John Leroy Moyer died two summers ago, but his grandson, Jared DePermentier ’14 still talks about him in the present tense. That’s because his grandfather taught him something about nurturing talent and passion, and now DePermentier is using those lessons to help drive Washington College’s Equestrian Team to its best season ever, and to find his way forward in a career that can blend both love and work.
DePermentier, the team’s president, is a business and economics major who’s heading into the second half of the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) season just six points out of the lead as high-point rider for the open division of Region 4—a highly competitive area that draws riders from talent-rich southeastern Pennsylvania and the Delmarva. “If he wins that, he has an automatic ride to the nationals” in May, says team coach Chris Bigelow. The team, too, is in a tight duel for first place in the region, posting its strongest showing ever.
The win would be a powerful and bittersweet accomplishment for DePermentier, who’s been riding since he was seven, even then on a pony his grandfather bought him. “That’s really how I’ve continued to do this sport,” DePermentier says. “He’s allowed me so many opportunities.” To come to Washington College, DePermentier had to sell Logan, a horse his grandfather helped support throughout high school competition. Then, when Moyer died in 2011, he left his grandson enough of a nest egg to purchase and import a five-year-old German Warmblood—the premiere breed of grand prix riders worldwide. He named him Leroy. “I miss him,” DePermentier says of his grandfather, “but every time I ride I’m thankful to him.”
People think riders teach horses, but really it’s a mutual thing, and DePermentier has been going to school with Leroy, traveling home to Schwenksville, Pa., most weekends to train. When he shows with the WAC team, he competes on horses provided to all riders through the ISHA’s rules. This levels the playing field and puts the emphasis on horsemanship—and that’s where training with a horse like Leroy gives DePermentier a competitive edge.
But the horse his grandfather bought him is also the beginning of a business future, which DePermentier is studying as hard as his riding competition. He was an intern this fall at Benchworks, a branding and marketing firm in Chestertown; he planned a spring internship at Hogans real estate agency, and has his eyes set on a summer internship at SEI, an investment and wealth management firm in King of Prussia, Pa. He wants to use what he’s learning to successfully own a business in the sport he loves, which likely will begin with training Leroy up, then selling him at a profit. “I’ve seen my trainer buy and sell horses and that’s how she makes her living, that and training, and I would love to do that,” DePermentier says. “It’s really balancing both, building both resumes at this point, in the business world and the riding world.”
That dual purpose never leaves DePermentier’s view; after a recent visit to a hugely successful stable in Chesapeake City, DePermentier says he came away wanting to know: “What took them from college where I’m standing now to owning this multi-million-dollar operation and making it work? I have to figure out how to be in the sport somehow. Anyway I can I will. I know it’s a tough business, but I couldn’t imagine my life without riding.”
Neither, no doubt, could his grandfather, Leroy.