Reed Kessler has decided to make a change in her support team. The youngest rider to compete on a U.S. Olympic show jumping team when she helped the U.S. team finish sixth at the 2012 London Olympic Games, Kessler made her way to the top under the expertise of show jumping trainer and rider Katie Prudent. Now 19, Kessler has recently decided to train exclusively with Marcus Ehning of Germany.
“I’ve been training with Katie for basically my whole life—seriously for seven years—and felt that it was a natural progression,” Kessler said of her decision to build a new partnership with Ehning.
“I’m so thankful to Katie and Henri [Prudent] for everything they’ve done for me. I never would have made it to this point in my career without them,” she said.
Kessler said she’ll maintain a friendly relationship with the Prudents. “Katie told me that anytime I need her, I can call her right up,” Kessler said.
Ehning, currently ranked No. 3 in the Longines World Rankings, has an Olympic team gold from 2000 and a team gold from the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (Ky.), and is a three-time FEI World Cup Final winner.
“I’m really honored and lucky that Marcus took me on,” continued Kessler, who said she has been considering making the transition for a while. “I’m excited and feel that it’s a natural step into my adult life.” Kessler does not plan to return to the United States for the fall indoor season and is still undecided about traveling to Florida for the winter. Her U.S. base is in Lexington, Ky.
She looks forward to having Ehning as a mentor and gaining experience traveling to some shows independently. “Marcus’ wife [Nadia] is expecting their third baby, so it’s sort of perfect timing because they’re planning to stick around Germany for a while,” she said. “It will really work out well for me to get some time adjusting to how he does things.” Ehning's stable is in Borken, Germany.
Kessler has yet to compete on her new 10-year-old Irish Sport Horse, Cos I Can, and she looks forward to taking him to shows in Hannover and Munich (Germany) this fall.