Tag Archives: Beezie Madden

Beezie Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt Win FEI Jumping World Cup Lexington CSI4*-W at NHS

Photo: Beezie Madden on Chic Hin D Hyrencourt.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2018 – The feature show jumping event of the 2018 National Horse Show, the $250,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Lexington CSI4*-W, brought 35 of the sport’s upper echelon horses and athletes to the Alltech Arena to compete head-to-head for the greatest share of the purse and valuable World Cup ranking points towards the 2019 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. Representing the United States, Beezie Madden added to her winning streak, as she and Abigail Wexner’s Chic Hin D Hyrencourt outpaced the talented field with their careful and efficient jump-off trip to capture the coveted top prize in front of a packed house. Earlier in the day, Haley Gassel and Quite Dark 2 nabbed victory in the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix.

n total, eight countries from four continents were represented in the premier contest of the evening, which is the eighth jewel of 14 in the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping schedule, and the group of entries included a staggering amount of talent, most notably the four gold medal-winning members of the NetJets U.S. Jumping Team from the World Equestrian Games: McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, and Adrienne Sternlicht.

For his final course of the week, designer Ken Krome (USA) constructed a 16-effort track for contenders that featured plenty of directional changes and a triple combination as the second-to-last obstacle, which proved to be one of the bogey fences of the evening. Out of the initial pack of combinations, only six partnerships mastered the track penalty-free within the tight 74-second time allowed to qualify for the jump-off, and four pairs faced heartbreak after leaving all the fences intact but accruing one time fault. Lucy Davis (USA), Kent Farrington (USA), Kraut (USA), Madden, Amanda Derbyshire (GBR), and Molly Ashe Cawley (USA) all returned to the show ring for a final shot at glory over the abridged jump-off course.

The first two back in the ring, Davis and Farrington both accumulated penalties on their mounts, opening the door for Kraut and St. Bride’s Farm Confu, who navigated the first double clear of the evening in 38.10 seconds. Not to be outdone, Madden and the 10-year-old grey gelding systematically sliced across the 8-fence track at a blazing clip, stopping the clock in 36.57 seconds to take over the lead with only two left to challenge them. Unfortunately for Derbyshire and Gochman Sport Horse, LLC’s Luibanta BH, two rails would come down, meaning Ashe Cawley and Louisburg Farm’s Cat Ballou would be the last to battle Madden and Chic Hin D Hyrencourt’s time. The pair looked to be on pace to usurp the frontrunners with a fault-free trip, but ultimately were just tenths of a second too slow, tripping the timers in 36.77 seconds to settle for second place, with Kraut and Confu rounding out the all-female podium as the final double clean pair of the class.

Currently ranked ninth in the world and the reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ champion, Madden has been proving her prowess lately and has added numerous accolades to her ever-growing trophy case. Just one week ago at the Washington International Horse Show, she led the victory gallop aboard Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, and has since been the queen of the National Horse Show. In addition to Saturday evening’s triumph with Chic Hin D Hyrencourt, Madden piloted Wexner’s Jiva to the winning prize in Thursday’s $35,000 Free x Rein International Jumper Welcome Speed CSI4*, second place in Friday’s Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, and third place in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4*. With her win Saturday, Madden walks away with not only the largest cut of the purse, but also a one-year lease of an Audi from Audi of Lexington as the Leading International Open Jumper Rider Award, plus the Dr. and Mrs. Kenneth Garber Leading Lady Rider Award.

The reserve finisher, Ashe Cawley, has been taking turns with Madden at the head of the leaderboard over four days of competition, only once giving up the top spot in five classes to another rider, Farrington. In addition to her reserve championship aboard Cat Ballou, Ashe Cawley navigated Picobello Choppin PC to the highest honors in the $35,000 Palm Beach Masters Series International Open Jumpers Speed CSI4* and the Salamander Hotels & Resorts $35,000 Accumulator Class CSI4*, just a hair ahead of Madden.

Capping off an already competitive week of jumping in the Amateur-Owner/Junior ranks, the $50,000 Hollow Brook Wealth Management Show Jumping Hall of Fame Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper Grand Prix offered the non-professionals one final opportunity for a chance at the tricolor. At the completion of the first round of riding, nine pairs were eligible for the jump-off after turning in clean and clear initial trips. Ransome Rombauer, Annabel Revers, Haley Gassel, Elli Yeager, Tali Dejong, Sophie Gochman, Coco Fath, Riley Newsome, and Anna Beth Athey all qualified aboard their respective mounts.

Tackling the short course seemingly with ease, Haley Gassel and Westwind Equine Training Center’s Quite Dark 2 were able to fend off their counterparts in the jump-off, riding their second clean trip of the night in a quick 41.539 seconds to emerge as the victors. The leading pair was followed by Coco Fath and her own Huckleberry in the reserve position, who also left all the rails up but tripped the timers in a slower 41.611 seconds. Sophie Gochman and Carola BH, owned by Gochman Sport Horse, LLC, wrapped up the podium finishers as the third and final double-clean duo, laying down a foot-perfect round in 41.822 seconds.

In addition to the class winner, three other individuals were recognized for their achievements in the division or Show Jumping Hall of Fame (SJHOF) circuit. Sophie Gochman and Tali Dejong were crowned the SJHOF Eastern Conference and Western Conference champions, respectively, and Riley Newsome was awarded the National Horse Show’s division championship for her performances throughout the week.

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Beezie Madden and Breitling LS Are Best at Washington International Horse Show

Beezie Madden. Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography.

Washington, D.C. – October 27, 2018 – The 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) came to a peak on Saturday, October 27, with a victory for reigning FEI Jumping World Cup™ champions Beezie Madden (USA) and Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Washington, presented by Events DC. Earlier in the evening, 16-year-old Elli Yeager claimed the coveted Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals riding Copperfield 39.

A four-time U.S. Olympian, Madden topped a 24-horse field by more than two seconds in 30.74 seconds for owner Abigail Wexner over courses built by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. From a four-horse jump-off, she edged out Katherine Dinan (USA) riding Dougie Douglas, owned by Grant Road Partners, LLC, who sat on a leading time of 32.93 seconds.

Madden’s silver medal teammate from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Lucy Davis (USA), rounded out an all-female podium in 33.44 seconds riding Caracho 14, owned by Old Oak Farm.

Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam rounded out the jump-off with a four-fault performance for fourth place riding Don’t Touch Du Bois, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Paul Tracy. A 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medalist, Laura Kraut (USA) finished fifth with the fastest four-fault ride from the opening round aboard Confu, owned by St. Bride’s Farm.

“This was his first indoor event of the year, so it’s nice to see that he’s in form. It shows why he was good at the World Cup [Final]; he walked right in here and was clever, rideable, adjustable, careful, and he can handle tight spaces like this.” – Beezie Madden

A quick horse by nature, Madden relied on Breitling’s foot speed to shave significant time off the clock, saying, “I thought one to two was a little bit of a tough turn to a big jump, so I didn’t think that was really the place to win it. I feel like I was a touch slow there, but then I knew my horse has some speed, and he’s quite good at turning, so I think I made it up at the turns on both ends, particularly the last turn.”

Madden has set her sights on the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Göteborg (SWE) with a solid string of horses to choose from.

Elli Yeager Earns 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals Victory

Elli Yeager, 16, of Wellington, FL, bested a field of 40 of the nation’s top junior riders to win the 2018 Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals on Saturday.

In order to win the competitive, year-end equitation final, Yeager had to earn the highest cumulative score over three phases of competition: a hunter phase held on Friday, a jumper phase held on Saturday afternoon, and a final work-off held during Saturday night’s featured session. Riders’ average scores from the first two rounds were combined, with the 10 top-ranked competitors then swapping horses in the work-off.

Yeager and her longtime partner, Copperfield 39, topped the hunter phase with a score of 92.50 and finished fourth in the jumper phase with a score of 91.25 for a 183.75 total going into the final round.

The win in the jumper phase went to Coco Fath of Fairfield, CT on a score of 94.50. With a fourth-place finish and a score of 89.25 in the hunter phase, Fath’s cumulative total also sat on 183.75, putting she and her Beacon Hill Show Stables barn mate, Yeager, in a tie going into the final round.

For the work-off, the two front-runners swapped mounts, with Fath taking over the ride aboard Copperfield 39, and Yeager taking the reins on Fath’s mount, equitation championship veteran Class Action, who won the Finals in 2008 with Katherine Newman.

While both delivered seamless rounds, a well-executed inside turn by Yeager, which Fath elected to forego, would give Yeager the slight, tie-breaking advantage and ultimately the 2018 WIHS Equitation Finals victory.

For the win, Yeager was presented with the WIHS Equitation Classic Trophy, donated by Mr. & Mrs. G. Ralph Ours III, and as the winning horse, Copperfield 39 was awarded the Lugano Memorial Trophy, donated by Stoney Hill.

“This is my favorite horse show, and it went better than I ever could have imagined! I didn’t think this was ever going to happen to be honest – especially just being 16. But it happened, and I’m just elated that it happened here at my favorite horse show with my favorite horse who is the best partner that I could ask for.” – Elli Yeager

Yeager has been riding her winning mount, a 12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, for nearly six years.

“Over the years, I’ve grown about 10 inches, but he’s always been the same,” said Yeager. “He always has his game face on. He’s never let me down. He’s been the best horse I could have ever asked for.”

For more information on WIHS, please visit www.wihs.org.

Contact: Jennifer Wood
jwood@jumpmediallc.com

World Equestrian Games Team Gold Medalists to Compete at National Horse Show

Photo: Laura Kraut on Whitney.

Lexington, KY – Oct. 24, 2018 – The 2018 National Horse Show promises to be thrilling with top notch international competition! Adding to the excitement will be the participation of 2018 World Equestrian Games Gold Medal athletes, McLain Ward, Laura Kraut, Devin Ryan, Adrienne Sternlicht, and Beezie Madden. Team USA performed in top fashion during the World Equestrian Games, which was held at the Tryon International Equestrian Center in September. Athletes who participated in the games are ones that are well-known throughout the equestrian community, especially now as they bring home the first ever WEG team gold medal for the United States. However, they have also been familiar faces at the National Horse Show for many years.

Last year’s Leading Lady Rider title, as well as Leading Open Jumper Rider, was claimed by Laura Kraut after she successfully won the $35,000 Welcome Speed class aboard St. Bride’s Farm’s chestnut mare, Whitney. In 2017, Kraut also had a top 10 finish in the $250,000 Longines Grand Prix, where Devin Ryan finished fifth, and Adrienne Sternlicht sixth. Kraut was integral in assuring team USA’s gold medal success as she delivered multiple clear rounds throughout the week and finished 10th overall individually.

Reserve athlete, Beezie Madden, piloted HHS Hercules to the victory in the $35,000 Salamander Resorts & Hotels Accumulator class in 2017, while Kraut was close on her heels in second place, and Devin Ryan secured third. Madden was also third in the $130,000 CP Grand Prix in 2017. Madden is known for her terrific display of athleticism with Cortes C in the 2014 $250,000 Canadian Pacific Grand Prix. She secured her place as part of the 2018 WEG team at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final earlier this year, as she emerged victorious all three days of competition.

Fan favorite McLain Ward has also been successful in the Alltech Arena during recent years. In 2012, he captured the victory in the $250,000 Alltech Grand Prix. He was then featured as a judge for the 2014 ASPCA Maclay Finals. Ward rode to fifth place in the 2016 $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington and continued to move up the ranks to become the 2017 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping champion. In the lead up to the World Equestrian Games he has embarked on a journey that has included grand prix victories, including the $250,000 Sapphire Grand Prix of Devon for the tenth year in a row as well as capturing the $382,000 Longines Grand Prix of New York during the Longines Masters of New York. Ward finished fourth behind teammates Beezie Madden and Devin Ryan at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. At this year’s WEG in one of the most nail-biting finals, Ward pulled off a spectacular jump-off with Clinta to secure the team gold for USA over Sweden. His performance throughout the week delivered him a top five individual medal as well.

Young star Adrienne Sternlicht has competed at the National Horse Show as both a junior and professional and captured her first victory at the National Horse Show in 2015 when she won the Show Jumping Hall of Fame Jumper Classic Series Final. As Ward’s student, she has always been hot on his heels and finished only two spots below him in the 2016 $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington. As the youngest on the team, Sternlicht acquired her first WEG medal and held an impressive 11th place in the overall standings out of the 124 competitors.

2018 was unquestionably a break out year for Devin Ryan. His string of success included a one-two punch to emerge victorious in the $35,000 CSI3* Longines World Ranking Class at Live Oak International and secured the U.S. to both first and second place by winning the reserve at the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final. Last year, Ryan had multiple top ten finishes the National Horse Show including a 3rd place finish in the $35,000 Salamander Accumulator Class, 5th place in the $250,000 Longines FEI World Cup ™ Jumping Lexington, and an 8th place in the $130,000 CP Grand Prix.

For a detailed event schedule, click here.

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FEI Jumping World Cup North American League Enters Season with 2nd Straight World Champion

Beezie Madden (USA) clinches her second World Cup title riding Breitling LS in a cliffhanger at the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Finals 2017/18 Paris, (FRA). (FEI/Liz Gregg)

When Beezie Madden (USA) landed off the final fence at the 2018 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Paris (FRA) with Breitling LS, her final, nearly perfect score of 4 not only secured the Cazenovia, NY native her second career victory in a World Cup Final, but it also marked the second straight year the North American League (NAL) produced the World Cup Champion.

The Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League will begin its fourth season Sunday 26 August 2018 at 2:00 pm (PT) at Thunderbird Show Park, Langley (CAN). The CSI 4*-W event kick-starts a league that has continued to grow in stature, as Madden’s Parisian victory followed up a win for McLain Ward (USA) and HH Azur in Omaha (USA) the previous year. The back-to-back American triumphs in show jumping’s most prestigious individual indoor championship give the North American League a 2/3 strike rate at the World Cup Final since the league’s inception in 2015.

The North American League is divided into two sub-leagues, with both the East Coast and West Coast receiving a new location in the 2018-2019 season. Columbus (USA) will serve as the second stop on the east coast on Sunday 7 October 2018, while Leon (MEX) will conclude the west coast sub league on Saturday 9 February 2018.

In addition to Madden, who receives automatic qualification as the event’s defending Champion, seven east coast USA riders, three west coast USA riders, two Canadian riders, and two Mexican riders will punch their tickets to the 2019 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in Gothenburg (SWE), which begins on 3 April 2019. Riders may earn points in up to seven qualifying events throughout the league season, and their four best results from those classes will count toward their final league standing.

An exciting cast of riders is headed to Langley, including the USA’s Jennifer Gates, Eve Jobs, three-time World Cup Final veteran Karl Cook, and 2012 World Cup Champion, Richard Fellers. The entries also include the California-based Ashlee Bond, who is set to represent Israel in the upcoming FEI World Equestrian Games™ Tryon (USA) in September. Alison Robitaille (USA) and Richard Spooner (USA) who both qualified for the World Cup Final last season, are also slated to compete. Together, they have 20 World Cup Final appearances between them.

“The World Cup Final is the type of competition where you really have to have the right horse at the right time, and all cylinders have to be firing…” — Richard Spooner (USA)

“Anytime you start a World Cup season, you’re just hoping to get some good points early, so there’s not a lot of pressure on you at the end,” said Spooner, who led the west coast standings of the North American League last season. “The finals are in Gothenburg this season, and it’s a nice, big arena with a lot of history — that’s where it really all began with the World Cup. It’s an exciting year.”

Spooner plans to compete the 9-year-old Quirado RC in the $145,000 CSI4*-W Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Langley. The big grey, who finished fourth in Thermal’s World Cup class last season, won two five-star ranking classes this summer at Spruce Meadows (CAN). The gelding also finished fourth in the CSIO5* $235,000 Longines Grand Prix at Langley in May. His partner in Paris was the 11-year-old Chatinus, who won the World Cup qualifier at Las Vegas in 2017.

“I’m looking forward to [Langley],” Spooner said. “Quirado is a 9-year-old and a little green, but he’s an extraordinary horse. I’m hoping to have Chatinus do some of the indoor [qualifiers] in the tighter indoor rings later in the season.”

“The World Cup Final is the type of competition where you really have to have the right horse at the right time, and all cylinders have to be firing,” Spooner said. “The [North American League qualifiers] really set you up for that and let you know if everything is going in the right direction, or if you’re better off waiting for another year and another opportunity. The World Cup Final is always the highlight of the indoor season, and as a major, I enjoy it.”

View the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ North American League Calendar here.

By Catie Staszak

FEI Media Contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Madden Clinches Her Second Title in a Cliffhanger

Photo: FEI/Jim Hollander.

Fellow-American Ryan finishes a close second, Sweden’s von Eckermann takes third

America’s Beezie Madden (54) held on to win the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2018 title in Paris (FRA), but she didn’t do it the easy way. In a cliffhanger of a second round she faulted for the first time over three tough days of jumping when last to go with the brilliant Breitling LS. And the crowd had to hold their breath until she crossed the line to a roar of approval, separated by just two penalty points from compatriot Devin Ryan (36) in second place.

The biggest surprise package of the week, the relatively unknown Ryan was relentlessly cool yet again as his apparently bomb-proof grey gelding son of the great stallion Zirocco Blue continued to make the super-tough courses designed by Spain’s Santiago Varela look fairly elementary.

The hard-luck story of the final afternoon was that of Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann (37) who had to settle for third place for the second year in a row. In runner-up spot and carrying four faults as the afternoon began, he might have forced Madden into a jump-off but for a mistake with Tovek’s Mary Lou in the closing moments. He wasn’t forgiving himself for that. Madden knew she’d been in a fight.

“When I had that rail down, I was a little nervous, but I still felt my horse was jumping well and I knew I had to pull it together to finish on four (faults) and try to get it done!” — Beezie Madden (USA)

The rider who previously claimed the title in 2013 said it was “double-exciting” to post her second win, and particularly with this 12-year-old stallion. “We’ve really believed in him but he’s taken time to mature, so for him to come through today is fantastic! It’s taken a little while to replace Simon (her 2013 World Cup winning ride) and Cortes (team silver 2016 Olympic Games) but it’s happening!” she added.

Her two nearest rivals kept all the pressure in place when making no mistake in the first round, von Eckermann carrying his four points forward and Ryan still sitting on a total of six.  A little rattle at the oxer at fence three on the 13-obstacle course, and another at vertical no. 7 set American hearts beating a little faster, but Madden cleared the line with nothing to add, so the top end of the standings looked the same when the top 20 returned for round two over a new track.

And Ryan, who hails from Long Valley in New Jersey, did it again, steering Eddie Blue home with apparent ease once more. At just nine years old the horse was the youngest in the Final but you’d never have guessed. “His brain is unbelievable; he never knocked a pole as a five or six-year-old; he won the American Gold Cup as an eight-year-old and was second at Devon, one of our biggest shows in the US – he’s just a fantastic horse!” said the man who qualified from the US East Coast series.

Second-last into the ring von Eckermann knew he would pressure Madden with a clear, and he was beating himself up about having the second fence down this time out. “It was my mistake; my horse jumped fantastic as always, but we got too close and I interfered – I should have trusted her quality and it wouldn’t have happened,” said the clearly disappointed Swede.

You could hear a pin drop after Madden’s stallion hit the middle element of the triple combination at fence six. One more error would hand the title to fellow-American Ryan, but the lady who has two Olympic gold medals in her trophy cabinet along with a whole lot more valuable hardware didn’t crumble, bringing Breitling home with nothing further to add for a very popular victory.

Only five female athletes have taken the title in the 40-year history of the series that every rider wants to win, and they all have one thing in common. Like Madden, Melanie Smith (1983), Leslie Burr Lenehan (1986), and Katharine Burdsall (1987) all flew the American flag, while three-time winner Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum from Germany (2005, 2008, 2009) was born in Los Angeles, California. It seemed history was repeating itself, as Burdsall’s victory was also posted at exactly the same Paris venue when the Jumping Final was last staged in France 31 years ago.

The final standings showed three US riders in the top four places as 2017 winner, McLain Ward, slotted into fourth spot. The happiest of all was new double-champion Madden. “I love the World Cup Final – each year I make it a goal to get there, and to win, and I did it again!” said the lady who will be aiming join the elite club of three-time champions when the Final returns to Gothenburg in Sweden for the 23rd time next April.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Beezie and Breitling Are Unbeatable Again in Paris

Photo: Beezie Madden and Breitling LS. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

America’s Beezie Madden (54) almost made it look easy as she moved one step closer to clinching the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping 2018 title in Paris (FRA) with her second victory of the week with Breitling LS.

Last to go in a thrilling nine-horse jump-off, she cruised home to overtake The Netherlands’ Harrie Smolders (37) and his lovely stallion Emerald, while Henrik von Eckermann (37) clinched third with the mare Toveks Mary Lou. And that result has promoted the Swede to second in the overall rankings ahead of Sunday’s two-round finale in which Madden will kick off with a one-fence advantage. The American star, and series champion in 2013, was thrilled with Breitling.

“He has a super temperament – actually he’s so nice that a lot of people don’t seem to realise he’s a stallion! He’s careful and clever, and every time I call on him he does everything I want – I couldn’t ask for any more!” — Beezie Madden (USA)

Her compatriot, Devin Ryan, held onto the third spot he established with Eddie Blue in the speed competition despite being one of six to collect a single time penalty over the 14-fence first-round track. Course designer, Spain’s Santiago Varela, set a fast enough time limit of 75 seconds, but it was the first two elements of the triple combination at fence nine that put paid to Marcus Ehning’s chances of becoming the first-ever four-time FEI World Cup™ champion. And it wasn’t Germany’s day as his compatriot Daniel Deusser, lying second overnight, saw his hopes of a second title crushed when his 2014 winning ride, Cornet d’Amour, appeared to mis-read the first element of the double at fence five.

Frenchman, Kevin Staut, led the way against the clock with Silver Deux de Virton HDC, and his clear set the early target at 36.87 seconds. He stayed out in front when America’s Jamie Barge and Luebbo were also foot-perfect but fractionally slower, but Smolders reset the parameters with a blistering round from the feisty stallion Emerald who broke the beam in 33.44 seconds. Belgium’s Olivier Philippaerts didn’t threaten that with Legend of Love who crossed the line clear in 35.19, but von Eckermann came close when stopping the clock on 33.92 and then only Madden was left to challenge Smolders for the win.

A tight turn to the fourth fence on the jump-off track, a double of verticals, was essential, and although defending champions, America’s McLain Ward and HH Azur, posted the quickest time of 32.74 seconds, they hit the first element here. Madden’s Breitling, however, was flawless once again, putting on another jumping exhibition to clinch pole position as they breezed through the timers in 33.22. “Left turns to a vertical used to be our nemesis, but he’s figured out his front end now,” the double Olympic gold medallist pointed out.

When asked if she was feeling confident with a one-fence lead going into Sunday’s title-decider, she said, “It’s nice to have a rail in hand, but we are really only halfway through the competition. We have two more rounds and maybe a jump-off on Sunday… it can all change a lot yet.”

Smolders admitted he might have made an error of judgement in competing his other ride, Zinius, in the opening speed leg. “It’s always easy to say that afterwards, but Zinius had a very good indoor season and he’s naturally fast in speed classes so I made that decision, but it didn’t work out. I don’t like to lose, but I don’t mind being beaten by Beezie who won in style – and this was a great class tonight,” he said.

Madden’s closest rival on Sunday, however, will be von Eckermann. “I didn’t ride so great to the double of verticals (in the jump-off), I was a bit over-careful but my horse jumped both rounds fantastic,” he said, and you can tell he’s pretty confident that there’s plenty more left in Mary Lou’s tank for Sunday’s challenge.

But mistakes will be very costly indeed on the final afternoon, as Philippaerts, Ward, and Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow are in joint-fourth place carrying just six faults apiece, and Smolders and Colombia’s Carlos Lopez are only a single fault further behind.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

A Magical Round with Breitling Gives America’s Madden Early Lead

Photo: Beezie Madden and Breitling LS. (FEI/Liz Gregg)

She’s done it before, coming out on top five years ago, and America’s Beezie Madden, one of just four lady riders in the field of 37 starters, threw down the gauntlet to all the rest when galloping to victory in the opening speed competition at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final 2018 in Paris (FRA).

The double Olympic gold medallist gave her 12-year-old stallion, Breitling LS, a spectacular ride, full of confidence, precision and determination to finish almost a second clear of runner-up Daniel Deusser (36) from Germany who also knows what it’s like to hold this coveted World Cup trophy in his hands. The big surprise of the evening was the third-place finish for Madden’s compatriot, the relatively unknown Devin Ryan (36) who goes into the second test just three points off the lead after results were calculated into points.

But none of those at the head of the leaderboard have any room for complacency, because stalking them is three-time title-holder Marcus Ehning from Germany who finished fourth with Cornado NRW, while one of the most talked-about partnerships ahead of these Finals, Sweden’s Henrik von Eckermann and Toveks Mary Lou, are close behind in fifth. It’s going to be a sizzler all the way to the finale when the new champion will be crowned.

Madden was happy with her result having mastered the balance between speed and risk over the clever 13-fence course set by Spain’s Santiago Varela better than all the rest.

“It’s quite tense on the first day… it’s a little bit of a juggling act, so when it all works out well it’s a big relief!” — Beezie Madden (USA)

Fellow-American and defending champion McLain Ward fell victim to a tight turn to the penultimate double where HH Azur hit the first element, which added four seconds to their time and has left them in tenth place overall. That’s a long way behind, but as Madden pointed out, “At these Finals it’s just one day at a time!”

The omens are looking good for her, however. She recalled that when she steered Simon to victory, in a thrilling showdown against Switzerland’s Steve Guerdat in Gothenburg in 2013, she also won on the first day. And Breitling is really on top of his game right now.  “He’s only competed three weeks this year. He won the World Cup qualifier at Thermal, we did a 4-Star Grand Prix and Nations Cup (in Wellington) and he was clear in the Nations Cup and won the Grand Prix and then did another 4-Star Grand Prix (in Wellington) and won that as well,” she pointed out. She’s delighted with this horse which, like her previous winner Simon, she got from Dutch Olympic champion Jeroen Dubbeldam and which she has now been riding for five years.

Deusser has every reason to be pleased too, because it is the horse that carried him to glory in Lyon (FRA) in 2014 that has put him right in the frame. The 15-year-old Cornet d’Amour has had a long injury-break but was clearly back in the zone, and although Deusser has the possibility of an alternative ride for the next two competitions, he said that he will probably bring the grey back out over the next two days because he’s feeling really great.

At just nine years of age, Devin Ryan’s Eddie Blue is the youngest horse at this Final. “It’s been a dream of mine to represent the States at some level and so here we are and it’s great that there are two of us up here tonight!” he said when joining the considerably more experienced Madden on the press conference platform.

The second test may bring some significant changes, however, and with Belgium’s Pieter Devos (Espoir), Spain’s Eduardo Alvarez Aznar (Rokfeller de Pleville Bois Mar), Colombia’s Carlos Lopez (Admara) and Sweden’s Douglas Lindelow (Zacramento) also squeezed inside that top 10, and double-champion Steve Guerdat just a single point behind Ward in eleventh place, then the leaders have very little breathing room. And as Deusser said, “We had a very very good course because nobody went really really fast – I think all the horses are jumping good still and have enough power for tomorrow.” Power is what the second competition will be all about.

By Louise Parkes

Media contact:

Shannon Gibbons
Media Relations and Communications Manager
shannon.gibbons@fei.org
+41 78 750 61 46

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS Win Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final I

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS. Photo by Shannon Brinkman.

Paris, France – With the poise, grace, and horsemanship that fans adore her for, Elizabeth ‘Beezie’ Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) guided Breitling LS to a win in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final I (Jumping Speed Class), the first round of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final. The four-time Olympian was the first U.S. athlete of the evening to ride clear over Santiago Varela Ullastres’s course, stopping the clock at 61.89 seconds. Germany’s Daniel Deusser and Cornet d’Amour finished in second with 62.61 seconds, and Final newcomer and fellow American, Devin Ryan (Long Valley, N.J.), placed third at 62.84 seconds.

“I thought [Breitling LS] was fantastic today,” said Madden. “You know, I think this [class] is one of the hardest parts of the world cup. The courses get harder, but today is strategy and trying to execute it perfectly is difficult, and it went according to plan. He was fantastic; he was right there for me every time I called on him.”

Madden and the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion owned by Abigail Wexner come fresh off wins during the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival, including winning the $205,000 CaptiveOne Advisors Grand Prix CSI4* and the $205,000 CSIO4* Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix.

“He has gotten quite fast and he’s won quite a few classes in the last year,” continues Madden. “Some horses you might not take such a risk today because you need the horse to be rideable and careful for the rest of the competition, but those are his strong points: he’s rideable and he’s careful. So I thought it was okay today to take a shot.”

Madden won the Final in Göteborg in 2013 aboard Simon. When asked if she remembered what position she was in after the first class in 2013, she stated that she won that first class as well.

Ryan and Eddie Blue, the nine-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by LL Show Jumpers, LLC, made a splash in their FEI World Cup Jumping Final debut with a clear round, heading into the second class in the third position.

“I know I have a really good horse,” stated Ryan. “He has been competing very well in the States. It has always been a dream of mine to represent the United States, so here we are. I am very happy to be here, and it’s great that there are two of us up here tonight.”

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From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Beezie Madden Wins Fifth Annual Great American $1 Million Grand Prix at HITS Ocala

Four-time USEF Equestrian of the Year, Beezie Madden, is a name that almost every horse person in the world has heard at least once. Madden has been competing at the Grand Prix level since 1985 and continues to add to her resume of Grand Prix wins every year. As of March 25th, 2018, she became a two-time HITS Million Dollar Grand Prix winner as well, with a victory in the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix to close out the HITS Ocala Winter Circuit.

This is Madden’s second $1 Million Grand Prix win with HITS, also winning in Saugerties, New York in 2015. “I’ve been lucky enough that this is my second win. It’s amazing what he offers; all of the venues and shows he offers. I don’t know how he does it all,” Madden said, referring to HITS Owner and CEO Tom Struzzieri.

Alan Wade of Tipperary, Ireland, designing his second HITS Million course, built a track that the riders felt was challenging, but allowed for them to ride to their horses’ strengths in both the first round and the jump-off, with spots to make up ground in turns or in long gallops. “The riders who were clean were obviously thrilled, but lots of riders with just one or two rails came out of the ring very happy with their performance.” said Wade, who was pleased with how the course challenged both the veteran and less experienced riders. “For the developing riders, the more they get to jump a course like this, the easier it will become for them.”

After a challenging round one, five riders would come back to jump off to find the winner of the Great American $1 Million Grand Prix. First to jump-off was Lillie Keenan aboard SUPER SOX, Keenan smoothly rode through the course, going clear with a time of 44.479. As the first to go in the jump-off, and to be clean and efficient, she set the bar for the rest of the riders in the jump-off. Her score would eventually be good enough for second place.

Daniel Bluman was second to go aboard SANCHA LS. Being the only foreign rider in the jump-off field, the crowd cheered him on, but he unfortunately had a rail down early and would have two more down, completing the course with a twelve-fault score in 49.954. Keenan was still in the lead, but not for long. Third to go was Beezie Madden and COACH. A crowd favorite, the energy from in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium was at an all-time high as Madden skillfully jumped fence after fence clear, taking the sharpest turns possible. The crowd held their breath just before the last fence, as COACH soared, landing clear and with a time of 44.479, almost two seconds faster than Keenan.  Madden was now in the lead, but would one of the remaining two manage to top that time?

Jamie Barge entered the ring aboard LUEBBO, with high hopes that she would catch up to Madden.  Barge galloped the long stretches as fast as she could manage, and jumped clear, with a time of 48.461, putting her in third place.  As Barge cantered out of the ring, Charlie Jayne awaited his turn in the ring aboard TOU LA MOON. The pressure was on, as he was the final rider to jump-off. Jayne rode to his mare’s strength of quick, tight turns, trying to push the others out of the lead. Approaching the final fence, the crowd went wild, wondering if he would catch up to Madden. As he landed from the final fence and the scoreboard stopped, everyone looked at the time, 47.092, putting Jayne into third place. Madden had won it and the crowd applauded her as loudly as they could.

Daniel Bluman was second to go aboard SANCHA LS. Being the only foreign rider in the jump-off field, the crowd cheered him on, but he unfortunately had a rail down early and would have two more down, completing the course with a twelve-fault score in 49.954. Keenan was still in the lead, but not for long. Third to go was Beezie Madden and COACH. A crowd favorite, the energy from in the Ocala Horse Properties Stadium was at an all-time high as Madden skillfully jumped fence after fence clear, taking the sharpest turns possible. The crowd held their breath just before the last fence, as COACH soared, landing clear and with a time of 44.479, almost two seconds faster than Keenan.  Madden was now in the lead, but would one of the remaining two manage to top that time?

Jamie Barge entered the ring aboard LUEBBO, with high hopes that she would catch up to Madden.  Barge galloped the long stretches as fast as she could manage, and jumped clear, with a time of 48.461, putting her in third place.  As Barge cantered out of the ring, Charlie Jayne awaited his turn in the ring aboard TOU LA MOON. The pressure was on, as he was the final rider to jump-off. Jayne rode to his mare’s stretch of quick, tight turns, trying to push the others out of the lead. Approaching the final fence, the crowd went wild, wondering if he would catch up to Madden. As he landed from the final fence and scoreboard stopped, everyone looked at the time, 47.092, putting Jayne into third place. Madden had won it and the crowd applauded her as loudly as they could.

Center stage was Madden having secured the first place position and earning a check for $350,000. When asked about her ride, she said, “I was really happy with how the horse went. I thought the course really suited him. I have high hopes for him.” speaking of the German-bred ten-year-old gelding, COACH, owned by Abigail Wexner. “Everything fell into place really nicely and I had a great support team behind me.”

Lillie Keenan had claimed the second place spot and a hefty prize money check for $200,000 aboard her well-known gelding SUPER SOX after two clear rounds and a jump-off time of 46.229. Keenan, at only twenty-two years old, has an impressive list of accomplishments, launching her career as a top Grand Prix rider at HITS when she was just sixteen years old in the $1 Million Grand Prix. “The most profound part of the experience is that HITS offers an opportunity to riders that are maybe either young riders or haven’t gotten to the point in their careers to have had the chance to jump at that level and also for that amount of prize money,” Keenan said when asked what she enjoys most about showing at HITS. “For me that made a huge difference, jumping a Million Dollar Grand Prix at just sixteen.”

Charlie Jayne was third aboard his mare TOU LA MOON with a fault-free jump off time of 47.092. Jayne, who also competed in the AIG $1 Million Grand Prix the week before at HITS Coachella, is familiar with the Ocala Horse Properties stadium and used that to his advantage. “I thought the course was excellent today. There were a lot of options,” Jayne said in thanks to course designer Alan Wade. Jayne has competed in all five Great American Millions at HITS Ocala. “I want to thank HITS, Great American, and the City of Ocala. I’ve come to this Million every year and the crowd keeps getting bigger and bigger. This is the biggest crowd I’ve jumped for this year so far and the energy was really great.”

Jamie Barge took the fourth place finish with LEUBBO, the thirteen year old gelding owned by Kylie Co., after a clear first round and a fault-free jump-off time of 48.461. Daniel Bluman rounded out the top five aboard his mare SANCHA LS with a twelve-fault jump-off time of 49.954.

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Beezie Madden Crowns Week 11 with Stylish Win in $205k Grand Prix CSI 4*

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS. Photo © Sportfot.

Wellington, FL – March 24, 2018 – The senior jumping finale class of the season on the derby field, the $205,000 CaptiveOne Advisors CSI4* Grand Prix, came right down to the wire. It was last-to-go Beezie Madden (USA) who clinched the win in the five-strong jump-off.

Madden was riding Breitling LS, a quick and careful 12-year-old stallion son of Quintero owned by Abigail Wexner, who was clocking up his second grand prix win of the season — the first having been in the $205,000 CSIO4* Grand Prix, presented by Lugano Diamonds, in WEF 8.

The 54-year-old Olympic gold medalist had the advantage of crafting her jump-off tactics after watching her fellow competitors tackle the course. She broke the beam in 47.19 seconds, cruising more than a second under Irishman Daniel Coyle’s time. He finished second with Cita, owned by Ariel Grange & Lothlorien.

Fellow Irishman Richie Moloney sewed up a success-fueled week, finishing third in this class to add to his 1.45m victory on Friday. This latest result came aboard Equinimity LLC’s Freestyle De Muze, a 13-year-old gelding by Lord Z, who finished in 50.68 seconds.

Lucas Porter Tops $132,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic Final

Fifty-six entries contested Saturday night’s $132,000 Hollow Creek Farm 1.50m Classic Final. In the class format, 25 percent of entries advanced to the second round, regardless of faults, and carried their first round faults through. Fourteen entries competed over the fast track designed by Olaf Petersen Jr. of Germany, and it was Lucas Porter (USA) who ended up clear in 47.90 seconds for the win on Diamonte Darco, a 13-year-old GBSH mare by Unbelievable Darco owned by Sleepy P Ranch LLC.

Second place with a double clear round were Amber Harte (USA) and Austria 2, owned by Take The High Road LLC, who recorded a time of 49.30 seconds. Kelli Cruciotti (USA) and Chamonix H, owned by Serenity Farm, were third after going double clear in 49.85 seconds.

Maggie Hill Pilots Cassanto to Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under Championship

A cool breeze accompanied riders into the E. R. Mische Grand Hunter for Saturday’s Large Junior Hunter 15 & Under division, which ultimately awarded the championship tricolor to Maggie Hill and her mount, Cassanto, an entry of Stella Styslinger. The pair secured the win with a first in the under saddle and a first, second, third, and sixth over fences, for a total of 30.5 points. Reserve honors went to Sam Walker and Monday Balous, owned by Redfield Farm, who were close behind by half a point after taking home a first, first, second and third over fences.

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