17-year-old Olympic show-jumping hopeful on how she balances school and sport, and her weakness
About Reed Kessler
Reed Kessler only became eligible to become a senior jumper this year, but she has already jumped into the Olympic mix at just 17 years old. Kessler finished tied for first in March’s Olympic Trials and split the 2012 USEF National Show Jumping Championship title with veteran Margie Engle. It was the first time jumping senior level heights for both Kessler and her horse, Cylana. The two are currently ranked No. 1 on the long list for selection to the Olympic show jumping team.
In her younger days:
Kessler may only be 17, but she has racked up some serious accomplishments at the junior stage. In 2010, her and Mika, one of her other top horses, were on the bronze medal winning team at the 2010 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships. In February of 2010, Kessler and Swedish warmblood gelding Ligist won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Junior Jumper Championship.
From the cradle to the saddle:
Kessler began her time on horses at just six months old when her parents – who have both been riding for over 30 years – put her in a basket and brought her along for a ride. She started competing in show jumping at 12 years old and never looked back.
Cylana and Mika:
Two of Kessler’s horses currently sit in the Top 5 on the long list for the U.S. Olympic show jumping team: Mika and Cylana. Both are young and inexperienced but both are proving their athleticism early. Kessler and Cylana lead Team USA’s list while her and Mika sit No. 5 on the list. Kessler has been riding Cylana for less than a year, but the two have grown together to the senior level. “Both of them are, in my opinion, Olympic caliber horses. Cylana is just a freak. It’s not normal to have a horse for only a few months like we have and have a partnership like we have.”