Tag Archives: Beezie Madden

Beezie Madden Wins Two in a Row at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Beezie Madden riding Breitling. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY won the $50,000 Weston Canadian Open on Friday, November 10, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in downtown Toronto, ON.

Hot off her win in Thursday’s $35,000 Brickenden Trophy with Coach, Madden returned to the Ricoh Coliseum with Breitling LS, owned by Abigail Wexner. Riding second in the order, Madden set the early time to beat over the speed track designed by 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil, stopping the timers clear in 50.03 seconds. The only rider to come close to catching Madden was Nicola Philippaerts of Belgium who piloted Inouk P, a nine-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, to a time of 51.97 seconds for owner and father, four-time Olympian Ludo Philippaerts.

“There were some really good riders out there, but I think I set the pace fast enough that they had to take some risks and that was difficult to do,” said Madden, 53, a regular competitor and crowd favourite at the annual Royal Horse Show. “This has been quite a good show for me. The quality here is always good with good jumping, which makes it is difficult to win, so I am thrilled to win two classes.”

Of her mount Breitling LS, Madden noted, “He has had a phenomenal year! He has developed into a horse I can depend on in any kind of class.

“Tonight, there were a lot of inside turns with jumps coming up quick, so you needed a horse that was rideable and that is one of his very strong points,” continued Madden of the 11-year-old La Silla stallion (Quintero x Armonia). “He has become quite a quick thinker, which he had to develop into, so I was really happy that he did that well with this course.”

Canada’s own François Lamontagne of St. Eustache, QC took third on home soil with a clear round in 54.42 seconds riding Chanel du Calvaire, while Sharn Wordley New Zealand claimed fourth in 56.32 seconds on Caiman des Sequoias for owner Sky Group. Vanessa Mannix of Calgary, AB was the only other rider to post a clear round, piloting Chemas home in a time of 56.67 seconds.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.

Beezie Madden Claims Brickenden Trophy at Toronto’s Royal Horse Show

Beezie Madden riding Coach. Photo by Ben Radvanyi Photography.

Toronto, Ontario – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden won the $35,000 Brickenden Trophy on Thursday, November 9, at the CSI4*-W Royal Horse Show, held as part of the 95th Royal Agricultural Winter Fair running through November 13 in downtown Toronto, ON.

Madden of Cazenovia, NY was the one to beat in a 15-horse jump-off over tracks set by 2016 Rio Olympic course designer Guilherme Jorge of Brazil. She and Coach, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Con Air x Corofino I) owned by Abigail Wexner, crossed the timers double clear in 30.35 seconds for the victory.

Less than a second separated the top five with Madden unseating fellow U.S. show jumping athlete Andrew Kocher from the top of the leaderboard. The Oklahoma native settled in second place with a time of 30.60 seconds riding Artemise du Houssoit, owned by Double H Farm. Belgium’s Nicola Philippaerts jumped into third aboard Aikido Z with a time of 30.70 seconds while the number-one ranked rider in the world and winner of Wednesday night’s Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Toronto, Kent Farrington of the United States, took fourth riding Creedance with a clear jump-off effort in a time of 30.73 seconds. Ireland’s Daniel Coyle rounded out the top five, having posted the first double-clear performance with a time of 30.97 seconds aboard Martha Louise.

“I try to come to The Royal every year because I think this show is fantastic; the jumping is always good here and the crowd is incredible,” said Madden, who also placed third riding Coach in the $35,000 International Jumper Power and Speed on Tuesday, November 7. “This year, I have a great string that I am building, and they needed some indoor experience. Coach has all the potential in the world, and today I used his huge stride to my advantage and was able to do less strides around the ends of the ring, which not very many other riders could do.”

Madden has selected Coach as her mount for the $87,000 GroupBy Big Ben Challenge on Saturday night, November 11, noting, “I am just starting to step him up into the top level. After two classes this week, I feel he is settled enough and ready for a big class on Saturday.”

On Thursday evening, three-time U.S. Olympic medalist McLain Ward of Brewster, NY won the $35,000 International Accumulator Challenge over Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam. Both riders collected 65 points over the course, but Ward had an edge on the clock with a time of 49.88 seconds riding HH Callas for owner Double H Farm, while Sweetnam broke the timers in 50.47 seconds aboard Don’t Touch du Bois, owned by Spy Coast Farm, Paul Tracy, and Sweet Oak Farm.

Earlier on Thursday, Nicole Walker of Aurora, ON won the opening phase of the Alfred Rogers Uplands Under 25 National Championship riding Excellent B. The pair posted one of two clear rounds over the speed track, stopping the timers at 61.07 to hold off runner-up Veronica Bot of Burlington, ON, who rode Quidam’s Caprice M to a time of 61.62 seconds for owner AEI Corp.

Alexanne Thibault of Boucherville, QC took third riding Chacco Prime with the fastest four-fault effort, while Julia Madigan of Vancouver, BC finished fourth on Farfelu du Printemps, owned by John Madigan. Ashley James of Senneville, ON rounded out the top five riding Dartagnan Z.

For more information on the Royal Horse Show, the marquee event of The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, please visit www.royalfair.org/horseshow.

Beezie Madden Saves Best for Last at National Horse Show

Photo: Beezie Madden and HHS Hercules.

Lexington, Ky. – Nov. 3, 2017 – The CP National Horse Show featured a different style of show jumping competition with the $35,000 Salamander Hotels and Resorts Accumulator Class CSI4* for the Whitney Stone Memorial Trophy. Local groups were invited out for “Barn Night” to watch as Beezie Madden (USA) and Abigail Wexner’s HHS Hercules took the top prize of the evening.

The class featured 10 obstacles of increasing difficulty, where points were awarded for each fence cleared. Obstacle one jumped without fault was worth one point, obstacle two jumped without fault was worth two points, and so on.

A final fence option called ‘The Joker’ was worth double points. However, if a rider opted for ‘The Joker’ and knocked it down, those points were deducted from the total score. Twenty-three international horses and athletes strived to clear the Michel Vaillancourt-designed course for a perfect score of 65 points. Eleven athletes were able to do just that, finishing with no faults and jumping the high point ‘Joker’ fence without error. Between those 11, it all came down to time.

Laura Kraut (USA) and St. Bride’s Farm’s Whitney were the first to achieve a perfect score of 65 points in a blazing 47.81 seconds to take the early lead for the majority of the class.

None was able to catch Kraut’s time until Madden and the 8-year-old Irish Sport Horse entered the Alltech Arena as the very last to go. The pair finished clear for 65 points in 47.62 seconds to outpace Kraut’s time by 2/10ths of a second to move into the top spot on the leaderboard. Devin Ryan (USA) and his own Cooper finished in third place with 65 points in 48.03 seconds.

Preceding the $35,000 Salamander Hotels and Resorts Accumulator Class CSI4* was the second round of the $100,000 USEF Under 25 National Championship, which saw Jennifer Gates and Alex, owned by Evergate Stables LLC, claim the blue ribbon.

Returning in reverse order from the first round, eight advanced to the jump-off from an original starting field of 20, where Gates was one of five to finish double-clear around Vaillancourt’s technical shortened track.

Mattias Tromp and Avon, owned by Swede Ventures LLC, were the second combination to produce a faultless finish in the jump-off in 37.336 seconds to take over the top spot early on in the class. Next, Daisy Farish and her own Great White crossed the finish line with no faults in 38.767 seconds to move behind Tromp in the standings.

As second to last to go, Gates and Alex raced around the short course, using the 13-year-old Westphalian gelding’s ability to cut in on tight turns to her advantage, and stopped the timers in 36.885 seconds for the win. Tromp finished in second place, while Farish took home third place honors.

The 21-year-old Stanford University senior just recently acquired Alex in July from Audrey Coulter and Copernicus Stables and claimed their first big win together in September at the Rolex Central Park Horse Show in the $25,000 U.S. Open Hollow Creek Farm U25 Grand Prix.

The jumpers kicked off with the $10,000 Equithrive Amateur-Owner/Junior Jumper competition, where David Oberkircher and Southfields Farm LLC’s Tyson De Verteveuille claimed the win with a quick, clear round in 65.544 seconds.

Close behind was Lacey Gilbertson, who finished in second place aboard Seabrook Farm LLC’s Baloppi in a time of 65.830 seconds, while Alex Parrish claimed third place in 66.454 seconds with Lexander Farm LLC’s Divace.

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It’s Ladies’ Day in Dublin as Team USA Sweeps to Victory

Laura Kraut, Lillie Keenan, Lauren Hough and Beezie Madden with Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland (FEI/Christophe Taniere)

Team USA secured a definitive victory in the eighth and last leg of the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping 2017 Europe Division 1 League in Dublin (IRL) when producing the only zero score in a hard-fought competition. On level pegging with the Irish at the halfway stage they stood firm while their hosts lost their grip to drop to fifth behind Spain.

In the closing stages the Netherlands and France threw down a challenge, and American anchor Laura Kraut (51) was under pressure when last to go with Confu. But the double-Olympian didn’t crumble, posting the second US double-clear of the competition to seal it ahead of the runners-up from France, while the Dutch slotted into third place.

This was the first all-female team triumph in the 91-year history of Nations Cup Jumping for the world-famous Aga Khan Cup in Dublin.

“We said at the beginning of the year this was one of the shows we are bringing our ‘A’ team to… it’s our view that the Aga Khan is the greatest trophy in our sport. And more than that there are many ways to win a Nations Cup; sometimes you get lucky, but today in my view there was no luck. These four riders did an unbelievable job!” — Robert Ridland (Chef d’Equipe Team USA)

The time-allowed of 80 seconds proved difficult for many over Irish course-builder Tom Holden’s track, and a speedy turn to the final oxer was often costly. Beezie Madden’s (53) mistake here with her new ride Darry Lou was the American drop score in round one, but the pair got it absolutely right in round two after pathfinders Lauren Hough (40) and the brilliant mare Ohlala produced their second clear of the day and rising talent Lillie Keenan (20) made her only mistake at the first element of the penultimate double with Super Sox.

Kraut clinched it with a crisp, clear run to leave a five-fault margin between the winning US side and the French in second while the points earned by the third-placed Dutch, whose final tally was just seven faults, saw them overtake Italy at the top of the Europe Division 1 leaderboard at the end of the eight-leg series.

Beezie Madden – Team USA (winners), talking about her horse Darry Lou: “He’s a new horse. He came from Mexico and the highest he jumped there was 1.55m or so. I got him in May and this was only his third 1.60m course today. It was my mistake in the first round. He’s like a Cadillac to ride!”

Laura Kraut – Team USA, talking about the similarities between her winning ride, Confu, and her legendary 2008 Olympic team gold medal winning horse Cedric, who is now retired: “Oddly enough I found out when we were in Aachen that they share the same grandmother or something. I had no idea that they were remotely related so that’s very exciting. He (Confu) is as much of a cheeky monkey as Cedric, so for me he’s wonderful. I love him, he’s a trier, he’s a pet and he’s fun to ride and be around. But Cedric can’t be replaced.”

By Louise Parkes

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US Show Jumping Team Prepared for Podium Battle in FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen

Kent Farrington and Gazelle (RedBayStock.com)

Aachen, Germany – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team will be composed of four Olympians when it competes in FEI Nations Cup CSIO5* Aachen on Thursday, July 20. The powerhouse team of Kent Farrington, Laura Kraut, Beezie Madden, and McLain Ward will face eight nations, all fielding elite talent in their own right, as they seek to secure a podium finish. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland will lead the U.S. team, having drawn second in the order, and has set the following order of go:

Kent Farrington and Gazelle: Farrington (Wellington, Fla.), the current world number one ranked show jumper, and Gazelle return to Aachen riding high off a successful few weeks in Spruce Meadows. The Olympic team silver medalist and his and Robin Parksy’s 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare won the prominent ATCO Queen Elizabeth II Cup during the ‘North American’ CSI5* presented by Rolex earlier this month and the ATB Financial Cup in June. Additionally, in May, they narrowly edged out a victory in the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Madrid CSI5*.

Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden and Coach: Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) began testing Coach at the five-star level at the beginning of the year where he showed his Grand Prix potential early. With the two-time Olympic team gold medalist aboard, Abigail Wexner’s 2008 Holsteiner gelding impressed early on with standout performances during the Winter Equestrian Festival. They collected a fifth-place finish in the $500,000 Rolex Grand Prix CSI5* and a fourth-place finish in the $216,000 Lugano Diamonds CSIO4* Grand Prix. Most recently, the budding combination placed third in the CP Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5* and are prepared for their toughest challenge to date in Aachen.

Laura Kraut and Zeremonie: The Olympic gold medalist and Zeremonie return to Aachen after helping the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a bronze-medal finish in the 2016 FEI Nations Cup Final and a tie for the team silver medal in the 2016 FEI Nations Cup at CHIO Aachen. Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.), continues to develop Zeremonie, Old Willow Farms 2007 Holsteiner mare, at the five-star level, where they earned a third-place finish at CSI5* Knokke, Belgium earlier in the month.

McLain Ward and HH Azur: The Olympic gold medalist and current world number two ranked show jumper, along with the 2006 Belgian Warmblood mare, have risen to the top of some of the world’s most prestigious competitions. They secured an Olympic team silver medal in Rio de Janeiro and captured the lucrative Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final title in April. In a year that garnered massive success, Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s HH Azur got a much-earned rest following the World Cup Finals. In June, Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) added HH Azur back into the rotation seeking their next big victory. Most recently, they placed fifth in the CP Grand Prix during the Spruce Meadows ‘Continental’ CSI5*.

Watch the event live beginning Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST on ClipMyHorse.tv.

From the US Equestrian Communications Department

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS Capture $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI2*

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS. Photo by The Book.

Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden claimed victory in the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI2*, presented by The Kincade Group, riding Breitling LS on Sunday, May 14, at the 2017 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running through May 21 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. Also on Sunday, Early Winter, owned and ridden by Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell, of New York, NY, was named Grand Junior Hunter Champion to highlight hunter competition.

“Anytime you win it is special because this is quite a humbling sport; you can win one day and be on the ground the next. Last year, I concentrated a lot on the Olympics and didn’t try to win many grand prix events, but this horse has picked up two wins already this year and it feels great.” — Beezie Madden

Madden, who hails from Cazenovia, NY, bested a field of 48 horses for the win over a course designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD. Riding Breitling LS, an 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Quintero x Accord II) owned by Abigail Wexner, Madden was third to return in a ten-horse jump-off and crossed the timers clear in 37.34 seconds, which eventually stood for the win.

Early Winter Named Grand Junior Hunter Champion

Highlighting awards in the hunter rings at the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, Early Winter, owned and ridden by Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell, was named Grand Junior Hunter Champion. Krysiewicz-Bell and Early Winter, a 14-year-old Hanoverian gelding, won all three classes over fences, were first in the handy, and second under saddle to earn champion honors in the Large Junior Hunter 16-17 Division, and their first Grand Junior Hunter Championship together.

“He can do anything. We won the handy at Junior Hunter Finals together two years ago, went to Pessoa Medal Finals last year, and I have done schooling jumper classes with him. He is probably the horse that has improved my riding the most. He is so versatile, and I can get so much experience on him.” — Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell

Krysiewicz-Bell, 16, is a sophomore at Marymount School of New York at when she isn’t training with Andre Dignelli and Patricia Griffith at Heritage Farm in Katonah, NY. She added Early Winter to her string as an equitation mount, but competes him in hunter and jumper classes as well.

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Madden and Breitling LS Win Second Place in $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix

Beezie Madden and Breitling LS (ESI) Photography.

Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team Members Wolff and Casall Pick Up Third

Ocala, Fla. – Beezie Madden and Breitling LS led the way for the U.S. contingent with a second-place finish in the $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on Sunday. After guiding the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a second place finish in the FEI Nations Cup™ on Friday, she and Breitling LS earned their second consecutive double-clear. Ali Wolff and Casall, the reserve combination for the FEI Nations Cup™ team, landed in the jump-off to place third. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor stole the win by 21-hundredths of a second.

A field of 41 world-class athletes contested Marina Azevedo challenging four-star course. The spread of the triple combination and the last line comprised of the double combination, followed by a wide square oxer and a tall vertical, showed its complexity. Numerous combinations fell prey to faults in the first round until Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Breitling LS, Abigail Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, entered the ring. The four-time Olympian and her determined mount traveled around the course with ease. They secured the field’s first clear round with a time of 79.45 seconds.

“He was a green seven-year-old to start with. The spring of his eight-year-old year, I broke my collarbone, and that was seven to eight weeks before we got going again. He is 11, but he’s not quite as experienced as he should be as an 11-year-old who has been with us since he was seven. I think now he is just starting to get more consistent and being able to depend on him for bigger things,” said Madden.

Madden and Breitling LS continued with the lead going in to Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall’s attempt on the course. She and the 2005 Holsteiner gelding owned by Blacklick Bend Farm guaranteed a jump-off against their teammates going clear. Irish Olympian Cian O’Connor and Seringat rounded out the jump-off. In a heart-pounding jump-off, it came down to speed. Going last, O’Connor had the advantage. Knowing the time to beat, the combination barely blazed past Madden and Breitling LS for the win.

“[Going] first is a little difficult spot, especially when there are only three. There is a little strategy. I wanted to set it fast enough that it was a little hard to catch, and they would have to pull some risks,” said Madden.

Complete Results

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

Madden and Breitlng LS Lead US Show Jumping Team to Silver at FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* Ocala

Ocala, Fla. – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team jumped to the top of the North America FEI Nations Cup™ standings with an exciting finish at FEI Nations Cup™ CSIO4* Ocala. With the U.S. Team trailing by four faults, anchor combination Beezie Madden and Breitling LS came through in the clutch for a double-clear round to help secure the Team Silver medal. Madden and Breitling LS were accompanied by Lauren Hough and Cornet 39, Lillie Keenan and Super Sox, and McLain Ward and Rothchild, who all performed well to secure 90 points. Ireland took the Gold medal with 12 faults and Canada claimed the Bronze medal on 24 faults.

“We are fortunate to be on top [of the standings]. It means a lot. It was important that we won our own [Nations Cup] because now we are going off-campus so to speak, and the Mexicans have always been strong at home. The Canadians will be strong at Langley,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “We did what we came here to do which was to lead in the points, but it is going to be a tough battle, and we are prepared for that.”

The U.S. Team showed grit and strength in the first round, ending on a total of eight faults. As pathfinders for the team, 2016 Rio Olympic Games Team Silver medalist Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Rothchild, Sagamore Farms’ 2001 Warmblood gelding, performed their job brilliantly, producing a clear round. Keenan (New York, N.Y.) and Super Sox, Chansonette Farm LLC.’s 2006 Hanoverian gelding, followed second in the order. The triple combination proved difficult for the pair, having rails down at the “B” and “C” elements.  Hough (Wellington, Fla.), a 2000 Sydney Olympian, and Cornet 39, Willow Grace Farms’ 2004 Oldenburg gelding, snagged 12 faults with rails down at fence 10 and at the “A” and “C” elements of the triple combination. Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Breitling LS’, Abigail Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, faultless round allowed the U.S. to drop Hough and Cornet 39’s score.

Tied for second place with Mexico going into the second round, the U.S. Team kept faults at a minimum to earn top points in the division. Ward and Rothchild nearly produced a double-clear, but brushed a rail at element “C” at the triple combination for four faults. Keenan and Super Sox and Hough and Cornet 39 improved upon their first round performances with four faults each.

The top two teams in the North America Division will qualify for the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in Barcelona, Spain in October.

By Dana Rossmeier, US Equestrian Communications Department

US Olympic Show Jumping Team Withdraws Beezie Madden

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team has withdrawn Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ from competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Cortes ‘C’ sustained an injury during Round One of the Team competition on Tuesday and in the best interest of the horse’s welfare, the decision has been made to withdraw Cortes ‘C’.

The U.S. will head into Wednesday’s team final in a four-way tie for first. As a three-member team, the U.S. will not have a drop-score to utilize in Round Two.

Beezie and John Madden made the following statement:

“We are heartbroken to announce that Cortes ‘C’ sustained a tendon injury in yesterday’s competition and will be unable to compete for Team USA today. We are confident that he will make a full recovery. While we had hoped to do everything we could to help the USA towards a medal today, Tiny’s [Cortes ‘C’] best interests must come first. We are so thankful to our teammates, sponsors, and most importantly, his owner, Abigail Wexner, for understanding that in this sport, sometimes winning means doing right by your best friend. We will be there today on the sidelines doing everything we can to support Kent, Lucy, and McLain.”

From the USEF Communications Department

US Show Jumping Team Begins Competition at Rio Olympic Games

Kent Farrington and Voyeur (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – The show jumping competition, the third and final equestrian discipline at the 2016 Olympic Games, got underway at the Deodoro Olympic Equestrian Center, on Sunday, showcasing 75 athlete-and-horse combinations from 27 nations. In addition to serving as the first individual qualifier, Sunday’s results determined the starting order for the Team Competition. Kent Farrington produced a clear round for the U.S., while teammates Lucy Davis, McLain Ward, and Beezie Madden each had four-fault rounds. All four athletes sit in the top 30 and are qualified to continue in the individual competition. As a team, the U.S. finished in a four-way tie for eighth and will go sixth in the order of 15 nations in round one of team competition on Tuesday. All nations will begin round one of team competition on a clean slate of zero faults.

Guilherme Jorge’s show jumping course was technical and challenging. Riders faced a forward-riding course with a time allowed of 82 seconds. Many competitors had trouble at fence 7, the liverpool, and at fence 11a-b, a wide square oxer to an airy musically-designed vertical plank. Out of the 75 starters, only 24 combinations went clear. First to enter the ring for the U.S. was Farrington (Wellington, Fla.), and Amalaya Investments’ 2002 KWPN gelding, Voyeur. Providing the second clear round of the day, Farrington and Voyeur made light work of the course setting the stage for the U.S. team.

“We are off on the right foot so that always feels good in terms of confidence and is a boost for the team,” said Farrington. “It’s a great technical course for the first day. The last line is very technical and bending. Being the lead-off rider, I know my horse very well, and one of my strengths is that I know what I want to do with him.”

Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Old Oak Farm’s Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, entered the ring calm and composed. Looking to repeat Farrington’s clear round, they jumped beautifully. However, Barron’s back feet tapped the top rail on the last jump, fence 12, resulting in an unlucky rail for four penalties.

“My horse is jumping incredibly, and we had an unfortunate rail at the last jump,” said Davis. “My trainer told me before I went in to enjoy the moment and that was the perfect thing to say. We all worked hard to get here, and it’s a pretty special moment. I just went in really calm, and my horse was jumping out of his skin.”

McLain Ward and Azur (Shannon Brinkman Photo)
McLain Ward and Azur (Shannon Brinkman Photo)

Putting in a professional ride, Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Double H Farm and Francois Mathy’s Azur, also had a nearly faultless first round. Confident and careful throughout the first triple combination, and clear over the liverpool, Ward and Azur dropped the back rail when landing at the wide oxer at fence 11a collecting four faults.

“I was very happy with Azur. She jumped amazing as always. I purposely left her a little fresh today; it’s a long week and temperatures are going up,” said Ward. Looking forward to the rest of the competition and the position the U.S. currently holds, Ward stated, “It’s a great group; I think we look strong. It’s quite a good position we’re in, and things start to get a little more serious on Tuesday.”

The anchor for the U.S. team was Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and her famed partner, Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgium Warmblood gelding owned by Abigail Wexner. Beezie and Cortes ‘C’ were on point in delivering a solid round. Sailing through the combinations that had been problematic throughout the day, Cortes ‘C’s back leg had an unlucky light tap on a block on the wall (fence 8) for four faults.

“The ride felt very good, always a good feeling to get the first round out of the way. I think on the whole it was a very good round,” said Madden. “He jumped very well, and I’m happy where he is right now. I had to ride the water a little strong. I think I took for granted that he’d back off on the wall; he clipped it coming down and stalled a little when I turned him in the air.”

Madden looks forward to Tuesday’s competition, saying, “Today, it’s important; we want good scores, but we are setting up a little for Tuesday and Wednesday. All of us are really happy with how everybody’s horses look and the rounds we had.”

Action continues on Tuesday with the first of two rounds of the team competition, which will conclude on Wednesday.

NBCOlympics.com Tuesday (Team Competition, Round 1) Live Stream

Keep up-to-date on equestrian competition at the Rio Olympic Games on the USEFNetwork.com. Coverage includes links to live streams and TV coverage, athlete bios, behind-the-scenes photos, and more.

Classic Communications/USEF Communications Department