In our fifth show review for the indoor season we speak with Reed Kessler who ended up as the leading lady rider at the CSI5* show Stuttgart German Masters after a fabulous weekend with Cylana and Soraya de l’Obstination.
“It was my first time at the show in Stuttgart, and it was fantastic there. The atmosphere there was incredible, and it was packed on the stands every day – even in the morning for the smaller classes. The audience was amazing, and very knowledgeable – which made it even more fun.
It was a beautiful and big stadium, and the footing was super – I think we all agreed that it was the best we had ridden on in a long time. The warm-up had a nice size, and was not too small. I was also happy with the stabling, which was inside. The schedule was also good and thoughtful, and if there was a late class there was no stupidly early class the next morning. I really have no criticism in regards to the show; it was just really well run!
The tracks this weekend were what you would expect; big, difficult and hard – and with no give-aways. Even the speed classes were pretty big build. In yesterday’s World Cup we were all a bit worried about the time allowed as the first ones went – as this also had been an issue in some of the other classes. But, in the end we got the perfect number of clears and a very high level on the riders in the jump-off – so it was great.
Both Soraya and Cylana have been super this weekend, and I am so happy with them both.
I have changed the bridle on Soraya, from a hackamore to a double bridle – and my connection with her now is so much better. She jumped great the whole weekend, and won one 1.45 class and ended fifth in another 1.45. When I got Soraya she was very different on the right and the left lead, and to turn right was a lot more difficult than to turn left – so I really had to work with her, and it took a few months to get to where I wanted. Since July she has been so consistent, usually she is in the top three in at least one class at every show she jumps at.
I also changed the bridle on Cylana, and it works great. She jumped fantastic in the 1.50 class on Friday to win! In the World Cup yesterday she should have had some more room to the a-element of the triple combination, so she got it down – but I was very happy with the way she was jumping.
It’s quite funny – because both Soraya and Cylana have Skippy as the sire on the mother side, and what they have in common is that they always try really hard! They are fantastic horses!
I was very excited to become leading lady rider at a show like Stuttgart. It is a difficult and tough show, so the award was extra special in that way.
I have to say that Hansi’s win yesterday was incredible! His turn back to the Mercedes Benz oxer in the jump-off was crazy good – at that point I think we all knew he was going to win. I think only one or two of the very best combinations in the world would have been able to beat his round yesterday, it was just world class and he was in a league of his own. The best thing was that the win came from a local rider, and the crowds just loved it. It was great sport!
This weekend I also had my parents visiting from the States. It was great seeing them again, as it had been a little time since I last saw them both. I really miss them, so having them around felt amazing.
Next stop for me is Doha. I look forward to some sun and top sport. After that I am going home for Thanksgiving, and for that I cannot wait!”
As told to WoSJ by Reed Kessler
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