Devon, Pa.—May 26
Andre Dignelli isn’t one for shouting directions at his students as they pass by the in-gate while on course. But on Saturday night under the lights and in front of the swarms of Devon spectators, he made an exception to the rule as his student Daisy Farish followed his advice and left out a stride.
“I actually wanted to do seven [strides] to the end fence as the fourth jump, and I didn’t think there was a six,” said Farish of Versailles, Kentucky. “He said go for it, and you could get the six. He never screams into the ring. He’s very conservative. But after six he was screaming, ‘Go for it! Go for it!’
“That was pretty funny,” said Farish with a laugh.
The unexpected words of encouragement helped Farish and her mount Great White as they finished second in the $20,000 Show Jumping Hall Of Fame junior jumper class behind Paige Matthies and Climbus. And their consistency throughout the weekend left her and “Bruce”—yes that’s a “Finding Nemo” reference—weighed down with loot, as they picked up the junior jumper championship and the leading junior jumper rider title.
While Farish is no stranger to posing for a Devon photo with a giant ribbon on her horse’s browband, this trip marked something more poignant and special for the 18-year-old.
“This was an emotional one because it was my last as a junior,” said Farish. “It was a great one. One I’ll remember, but it’s going to be a different experience to come here as an amateur. But happy to finish on a good note.”
Farish has one more year of high school left before she plans on going to college. But she hopes to always keep a foot in the horse world.
“I plan to keep riding,” said Farish, “and hopefully keep riding after college and see if this could be a career.”
With the equitation finals looming as a goal for her final year, Farish also looks to Bruce to take her to the bigger jumper classes. With Bruce, Farish has competed in her first FEI-rated classes. And prior to Devon they competed at Old Salem (New York) in the show’s three-star classes.
“I was able to bring him along,” said Farish, who purchased the Holsteiner gelding (Cavalor Cumano—Ma July, Julio Mariner) in 2016. “It’s a cool experience. He’s more than we ever could have hoped for.
“[It’s fun that] my biggest classes have been his biggest classes,” she continued.
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