Featured Rider: Lena Rae Reeb
It is most riders' dream to have their own horse growing up. Most, at one point or another, have probably fantasized about living a nomadic horse show life on the road as well; being immersed in the show scene as much as possible and traveling to new places throughout the year. That life is a reality for amateur rider Lena Rae Reeb, a Process Development Engineer at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, who competes alongside her mother, Leslie Kogos, owner of Larkspur Farm.
Ever since she was in middle school, Reeb has had the privilege of coming to HITS Ocala, and she loves returning to the Sunshine State every winter. Based in North Salem, NY, Reeb has gotten multiple opportunities to ride for her mother and trainer Michele West, none of which she has taken for granted.
“Michelle West is basically family,” said Reeb. “I've known her my entire life and have had the privilege of riding with her ever since I really started to ride. That's been an amazing experience, and my mom has been there to support me the entire way. It's really cool to grow and continue to be successful as a family!”
Last week was no exception for Reeb and the Larkspur Farm crew at HITS. On Saturday, Reeb won the $1,500 Platinum Performance Hunter Prix on her mother’s horse Call Me. Then, she returned for another victory on Sunday in the $1,500 M&S Child/Adult Low Jumper Classic on Hightower, whom she showed for owner Jamie Stryker.
Reeb credits her trainer with helping her excel in both classes and score blue across the board, thanks to West’s thoughtfully designed, detail-oriented training regimen at home.
Lena Rae Reeb and Call Me. Photo by: ESI Photography
“I think success starts before you enter the show ring,” Reeb explained. “Michele continually pushes me to be better. Then, at the show, she formulates a strategic plan for my rounds and a thoughtful warmup. We've had my horse for a long time, so we know him well and can develop that plan. Even on Hightower, it's that plan before going into the ring that I think really enables success.”
Reeb concluded, “It's nice to continue to show while working in a non-horse industry. So that's been really amazing. We love showing at HITS because it’s a consistently great venue with quality courses, jobs, rings, and staff. That's why we continue to Saugerties after Ocala year after year.”