|Reed Kessler and Ligist|
Sixteen-year-old Reed Kessler, of Armonk, NY, had the best showing of her young career today, riding in her first CSIO 4* competition and winning two classes in one day. Kessler began the morning by riding her top mount Flight to victory in the $6,000 Spy Coast Farm 1.40m Speed Challenge with the fastest of eight clear rounds in a class of 33 entries. The young rider then went on to ride Ligist to a win in the $10,000 G&C Farm Speed Stake CSIO with the fastest of seven clear rounds out of 24 entries. Competing against many of the world's best riders, Kessler was thrilled this afternoon as she took in the magnitude of her accomplishments.
"I wasn't even going to show this week because it is always a little difficult figuring out what classes I can do and can't do since I am younger, but my dad of course went through all of the rules and made sure that it was okay," Kessler laughed. "Just the fact that I am even showing this week is so exciting to me, so to even win a class is amazing. I have been trying to move up into the open jumpers and get the hang of it. I have been doing well; I have been placing, but I haven't won a bunch of classes, so to win two in a row today was amazing."
Speaking about her horses, Kessler smiled, "Flight is a professional; he just takes you by the hand and goes right around. Goose (Ligist) has huge scope, but the speed does not usually come as easily with him as it does with Flight, so to win a CSIO 4* at the speed with him, I can't believe it. I still don't think it's real. He has been great and it has definitely been a work in progress."
In addition to her Open Jumper success, Kessler also currently leads the Artisan Farms Young Riders Grand Prix standings, which will provide the opportunity to compete at the EY Cup Finals at this year's FEI World Cup Finals in Leipzig, Germany. The next competition is a team competition on Thursday, March 10.