New York Olympians In London 2012 Summer Games: Equestrian (Part 2)

KesslerWard.jpg
Team USA
McLain Ward and Reed Kessler

Today we finish our spotlight of New York Olympic equestrians with a rookie and a veteran in the sport. Both have had historic moments in the sport, one for his many victories both internationally and in the US and the other for being the youngest rider to make the Olympic Equestrian team.

Name: McLain Ward

Age: 36

Olympic Event: Equestrian

Hometown: Brewster, NY

McLain Ward, a two-time Olympic gold medalist, broke onto the show jumping scene at 14 years old when he won the US Federation Show Jumping Derby and the equitation medals finals; he was the youngest person to hold such a victory. Since then, he has gone on to compete in the world's most prestigious equestrian events. Ward's career has not been without it's challenges, however -- in 2010 he became embroiled in controversy after his mount, Sapphire, was eliminated from the World Cup for hypersensitivity in her left forelimb. Ward challenged the elimination and a legal battle ensued. He later agreed to not pursue extensive litigation. He was dealt another blow earlier this year when he shattered his knee while competing in the Surpass Grand Prix during the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival. His shattered kneecap left Ward unable to compete through the spring. After several months of recovery he returned to a remarkable victory in June when he won his seventh Grand Prix of Devon title.


Name: Reed Kessler

Age: 18

Olympic Event: Equestrian

Hometown: Armonk, NY

Reed Kessler has made history this year by being the youngest rider to make the US Olympic Equestrian Team. Despite her young age, Kessler has had major victories in the sport since 2009, including placing third in the National Show Jumping Championship, being named the female athlete of the month in March of this year by the US Olympic Committee and winning numerous cash-prizes in show jumping competitions both domestically and internationally. As expected of her tech-savvy generation, Kessler has been live-tweeting from the Olympics and if you want to keep up with all of the action during the equestrian events you can follow her: [at] ReedCat5000.

Check back tomorrow where we meet two first-time New York Olympians in boxing.


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