Reed Kessler Proves Unstoppable with Victory in the High Junior-A/O Jumpers


Lexington, KY - The sun shone down on the Walnut Ring this afternoon as 27 horse and rider combinations vied for top spots in the High Amateur Owner/Junior Jumper class. Once again, it was junior rider Reed Kessler who walked away with a blue ribbon for her efforts with Ice D'Ancoeur. Not only did Kessler earn the blue, she also took the third place honors with her second mount, Flight. Finishing second, just over 3/10ths of a second off Kessler's winning pace was Caitlin Zeigler aboard Mayhem.

Today's course, designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth England, included challenges such as a double and triple combination, an open water obstacle, and many opportunities to shave time with inside turns. Four of the jumps not included in the first round were in the jump-off.

Yesterday, Kessler had back-to-back wins in the biggest featured events of the day. First, she topped a field of 42 in the Individual Qualifier in the Adequan® FEI North American Junior & Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North with her horse Mika. Shortly after, 16-year-old Kessler captured what seemed to be an effortless victory in the $25,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic.

In today's competition, Kessler followed her trainer Katie Prudent's advice. As Kessler prepared for the jump-off with her horse Flight, Prudent was outside the ring and advised her student "you have to be clean, but neat, because [Paige Johnson] was fast but wide." Kessler must have taken the advice to heart, as she zipped around the course and just barely edged out Johnson by four one-thousandths of a second. Johnson and Salamander Farm's Amagedon 3 eventually finished in fourth place.  

Coming back in the fifteenth slot in the order of go was Kessler again, this time with her 14-year-old Selle Francais mare, Ice D'Ancouer. Kessler guided this horse to an even faster time, topping her earlier score by less than half a second as Prudent called out for her to gallop. Sure enough the pair whipped around quickly and cleanly. Her score would hold up for the rest of the twelve rounds, although it seemed she might be defeated for first place as the last rider, Caitlin Ziegler and Mayhem, had a double clear round and was only barely elbowed out by Kessler. Ziegler missed the mark by 3/10ths of a second.

"Ice jumps an inch over everything; she does not waste time in the air," Kessler explained. "Flight's basically a USET horse. He's beautiful, perfect square knees, so he and I can be on the same track and Ice can take a second off that time. They're both fantastic and fast, but Ice can edge Flight out a little quicker. It's mostly the air time, she doesn't jump any higher than she needs to."

In the jump-off, Kessler said her strategy was to shave off time on her inside turns. "They're both great turners and they just cover ground really quickly," she said. "They both normally do the adds and they make up the time on the turn, so that's generally our plan. We don't really go fast by leaving out strides in the lines."

An enormous group turned out for the Low Amateur Owner/Juniors. Eighty-three riders kept their eyes on the prize, but it was entry of Kenzie Donovan, Nikon's Prima Donna, who took the lead as the class wrapped up after more than three hours of competition. Coming in second place was Shawn Casady with Elizabeth Boyd's First Lady, and third place went to Victoria Smith with her mount, Diego.

The Amateur Owner/Junior High and Low classes will continue tomorrow and Sunday in the Walnut Ring at the Kentucky Horse Park. The highlight event of the week will be the $40,000 Kentucky Summer Grand Prix on Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 6p.m. in the Main Outdoor Stadium.

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

Results: High Amateur Owner/Junior Jumper class
1  
  308    ICE D'ANCOEUR    REED KESSLER    REED KESSLER    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    27.989    
   422    MAYHEM    CAITLIN ZIEGLER    ARTISAN FARMS LLC    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    28.332    
   312    FLIGHT    REED KESSLER    REED KESSLER    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    28.385    
4    1476    AMAGEDON 3    PAIGE JOHNSON    SALAMANDER FARM    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    28.389    
5    299    CAMIRACE    CHRISTINA KELLY    DIAMOND EDGE FARM    0    0    0    70.984    0    0    0    29.182    
   333    JERREMY    MEGAN FELLOWS    MEGAN FELLOWS    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    29.361    
   423    RAJA THAT    CAITLIN ZIEGLER    ARTISAN FARMS LLC    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    29.705    
8    605    ASTRO Z    BENJAMIN SIMPKINS    BENJAMIN SIMPKINS    0    0    0    73.580    0    0    0    31.831    
9    961    NANDY FONTAINE    MARGARET REINEY    MARGARET REINEY    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    31.878    
10  948    PLATINUM    CLAUDIA BILLUPS    ABC 4 HORSES    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    34.171    
11  440    SCHEFFERKES SOLO    OLIVIA HERBERT    OLIVIA HERBERT    0    0    0    73.043    4    0    4    31.167    
12  577    SHOWTIME    SHERRA HARRISON    WALNUT GROVE HOLDINGS    0    0    0    0.000    4    0    4    33.03

Results: Low Amateur Owner/Junior Jumpers
1  
  1114    NIKON'S PRIMA DONNA    EMILY WILLIAMS    KENZIE DONOVAN    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    32.786    
2    1151    FIRST LADY    SHAWN CASADY    ELIZABETH BOYD    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    33.050    
3    622    DIEGO    VICTORIA SMITH    VICTORIA SMITH    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    33.870    
4    1642    VAMARANTA    ARIANA WALLACE    ARIANA WALLACE    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    34.156    
5    293    PRIMERA CAR    DR. FERNANDO CARDENAS    DR. FERNANDO CARDENAS    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    34.537    
6    836    UNDERCOVER    SHAWN CASADY    SPARTAN STABLES    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    35.534    
   539    VINCENT    ANNA MCWANE    ANNA MCWANE    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    35.602    
   1043    ALFIE BOY    KALVIN DOBBS    TREESDALE FARM    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    35.803    
   932    HORSEPLIGHT.COM.REMIVILLE    MAISIE MCSWAIN    KARI BEYER    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    36.135    
10  904    BRANDER    BRIDGET ENNEVOR    BEL FARMS, LLC    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    36.327    
11  103    GAME TWIST    MELISSA ORLICK-ZBIERSKI    ISOTROPIC    0    0    0    0.000    0    0    0    36.362    
12  933    CAJUN   MAISIE MCSWAIN    MAISIE MCSWAIN   0   0   0   0.000    0   0   0   36.535    

Photo Credit: Reed Kessler and Ice D'Ancoeur won the High Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper class at the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo By: Meg Boberg.




GET THE LATEST NEWS DELIVERED TO YOUR MAILBOX