Reed Kessler: It has Begun!

Olympic show jumping team member Reed Kessler blogs about the first day of show jumping at London 2012
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Olympic show jumping team member Reed Kessler blogs about the first day of show jumping at London 2012

August 4, 2012-- It has begun!!!

Yesterday afternoon we had the warm up jumping which went very well for everyone. Rich opted not to jump, only flat. The rest of us kept it short and just jumped a few jumps. Cylana was super she really didn't seem too impressed by the atmosphere--she just wanted to finish up and go have dinner. We went to USA house immediately after for the owners party. It was fun and everyone was very encouraging! Tim and I headed home early to catch some z's before the big day.

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This morning I was very excited. My stomach was too unsettled to eat anything and I headed over to ride at 7:30. I kept my flat very light with Bertha to preserve energy for the many coming rounds. We walked the course and it seemed welcoming for the first round. There were a few 1.60 jumps but it was mainly 1.55. Mclain laid down a beautiful clear and it was my turn as second line rider.

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As I stood in the ingate and everyone applauded the rider before Cylana EXPLODED! She flew backwards and was trampling on top of the people in the ingate. I trotted her back up and into the ring and she felt like a gaited horse--there was a lot of high knee action! She was very excited by the atmosphere but as soon as she locked into the first jump she was as focused as can be. She jumped so so beautifully, I just had a timefault. Rich jumped a beautiful clear on Flexy.

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Unfortunately Beezie had a bit of a hiccup on Via who was very very impressed by the atmosphere. Although it is a huge bummer to be out of the individual, they seemed confident that they would be back in gear for tomorrow.

I thought today was a great start for most. Some people thought there were too many clean but I thought Bob Ellis did a great job. We had the warmup, today's round, two nations cup rounds, two individual rounds, and a possible jumpoff. So that's a LOT of jumping. I agreed that the first day should be welcoming for the horses' sake. It is definitely going to get bigger and harder each day but no reason it has to be massive the first day.

After a team meeting to plan for tomorrow, I set off with mom and dad into London for the rest of the afternoon. Mom and I had a late lunch at Harvey Nichols- at this point I was STARVING!!! We did a little shopping and then I headed back for team dinner. I sat on the end with Lauren Ward, Charlie, Robert Ridland, and Tim Ober and we had a fun dinner. The main discussion was my mom's weird dreams. The other night she dreamed she was a crow attacking a little boy.... she eats too much ice cream before bed... every night...

Tim met me afterwards and now we are having an early night before tomorrow. Excited for tomorrow!!!!