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By Jan Westmark-Allan
Pan Am Gold medalist dressage rider Pierre St Jacques
and his wife Samantha, an Olympic Three Day eventer, are
a powerhouse horse couple who have competed all over
the world. From Devon to the Palm Beach World Dressage
Masters, where Pierre was the highest placing American
in the Grand Prix Special, he has made his mark on the
dressage world. (Samantha has also made her mark on
the eventing world, read her story in this issue of Sidelines
Pierre and Samantha recently added a new St Jacques
to the world with the birth of their son, Stirling Keaton. “I am
thrilled about being a dad and I look forward to watching
my son grow up and become passionate about whatever
he chooses in life,” Pierre said.
Pierre is certainly passionate about dressage and is
looking forward to competing in the Festival of Champions
in Gladstone and then at Devon with Lucky Tiger, a horse
Pierre ranks as his number one all-time favorite horse.
“Lucky Tiger and I have spent so many years together and
we have traveled all over the world. I have gone places and
done things which I never would have done without him. I
am very grateful to Lucky Tiger and really appreciate and
enjoy being able to train and compete him.”
Pierre grew up in Canada but became a United States
citizen in 1999. “I began my dressage career here in the
United States and I have always felt at home in the U.S.”
Who did you train with while living in Canada?
I lived in Montreal as a teenager and Carol Lavell
lived an hour-and-a-half away. I moved from Montreal to
the United States when I was a teenager to train with Carol
in Fairfax, Vermont. I currently work with Lars Petersen. I
have known and worked with Lars for over ffteen years.
Where did you fnd Lucky Tiger?
Lucky Tiger is a 17 hand, 1995 Danish Warmblood
gelding. I was in Denmark in 2000 visiting Lars at Blue
Hors and I got the chance to ride Lucky Tiger, who was for
sale. I was immediately impressed by him. I had helped
Lisa Belcastro with the training of one of her horses and
she had told me if I ever found a really special horse she
would love to help me in any way she could. When I found
Lucky Tiger, I called her to see if she was interested in
helping me purchase him and she immediately said yes.
Within a few days we had fnalized the sale and she has
been a wonderful long time supporter of my partnership
with Lucky Tiger.
What have you accomplished with Lucky Tiger?
Lucky Tiger and I won the team Gold medal at the
2003 Pan American Games, we were Reserve National
Grand Prix Champion in 2009 at the Festival of Champions,
we have competed together at the Festival of Champions
fve times, we placed third in the Grand Prix and ffth overall
at the 2010 WEG fnal selection trials, we placed second in
the Grand Prix Special at the Palm Beach World Dressage
Masters 2011 and we are currently on the United States
Dressage Team High Performance “A” list My goal with
Lucky Tiger is to compete him at the Festival of Champions
and Devon this fall and then begin preparation for the
A Few Minutes with Pierre St Jacques
Olympic Selection Trials next winter.
You and Lucky Tiger were very successful at the 2011
Palm Beach World Dressage Masters, how did that feel?
The World Dressage Masters was a fantastic show. The
organizing committee and sponsors did a wonderful job making it
a high profle show that attracted an audience. It was unbelievably
fun to compete in an atmosphere like that and my horse loved it!
We need more shows like this to continue to promote dressage in
the United States and North America. Lucky Tiger and I did very
well. We placed ninth in the Grand Prix with a 68.5% and we were
second in the Grand Prix Special with a 69.4%, just 0.3% behind
the winner. We were the highest placed Americans in the Grand
Prix Special.
Do you have any up-and-coming young horses that
you are excited about?
I have a really nice seven-year-old Dutch mare by Prestige
VDL. She is very athletic and gorgeous and I am really excited
about her. We have a few other young ones in the barn that
are very nice and I am currently looking for some more to start
developing. I would really like to work more with breeders to help
Pierre was the highest placed American at the Palm Beach World
Photo by Sharon Packer
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