Andre Dignelli has been teaching winners and training top horses for over 20 years.
In 1987, he joined Judy Richter at Coker Farm—where he was a working student in his final junior years and with whom he had won the 1985 USET Finals. In his time there, Andre represented the U.S. on one of Judy's horses, Gaelic, and won the bronze medal at the 1991 Pan American Games in Cuba. That same year, he trained his first national equitation final winner, Peter Lutz, who took top honors at both the Rolex USET Show Jumping Talent Search—East and in the Rolex ASPCA Maclay Final.
Since then, Andre has coached numerous equitation, hunter and jumper champions at all the nation's top shows. His program at Heritage Farm has influenced the careers of international show jumpers Kent Farrington and Kirsten Coe.
In just the past five years, Andre has trained a slew of national equitation champions. In 2006, his student Maggie McAlary won both the Pessoa/USEF Medal and the Maclay National. The next year, Addison Phillips, won blue at the Maclay. Matthew Metell won the USET Finals—East in 2009, and the Washington International Horse Show Equitation Classic was won by Heritage students in both 2009 and 2010—Samantha Schaefer and Lillie Keenan respectively. 2011 brought great success to Heritage, Andre coaching Schaefer Raposa and Brittany Hurst to a 1-2 finish in the Pessoa/USEF Medal and Samantha Schaefer to a win in the USET Finals—East.
As Andre has said, his horses and riders can win in the hunter, equitation and jumpers rings—and often do. Heritage Farm garnered two of the nation's most prestigious hunter wins in 2011, with Lillie Keenan winning the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals and Samantha Schaefer topping the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Finals.
In recognition of Heritage's stellar 2011 season, the Chronicle of the Horse named Andre and his Heritage Farm team their Show Hunter Horsemen Of The Year.