Born: July 9, 1994
Hometown: Lexington, Kentucky
Reed Kessler has been defying her age and experience, riding to top placings in many of the most prestigious Grand Prix classes in the U.S.
Reed Kessler and Mika (Photo by Sportfot)
With the Swedish Warmblood gelding Ligist, Kessler has racked up numerous top rankings in Junior Jumper and Young Rider Grand Prix classes. In February of 2010, the pair won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Championship at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival, and the following month they were second in the same class. At Devon in May, Kessler and Ligist were second again in the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Championship.
With Mika, Kessler finished second in a CSI 4* class at Spruce Meadows in July 2010. Later that month, the pair was on the Bronze medal-winning team at the 2010 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships presented by Gotham North, where they also finished fourth individually. In December, Kessler and Mika traveled to Paris to compete at the Gucci Masters, winning the Land Rover Grand Prix.
In 2011, Kessler and Ligist headed to the EY Cup in Leipzig, Germany with a wealth of experience competing stateside and abroad. The pair topped the standings of the Artisan Farms Young Rider Grand Prix series and collected second-place finishes in two of the four classes to stamp their ticket to the Finals.
Competing in Europe during the spring and summer of 2011, Kessler had much success. At Bonheiden, Kessler finished first in 1.30m CSIOY class and was on the second-placed team in the CSIOY Nations Cup with Onisha. The pair again was on the second-placed team in the CSIOY Nations Cup in Reims, and Kessler came out on top in a 1.45m CSIOY class with Ligist. At CSIOY Lamprechtshausen, Kessler took home wins as part of the victorious Nations Cup Team and the Young Rider Grand Prix with Onisha and Ligist respectively.
Back in the states, Kessler and Ligist were on the winning team in the $15,000 USEF Prix De States Team Championships and finished third in the $7,500 USEF National Individual Junior Jumper Championship. At the Washington International Horse Show, the pair took top honors in the $31,000 Open Jumper 1.50m class.
2012 has proven to be an exciting year for Kessler. In her first year of being eligible to jump in the senior ranks, Kessler tied with legendary Margie Engle to share the 2012 USEF National Show Jumping Championship title. With two clear rounds out of the four trials, Kessler piloted Cylana to her first national title, finishing first in the USEF Selection Trials for the U.S. Show Jumping Team. Kessler also finished third with Mika in the Selection Trials with two clear rounds in second and fourth Trial, securing a spot on the USEF Long List as well.
At the Kentucky Spring Horse Show Observation Event for the U.S. Show Jumping Team, Kessler finished second with Mika in the $75,000 Commonwealth Grand Prix. The pair also finished fifth in the $50,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic CSI 3*.
Kessler and Cylana finished second in the $32,000 Hagyard Classic CSI 2* at the Kentucky Spring Classic. Kessler and Cylana continued to impress into June as the pair traveled to Spruce Meadows for another Observation Event. The team would finish third after a clear round in the Husky Energy Classic before coming back two days later to finish sixth in the $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix. Two weeks later at Spruce Meadows' "Canada One" event, Kessler finished second in the Friends of the Meadows class on Onisha and Duncan Ross Cup on Ligist. Kessler than traveled to Europe where she won a CSI5* class on Ligist at Chantilly, France before representing the United States at the 2012 London Olympic Games in August.
Kessler has also amassed remarkable achievements in the equitation ring. In 2009, she was a three-time winner of the WIHS Equitation Classic at the Winter Equestrian Festival. That same year she won the Pessoa/USEF Hunt Seat Medal Class at Devon and was second in the Wölffer Estate Equitation Championship.
Out of the saddle, Kessler serves as a JustWorld International Ambassador.