FROM THE WINNER'S CIRCLE
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."