. Her great grandparents operated a large horse and livestock breeding facility in what at the time was the most north east part of Germany. As World War II erupted and the Russians advanced on their land Dorothea’s grandmother fled with her ailing parents and her five young children in a carriage pulled by Trakehner mares. Many horses were lost in the war both of the family and of the breed in general.
As a child Dorothea participated in eventing until eventually dressage became of greater interest. Through family connections she was able to learn and ride alongside Kurt Albrecht Von Ziegner who’s well rounded disciplinary training and great feel for horses left an everlasting mark on her approach to training. Among other trainers and mentors she is especially grateful to Gunhild Schröder for her teachings and advise over the years.

Miguel Coves also comes from a family where horse and livestock have always been a part of life. As a Spanish national, born and raised in the Valencian region of Spain he is and has lived the culture of Spain and the Spanish horse his whole life. His father and grandfathers bought, sold, bred and raised Spanish horses as a sideline to their careers. He grew up between the mares and the foals. Drank the mares milk and helped his father with the chores on the farm. Now he too continues selecting horses most loyal to the best of the spanish horse and breeding them for the most desirable traits based his own experience and the collective knowledge of his predecessors. Valuable breeding stock is recognized as such for the transmission of desirable traits to the next generation and successful selections are made with the profound knowledge of the bloodlines from which these horses stem.

The relationship that ensued between Dorothea and Miguel resulted in the conjunction of their knowledge in Coves Darden Farm. In the first years of this century in close collaboration with their good friends Don Javier Larrosa and his wife Maria selections were made out of the existing herd to keep or sell. In the process of creating a new combined herd of Coves and Darden, new brood mares were bought. Stallions were exchanged and young stock was sold. In October of 2008 the first shipment of 40 P.R.E. horses immigrated into the U S A to form the baseline of Coves Darden Farm USA. Since then another 20 have been imported to cover sales in the first years. Buyers no longer need to travel to spain to buy a spanish horse bred by a spanish breeder, they are born right here in the USA with no import, travel and foreign buyer price hikes to pay on top of the price of the horse. Currently 3 Stallions and 9 broodmares carry the title Qualified Breed Stock out of the Coves Darden herd they are producing some of the best offspring we have seen in a long time and that will be coming of age in the next several years. Breeding after all is a slow process. It takes almost 4 years before the first babies are 3 years old and ready for the saddle. Another year to gather information about the results of a breeding selection made 5 years prior. Building a reputation for quality horses also takes thought, time and a lot of work. Young horses at Coves Darden are raised in the field, halter trained and educated with appropriate ground manners and when they are put under saddle they are prepared for dressage competition and give a public track record under their belts. It is a long process and building a business in a new part of the world has ramifications that are not easy but the project is driven by the passion and the love for horses and each other that Dorothea and Miguel share.
Coves Darden Farm: Miguel and Dorothea would like to thank those employees (both present and past) who work(ed) for Coves Darden in good faith, with light and loyalty in their hearts and with a smile on their faces. Thank you
We would like to thank our customers and wish them the best with their new horses or the babies they are raising or expecting. We hope to hear how they are doing over the next years.