McKayla Langmeier has a winning pedigree. Having been coached by her parents, Kenny and Linda Langmeier (Linda won the 1983 ASPCA Maclay National Championship), at their Kelianda Farm in East Granby, CT, from her earliest time in the saddle, McKayla is already a Maclay winner in her own right, having triumphed in 2015, and in 2016, the 17-year-old claimed her first FEI victory at Spruce Meadows.
On Oct. 9, Langmeier again led the victory gallop at a major event, capturing the Platinum Performance/USEF Talent Search Finals—East in Gladstone, NJ, with her veteran partner Skyfall, a 13-year-old Hanoverian gelding. In EQUILINE America’s latest blog, Langmeier reflects on a memorable Championship.
EQUILINE America: What did winning at Gladstone mean to you?
McKayla Langmeier: Winning [the USEF Talent Search Final] has been a goal of mine for a really long time. It came down to Taylor [St Jacques] and me, and I didn’t know which way it was going to go. To actually have it turn my way, I was astonished. It was amazing.
EA: What was the Final Four experience like? What did you think of the other horses you rode?
ML: I started off with my own horse, and then I went on to Taylor Griffiths’ [mount], Caracas 89, which already won [the USEF Talent Search Finals—West] coast [two weeks earlier]. He was super easy to ride and knew his job well. I made a pretty large mistake on [Abigail Brayman’s horse, Corleone]. I didn’t take my time enough; I had the fastest time for my time allowed on that one. I rushed it, and I wasn’t taking my time. On Taylor’s horse, I knew I had to be solid, and it went well.
EA: What did you think of the courses?
ML: I thought it was tough. In years past, I thought the last day had been pretty big and hard. I thought it was a good course, and it wasn’t too big, but it was solid.
EA: Tell us about your mount, Skyfall.
ML: I’ve had him for about five years now. I’ve kind of grown up with him in the equitation ring. He’s taken me all the way from my first equitation final to winning [at Maclay Finals and USEF Talent Search Finals]!
EA: What is life like for you right now?
ML: Life right now is really busy! I’m all over the place. While I’m going to Harrisburg, the majority of the barn is going to the New England Medal Finals. We’re a little bit spread out, but it’s what we love to do.
EA: What has it meant to you to be a part of Team EQUILINE America?
ML: To be a part of the EQUILINE America team is amazing. All their products are amazing—breeches, show shirts, and show coats. I haven’t come across anything I haven’t liked. I love the brand, and to be a sponsored rider is just amazing.
EA: What is your favorite EQUILINE product?
ML: I love the Ash breeches. They’re so comfortable. I compare them to yoga pants for riding. They fit so well and are so comfortable.
EA: What is something people may not know about you?
ML: When I was younger, we had this pony named Lighting, and he was black and white. The day before I rode him, it poured, and there was this huge mud puddle in the ring. It was more like a pond. We were just building our outdoor [arena], and the viewing deck was getting built that day, and the nail gun was out. I just had to canter my pony through the mud puddle, and the nail gun went off, and he dumped me in the puddle! Everyone at the farm was there. I was soaked and had mud all over me!
EA: What are your short- and long-term goals?
ML: Short-term, I have the [Washington International Horse Show], and I’m hoping to do well there. I have two jumpers and am going to bring Skyfall for the [WIHS Equitation Final].
I am definitely going to college, and I will be attending Auburn University. Long term, I want to be at the top of the sport and to compete in Nations Cups, the [Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final], and to compete against the top riders in the sport.
Photos by Elaine Wessel/Phelps Sports