Reed Kessler Earns One-Two Finish at Kentucky Summer Horse Show


Lexington, KY - Competition kicked off at the Kentucky Summer Horse Show Series today at the Kentucky Horse Park, the host of the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games™. The most competitive jumper classes of the day were in the Walnut Ring, beginning with the $5000 Open Jumper 1.40m class, a time first round class. Junior rider Reed Kessler of New York took the top two ribbons and half of the prize money aboard her horses Ligist and Onisha, respectively.

Starting at 8 a.m. in clear yet humid conditions, the first jumper class of the day had an inviting course to start the competition. England's Richard Jeffrey designed the track, which featured 11 numbered obstacles and its challenges included a triple bar, a vertical-vertical double combination, and an optional open water jump.

The first pair to challenge the track was amateur rider Navona Gallegos and her mount, No Fear. Earning a no-fault score for her effort, Gallegos' time of 68.614 seconds was well within the 81-second time allowed and it became the time to beat.

The next clear round came fifth in the order of 19 starters, as Kessler and her 11-year-old Holsteiner mare Onisha whipped around the course five seconds faster than Gallegos. Kessler held on to the top spot with Onisha until her next mount, 10-year-old Swedish Warmblood Ligist, took the blue ribbon with an even faster time, thanks to the gelding's long stride.

"This was our first class here, getting ready for the Hagyard and the Grand Prix, so it was a perfect warm up, they couldn't have gone better," explained a beaming Kessler.  Sixteen-year-old Kessler has an impressive resume, complete with a championship at last year's USEF Junior Jumper Championship and Grand Prix wins at Spruce Meadows, among others. Her one-two finish in today's 1.40 m class served as a warm up for the North American Young Rider Championships, for which Kessler will compete with Zone 2 starting tomorrow.

Kessler gave credit to her horses, saying both were fantastic even over the tricky spots on the course, such as the open water and the double combination.  "'Goose' [Ligist] has a little bit of a slower style," Kessler explained. "He's a Nations Cup horse: he jumps really high and he does a lot of clear rounds, but he jumps so high that he'll go clean and be winning, but then Onisha will come in and beat him. [Onisha] is like a bunny, she jumps like an inch over every jump."

Eleven clear rounds were posted in the 1.40 class this morning. Christian Heineking and Kai Handt's River of Dreams stopped the clock with a quick and accurate round that was good enough for the yellow ribbon, crossing the timers in 64.255 seconds. Fourth place went to Aaron Vale and Royal Farms' Ubico-H at 67.925 sconds , and fifth place went to Jill Knowles and Timberley at 68.029 seconds.

In the 1.35m Open Jumpers, Ecuadorian rider Luis Barreiro took top honors with Pablo Vivero's VSilverado. Their bold inside turns in the jump off round gave them the top spot of the eight that competed in the second round.

"This was my first course here in Kentucky and it was incredible," explained Barreiro, who plans to compete in the 1.35 m and 7-year-old divisions. "[VSilverado] is a very good horse, but a green horse."

The Kentucky Summer Horse Show will continue throughout the week, concluding on Sunday, August 1. Show jumping continues tomorrow with the highly anticipated $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic. This grand prix, which will be held at 7:00 p.m. in the Johnson Arena, is one of seven events in the Hagyard Challenge Series. The series is a summer-long string of grand prix competitions held at the Kentucky Horse Park. The leading rider of the entire Hagyard Challenge Series will win a $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus at the conclusion of the $50,000 Hagyard CSI-W Lexington grand prix held August 20, at the Bluegrass Festival Horse Show.

Also featured this week will be the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix Classic Grand Prix, sponsored by Audi of Lexington. The North American Junior and Young Rider Championships, presented by Gotham North, will be presented this week for Dressage, Eventing, Reining, and Show Jumping.

For more information on the Kentucky Summer Horse Shows, please go to www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

OPEN JUMPER 1.40m II sec 1  
1 311 LIGIST REED KESSLER REED KESSLER 0 0 0 60.278
2 307 ONISHA REED KESSLER REED KESSLER 0 0 0 63.447
3 275 RIVER OF DREAMS CHRISTIAN HEINEKING KAI HANDT 0 0 0 64.255
4 1054 UBICO-H AARON VALE ROYAL FARMS, LLC 0 0 0 67.925
5 315 TIMBERLEY JILL KNOWLES LISA GREENSPON 0 0 0 68.029
6 429 CARLOS DE NOEL TIFFANY FOSTER TIFFANY FOSTER 0 0 0 68.081
7 300 VASCO V CHRISTINA KELLY STRANSKY'S MISSION FARMS, INC. 0 0 0 68.487
8 100 ZELDENRUST Z DONALD CHESKA DONALD CHESKA & ISOTROPIC 0 0 0 68.498
9 1599 No Fear Navona Gellegos BAR X RANCH LLC  0 0 0 68.614
10 974 WALL-E RAE KENNEDY RAE KENNEDY 0 0 0 69.884
11 428 UTOPIE TIFFANY FOSTER ARTISAN FARMS LLC 0 0 0 76.459
12 1601 SHAKIRA JENNIFER WAXMAN JENNIFER WAXMAN 4 0 4 63.603  

OPEN JUMPER 1.35m II 2b
 
1 721 VSILVERADO LUIS BARREIRO PABLO VIVERO 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 37.747
2 955 WELTINO B AARON VALE THINKSLIKEAHORSE 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 38.149
3 1058 CARTIER AARON VALE HAMPTON FARMS LLC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 38.781
4 937 SANSIERRA LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS, LLC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 40.348
5 1547 UMBERTO ADDISON PHILLIPS ABIGAIL WEXNER 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 42.420
6 901 MEMPHIS DU PARK MORGAN THOMAS NORGAN INC 0 0 0 73.524 0 0 0 43.207
7 423 RAJA THAT TIFFANY FOSTER ARTISAN FARMS LLC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 43.434
8 1115 PEARL EMILY WILLIAMS KENZIE DONOVAN 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 43.561
9 318 ANJELICA JILL KNOWLES GABBY STERN 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 40.661
10 281 PRONKJUWAIL D THAISA ERWIN APEX EQUESTRIAN CENTER 0 0 0 0.000 4 0 4 45.251
11 939 URAQUAY LAUREN TISBO TEQUESTRIAN FARMS, LLC 0 0 0 69.096 8 0 8 41.686
12 1496 QUERCUS VAN GENERHESE JACQUELINE STEFFENS DOUBLE C STABLES 4 0 4 71.639  

Photo Credit: Reed Kessler and Ligest, winners of the $5,000 1.40m Time First Round. Photo By: Kenneth Kraus/PhelpsSports.com.




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