Taylor St. Jacques and Charisma.
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.
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.
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.