August 3, 2012


Olympic moments

Every four years we are privileged to see the best in the world’s athletic prowess. The 2012 Olympics are no exception: no matter how blasé you may be going in, there is almost no way to fail to be swept away by the excitement.

The timing of the Great Britain games — five hours ahead of us here in New York — makes it possible to turn on the tube (or the computer) upon waking, and find competitors in the midst of pitted combat, be it in a boxing ring, on a basketball court, or in a road race past London’s Vaux Hall. The “big ticket” events — swimming, basketball, and gymnastics, among others — draw the biggest numbers, but we never tire of watching the table tennis and fencing, or the opportunity to experience less well-known events: rowing, sailing or shooting.

The on-demand coverage on the Internet is even more incredible, offering an abundance of riches. In our house, computers and television are streaming simultaneously.

McLain Ward, perhaps the most familiar name in equestrian sport, along with Beezie Madden, is the leader of the American Olympic team. Both were on the 2004 and 2008 gold medal Olympic teams. These two have dominated a sport that has its roots right here in our backyard. The words Bedford and “horse country” are practically synonymous.

Among the equestrians is former Armonk resident Reed Kessler, now residing in Lexington, Ky.  — and the youngest equestrian in the 2012 Olympic Games. Reed trained in Bedford and, at 18, her arrival with her horse, Cylana, was a “dream. It has been without a doubt the best year of my life.”

In a profile earlier this year, The Record-Review’s “Horsetalk” columnist Jill Murphy wrote that Reed was formerly a resident of Baldwin Road in Bedford and that both her parents, father Murray Kessler and mother Teri, are accomplished equestrians. Reed barely made the age requirement to compete in the trials, but wanted to get the experience of jumping the really big fences since she has only recently been eligible to compete at this level. Reed went into the trials trusting her horse and trusting her trainer’s advice, according to Jill Murphy. “She has said that every time she asks Cylana for more, the chestnut mare gives it easily,” Jill wrote in her column. “Going into the trials without great expectations, being relaxed and having a good time probably gave her an edge on some competitors who were carrying more high hopes and nerves.”

This weekend, Team USA is aiming for a three-peat in team show jumping after gold medal triumphs in 2004 and 2008. In Beijing, the Americans prevailed in a gold medal jump-off with Canada. McLain Ward and Beezie Madden were on both of the previous gold medal teams and both are back to compete in London. They will be joined by 18-year-old Reed Kessler and Rich Fellers, 52, the reigning World Cup champion. Veteran equestrian watchers expect Switzerland, Germany and Canada to vie with the United States in this event. In total, 15 national teams will take part in the team show jumping competition.

Qualifications will take place tomorrow, Saturday, Aug. 4, at 5:30 a.m. Eastern Time, with finals on Sunday and Monday.

For us, what is most thrilling is the discovery: of a sport, of an athlete, of an emotion. Congratulations to Reed Kessler, McLain Ward, and the hundreds of others whose endeavors have captured our hearts and our passions.

The events continue for one more week, concluding with final ceremonies on Sunday, Aug. 12.


Read more local coverage of your hometown in this week’s issue of the The Record-Review. Newsstand copies are available at several locations listed above, or subscribe today for convenient home delivery.

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NEWSSTAND LOCATIONS

Pound Ridge/Scotts Corners

  1. Scotts Corner Market – Trinity Corners Shopping Center;  55 Westchester Avenue

  2. Pound Ridge Sunoco — 66 Westchester Avenue    

  3. Sam Parker Country Market — 257 Westchester Avenue    


Bedford Village

  1. Bedford Rexall Pharmacy — Hunting Ridge Mall; 424 Old Post Road  

  2. Village Green Deli — Village Green; Routes 22 and 172    

  3. Bedford Shell — Routes 22 and 172 (at blinking light); 848 So. Bedford Road

  4. Village Service Center —193 Pound Ridge Road (at Long Ridge Road intersection)    


Bedford Hills

  1. Bedford Hills Deli – 7 Babbitt Road    

  2. Bueti’s Deli – 526 Bedford Road (Route 117)


Katonah

  1. NoKA Joe’s – 25 Katonah Avenue    

  2. Steger’s Paper Mill – 89 Katonah Avenue    

  3. Katonah Pharmacy – Katonah Shopping Center; 294 Katonah Avenue   

  4. Bagel Shoppe – Katonah Shopping Center; 280 Katonah Avenue    

  5. Katonah Sunoco – 105 Bedford Road


Mount Kisco

  1. Teamo/Mt. Kisco News – 239 Main Street    


Cross River

  1. Bagel Boys Café – Cross River Shopping Center; Routes 121 and 35    

  2. Cross River Shell Station – Route 35    

  3. Cameron’s Deli –  890 Route 35    

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