The first Junior Jumper class of 2010 did not disappoint. The fences were set at 1.40m and the format was Table II, Sec. 2 (b). All riders with clean first rounds went immediately in to a jump off against the clock. The 30 riders did not hold back and certainly did not disappoint the crowd. They were fast, strategic and determined. No one held back as evidenced by the top 6 finishers all having double clear rounds.
In the end, it was Reed Kessler who bested herself to take both first place on Flight and second place on Ligist. This was a particularly poignant win for Kessler as she retired the Mike Mullen Challenge Bowl having won this class for three consecutive years. "I was worried that since I didn't win it on the same horse all 3 years that I wouldn't be able to retire it, but that wasn't the case!
It's such a huge honor to win at Devon, and three years in a row.....I'm just so honored. The first time I won it (also on Flight) I had only done the highs once before, so the fact that I even made it here was so exciting because I was only 13, and then to win the first class, I was in tears I was so happy. I think it's Flight's last year in the highs so every class is special. " Sixteen year old Kessler who trains with Henri and Katie Prudent points out that her horse, Flight, is a month older than she is.
Kessler, like Keenan, has a family connection to Devon, "My family has been showing here forever. My Grandmother, Fran Kessler, lived in the area and had a box here, and I won the lead line here when I was two. Just walking in the Dixon Oval feels so important that it brings the best out in you."
Photos: Flight & Reed Kessler, Reed Kessler & Ligist