A Year to Remember for Taylor St. Jacques at Devon Horse Show

Devon, Pa. – May 26, 2017 – As Taylor St. Jacques trotted into the Dixon Oval once more atop Heritage Farm’s Charisma on Friday afternoon, she had a lot riding on her shoulders as she has been the leading force dominating the equitation divisions thus far. The 18-year-old superstar from Glen Allen, Virginia, walked away on Thursday with three blue ribbons – one from each section of the WIHS Equitation Classic Jumper Phase, the Platinum Performance/USEF Show Jumping Talent Search and the Pessoa/US Hunter Seat Medal. On Friday, she capped off an incredible start to the 2017 Devon Horse Show by winning the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship.
Taylor St. Jacques and Charisma
St. Jacques’ additional victory in her section of the ASPCA Maclay on Friday morning was icing on the cake as it meant she and her mount were not only four-for-four and gaining more valuable points towards indoor finals, but they were also in tip-top shape entering into the afternoon’s highly-anticipated class.
Winners from each section of the four equitation divisions were invited back to participate in the prestigious R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship to vie for the coveted trophy and tricolor ribbon.
Top names joined St. Jacques in the ring to give it a shot over the Allen Rheinheimer-designed track, including Samantha Cohen, Haley Redifer, McKayla Langmeier, Annabel Revers and Cooper Dean.
It was a year of firsts for St. Jacques and the Heritage Farm team. While Heritage Farm owner and head trainer Andre Dignelli is notorious for producing winners in all three rings at the most prestigious horse shows and finals throughout the country, Dignelli had yet to coach a rider at Devon to win every equitation class in addition to the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship.
Both Dignelli, who owns Charisma, and St. Jacques were quick to praise the 10-year-old bay Warmblood gelding’s performance. Charisma has been a versatile horse, campaigning not only in the equitation but also in international hunter derbies. St. Jacques paired up with him just last year during regionals and advanced to finals in the fall.
A magical ending concluded St. Jacques’ final time competing in the equitation at Devon Junior Weekend. In terms of the future, St. Jacques has her sights set on participating in the U25 jumper division and hopefully competing at the Olympic Games one day.
Finishing behind St. Jacques to secure reserve champion honors was McKayla Langmeier and Calberon B, owned by Linda Langmeier.
Taylor St. Jacques and Charisma
Taylor St. Jacques – First Place

On winning the 2017 R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship:
“It feels incredible to win. Charisma is an incredibly special horse and it’s amazing.”
On her background with Charisma:
“I just partnered up with him for regionals last year. That was my first show with him. Then I did finals on him last year. We did a couple of shows during WEF and the George H. Morris Excellence in Equitation Championship, then we did one week in Old Salem for the equitation challenge, which we won, and then this show. He’s my kind of ride. He’s soft and up in my hand. He is just the most amazing horse.”
On specific goals coming to Devon:
“I really wanted to make it a special Devon this year. He’s a winner and my goal was just to win as much as I could here. It feels incredible. He was so good, I couldn’t have asked him to be any better.”
On winning at Devon:
“It’s an incredible feeling. It’s such a good horse show and very historic. Everyone comes here and there are a lot of spectators. It’s really nice to see everyone come out and root for you – I love this show. My very first time here was in 2011 with my small pony but this is only my fifth time here.”
On the equitation courses at Devon:
“The courses are a lot more technical here. You can’t just coast around and get lucky, you really have to know how to ride the courses in order to be successful. That’s how it should be. It’s a top show and you should have harder courses to really make the best stand out.”
On her long term goals:
“This is my last junior year. I’m hoping to really make it a good one and go out with some top placings at finals. After that, I would like to excel in the jumpers and eventually go to the Olympics.”
McKayla Langmeier – Second Place
On Calberon B:
“This is a newer mount for me in the equitation. Today was his first time in the ring here so I thought he was really amazing. He went in there and performed perfectly.”

On winning at Devon:

“To win at Devon – words can’t even describe. It’s such an amazing feeling having the blue and white medal strapped around your neck and doing the victory gallop.”

On her plan for the summer and fall:

“We’re going to Spruce [Meadows] and Europe next so I won’t be doing the equitation much over the summer, but I do hope to win another final this year. That’s a major goal of mine for my last two junior years.”
Andre Dignelli – Head trainer of Heritage Farm, Inc.

On Taylor St. Jacques and Charisma:
“Taylor and I met two years ago at this show. She tapped me on the shoulder and said, ‘I want to get from where I am right now to where Lillie Keenan is,’ at that point. That’s when our relationship started. This horse we brought to Devon last year with a different rider and that was the moment, for me, when I knew he was a champion. He went beautifully here. When he became available in September, I knew that Taylor was an obvious pairing. You put a great rider with a great horse, you get a great result. What makes that horse special is that he’s every bit of an equitation horse but he’s also a hunter – he’s a great looking horse, he’s a beautiful mover and beautiful jumper. You can’t help but like him. He has a huge stride. He’s really as good as it gets and to have the two of them together has been awesome. I know that when I put these two in the ring I have a real shot to win.”

On Taylor St. Jacques’ success at this year’s Devon Horse Show:
“I’ve been doing this a long time. I’ve helped a lot of top kids and pairings but it’s the first time I’ve ever come where my student has won every class that they’ve entered including the ‘best of’ trophies. That’s a first for me so I couldn’t be happier.”

On the updated format of the R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship:
“I’ve been a big advocate for having a championship class. This year, being in the other position, I thought, ‘To have won all of these classes and not be champion would really be a downer but it is what it is.’ It’s nice it worked out. These are top riders so it’s very exciting for us.”

McKayla Langmeier and Calberon B
R.W. “Ronnie” Mutch Equitation Championship:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Charisma / Taylor St. Jacques / Heritage Farm, Inc.
2. Calberon B / McKayla Langmeier / Linda Langmeier
3. Quax / Annabel Revers / Beechwood Stables LLC
4. Ballon / Haley Redifer / Haley Redifer
5. Kaskade / Samantha Cohen / Samantha Cohen
6. Kori D’Oro / Cooper Dean / Heritage Farm, Inc.
ASPCA Maclay – Section A:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Charisma / Taylor St. Jacques / Heritage Farm, Inc.
2. Kingston / Adam Edgar / David Raposa
3. Jarinka / Emma Callanan / Emma Callanan
ASPCA Maclay – Section B:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Ballon / Haley Redifer / Haley Redifer
2. Class Action / Coco Fath / Hillside Farm LLC
3. Carl / Emma Kurtz / Betsee Parker
ASPCA Maclay – Section C:
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner
1. Quax / Annabel Revers / Beechwood Stables LLC
2. Clover / Samantha Cohen / Sail Horse Investments
3. Kori D’Oro / Cooper Dean / Heritage Farm, Inc.
Coco Fath Tops Friday Junior Jumpers
Later in the evening, 16-year-old Coco Fath of Fairfield, Connecticut, captured the win in the second round of the Junior Jumper championship aboard Hillside Farm LLC’s Huckleberry.

Twenty-one junior riders returned after Thursday’s Junior Jumper Speed Stake to compete once again under the lights in the Dixon Oval.

Only seven were able to clear Kelvin Bywater’s first round track to advance to the jump-off. Taylor St. Jacques, who has had a stand-out Junior Weekend at Devon thus far, and her own Qantar Des Etisses were first to return for the jump-off, setting the standard to beat at 4 faults in a time of 34.914 seconds, which would garner them third place as the fastest of the 4-faulters in the final standings.

Jorja Rose Jones and Diane Master’s Light Show produced a double-clear effort a few rounds later, stopping the clock in 42.081 seconds. Yet their time would earn them second place honors in the end as Fath and the 10-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding jumped clear and bested their time by four seconds in 38.906 seconds for the win.

Coco Fath and Huckleberry (Photo: The Book LLC)
Coco Fath

On Huckleberry:
“I got Huckleberry a little over a year ago and we’ve been competing in the highs and some of the U25 classes. This is my first Devon with him.”
On the course:
“Yesterday we were a little fresh and then today he was settled just right on it. I thought both rounds were really nice and competitive. They were able to keep the right amount of people in the jump-off for the amount of people they had. The jump-off was nice and short but a little demanding. The last jump was a little bit of a buggy jump. I wasn’t the fastest time but I was going for a nicer, clear round.”
On her plan for Saturday night’s final Junior Jumper class:
“I’m definitely going to go faster in the jump-off and be a little more competitive in tomorrow night’s class. I’m hoping he’s going to be the same way he was tonight so we can just have a really nice clear round and be a little faster.”
On the Devon Horse Show:
“It’s such a classic show. It has been around for so long. I really look forward to it. It’s at the end of the school year and it’s a great kick-off to summer. I’ve had some good years here. It’s one of my favorite shows for sure.”
Coco Fath and Huckleberry (Photo: The Book LLC)
$3,750 Junior Jumper (second round):
Place / Horse / Rider / Owner / Round One Faults / Round Two Faults / Time
1. Huckleberry / Coco Fath / Hillside Farm LLC / 0 / 0 / 38.906
2. Light Show / Jorja Rose Jones / Diane Masters / 0 / 0 / 42.081
3. Qantar Des Etisses / Taylor St. Jacques / Taylor St. Jacques / 0 / 4 / 34.914
4. Helene Ve / Alexandra Pielet / Co-Pielet, LLC / 0 / 4 / 35.689
5. Great White / Daisy Farish / Daisy Farish / 0 / 4 / 37.795
6. Alberto II / Daisy Farish / Stoney Ridge Farm LLC / 0 / 4 / 40.727
7. Caretina III / Giavanna Rinaldi / Haylie Rolfe / 0 / 21 / 62.066
New Additions to Devon in 2017
Devon is a place steeped in tradition, but that does not keep the show from trying new things. For 2017, Devon is welcoming some exciting additions. Ranging from added classes in the Dixon Oval to structural changes on the grounds to new menu items at the Country Fair’s food booths, new traditions will be made this year. Here are just a few you may notice around Devon:
Arena Eventing: On Sunday, May 28, at 7 p.m., some of the best riders in the world will compete in Devon’s $50,000 Arena Eventing class. The class will combine a cross-country phase, which is ridden over fences, outside and over varying terrain, with a show jumping phase, which is ridden over fences inside a ring. The Arena Eventing class at Devon is only the fourth of its kind in the world.
Budweiser Clydesdales are back: The famed Budweiser Clydesdales will be pulling the Budweiser wagon into the Dixon Oval on Friday, June 2, and Saturday, June 3. The Clydesdales do not make an appearance at Devon every year so be sure to catch them this year!
Church Farm School Choir: As part of Devon’s Tribute to Heroes on Memorial Day, this choir from the all-boys day and boarding school in Exton will perform at Devon for the first time. The group performs all over the country including Carnegie Hall, the U.S. Naval Chapel in Annapolis and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. as well as internationally.
New two-story grandstand: The East 4 Grandstand is now a two-story tent structure.  The upgrades added a second floor to the structure, which will include tables for up to six people. The first floor will hold the existing E4 boxholders. Want to reserve a table? Contact the Devon ticket office at 610-688-2554 for more information.
New handicapped facilities: Handicapped facilities have been updated for this year’s show. There are now men’s and women’s handicapped-accessible restrooms under the East 1 Grandstand. This is adjacent to the handicapped-accessible seating in the East 2 Grandstand.
Brunch at the Tea Cart: The Tea Cart continues to add to its menu with new brunch options. The offerings will include quiche and ingredients to make your own mimosas.
Be sure to check out these new offerings and much more throughout the 2017 Devon Horse and Country Fair!
The Budweiser Clydesdales will be returning to the Devon Horse and Country Fair on June 2 and June 3. (Photo: Brenda Carpenter Photography)