The Rolex One to Watch for August 2012 is awarded to Katie Monahan Prudent (USA). Monahan Prudent divides her time between Rosières aux Salines (FRA) and Plain Bay Farm, which she runs with her husband in Middleburg, Virginia (USA). During the month of July, the 54-year-old jumped from 361st to 244th – a move up the Rolex Rankings of 117 places.
Monahan Prudent spent much of her early career training at Cherry Blossom Farm in Virginia, where she gained invaluable experience in the hunter jumper rings. Monahan Prudent went on to show her potential as a junior rider, winning both the Medal Maclay Finals along with multiple championships in the hunter ring, earning her a place in the hunter “Hall of Fame”. Monahan Prudent then emerged as an international Jumping star, claiming victory in every major Jumping Grand Prix in the United States, and helping the 1986 United States Jumping team win gold at the World Championships in Aachen. As a result, Monahan Prudent has been hailed US Rider of the Year three times by the American Grand Prix Association.
In 1987, the United States Equestrian Team honored Monahan Prudent with the Whitney Stone Cup for her distinguished record in international competition coupled with serving as an outstanding ambassador for the United States Equestrian Federation. More recently, Monahan Prudent was elected by the North American Riders Group to the board of directors of the International Jumping Riders Club.
As well as representing the United States and France in the sport of Jumping, Monahan Prudent coaches the US team and spent much of the 2010-2011 season coaching the elite US Three-Day Eventing team in the run-up to the FEI World Equestrian Games™. Together with her husband, French equestrian Henri Prudent, the pair run an international training programme. Amongst her students is Reed Kessler, who became the youngest rider to represent the United States in Olympic Jumping at the 2012 London Olympic Games. Over the past five years, Monahan Prudent has been sought after to teach clinics for Grand Prix riders in France, Switzerland, England and the United States.
This year, Monahan Prudent is demonstrating her continuing top form, having claimed victory with the 10-year-old gelding, V, in the Cenovus Energy Classic Derby Class at the prestigious CSI5* Spruce Meadows (CAN). Last month (July), Monahan Prudent took second place in a challenging jump-off at CSI2* Chantilly (FRA) aboard the 11-year-old mare, Penelope Z.
Monahan Prudent plans to continue riding and explained her future plans: “I’d like to stay good enough for the next few years to take a group of up-and-coming riders to Europe and compete with them.”