U.S. Olympian Reed Kessler was awarded a $3,000 bonus in the SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion for wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style riding gloves on her way to victory in the $130,000 Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup Round IX held Thursday, March 10. The win marked Kessler’s second SSG Gloves bonus earned this season at the 12-week Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.
Competing for the final week in Florida before returning to her home base in The Netherlands, Kessler made the most of her time in the International Arena for Thursday’s WEF Challenge Cup Round IX. She and Cylana, a 14-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Skippy II x Darco) owned by Kessler Show Stables, topped a starting field of 74 entries. One of seven entries to jump clear over the first round track set by Irish course designer Alan Wade, Reed and Cylana topped the jump-off with another clear in the winning time of 43.51 seconds.
SSG Gloves are popular with the Kessler family. So popular, in fact, that 21-year-old Kessler almost didn’t have her lucky gloves for Thursday’s competition.
“I reached in my bag before the class and realized that my mom had borrowed my gloves,” said Kessler, whose parents also compete at the Winter Equestrian Festival. “I wasn't planning to go 'banana sandwich' fast, but I knew I better wear them. I called my mom and asked her to bring them over. It was a twist of fate, and I was lucky I did that!”
With Cylana feeling off-form in the eighth week of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival, a win during week nine was redeeming for Kessler.
“She jumped really well in the WEF last Thursday and I was flatting her in the days after and she was fine on her legs, but was behaving a little funny,” said Kessler. “She didn’t feel one hundred percent. I was so stressed about it that I gave myself an ulcer and was in the hospital on Tuesday.”
Following a few quiet days at the beginning of week nine, Cylana returned to the International Arena in top form to claim the win on Thursday.
“That horse is more than a horse to me,” said Kessler. “I never want to jump her when she isn't right. Whatever was bothering her is totally fine this week. I felt relief after that round because we had such a poor week last week.”
With a second Ruby et Violette WEF Challenge Cup win under their belts and a total of $6,000 earned in bonus money from SSG Gloves, Kessler and Cylana will now turn their attention to the $380,000 CSI5* Douglas Elliman Grand Prix on Saturday evening, March 12.
The SSG Gloves “Go Clean for the Green” promotion offers $60,000 in bonus money to riders throughout the 12-week WEF competition running January 13 through April 3, 2016, in Wellington, FL. A $3,000 bonus is offered each week to the winner of the WEF Challenge Cup if they are wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style riding gloves with the horsehead logo clearly visible in all rounds of competition. In the weekly Maybach – Icons of Luxury High Amateur-Owner Jumper Classic and the Sleepy P High Junior Jumper Classic competitions, a $1,000 bonus is on offer if the winning rider is wearing SSG ‘Digital’ style riding gloves with the SSG Gloves horse head logo clearly visible in all rounds of competition.
SSG ‘Digital’ Riding Gloves are available for purchase at numerous Wellington locations, including Tackeria, as well as on-site at the Winter Equestrian Festival show grounds at various retailers such as Running Fox.
Please refer to the 2016 Winter Equestrian Festival Prize List for complete promotion details. For further information, please contact Jennifer Ward, Jump Media, at cell: 613-292-5439 or firstname.lastname@example.org.