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...
Michael Dignelli is Andre’s older brother and manages all of the business side of Heritage, as well as daily operations. He has been instrumental in not only the development of the farm, but of his younger brother’s career as well.
In their childhood, Michael accompanied Andre to many of his first horse shows and continued to be there every step of the way. He and his brother share a love of horse sports, and his support and hands-on attitude in running the establishment continuously contribute to Heritage’s success
Michael and his wife, Joanne, live on the farm in Katonah. They have two sons, Justin and Dean.
Patricia Griffith first came to Heritage as a working student in 1997. That year, she placed second in the, and soon after, was asked on as part of the team. As a rider, Patricia has won the World Champion Hunter Rider Professional Challenge, topped four USHJA International Hunter Derbies, has taken tricolors in hunter divisions at the nations top shows as well as won in the grand prix jumper ring. In 2011 alone, she placed fourth in both the $100,000 USHJA International Hunter Derby Finals in Kentucky and in the $500,000 Diamond Mills Hunter Prix Final.
In her work as a trainer at Heritage, Patricia has coached over 10 USEF Pony Finals champions, four USEF Pony Medal Final winners and has won the Emerson Burr Perpetual Trainer Award three times.
She was born and raised in Bronxville, N.Y. and grew up riding at Twin Lakes Farm in Eastchester. In 2008, the Chronicle of the Horse named her their Show Hunter Horseman Of The Year.
Patricia also holds her U.S. Equestrian Federation "R" judge license and enjoys judging a couple shows each year.
Originally from Colchester, Vt., Laena Romond grew up showing in equitation, junior hunters and junior jumpers under Fran Joe and Annie Dotoli at Ox Ridge Hunt Club. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College (cum Laude in biochemistry), Laena also competed on the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association circuit, and as a freshman, she won the coveted USEF/Cacchione Cup. 2007 marked her first year working as part of the Heritage team .
Dottie Barnwell-Areson joined the Heritage team in 2007 and spent three years on on-the-road manager. In 2010, she became one of the farm’s assistant trainers, and she spends the majority of her time working with riders in the short stirrup and children’s hunters, and putting in extra time to help Medal/Maclay-bound students garner their final points in order to qualify. Before coming to Katonah, Dottie worked for the Arute family and Olympic Dreams, LLC, where she collaborated often with Scott Stewart and Ken Berkeley of River’s Edge. After college, she managed Amanda Steege’s horses at Ashmeadow Farm. Dottie enjoyed a successful junior career under Jane Fennessy of Carriage Hill Farm in Florida and eventually acted as assistant manager there during her years at Florida Atlantic University.