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Ten Minutes with Andre Dignelli

A winning equestrian



Photos by Michael Dignelli

Andre Dignelli was a working student at Bedford’s Coker Farm in the 1980s. In 1985, he won the USET Finals; in ‘91, he took the bronze medal in Cuba at the Pan American Games. In ’94, Andre and his brother, Michael, bought a Katonah property and named it Heritage Farm. Today it’s one of a handful of places in the country where you can start riding as a seven year old and go all the way to the Grand Prix. 

Your students have won top awards. In fact, you’re known for creating champions. What qualities do you look for in a young rider?
Ambition is number one. Next, work ethic. Talent is probably number three. Family support, both mentally and financially. 

You’re known for a certain sartorial style. How would you describe it? 
I love Ralph Lauren. He’s perfect for a fashionable equestrian lifestyle. We’re limited in what we can wear when we compete, so accessories are significant. Sunglasses, belts, what kind of jacket you’re wearing. Ralph Lauren’s country classics are fabulous.

Long ago, Judy Richter championed you when you were a young but hardworking nobody. How important is it to have a guardian angel/mentor? 
I think it’s everything. To have someone believe in you, recognize your talent, help you develop it—that’s what Judy did for me. Also my brother, Michael. They both believed in me. I’ve taken that role for countless children. They need to know I believe they can do it.

You live a seemingly jet set lifestyle, traveling to Europe on horse-buying trips. At horse shows, you’re frequently photographed in the winner’s circle. Is your life really glamorous? 
It appears very glamorous. I want to uphold that appearance. I feel grateful I’ve found something I truly love, and it’s afforded me this incredible life. Horses have brought me all around the world, shopping for them, competing. This sport has fortified my inner rock star. It is glamorous hard work.

It’s evident horses are your passion. If you didn’t ride and train, is there something else that would engage you so fiercely?
  I get asked that question a lot. Truthfully, there hasn’t been a day when I thought about doing something else.

The fate of unwanted horses is of growing national concern. The SPCA says 150,000 horses ship to slaughter every year. Any thoughts how to heal or fix this? 
It’s a problem even in my industry. We’re posed with the question of what becomes of these former champions. Some find homes with people who want to glance out into their backyard and see a wonderful older horse with a great story. Some go to therapeutic riding programs. Some stay at Heritage Farm and are retired there. I don’t have a good answer to the slaughter issue, but we do feel an obligation to these horses who’ve been so good to us. 

What can humans learn from horses? 
Parents often ask, “Why should Susie have a pony?” She will learn responsibility, compassion, and time management. Because interacting with animals is good for the soul. For me, it’s always been horses. I also have a dog.

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March 2017

The Katonah Poetry Series continues its 50th Anniversary Season with a reading by Westchester native Kimiko Hahn. Born in Mt. Kisco, raised in Pleasantville, Hahn is the author of nine poetry...

Cost: $10; students free

Where:
Katonah Village Library
26 Bedford Road
Katonah, NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: Katonah Poetry Series
Telephone: 914-271-1062
Contact Name: Julie Nord
Website »

More information

This year we feature 38 engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining films—a robust mix of documentaries and narratives, along with all eight episodes of False Flag, one of the latest...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theatre, this is a festival celebrating women playwrights and directors with eight original one-act plays. Glass Ceiling Breakers offers a...

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students

Where:
Axial Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church
8 Sunnyside Avenue
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 286-7680
Website »

More information

Last Days of Pangea: In the Footsteps of Dinosaurs November 19, 2016 - July 16, 2017 Image: Cast skull of Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivorous reptiles during the late Triassic, 200...

Cost: $7 adult, $6 Senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06878
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center Spring Youth Classes 2017 Spin It! Spring 2017 Youth Classes start March 26 at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester and run for 6 weeks. Build your inner artist while creating...

Cost: $120-$180

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

The 2017 Westchester Jewish Film Festival opens on March 16 and runs through April 2 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. this year's festival features 38 films, both documentary...

Cost: varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: AJC Westchester/Fairfield and others
Telephone: 914-773-7663424
Contact Name: Abby Popper
Website »

More information

This exhibit examines the 19th-century origins of this traditionally African-American congregation, as well as Antioch's growth, people, music, and ministries over its long and vibrant history...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bedford Hills Train Station
Depot Plaza
Bedford Hills, NY  10507
View map »


Sponsor: Bedford Hills Historical Museum
Telephone: 914-806-2518
Contact Name: Ellen Cohen, Elin Peterson
Website »

More information

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This year we feature 38 engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining films—a robust mix of documentaries and narratives, along with all eight episodes of False Flag, one of the latest...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theatre, this is a festival celebrating women playwrights and directors with eight original one-act plays. Glass Ceiling Breakers offers a...

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students

Where:
Axial Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church
8 Sunnyside Avenue
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 286-7680
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center Spring Youth Classes 2017 Spin It! Spring 2017 Youth Classes start March 26 at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester and run for 6 weeks. Build your inner artist while creating...

Cost: $120-$180

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

The 2017 Westchester Jewish Film Festival opens on March 16 and runs through April 2 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. this year's festival features 38 films, both documentary...

Cost: varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: AJC Westchester/Fairfield and others
Telephone: 914-773-7663424
Contact Name: Abby Popper
Website »

More information

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Patrick Raftery, Librarian for the Westchester County Historical Society, will present an overview of our county’s history that begins with the county’s occupation by Native Americans,...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Library
271 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Library
Telephone: 914-764-5085
Website »

More information

This year we feature 38 engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining films—a robust mix of documentaries and narratives, along with all eight episodes of False Flag, one of the latest...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theatre, this is a festival celebrating women playwrights and directors with eight original one-act plays. Glass Ceiling Breakers offers a...

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students

Where:
Axial Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church
8 Sunnyside Avenue
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 286-7680
Website »

More information

Last Days of Pangea: In the Footsteps of Dinosaurs November 19, 2016 - July 16, 2017 Image: Cast skull of Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivorous reptiles during the late Triassic, 200...

Cost: $7 adult, $6 Senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06878
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center Spring Youth Classes 2017 Spin It! Spring 2017 Youth Classes start March 26 at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester and run for 6 weeks. Build your inner artist while creating...

Cost: $120-$180

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

The 2017 Westchester Jewish Film Festival opens on March 16 and runs through April 2 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. this year's festival features 38 films, both documentary...

Cost: varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: AJC Westchester/Fairfield and others
Telephone: 914-773-7663424
Contact Name: Abby Popper
Website »

More information

Show More...
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New Moon Events at SunRaven: $30 per person  $25 for couples, or if you bring friends! Join us for the first New Moon of Spring! Aries is the sign of the warrior, action, initiative, and...

Cost: $30 per adult, $10 for children under 10, $50 for couples, $50 for two friends

Where:
SunRaven: The Home of Slow Medicine
501 Guard Hill Road
Bedford, NY  10506
View map »


Sponsor: Slow Medicine
Telephone: 914-218-3113
Contact Name: Tanya Neiman
Website »

More information

This year we feature 38 engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining films—a robust mix of documentaries and narratives, along with all eight episodes of False Flag, one of the latest...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theatre, this is a festival celebrating women playwrights and directors with eight original one-act plays. Glass Ceiling Breakers offers a...

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students

Where:
Axial Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church
8 Sunnyside Avenue
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 286-7680
Website »

More information

Last Days of Pangea: In the Footsteps of Dinosaurs November 19, 2016 - July 16, 2017 Image: Cast skull of Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivorous reptiles during the late Triassic, 200...

Cost: $7 adult, $6 Senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06878
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center Spring Youth Classes 2017 Spin It! Spring 2017 Youth Classes start March 26 at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester and run for 6 weeks. Build your inner artist while creating...

Cost: $120-$180

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

The 2017 Westchester Jewish Film Festival opens on March 16 and runs through April 2 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. this year's festival features 38 films, both documentary...

Cost: varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: AJC Westchester/Fairfield and others
Telephone: 914-773-7663424
Contact Name: Abby Popper
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

 Sign Up for Auditions Today: Register for Auditions with Denise Simon Acting Coach Website: www.DeniseSimonCoaching.com      Audition Date/Time: Dates:...

Cost: 0

Where:
Westmoreland Sanctuary
260 Chestnut Ridge Rd.
Mount Kisco, NY  10549
View map »


Telephone: 914-666-8448
Contact Name: Westmoreland Sanctuary
Website »

More information

This year we feature 38 engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining films—a robust mix of documentaries and narratives, along with all eight episodes of False Flag, one of the latest...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theatre, this is a festival celebrating women playwrights and directors with eight original one-act plays. Glass Ceiling Breakers offers a...

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students

Where:
Axial Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church
8 Sunnyside Avenue
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 286-7680
Website »

More information

Last Days of Pangea: In the Footsteps of Dinosaurs November 19, 2016 - July 16, 2017 Image: Cast skull of Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivorous reptiles during the late Triassic, 200...

Cost: $7 adult, $6 Senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06878
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center Spring Youth Classes 2017 Spin It! Spring 2017 Youth Classes start March 26 at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester and run for 6 weeks. Build your inner artist while creating...

Cost: $120-$180

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “An Inverception,” a site-specific installation created by roster artist Jaq Belcher.   This is the first time the gallery will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (2030801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The 2017 Westchester Jewish Film Festival opens on March 16 and runs through April 2 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. this year's festival features 38 films, both documentary...

Cost: varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: AJC Westchester/Fairfield and others
Telephone: 914-773-7663424
Contact Name: Abby Popper
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Westchester Community is in need of more than 40 foster homes to provide the county’s most vulnerable children with housing in a safe and stable environment. Come to this open house...

Cost: Free

Where:
Dole Community Center
250 South 6th Ave
Mount Vernon , NY  10550
View map »


Sponsor: United Way of Westchester and Putnam
Telephone: 914- 997-6700 ex 752
Contact Name: Pat Anderson
Website »

More information

On March 31st at the Hyatt Regency Greenwich, Pacific House is hosting a spectacular evening that will entice chocolate and music lovers alike.  The ninth annual Pacific House Dessert and...

Cost: $50

Where:
Hyatt Regency Greenwich
1800 E. Putnam Avenue
Old Greenwich, CT  06870
View map »


Sponsor: Pacific House
Telephone: 917-563-2435
Contact Name: Sloane Spanierman
Website »

More information

Spend the evening with award-winning poet, Spencer Reece, who will be screening the film Voices Beyond the Wall: Twelve Poems from the Murder Capital of the World. The film follows his...

Cost: Free

Where:
Grace Farms
365 Lukes Wood Road
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Grace Farms Foundation
Telephone: 203-920-1702
Contact Name: Regan Hayes
Website »

More information

This year we feature 38 engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining films—a robust mix of documentaries and narratives, along with all eight episodes of False Flag, one of the latest...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theatre, this is a festival celebrating women playwrights and directors with eight original one-act plays. Glass Ceiling Breakers offers a...

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students

Where:
Axial Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church
8 Sunnyside Avenue
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 286-7680
Website »

More information

Last Days of Pangea: In the Footsteps of Dinosaurs November 19, 2016 - July 16, 2017 Image: Cast skull of Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivorous reptiles during the late Triassic, 200...

Cost: $7 adult, $6 Senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06878
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center Spring Youth Classes 2017 Spin It! Spring 2017 Youth Classes start March 26 at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester and run for 6 weeks. Build your inner artist while creating...

Cost: $120-$180

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “An Inverception,” a site-specific installation created by roster artist Jaq Belcher.   This is the first time the gallery will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (2030801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The 2017 Westchester Jewish Film Festival opens on March 16 and runs through April 2 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. this year's festival features 38 films, both documentary...

Cost: varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: AJC Westchester/Fairfield and others
Telephone: 914-773-7663424
Contact Name: Abby Popper
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

The annual Bedford Spring Antiques Show, now in its 32nd year, will take place on Saturday April 1st and Sunday April 2nd at the Harvey School in Katonah. The Bedford Spring Antiques Show is...

Cost: $15

Where:
The Harvey School
260 Jay Street
Katonah , NY  10536
View map »


Sponsor: St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church
Telephone: (914) 234-9636

More information

Social Security benefits are not fixed or set in stone. There are over 500 ways to claim your benefits, and over 2700 rules for claiming Social Security benefits. Ralph S. Adorno, C.L.U. is an...

Cost: Free

Where:
Pound Ridge Library
271 Westchester Avenue
Pound Ridge, NY  10576
View map »


Sponsor: Pound Ridge Library
Telephone: 914-764-5085
Contact Name: Pound Ridge Library
Website »

More information

This year we feature 38 engaging, thought-provoking, and entertaining films—a robust mix of documentaries and narratives, along with all eight episodes of False Flag, one of the latest...

Cost: Varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Website »

More information

In what is believed to be a first for Westchester theatre, this is a festival celebrating women playwrights and directors with eight original one-act plays. Glass Ceiling Breakers offers a...

Cost: $25 general admission, $20 seniors and students

Where:
Axial Theatre at St. John’s Episcopal Church
8 Sunnyside Avenue
Pleasantville, NY
View map »


Telephone: 914 286-7680
Website »

More information

The Bedford Hills Farmers’ Market, a project of the community group Bedford Hills LIVE, is unveiling its Second Annual Winter Farmers’ Market on Saturday, November 5 beginning at 10am....

Cost: Free

Where:
Bedford Hills Train Station
Depot Plaza
Bedford Hills, NY  10507
View map »


Telephone: 917.951.3588
Contact Name: Vanessa Pahucki

More information

Last Days of Pangea: In the Footsteps of Dinosaurs November 19, 2016 - July 16, 2017 Image: Cast skull of Postosuchus, one of the largest carnivorous reptiles during the late Triassic, 200...

Cost: $7 adult, $6 Senior/student, under 5 and member free

Where:
Bruce Museum
1 Museum Drive
Greenwich, CT  06878
View map »


Sponsor: Bruce Museum
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center Spring Youth Classes 2017 Spin It! Spring 2017 Youth Classes start March 26 at the Clay Art Center in Port Chester and run for 6 weeks. Build your inner artist while creating...

Cost: $120-$180

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Sponsor: Clay Art Center
Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

Heather Gaudio Fine Art is pleased to announce “An Inverception,” a site-specific installation created by roster artist Jaq Belcher.   This is the first time the gallery will...

Cost: Free

Where:
Heather Gaudio Fine Art
66 Elm Street
New Canaan, CT  06840
View map »


Sponsor: Heather Gaudio Fine Art
Telephone: (2030801-9590
Contact Name: Rachael Palacios
Website »

More information

The 2017 Westchester Jewish Film Festival opens on March 16 and runs through April 2 at the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville. this year's festival features 38 films, both documentary...

Cost: varies

Where:
Jacob Burns Film Center
364 Manville Road
Pleasantville, NY  10570
View map »


Sponsor: AJC Westchester/Fairfield and others
Telephone: 914-773-7663424
Contact Name: Abby Popper
Website »

More information

Looking for something relaxing, creative and fun to do this Winter/Spring for the whole family. Take part in Clay Art Center’s Saturday Drop-In Clay Class, Saturdays from...

Cost: $25

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Telephone: 914-937-2047
Contact Name: Nancy Yates
Website »

More information

Clay Art Center is pleased to present REVISIT: The Boneyard Featuring works by 40 internationally acclaimed ceramic artists who have taught workshops at Clay Art Center over the last 60...

Cost: 0

Where:
Clay Art Center
40 Beech Street
Port Chester, NY  10573
View map »


Telephone: 914-937-2047
Website »

More information

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