Jessie Sargent of Middletown, RI died Thursday September 1, 2022, at the age of 72. Jessie (Jay) started riding horses when she was a child and had been a professional for over 30 years. In addition to attending competitions throughout the region, Jay managed 11 shows a year at the facility she owned, Sandy Point Stables.
Jay is the former Head Coach of the Salve Regina University Equestrian Team and the U.R.I Equestrian Team. She was a large "R" USEF judge and is very active in many organizations both in New England and the country. Jay was a member of the Board of Directors and past president of the Rhode Island Horseman's Association, Co-Chairperson of the Rhode Island Equitation Committee, member of the New England Equitation Committee, and former member of the USEF Zone 1 Committee.
Jay's students and the horses she trained were not only successful in New England but around the country as well with wins at the Connecticut Junior Equitation Medal Finals, N.E. Equitation Finals, top ribbons at the USEF Pony Finals and more. Jay trained Tidy Up, the winner of the 1977 small pony finals and trained the Reserve Champion large pony Llandfalle Logic at the 1985 pony finals.
She was the recipient of numerous awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the New England Equitation Committee, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhode Island Horseman's Association as well as the Horseman of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Horsemen's Council.
During a trip to the Caribbean in 1998, Jay encountered a wild bottlenose dolphin. That meeting was to change her life forever. Being passionate about animals and seeing an exciting opportunity, Jay began swimming with the dolphin every day. That led to more encounters with other pod members. Over the next 24 years, Jay spent more and more time with the dolphins and their offspring. She wrote two books about her encounters and observations and wrote a children's book about the evils of capturing and keeping wild dolphins. In 2021, Jay was contacted by the Discovery+ channel that did an hour-long program (The Bond Episode 2) about her experience with the dolphins.
Jay is the youngest daughter of former Massachusetts Governor Francis Sargent and is survived by her husband John E Bahret, her daughter Kristen Sargent Verrochi, son-in-law Marc Verrochi, granddaughter Kensi Verrochi, brother William Sargent and sister Fay Sargent.
A memorial service is being planned for later in the year. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Massachusetts General Hospital c/o Development Office, Multiple Myeloma Research Fund 207085 125 Nashua Street, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114 or World Wildlife Fund 1250 24th Street, N.W. Washington, DC 20037.