Reed Kessler’s wild ride



”We stayed at the Fursan stables in Chantilly a few days before the show, and then we went to Paris. Some friends came here to do the two star; they’d never showed in Europe. We went to the Gucci party and we’ll go to Paris tonight. I’ve shown in Paris since I was thirteen. It’s a crime, really, not to enjoy the city when you’re here.

We’re so lucky that many of these shows are in the most beautiful places. We get to travel the world and see all these incredible places while we are working. I was raised at the horse shows. So my whole life was going from show to show every week. I’m never home. And that’s how I was raised. So when I do stay at home a few days it’s weird and I don’t like it. I’m more at home in a hotel room.


“My whole life was going from show to show every week. When I stay at home a few days it’s weird and I don’t like it. I’m more at home in a hotel room.”


When we’re in Florida, where we have a farm for the tour, we’re there for four months and everyone from the horse show is living together and you’re all at the show. So its not like being at home because there’s so much to do and everyone is around you. But when we’re in Kentucky its a litte more quiet and after I’m there for a few weeks I’m ready to travel again.

I love adventure. I don’t like to sightsee or go to a museum. But food and shopping is how I like to discover a city.

This is all I’ve ever done and I dont see doing anything else.”





”The sport has really picked up a luxury image now. Ten years ago you wouldn’t see a show like this. It always had a lot of prestige but the sport has developed, there’s luxury brands, luxury sponsors. The Global tour is fantastic, with fantastic prize draws in people like the more mainstream sports. Technology has developed. Everything is streamed live which has made the sport more accessible.

I think it is really cool that the sport is becoming so global. The technology that we can now go to places around the world. If you have a horse that travels well…it’s just another plane ride.”




”The speed is something I’ve really been working at. Sometimes I’m not as good at turning back and Katie’s been working me really hard at home to get better. So I’ve been really competitive in each jump off and I’m really proud of myself that I was third in the speed challenge. That’s a very fast class with the fastest riders. So to finish third was impressive for me. Last night was big too, I was just 200th off of Christian Ahlmann’s time. So I’m really happy with how its going. My skills have improved so much. If everyone was turning on 7 or 8 strides I did it on six. I’ve been really competitive in jump offs and I’m really proud of myself.”




”Everyone’s been great. Even if its only my first year doing above the two stars I’ve been in the senior division since I was 15, so I’ve shown against most of these people and we know each other. My parents are my mentors, but mostly Katie. Katie is highly respected over here so when you’re with her people treat you nicely.

I grew up most of my life 45 minutes from Manhattan and I went to high school on West 60th right across from Fordham University so I’m a New York City Girl at heart even if we just mooved to Kentucky.

We’re a  really close family. My parents are the best parents you could have for this show. They are so supportive. Even though they do the amateurs they’ve been riding with Katie for many years; they’re extremely knowledgeable. I can talk to them about the course, and they can help me and give me advice. It’s a huge benefit. It makes us really close. It’s hard for people who grew up with people who didnt ride. They ride great. My mum did the one star here last year. She won like every single class. ”





”The sport is not as well known in the US and we have nothing like the shows in Europe. Besides Washington DC the atmosphere is not the same. We would never get a crowd as big as here, even yesterday for the 1.50 class it was packed which I think that is terrific.

If I go to a show in the States, I have to put up thousands of dollars of entry fees and stall fees. Here it is free and the prize money is better, just as the atmosphere and the crowds which are amazing. It’s great IF Europeans will show how a really professional, glamourous five star show should look like.


“I’d love for my country to have the strongest shows in the world. That’s how it used to be.” 


We used to have Madison Square Garden, but that was before my time…When you look at the pictures it was something special. New York socialites would come out in gowns and dresses. It was a huge social event. No one could miss it. Everyone who was anything was there and it had a fantastic atmosphere.

After it ended the sport lost a lost in our country. We’ve had great shows and great money. We have some of the greatest riders and shows that have a lot of history. The sport has become more modern, but they are still a little bit left behind.

This fabulous bar, the schooling area where everyone can watch, the screen, the high end sponsors…all of it is missing at home.


The biggest thing we miss out on is the atmosphere. When the three best riders here are interviewed during show is really special. They play loud music and get the crowds really excited…We try to explain it to our managers but they have to see it for themselves and bring their pen and paper.

I’d love for our country to have the strongest shows in the world. That’s how it used to be. The best would come and do our Nations Cup indoor. They were fighting for who would get to go over there. So I’d love to help to get us back to that point.


We have the North American Riders Group that my dad is on the board of.  I hope to start taking part in it. I was a little too young before..hopefully I’ll start getting into it.”




”That was crazy! I’ll have a bad 17 year old daughter and I’ll say, ”when I was your age I was…go do your homework!”

We were joking last night that it is supposed to be the end of the world on December 21st. And I said; if the world ends I did all possible to see her. I’ve had the year of my life and I’m ready to go.


Interview in Paris, December 2012.


Reed aboard Cylana in the 2013 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup Championship – one of many successful shows around the world.  

”I’ve been competing my whole life.



































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