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USET Foundation Awards 2013 Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy to Reed Kessler

Reed Kessler wins prestigious USET Foundation award for her accomplishments in show jumping.

Feb. 1, 2013--The United States Equestrian Team Foundation is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2013 Lionel Guerrand-Hermes Trophy is the talented show jumping rider Reed Kessler of Lexington, KY. Each year this award is presented to a young rider in one of the Olympic disciplines who exemplifies both sportsmanship and horsemanship. In 2012, Reed Kessler advanced to the highest levels of show jumping, competing during the Olympic Trials and winning the USEF Show Jumping National Championship. After her stellar performance throughout the Observation Events, Reed Kessler and her top mount Cylana were selected to represent the United States at the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Kessler, an 18-year-old graduate of the Professional Children's School, was presented with this prestigious award at the USET Foundation Reception on January 25th, in Wellington, Florida.

"The list of riders who have stood in this exact place giving this same speech is a truly exceptional group, and I am honored to join their ranks," stated Kessler. "One year ago, I sat in this audience, wondering how my first Florida show season, free from all the age restrictions, would go. I sat wondering if I would be ready for the approaching Olympic Trials, and most of all, who would make up the team that we would send to London. It did not cross my mind that one year later I would stand here, having been a member of that team. It did not occur to me that my new horse, Cylana, which we were still so unfamiliar with, would carry me to those Games. It is truly amazing what can happen in a year, and when I look back, this will probably be one of the best of my life."

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Kessler continued, "Although my name is the one that will be inscribed on the trophy, I can only take a very small percentage of the credit. First. I have to thank the USET Foundation, who has supported me by funding programs like the European Young Riders Tour, without which the Olympics would have been my very first U.S. Nations Cup Team. I also have to thank the ladies behind the scenes that work tirelessly to take care of my horses. A thanks also goes to our vets and blacksmith, who are also critical members of our team."

"It is impossible to name everyone who has touched my career and that of my horses, so thank you to everyone who has helped along the way," acknowledged Kessler. "I would like to thank Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith and the whole team at Heritage Farm, who gave me a great foundation from Short Stirrup to Junior Jumpers. After I transitioned from Equitation to Jumpers, I began training with Katie and Henri Prudent. I jokingly call them my fairy godparents, because they transformed an ordinary young girl who loved horses and taught her how to make that passion a career. Their incredible teaching is further evident by the fact that I am their third

student to receive this prestigious award. I cannot thank them enough for everything that have taught me and everything they continue to teach me. Next, I'd like to thank my parents, Murray and Terri Kessler. I doubt any parents could bestow any more love and support on their child than my parents have. Way before the grand prixs and the glory, my parents had the same enthusiasm for the sport and dedication to support me in whatever path I chose."

Kessler was the youngest person in Show Jumping history to compete at the Olympic Games. The team from the United States finished in sixth place, facing fierce competition from the other nations. She also represented the United States during the Nations Cup at Spruce Meadows. Later in the year, Kessler was the winner of the $100,000 President's Cup Grand Prix at the Washington International Horse Show, where she was also the Leading Jumper Rider. In 2011, some of Kessler's accomplishments included becoming a member of the U.S. Show Jumping European Young Riders Tour and winning the Young Riders Grand Prix and Young Riders Nations Cup in Lamprechthausen, Austria. She has now begun her professional career at Kessler Show Stables.

Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Trophy Winners
Patrick Guerrand-Hermès established the Lionel Guerrand-Hermès Memorial Award in 1983 in memory of his son, Lionel, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1981 at the age of 18. Lionel trained with the United States Equestrian Team and was talented enough to be considered an Olympic hopeful. A perpetual trophy designed by Patrick Guerrand-Hermès is inscribed annually with the winner's name and permanently displayed at the USET Foundation headquarters in Gladstone, NJ. Previous winners are:

1983 - Mark Leone

1984 - Jeffery Welles

1985 - Holly Mitten

1986 - Gregory A Best

1987 - Susanne Owen

1988 - Christopher Kappler

1989 - Mollie Bliss

1990 - Kim Keenan

1991 - McLain Ward

1992 - Abigail Lufkin

1993 - Mark Combs

1994 - Gabriella Salick

1995 - Megan Johnstone

1996 - Jonathan Elliot

1997 - Alison Firestone

1998 - Bruce Davidson Jr.

1999 - Chad Geeter

2000 - Elise Haas

2001 - Marilyn Little

2002 - Clark Montgomery

2003 - Will Faudree

2004 - Kristin Schmolze

2005 - Brianne Goutal

2006 - Katie Hamilton

2007 - Carolyn Kelly

2008 - Hillary Dobbs

2009 - Laura Noyes

2010 - Jennifer Waxman

2011 - Tiana Coudray

2012 - Lucy Davis

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