Last updated: July 25. 2013 9:00AM -

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Chris Slone

PDT Sports Editor

On Saturday, all eyes will be on the Kentucky Derby.

The 20 contestants will be in the lime light as well as the jockeys and the owners of the thoroughbreds. But before the two-minute dash, a local woman gets to live in her own lime light.

Dianne Volz owns a therapy company devoted toward horses.

“I’ve always loved working with horses,” Volz said. “We had a small farm in Sciotoville. I’ve had horses since I was three.”

Volz grew up in Portsmouth. She graduated from Minford in 1977. After her high school years, she attended Morehead State University where she obtained a degree in equine science.

The owner of Equine502 has worked on three previous Derby winners. Because of privacy issues, Volz was not able to disclose the names.

“I have worked on winners of the Preakness, Belmont and the Derby,” Volz said.

Volz has been working with Derby horses nearly a quarter century. She has had anywhere from two or three clients to 10 or 15 clients each year.

“It’s the most wonderful job in the world,” Volz said. “The horses have so much to give. They give back as much as we give to them. They appreciate so much. That’s the rewarding part of the job, if they go out and win the race, that’s just icing on the cake. Just to be a part of their career as professional athletes and to help them perform to the best of their abilities, that’s the huge reward.”

Volz performs preventive maintenance on the horses to prevent injuries from occurring.

“It’s a hands-on job,” Volz said. “They (the horses) are the best communicators in the world. They use their bodies. They move their ears and eyes, they don’t use words but they are great communicators.”

Volz next career goal is to work with a Triple Crown winner.

“I’m pretty content,” Volz said. “A Triple Crown winner would be fun but there really isn’t a downside.”

Volz has six employees who work in different parts of the country. As for herself, Volz works in Kentucky, New York and Florida throughout the year.

“That’s where my clients go,” Volz said. “I go with them.”

Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or cslone@civitasmedia.com. For breaking sports news, follow Chris on Twitter @crslone.

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