Auburn equestrian freshman Taylor St. Jacques this year alone won every equitation class at the Devon Horse Show including the Ronnie Mutch Equitation Championship, won the USEF Hunterdon Cup, was second in the USEF Talent Search East Finals, won the Washington Equitation Finals, and won Medal Finals.
From Glen Allen, Virginia, St. Jacques joined the team with immense amount of experience competing and composure under pressure. St. Jacques' talent and impressive resume are more examples of how Auburn's freshman class has added depth to each event this 2017-18 season.
Q: What are some goals you want to achieve during your time as an Auburn equestrian?
A: While I'm here at Auburn, I'd like to win nationals and SECs with the team and I hope to figure out exactly where I want to go in life with a career. I'm on the fence right now with what I want to do exactly when I leave.
Q: What person has impacted you the most in life?
A: My stepdad -- he's put our family together and got us to where we are. He's really worked for everything he's gotten in life and he had nothing when he was younger. Now, he takes care of and pays for six children. His hard work, dedication and everything that he's accomplished is really inspirational.
Q: What has growing up riding taught you?
A: It has taught me to be responsible. You can't really fool around in life, especially when you're on the back of a horse. You have to watch out for them and watch out for yourself and your safety, and theirs as well. I think it has really taught me to mature faster than most people my age.
Q: How do you calm yourself down before competing?
A: I tend to stay by myself and get my mind off of the competition itself because I tend to overthink things. So just kind of being by myself and taking a minute.
Q: What's it been like to transition from the individual side of the sport to the team aspect of collegiate riding?
A: I've always wanted to be on a team with this whole riding thing, and it kind of sucks when you're at a barn and you know at the end of the day everyone is kind of rooting against you. But, here at Auburn I have 39 other girls that are wanting me to do just as well as I want myself to do well, and I absolutely love it. I love being on a team and we're all really close here, and it's great to have 39 other sisters basically and even the coaches are like parents to us.
Q: What's your most prized possession?
A: I think it's my jumper. His barn name is Oliver. I don't know how to say his show name because it's something French. But, he's my baby and is everything to me.
Q: Which horse is your favorite to ride at Auburn?
A: I really like Sully. I feel like I just get along with him. There are some horses that I really click with and I think he's one of them. He's so sweet and has a good personality. When you ride him, he doesn't look to do anything wrong and really looks to do what you ask. For a college horse, that's a lot to ask of them. He's a trooper.
Q: What is it like doing the Flat since it's not an event in the individual side of the sport?
A: I enjoy it. It's basically dressage and I did dressage up until I was 12 growing up. We boarded at a dressage barn and it's the foundation and the basics that kind of get you ready for jumping. And so I think it's really interesting.
Q: What are your plans after Auburn?
A: I'm in pre-business right now and definitely want to do something in that field. I'm kind of thinking finance. If I stay in horses then obviously business helps that too. But, I chose business because you can go anywhere with it and it opens doors for a lot of other opportunities.
Q: Are you considering going pro after you graduate?
A: Sometimes I want to, sometimes don't. I really want to strive for the Olympics, but I don't know if I want to make it my entire life. It's been my entire life since I was four. Now, coming here to Auburn, it's a different atmosphere. While it's still horses every day, I get to have a social life actually. It's not just riding at the barn every day and I like that.
Q: What do you feel sets Auburn apart from other programs?
A: I didn't actually visit any other schools, but this was the first school I came to and as soon as I stepped onto campus I fell in love.
Q: What is the riding achievement that you are most proud of?
A: I think my biggest riding achievement was Finals this year outside of here. We have four Finals, there's the USET Finals, which I was Reserve Champion at, and then we have Medal Finals, which I won. There is Washington Equitation Finals, which I won, and then Maclay Finals. Last year I was second at Maclay. This year, I didn't really have my best show but I think this fall season overall was amazing for me. I won two of the four Finals and that was a huge accomplishment. I've always wanted to win a Final and to win two was really just tremendous.