Reed Kessler Proves Unstoppable with Victory in the High Junior-A/O Jumpers at Kentucky Summer Horse Show

 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 AdequanR 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

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. This photo may only be used in relation to this PMG press release

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 2 422 MAYHEM CAITLIN ZIEGLER ARTISAN FARMS LLC 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 28.332 3 312 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 6 333 JERREMY MEGAN FELLOWS MEGAN FELLOWS 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 29.361 7 423 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 7 539 VINCENT ANNA MCWANE ANNA MCWANE 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.602 8 1043 ALFIE BOY KALVIN DOBBS TREESDALE FARM 0 0 0 0.000 0 0 0 35.803 9 932 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