Reed Kessler can add another accomplishment to her name as she was awarded the Longines Rising Star Award at the Fédération Equestre Internationale Awards Gala, presented by Longines, in Montreux, Sweden on Nov. 8.
Kessler’s achievements in the last year are numerous as she’s built up a string of horses and become a fixture on the international show jumping circuit.
Kessler has been making headlines ever since she represented the United States at the London Olympic Games in 2012 with Cylana, just a few months after her 18th birthday.
This season, she rode on Nations Cup teams at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival (Fla.) and Spruce Meadows (Canada). She also finished in 10th place in the Rolex FEI World Cup Final (Sweden) with Cylana.
This summer she claimed the $200,000 ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup at Spruce Meadows with Cylana before making the decision to train exclusively with Marcus Ehning in Germany.
Olympic individual gold medalist Charlotte Dujardin received the Reem Acra Best Athlete Award for her performances this year with Valegro.
The British rider took home team bronze in the Grand Prix and individual gold in the Grand Prix Special and freestyle at the Blue Hors FEI European Dressage Championships (Denmark) in August. She set a world Grand Prix record at the championships, scoring an 85.94 percent.
Dujardin currently holds the No. 1 spot on the FEI World Dressage rankings.
Carmen Thiemann earned the Best Groom Award for her work with international eventer Ingrid Klimke.
Thiemann worked for Klimke’s father, Dr. Reiner Klimke, for eight years before branching out when Ingrid left his yard in 1990.
Twenty-three years and four Olympic Games later, her loyalty and professionalism was acknowledged by more than 100 nominations for the award.
The National Army Riding School of Uruguay, “Grito de Ascencio,” received the Development Award for its social integration programs for underprivileged teenagers and their families, as well as its equine activities.
The school organizes more than 20 national and international jumping, dressage, para-dressage, eventing and vaulting competitions annually, as well as Special Olympics programs.
Grito de Ascencio is affiliated with the National Centre for Equestrian Development and Rehabilitation and offers its resources and facilities to students with psychological, cognitive and physical disabilities free of charge.
It also grants national riding instructor qualifications, courses, seminars and clinics organized in the context of the Uruguayan Equestrian Federation’s National Teaching Program and FEI development courses.
The Against All Odds Award went to Joann Formosa of Australia.
Formosa started competing in dressage and jumping in 1980 with dreams of representing her country.
In 1987, a riding accident left her with severe damage to her central nervous system. She began attending a Riding For The Disabled Association center, but in 2000, a second accident left her with limited leg movement.
Despite her disability, she made her national team debut at the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games (Germany) and joined Australia’s National High Performance squad in 2009.
In 2011, she began training her stallion, Worldwide PB, at the Australian Equine Behaviour Center and that same year, they finished first in the Grade 1B category of the national championships and clinched triple gold at the Oceania Championships.
Formosa’s individual gold medal win at the 2012 Paralympics was rewarded by Equestrian Australia’s International Athlete of the Year Award.
The FEI Awards were launched in 2009 to spotlight people and organizations that are making an outstanding contribution to the progress and excellence of equestrian sport, in or out of the arena.
Nominations are open to the equestrian community worldwide and a jury of international experts, chaired by FEI President HRH Princess Haya, selected the winners. Representatives from more than 100 national federations affiliated to the FEI were in attendance.
To read more about the awards and the judges, visit the FEI Awards website.