Seventeen-year-old showjumper Reed Kessler is celebrating, after being named as a member of the US Olympic team — the youngest in its history. Reed, who is based in Armonk, New York, took to Twitter to react to the announcement.
“Got the call from George [Morris, chef d’équipe]! There’s too many people to thank, this is without a doubt the greatest day of my life!” she tweeted.
Reed was selected for the Olympic team with her 10-year-old mare, Cylana, a new ride this season. The pair caught the selectors’ eye at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Florida earlier this year, where Cylana won her first grand prix and Reed tied for first place in the Olympic selection trials with veteran showjumper Marge Engle.
Reed thanked her “amazing horses”, her parent, back-up team and boyfriend, British showjumper Tim Gredley. “Anyone who’s had a hand in my career and my horses’ thank you so much!” she tweeted.
“Can’t wait to represent [my country] in London 2012!”
The minimum age requirement for riders at the Olympics is 18; Reed's eighteenth birthday falls just 18 days before the start of the Games.
She will join Beezie Madden and McLain Ward — who helped the USA to team gold at the last Olympics. But there was no place for another member of the 2008 gold-medal winning team, Laura Kraut. The fourth spot will be filled by Rich Fellers, while Charlie Jayne is reserve.
McLain Ward will be without his two-time Olympic gold medal-winning mare, Sapphire, who was retired last month aged 17. He will be riding Antares F.
The US team for Greenwich is:
- Rich Fellers and Flexible
- Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo
- Reed Kessler and Cylana
- McLain Ward and Antares F
- Charlie Jayne and Chill RZ