The $20,000 International Open Jumper Gambler's Choice Costume Class, sponsored by Hollow Creek Farm, is always an exciting event at WIHS, especially with Barn Night and thousands of young fans cheering on the riders. In tonight's class, 18-year-old Reed Kessler, of Lexington, KY, jumped to victory aboard Ligist. The duo earned 860 points over the course and jumped clean over the Joker fence for an additional 200 points. Their 1060 total was the winning score.
Kessler was presented with the Crown Royal Trophy, donated by Crown Royal, as the winning rider, while Ligist, a 12-year-old Swedish Warmblood gelding by Levantos II x Robin Z, won The Sue Ann Geisler Memorial Trophy, donated by the Washington International Horse Show, as the winning horse.
Kessler showed in tonight's costume class as Catwoman, explaining that the idea came from her childhood nickname. "My nickname has always been Reedycat," she stated. "My middle name is Catherine, so that is what my parents always call me. I figured this was the year to be Catwoman."
After competing in her first Olympic Games this summer, Kessler has become a role model for young girls, and the Barn Night crowd was definitely cheering her on tonight. Commenting on the support of her young fans, Kessler smiled, "It was amazing. I love Washington, especially Barn Night; it is always so much fun. The stands are packed with horse loving kids and it was a blast."
"I am normally really bad at these classes, so I am over the moon," Kessler added, but she collaborated on the course route with trainer Katie Prudent and came up with a good plan. "Normally I get a little frazzled and I go too fast and then I have a million rails, so I took it slowly and I went for more the clear round and it paid off."
Belgium's Nicola Philippaerts rode Stal De Kalvarie's Deibrich De Kalvarie to second place with 980 points dressed as Luigi from the Super Mario Bros. Ireland's Shane Sweetnam scored 940 points aboard Sweet Oak Farm's Solerina dressed as a hot dog and finished third.
Source: Press release from WIHS
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