Reed Kessler: Olympic Show Jumping Jog Report

August 3, 2012–We’re inching closer and closer to the first round. Yesterday, the whole team rode at 10:00 a.m. at the top schooling area. Cylana flatted beautifully, and George and Katie were very happy. The whole team was looking good.

Photo courtesy Reed Kessler

My mom and Dad arrived in London. Dad came to meet me at the park. I scored him a dressage ticket so we could watch the first American, Jan Ebeling. He was in 4th after he went. It was very fancy flatwork indeed! We grabbed some lunch nearby and ended up sitting with Cian O’Connor for a bit who had just arrived in London.

At around 4:00 p.m. I headed back for the jog. As usual for me, something bad has to happen before something great can. I was practicing jogging Cylana with Katie behind the barn where it was quiet (thank God no one saw!). Bertha was being a bit lazy so Katie went to get after her a bit. I didn’t see it coming and she leaped straight in the air almost on top of me and mowed me down into the mud. Now we were jogging in tan breeches as a team so I was very upset to have mud on the front of my knees. It’s not really how I’d like to look at my first championship jog. Luckily Tracey (she’s a superwoman and can do anything) cleaned me up and you couldn’t tell at all that just a few minutes before I had been kneeling in the mud! Thank God there was no one around that would have been really embarrassing.

We all headed up to the jog half an hour later and it went great. It went alphabetically so we were the last team. All the horses jogged beautifully, especially Bertha after she was told sternly to keep up with me earlier! We headed back to the barn afterwards for a team meeting to coordinate riding times for the next day. After the meeting Katie, Henri, and I hurried back to the hotel to change and head to dinner with my parents in London at Nobu. I swear it was the best meal of my life! Everything came in courses so we could all sample and share. It was delicious and well worth the traffic.

Reed Kessler and Cylana “Bertha” jogged successfully. | Photo courtesy Reed Kessler

I hadn’t gotten to see my mom yet so we finally got to catch up since she had been in Paris a few days doing some shopping. I was jealous until Tim, the best boyfriend anyone ever had, bought me a little present in London! He got me a very very cool bag. I found it extremely hard to believe that he picked it out himself. He got VERY high marks from the parents and trainers. He was very proud of himself, as he should be!

This morning I headed to the park at 6:15 a.m. We got on to flat at 6:40 a.m. and our break in the ring to flat was from 7:00-7:15 a.m. We shared it with the Australian team. Cylana really didn’t care at all. She wasn’t impressed by the tens of thousands of seats in the stands nor the elaborate scenery. She really just wanted to go have breakfast. She was kind of insulted that I was pushing her up into the corners and showing her cameras. As if she was going to spook at any of that! My apologies Bertha, I was just making sure!

Cylana “Bertha” gets a well-deserved pat after the jog. | Photo ?Erin Gilmore/ProEquest

I came back to the hotel and grabbed some breakfast with Charlie Jayne. He is definitely one of the funniest people I know! Then, even though I was sleepy, I forced myself up to the gym. I needed to work off that ridiculously huge dinner last night! After a hard workout I came back up, took a shower, and climbed back into bed. My best friend Nicole Bellissimo and Alex Crown are coming over to meet me for lunch in a bit. The warm-up jumping round starts at 4:55 p.m. and I go 38th. Time to get going!

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