When three-year-old horse Cowboys Dirtyboots won Race 2 on June 5th at Century Downs, Devann Crick was elated and overwhelmed with emotion.
“It’s just such a crazy feeling, and it’s pretty cool,” says Crick. “As soon as I kinda knew he won, I was just shaking and just so excited.”
It was Cowboys Dirtyboots’ first win in only three career races. Crick bred, raised and trained him on her own. And she’s just twenty-three years old.
Born on a farm in Lacombe, Alberta, Crick grew up and fell into the industry. Her mother wanted her daughters to learn how to ride and care for their horses properly, so she enrolled them in the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association (ASHA) 4-H Program. It strives to impart youth with a knowledge, love and respect for the race industry and Standardbreds.
As part of its Standardbred Yearling Program, she was paired with a Weanling and taught every aspect of care, from feeding, to hoof care, to teaching the Weanling to be halter-broke. She cared for it until ASHA’S Annual Yearling Sale, where the Yearling was sold.
Since then, Crick has participated in harness racing, jumping and riding. She remained a member of 4-H for eleven years and has a few horses back on her mother’s farm.
“I think they’re fascinating animals, just the stuff we can do with them. Some of them, you have a horse and it just will try its heart out for you. And the relationship you develop with the horses is just so cool,” says Crick.
Cowboys Dirtyboots is the first horse she bred and raised by herself, but Crick wasn’t always sure he would ever get to the races. She describes him as playful, a horse that loves to mess around, and a little on the lazy side when it comes to exercise. But once he started training and getting close to the races, he seemed to enjoy it. He’s been at it ever since placing fourth in his first race.
While Crick did most of the work herself, she’s quick to credit the community for helping her find success. She wouldn’t be able to own horses without her mother’s farm, and she’s got a huge support system within the local community to turn to if she ever needs help, or a sounding board for ideas.
“It’s nice when you just feel like you have people behind you that are excited for you. It makes it an even bigger deal,” says Crick.
In terms of the future, Crick intends to see where things go and continue to do what she loves. She owns a Filly that she hopes to get racing within a month, and aspires to one day get her driver’s license so she can participate in the races.
As for Cowboys Dirtyboots, she’s hoping for a long, storied career.
“I’m really proud of him. He’s just such an awesome little boy, very happy, and it’s awesome to have everybody supporting me. I kinda have done it all myself for the most part, so that’s pretty huge for me.