Reed Kessler: Last Day in Chantilly

July 23, 2012–Hooray, Goose won his class! Goose was really, really fast and won the first five star class of the day. He flew! It was very nice to win the last day because he has been in the mix every class in terms of time, but had a rail each day. It was also very cool because I was the only American to win a five star class! All the Americans have been right at the top of each class, but it was the only win and it was great to hear the anthem played. I won a big bottle of Moet champagne and some beautiful Vicomte Arthur clothing. Today was a good note to end on before the Games!

After Goose’s prizegiving, Katie and I went to Dalma’s farm to jump the two girls. We jumped an oxer-oxer short one stride, four strides to a vertical. We started small, and every few times Katie put a little bounce rail in front of the vertical to make Cylana pat the ground. We built it up until it was big enough. Cylana jumped super. It was great practice to stretch over the scopey oxers and then come right back for the tall vertical and vice versa the other way. After we finished jumping, I gave her a good gallop which she loves. She really stretched out her back and shoulders and could open up all the way. It was a great school.

Onisha jumped a small gymnastic, vertical-vertical-vertical-oxer all very short one strides. She likes to rush and get strong so she had to take her time to fit it in. She’s quite fresh from not showing!

Later in the afternoon Mika had two rails in the Equidia GP. Right before I went in again, someone went clean and the packed stands were stomping, clapping and screaming while they blasted techno music. Mika was a bit unhinged, and again started to relax half way around and finished well. While Mika has all the talent Cylana does, he is not as unemotional as she is in impressive atmospheres. We don’t have a lot of horse shows in America with as loud of an atmosphere as over here which is great and unveils some of the things we have to work on. Mika has all the ability, and I believe that another year in the big classes showing at all these impressive venues will really make him into a seasoned horse. I can count on one hand the big grand prix’s he has done as of January, and it takes time to become really consistent over Olympic-size tracks, Cylana sets the bar really really high! Nick Skelton won the class on Carlo and it was probably one of the fastest jumpoffs I’ve ever seen. He did double leave-outs everywhere, it was amazing. He is so brilliant!

After we finished, Katie, my mom and I hopped in the car and started the 4.5 hour drive to Holland. I finished my book The Alchemist which was so, so good. I didn’t even realize when I picked it that it pertains to my current situation very well. It is about a young boy who realizes his “personal legend” that everyone has a purpose and a dream to chase. It doesn’t have to be religious, but we all have a wild dream that we are destined to fulfill if we follow our path and overcome the bumps along the way. Anyway, it was a really great book and I highly recommend it!

We are staying at the airport hotel here in Amsterdam. I fly out early tomorrow morning with the team to London for accreditation and
processing. We come back tomorrow afternoon/night. Very exciting! I think everybody (except Rich who didn’t go) finished on a high note at Chantilly and it was a good last show for all of us and the Americans in general! Can’t wait to get to work in these last few days!!

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