Olympic show jumper Reed Kessler has acquired two new horses to add to her grand prix string.
Soraya De L’Obstination (Kashmir Van Schuttersho—Oilily, Skippy-II), a 10-year-old Belgian Sporthorse mare, was previously ridden by José Thiry of Belgium at the CSI** and CSI*** level. The chestnut mare, bought by the Kessler family, will arrive in the United States on Jan. 7.
Kessler’s trainers, Katie and Henri Prudent, helped her find “Soraya” while she was competing in Geneva last December.
“She reminds me a lot of [my junior horse] Ice D’Ancoeur. She has a funny style. She twists, but she’s so careful and very, very fast. She has a lot of heart and a lot of bite. She’s very feisty,” said Kessler, 18.
Kessler hopes to compete the mare in 1.45 and 1.50-meter speed classes at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) to start out the year.
The Prudents also helped find Wolf S (Numero Uno—P. Elsa, Peter Pan), a 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, previously ridden to the CSI***** level by Romain Sottas of Switzerland.
“I think he will suit my ride. He has blood, and he likes being ridden very light, in the kind of American style,” Kessler said. “He’s quite careful and smart, and he had even more jump than I thought when I tried him. We’ll see how long it takes to click. I’m not sure I’ve ever jumped a horse that big when I tried him. It was so comfortable, and it was such a good match. Hopefully it won’t take too long, and we can do some grand prix classes.”
While Kessler doesn’t have any specific classes picked out yet, she’s hoping to get to know her new mounts during the winter season. Her hope, as an emerging professional, is to build up a solid second string of horses so she can begin buying and selling. She’s also hoping to break into the top 30 on the FEI’s Rolex rankings, where she currently sits 45th.