Tag Archives: Beezie Madden

Beezie Madden Breezes to Victory with Coach at CP Wellington Masters

Beezie Madden and Coach.

Wellington, FL – Feb. 6, 2016 – Beezie Madden is bringing a new winner up the ranks, and Saturday he claimed his first major Wellington win. Madden and Coach, owned by Abigail Wexner, earned the victory in the $20,000 1.40m Jumpers at the CP Wellington Masters, presented by Sovaro™.

With Madden in the irons, Coach, an 8-year-old Holsteiner gelding, was one of 39 horses to compete over the Alan Wade designed track set at Deeridge Farms and one of 15 to advance to the jump-off before taking an impressive win.

“I am super excited about him,” Madden said. “We got him in the middle of the summer last year, and he was 7. He’s come so far already. He’s got everything you want. He’s got blood, he’s careful, he’s scopey, he’s rideable and he’s got fantastic character.”

Before Coach jumped to victory, eight combinations attempted the jump-off track, and while many of them finished on just four faults, it was not until the ninth to return that a double clear effort was successfully produced.

Jonathan McCrea and D Carolus, owned by Candy Tribble, were the first to cross the second round track without fault, setting the time to beat at 48.279 seconds.

From there it turned into a quick race against the clock with nearly every round going faster than the next. Chris Sorensen and his own Zellobee shaved the time to beat down to a clear 42.329 seconds. Then Tori Colvin and Take the High Road LLC’s Austria 2 blew that time out of the water, setting the lead at 38.884 seconds.

Daniel Bluman and his own Bocara D’Archongosse came next and saw one rail fall in 45.081 seconds. But then it was back to the quick race against the clock with Callan Solem and VDL Torlando giving it their all and leaving out a long stride to the final oxer.

Callan Solem and VDL Torlando
Callan Solem and VDL Torlando

“That’s the benefit of having a grand prix horse in the 1.40m. You can do that,” Solem said. “He’s a great horse. We’ve done it together for so long. I wasn’t super surprised.”

Solem continued, “I’ve had [VDL Torlando] for 10 years. He’s basically my best friend; I love him so much. He’s still getting ribbons in the grand prix at [the Winter Equestrian Festival]. He still jumps grand prix, but I think it’s nice to let him jump something easy once in a while and let him feel like a hero.”

VDL Torlando showed that he was quite the hero on Saturday, finishing on a time of 38.221 seconds to temporarily take over the lead.

It would not be for long though as Madden and Coach were the next to return and left it all on the line to finish in in 38.127 seconds.

With Madden in the lead, it came down to Juan Pablo Gnecco and Silius Brown, and when he finished in an easy 44.021 seconds, it clinched the victory for Madden and the second place spot for Solem.

“I thought it was a great course. It’s a fantastic ring to ride in, especially I think for tomorrow this is going to be super for the World Cup Qualifier because the jumps come up quick like they do indoors,” Madden said. “The ends of the ring come up quickly, and I think that’s what you need to practice for indoors. Alan Wade, I’ve always been a fan of his. I think he does very fair but subtly difficult courses, and your horses usually jump better as the week goes on.”

Madden continued, “This event is super. I think we’ve been dying for an event like this down here just to have a little something different. I don’t think it hurts the other venue at all. They have plenty of customers at both. I think the specialty event is fantastic to have here. I think people will really welcome it, and they will keep it top notch and not concentrate on volume. They concentrate on volume a lot over there, and they don’t need to here. There’s a place for both. They have done such a fantastic job. It’s like a super European show. It’s nice to have some different jumps; it’s fresh.”

Solem echoed Madden’s sentiments closely. “The footing is perfect, and it’s such a beautiful day. Of all the miles that [VDL Torlando] has done, he just doesn’t have to do anything that isn’t really nice, and this is really nice. The event is so nice, and he’s thrilled to be here. The footing is perfect. You just can’t say enough nice things. It’s such a fun show; it’s been great.”

Following Saturday’s class, Madden has sights set on bright future for Coach.

“He’s so talented that we could probably move him up fast, but because his experience level isn’t so big, I am going to try and play it a little cool,” Madden said. “If we end up in a 1.50m class by the end of circuit I’ll be very happy with that. Then after he leaves here he’ll be a little older, a little more mature, and ready to do some bigger classes.”

As for Solem, she will now turn her attention to Sunday’s $200,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Wellington with VDL Wizard.

“VDL Wizard is wild! I have to put red ribbon in his tail tomorrow,” Solem laughed. “He was beside himself yesterday, so excited to show. I think McLain said in one of his interviews how important it is to give horses a break and that it’s a dying art. I gave him a break, and he’s come back so fresh! I think it will serve him well come spring into summer that I left him a little fresh coming today.”

The Wellington Masters will continue Saturday with the $20,000 Jumpers 1.40m Open Jumpers at 11 a.m. On Sunday, the day will kick off at 7:30 a.m. with the 1.15 Open Jumpers, followed by the $200,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Wellington at 11 a.m.

A total of 14 athletes from the new Longines FEI World Cup™ North American league will qualify for the prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Gothenburg, Sweden March 23-28. The top seven athletes from the East Coast U.S., the top three from the West Coast U.S. and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico, will qualify for the final, along with the winners of 15 other leagues around the world.

For more information, please visit wellingtonmastersworldcup.com.

Carrie Wirth
Phelps Media Group International
12012 South Shore Boulevard, Suite 201
Wellington, FL 33414

Flip to Ride TV and Watch Beezie Win the CP Million

Just when you thought Fridays couldn’t get any better – they do! This Friday, October 30, at 9 pm EST, tune in to Ride TV (Dish Channel 248) to relive the highest-ranked class in U.S. show jumping this year, the Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5*, presented by Wells Fargo.

Flip to Ride TV (Dish Channel 248) and reminisce that historic Sunday in September when Beezie Madden was dubbed the First Lady of the HITS Championship, winning the CP Million with her trusty mount Simon.

Cozy up and tune in to Ride TV (Dish Channel 248) and enjoy an exciting evening of show jumping competition – right from your own couch! Don’t have Dish? Call 800-303-7400 to learn more about how you can sign up and watch your favorite HITS Shows on Dish.

For more information, please visit RideTv.com.

HITS, Inc. • 319 Main Street • Saugerties, NY 12477-1330
845.246.8833 Tel • Media_Info@HitsShows.comHitsShows.com

Beezie Madden Clinches $150,000 Win at Del Mar International

USA’s number one and world number two Beezie Madden rode Simon to victory in the $150,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping at the Del Mar International Horse Show last night. (FEI/Kim F Miller)

Del Mar (USA), 18 October 2015 – Against a field stacked with seasoned, international competitors, Beezie Madden (USA) reinforced her ranking as the USA’s number one Jumping athlete, and the world number two in the Longines Rankings, by riding the fastest clear in an eight-man jump off.

The stands in the indoor venue were packed as Madden strategically maneuvered 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Simon (Mr. Blue x Polydox) to the win in 37.33 seconds, over a second faster than Jack “Hardin” Towell’s 38.75-second round.

“I saw a couple of the earlier rounds, thanks to the TVs that Longines now provides in the schooling areas,” Madden said. “I planned to do seven strides up the first line, same as the others, but then to catch them on the turns later in the course.

“I actually didn’t see Hardin go, but I think my turns at least to the double combination and probably after the double combination – my horse is brilliant with that. He has a lot of practice trying to do short turns because running isn’t always his best thing. But I have to say, he and I together are figuring that part out a little better and doing seven up the first line wouldn’t always have been in our plan, but tonight and the way he’s been going lately, I’m very comfortable doing that with him. Indoors especially, he can be really fast with the short turns.”

Madden’s plan worked accordingly, and she and her veteran mount shaved additional time with tighter turns than the rest of the field.

“Simon has been my World Cup Final horse for the last three years,” according to Madden. “He doesn’t really have any quirks except that he whinnies at the in gate every time before he goes into the ring. He’s a pleasure to deal with and to ride.”

Earlier in the year, Madden helped launch the inaugural Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League, but tonight’s event was the first of the series that she could attend, without conflicting with her international commitments. She recently returned to the United States after competing on the country’s all-female team at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in Barcelona in September.

“I like that the North American League has reduced the number of qualifiers and number of scores that count toward qualifying for the Final,” said Madden. “It gives more opportunities for international competition. This is the first one I’ve done in the League, but I can still get enough in to get four good scores and not really over jump my horses.”

The next qualifying class for Madden will be aboard Breitling LS (Quintero x Acord II) in Lexington, Ky. on November 1, followed by the East Coast stops in Toronto, Palm Beach, and Ocala. Madden will also compete in the CSI-5* in Thermal on November 8.

Leading the pack

“It feels great to be at my current rankings,” Madden said. “It’s the highest I’ve been in the world rankings. I’m just lucky to have a string of good horses that can let me be there and a fantastic owner in Abigail Wexner. It gives me a chance. I’m very lucky to have my whole team.”

Staying at the top is especially important this year as Madden hopes to be selected to represent the United States at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games next summer.

“We’re trying to hit the grand prix classes that are high on the list,” said Madden. “We’re not trying not to run around to a bunch of shows but trying to pick the ones that are worth the effort and trying to do well at them.”

With such high stakes on the line, Madden’s ability to focus on the task at hand while competing is both an asset and a testament for one of the country’s most decorated riders.

“Anybody who says that they never get nervous isn’t telling the truth,” according to Madden. “I get excited and anxious for sure and with some nerves. But luckily when I get on a horse, it all goes away.”

By mid-November, Madden will have the opportunity to rest herself and her horses before returning to competitions at the beginning of January.

Crème de la crème

The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League class gave reason for many of the class’ 29 riders to schedule their first visits to the Del Mar International Horse Show in California.

The solid, 13-obstacle track designed by Germany’s Heiko Wahlers presented multiple challenges to the horse-and-rider pairs that included optional striding and a very large triple combination. One of the biggest questions, according to the riders during the course walk, was the decision between six or seven strides from a double combination to a wide oxer over a liverpool. The decision to set a really big course stemmed from the many great riders featured in the class, Wahlers said.

When the evening’s first two riders, Richard Spooner (USA) and Kent Farrington (USA), both managed faultless rounds, it was clear to the full house of spectators that the riding level was elevated to an international caliber. Kirsten Coe (USA), Michelle Rodal (USA), Kevin Babington (IRL), and Christian Heineking (GER) joined Spooner, Farrington, Towell, and Madden in the jump off. All eight riders have extensive experience competing at international level, including multiple FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final and FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping appearances amongst them.

“I thought (before my jump-off round) that Kent had already gone and Spooner had already gone and had a rail and knew I had Beezie behind me, but with Lucifer this year, too many times I’ve gone too fast and had the last jump down in several grand prix in Europe that I could’ve easily taken one more,” Hardin said. “My turns on him are not great, and I knew from the beginning that Beezie was definitely going to be able to go faster. And going to the last jump, I saw one less and then I thought, you know what, I’m probably going to gallop down there, knock it down, and I would’ve still been slower than Beezie.

“So I decided to take one more, and Beezie beat me. But I’ve been the bridesmaid a lot in the past couple months, so it is what it is. But having Beezie behind me, you can only do so much, and I was thrilled with my horse. He’s really improved in the past two years, and even in the past year. This was his first World Cup last year, and I hope next year that he’ll have a bright future ahead of him.”

Heineking managed a clear first round despite his horse losing a shoe after the liverpool. The pair successfully completed the remaining eleven fences and had the shoe reattached ahead of the jump off, finishing in third overall.

Results: http://bit.ly/1RhVsO5

Facts and Figures:

Eight horses went clear in the first round, and half of the jump-off field were double clear in the final round.

The course designer was Heiko Wahlers (GER).

The first round was contested over 13 obstacles with 16 jumping efforts. The jump-off round had seven obstacles with eight efforts. The height was set at 1.60 meters.

Nine nations were represented in the class: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, and the United States.


Beezie Madden (USA): “We’re all competitive people and we all love to win. It’s been a fabulous event here. Thank you to West Palms Events and especially to Longines for stepping in and having this World Cup North American League. It’s really raised more excitement for our league and makes us want to win more.”

“My horses are staying out here so they have a two week break. I’m going to go back to the East Coast and do the National Horse Show in Kentucky for another World Cup Qualifier there. Then I’ll come back for the five star at Thermal.”

Jack “Hardin” Towell (USA): “The Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League has completely changed the World Cups in North America. It’s like competing in Europe. It’s fantastic. And all the shows, by having the scoreboards and bringing in everything, it’s really stepped up. It’s very nice having that come to our country. It almost feels like Europe. And tonight there was a great crowd and the atmosphere was fantastic.”

“When I got Lucifer, that was his name. It’s quite funny because for the first year, he acted a lot like it. He’s one horse that means a lot to me because I’ve always believed in him. And the people that work with me, for the first year I had the horse, nobody liked him or thought he was going to be any good, and he’s really surpassed everybody’s expectations. But sometimes he acts like his name; he bucks, he spins, he’s quirky but he’s fantastic.”

“I have another horse Emilie de Diamant AS going to Washington and Kentucky, and then, unfortunately, I’m going to take the week off for Thermal. There’s just so many shows, and my horses have been going hard. Then I’ll do Las Vegas then take a well-needed break for my horses and myself.”

Heiko Wahlers (GER): “Sometimes I need five minutes; sometimes I need five days (to design a course). You never know. But this, I think it was not a long time. It was a flowing work, it was big enough, and I’m happy with the result.”

Christian Heineking (GER): “After following everything, for sure it was a strategy to go double clear, and it happened so I’m very happy with my horse.”

“My horse lost a shoe right after the liverpool, and I finished the course and got it fixed before the jump off.”

“We’re going to stay out here for the two weeks of Thermal and Las Vegas then take a break.”

Del Mar International Horse Show

Taking place at one of Southern California’s finest horse show venues, the Del Mar International Horse Show encompasses two full weeks of world-class competition which attracts an elite field of internationally recognized horses and riders. Minutes from San Diego, the Del Mar area features golden beaches, luxurious resorts, upscale shopping and dining, and a mild year-round climate.

Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping North American League

A total of 14 athletes from the new North American League will qualify for next year’s prestigious Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final, which will take place in Gothenburg (SWE) on 23-28 March 2016.

The top seven athletes from the East Coast US, top three from West Coast US and the two best-placed athletes from Canada and Mexico will qualify for the Final, alongside winners of the 13 other leagues from around the world.

The North American League boasts a minimum of US $2.4 million prize money across the series, and offers the best Jumping athletes from North America and around the world the chance to qualify for the jackpot of more than US $1.4 million (€1.3 million) on offer annually at the Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Final.

The new league was launched by Beezie Madden, the most decorated US female equestrian athlete of all time, American Gold Cup winner and FEI Solidarity Ambassador Jessica Springsteen, and Hannah Selleck, team and individual gold medalist at young rider level and one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars. The full launch release is available here: https://goo.gl/kCIsyW.

Share images, video, experiences using hashtag #FEIWorldCupNAL.

By Esther Hahn

FEI Media Contacts:

Ruth Grundy
Manager Press Relations
+41 787 506 145

Shannon Gibbons
Manager Press Relations
+41 78 750 61 46

Del Mar Kicks Off with Some Big Names and Exciting Classes

Kent Farrington. Photos By: ESI Photography.

Day One of the Del Mar International Horse Show’s Welcome Week began with plenty of thrills and excitement as the 1.30m, 1.35m and 1.40m Jumpers got underway in the Del Mar International’s Del Mar Arena. These three classes boasted an impressive lineup of superstar riders, including Longines World Ranked #2 Rider Beezie Madden, Longines World Ranked #6 Rider Kent Farrington, Longines World Ranked #32 Rider Lauren Hough, Longines World Ranked #68 Jack Hardin Towel, Susan Artes, Mandy Porter, Canadian Ben Asselin, Olympian Will Simpson, Hap Hansen, Nayel Nassar, Lane Clark, Ashlee Bond, Karl Cook, and many others.

There were 67 horse and rider pairs to go in the 1.30m, 36 entries in the 1.35m and just 13 competitors to see in the 1.40m.

The 1.30 was taken by Nayel Nassar aboard his own mount Baraka, besting 66 other entries to emerge victorious. In the 1.35, Jamie Sailor rode Jodie Camberg’s Veneto DHZ to an impressive win, and in the 1.40, Will Simpson and The Dude, owned by Monarch International, took home the blue to the delight of spectators.

Today was just the beginning, as Del Mar prepares for two weeks of thrilling international competition featuring 2015’s top riders in show jumping, hunters, and hunter derbies.

Don’t miss these exciting events coming up during Welcome Week:

Friday, October 9th

  • $5,000 South Shore Farm Grand Prix Hunter Derby, Presented by Fleeceworks
  • $25,000 LA Saddlery 1.45m

Saturday, October 10th

  • $25,000 PCHA/Equine Insurance Children’s/Adult Hunter Championship Round 1
  • $25,000 Del Mar Welcome Prix

Sunday, October 11th

  • $25,000 PCHA/Equine Insurance Children’s/Adult Hunter Championship Final
  • $45,500 Grand Prix of the Pacific, Presented by Copernicus Stables
Beezie Madden
Beezie Madden

Next week, the $150,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Del Mar takes place on Saturday evening, with a riders’ press conference immediately following. Please visit www.jumpdelmar.com for more information on this exclusive event.

Don’t miss your chance to enjoy top international equestrian competition, with all of the thrills, excitement and breath-taking action elite show jumping has to offer. Mark your calendars, and stay tuned for more information! Stay up to date on all our exciting events and the 2015 show season by visiting our website and following us on Facebook.

West Palms Event Management | 2683 Via de la Valle | Suite G #717 | Del Mar | CA | 92014

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Finishes Fourth in Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final

Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ (NACHO OLANO)

Barcelona, Spain – Eight nations took to the main arena of the Real Club de Polo de Barcelona on Saturday night for the last round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final. The teams faced a highly difficult track designed by Santiago Varela (ESP) as they competed for top honors at CSIO Barcelona. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team of Lauren Hough, Reed Kessler, Laura Kraut, and Beezie Madden had a strong performance in a tough round against some of the world’s best combinations to finish in fourth place on 12 faults.

“It was a very difficult, but brilliant course. It was exactly what you would expect at the Final; it’s the highest level of sport with great countries competing here. We knew it was going to be tough when we walked it,” explained Ridland. “We are pretty pleased with our performance. Obviously we always hope to win but we were only one rail from second. It was very close for all teams.”

Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and the Evita Group’s Nouvelle, a 2004 KWPN mare, were the pathfinders for the U.S. team over the demanding track, knocking rails at the Caixa Bank oxer at nine and the B element of the Passeig de Gràcia double at 11 for an eight-fault round. Next to go was Kessler (Lexington, Ky.) and Cylana, Kessler Show Stables, LLC’s 2002 Belgian Warmblood mare, who joined the team for the final round. They also collected eight faults with rails at fences nine and 11A. With the pressure on, Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, went into the ring and had an unfortunate rail at the Freixenet vertical at three but finished strongly over the rest of the course for a four-fault round. Last to go for the U.S. team was Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Cortes ‘C’, Abigail Wexner’s 2002 Belgium Warmblood gelding, needing a clear round to finish close to the top of the leaderboard. The pair delivered, posting one of only seven clear rounds in the conclusion of the Final. Their round put the U.S. team in fourth place.

“It was difficult for sure,” Madden said of the course. “It was big, technical, and kind of tricky in some places, but I couldn’t be more pleased with my horse. He’s been super all year. His owner, Abigail Wexner, is a huge supporter, and it was neat to be able to share it with her, and it was also good for my whole team.”

The Final format allows five riders to compete for each nation, as a substitution is allowed for the second round. Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Barron, Old Oak Farm’s 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding, competed in the first round of the Final on Thursday, while Kessler rode her mount Cylana in the final round. Ridland added: “We did what we have done for all three years of the Final and used all five riders. All five riders had solid performances that contributed to our overall placing.”

Belgium won the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final on a team score of four faults. Great Britain and The Netherlands both finished with eight faults, but Great Britain finished with a total team time of 223.14 while The Netherlands had a time of 226.80, thus determining their respective second and third placings. The U.S. was in a three-way tie for fourth with Ireland and Germany on 12 faults but had the lowest total team time of 219.61 to claim fourth place.

Find out more information about CSIO Barcelona.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Hermès US Show Jumping Team Qualifies for Final Round of Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final

Laura Kraut and Nouvelle (Nacho Olano Photography)

Barcelona, Spain – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team was in top form today as it secured a spot in the final round of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Jumping Final for the first time in the season-closer’s three year history. Led by Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland, the team of Lucy Davis, Lauren Hough, Laura Kraut, and Beezie Madden finished the first round of the prestigious competition on nine faults, tying for fourth place with Great Britain. As part of the top eight teams from the first round, the U.S. team will compete in Saturday’s final round.

Setting the U.S. off to a strong start was Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla.) and the Evita Group’s Nouvelle, a 2004 KWPN mare. Kraut and Nouvelle were one of only 13 combinations in the 76-horse field to leave all the rails up, but added one time penalty to their total. Next to go was Davis (Los Angeles, Calif.), who piloted Barron, a 2004 Belgian Warmblood gelding owned by Old Oak Farm, to a 12-fault total. The pair had rails down at fences two, five, and 12B, but was in the elite group to finish within the time allowed of 81 seconds. Hough (Wellington, Fla.) and The Ohlala Group’s Ohlala, a 2004 Swedish Warmblood mare, were next for the U.S. to take on the Santiago Varela-designed course. Displaying their signature speed, the pair finished well inside the time, but had the top rail down at fence five. Anchoring the U.S. team was Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’, a 2002 Belgium Warmblood gelding. With just a rail down at fence eight, the pair ensured the team’s berth to the final round.

Belgium won the first round on five faults, followed by Germany and Sweden, who tied for second on eight faults. Great Britain, The Netherlands, Ireland, and Switzerland also secured spots in the final round.

Competition for the Nations Cup title gets underway on Saturday at 2:45 p.m. ET and can be viewed live on FEITV.org.

From the USEF Communications Department

Beezie Madden Wins Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI-5*

(C) ESI Photography. Beezie Madden and Simon.

SAUGERTIES, NY (September 8, 2015): Sunday at HITS-on-the-Hudson in Saugerties, New York was anything but an average day of show jumping competition. Horse sport royalty descended on the Hudson Valley for the nation’s highest ranked class of the year, the Canadian Pacific $1 Million Grand Prix FEI CSI 5*, presented by Wells Fargo. Only one would be so lucky to return home with the big check and blue ribbon, and that one was none other than Beezie Madden, of Cazenovia, New York, aboard her iconic mount Simon, owned by Abigail Wexner.

Thousands of spectators filled the grandstand and hundreds more watched from the Legend VIP to get a glimpse of the historic event before them. The sixth annual seven-figure Grand Prix held in Saugerties debuted as a FEI CSI-5* on September 6 and attracted the top riders from across the world.

A field of forty-one gave it a go over the course set by Steve Stephens of Palmetto, Florida. It was evident as soon as the class began that the track demanded a high level of athletic ability and mental toughness with the first five entries scoring six faults or higher. Sixth to appear at the in-gate was a newcomer to the 5* circuit scene, Nikolaj Hein Ruus and Gerardo Pasquel’s Big Red.

They carefully completed the course with no jumping faults, but in a time of 94.650, just four seconds over the time allowed, leaving them with two time faults and the lead.

“This was my first 5*. I was very, very happy about it,” said Ruus. “He [Big Red] is a little inexperienced and for me, it’s my first really big show. I’ve only had him over the summer and I work him every day.”

“I always thought, ‘Could I compete with these guys? That would be so nice to find out one day.’ And here I am. It’s like a dream come true,” he continued.

Onlookers grew anxious, hoping for another clear round but the next twenty-six contenders entered and exited the ring with down rails in their path. Thirty-third in the order, Madden came into the ring with determination in her eyes, never veering from her plan for success.

They weaved through the course, navigating their way over the tricky Liverpool and above the sizeable triple bar that many others had trouble with. The crowd erupted in cheers as Madden crossed the timers with a clear track behind her and a time of 88.320 to bump Ruus from the top.

“I think it was a difficult course. I thought so even when we walked it,” said Madden. “This is about as hard as it gets other than the Olympics or World Championships.”

With only eight left in the order of go, each trip kept fans on the edge of their seats. Pablo Barrios riding his own Antares, Conor Swail piloting Ilan Ferder’s Viva Columbia, and 2014 Saugerties Million victors, Todd Minikus and Quality Girl, owned by Quality Group, all fought to follow in Madden’s footsteps and go clear but were unsuccessful in their efforts. Then, two-time Million winner McLain Ward and Sagamore Farms’ Rothchild entered the ring thirty-ninth, and anyone who’s anyone knew he would give Madden a run for her money.

Eager to make this his third $1 Million Grand Prix victory, Ward zipped through the course but had a rail at C of the triple for four faults and a time of 84.500 for third place.

“It started off right away with a big triple bar, then a very big power test with a double oxer with one stride which you don’t see too often. It really takes a world class horse,” said Ward about the course. “Later there was a very careful triple combination, three verticals with a Liverpool behind, and then some big single fences at the end. So you had many places to make a fault and I think you saw that.”

The final two riders of the afternoon, and the last two opportunities for a jump-off, were Margie Engle with Royce, owned by Elm Rock Partner’s LLC, and Daniel Bluman on his own Conconcreto Sancha LS. Both finished with 12 faults, leaving the current leaderboard intact and confirming a one round sweep for Madden.

From any seat in the house, Madden’s beaming smile prevailed as she reappeared for her victory gallop and took center stage once again.

“Simon went beautifully. The round went pretty much exactly as I wanted it to and he tried his heart out. I couldn’t be happier with him,” said Madden. “I’ve had him for three years and that was one of our best rounds ever.”

It was unanimous amongst the top finishers the impact 5* classes have on the sport and they graciously gave credit to HITS President and CEO Tom Struzzieri, as well as the sponsors.

“Thank you to Tom for making this a 5*, and for making Thermal a 5*,” said Madden. “It helps us as riders and brings more importance to the sport as well. I think that show today was a super day. Thank you Tom, Canadian Pacific, and Wells Fargo.”

Ward agreed, adding, “I think there were several parts of the course that were very hard – which it should be; it’s one of the biggest Grand Prix in the world. I think that the standard of horses and riders was very high this year, being a 5* event, and we can thank Tom for that.”

The HITS Championship marks the close of the eight week HITS Saugerties Series. The next event on the HITS competition schedule is the Marshall & Sterling Insurance League National Finals September 9-13 at HITS-on-the-Hudson. The Marshall & Sterling Insurance League is a grassroots organization dedicated to providing competition for up-and-coming Children’s and Adult Hunter, Jumper and Equitation riders.

For more information and a complete schedule of classes and events, visit HitsShows.com. Stay connected with HITS: join us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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Madden and Cortes ‘C’ Win 2nd Consecutive Longines King George V Gold Cup at Hickstead

Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ in the Longines King George V Gold Cup awards ceremony (© Julian Portch Photography 2015)

Hickstead, GBR – Another exciting day of competition took place at CSIO5* Hickstead on Sunday as 42 athlete-and-horse combinations entered the International Arena in hopes of winning the Longines King George V Gold Cup. Beezie Madden made history with Cortes ‘C’ last year, becoming the first woman to ever win the prestigious Grand Prix. Following this year’s six horse jump-off, the pair did what did not seem possible and claimed the win once again.

“I thought Cortes was amazing, as he usually is. The first round was great and the jump-off was even better; everything just kept coming up right,” Madden explained. “It feels amazing, but I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet. I have a great team behind me, including Abigail Wexner, who is a fantastic owner. When you have a great day, it feels really good to have done it for the team.”

In the first round of the Longines King George V Gold Cup, two U.S. combinations moved forward to the jump-off after having faultless rounds over Kelvin Bywater’s large track. Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding had an excellent first round, as did teammates from Friday’s Nations Cup, Todd Minikus and Babalou 41, a 2005 Oldenburg mare owned by Two Swans Farm.

With six combinations returning for the jump-off, it proved to be an exciting finish. Though some came close, none went clear under the time of 43.06 laid down by Madden and Cortes ‘C’, earning them top honors for the second year in a row. Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Babalou 41 had a single rail in a time of 44.32 to finish sixth. Penelope Leprevost (FRA) and Flora de Mariposa were second with a time of 43.42, while Jur Vrieling (NED) and Vdl Zirocco Blue N.O.P. were third with a time of 49.54.

Complete results from the Longines Royal International Horse Show.

By Kathleen Landwehr

US Show Jumping Team Finishes 3rd in Exciting Finish for FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain

Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’ (© Julian Portch Photography 2015)

Hickstead, GBR – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team put forth a great effort in Friday’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain presented by Longines at CSIO5* Hickstead. At the end of the two rounds, the U.S. team, consisting of Laura Kraut, Charlie Jayne, Beezie Madden, and Todd Minikus, was tied with Belgium and Switzerland with a total of four faults, requiring a jump-off. Madden returned to the Hickstead Stadium with Cortes ‘C’, but an unlucky eight-fault round put the U.S. team in third place at the end of an exciting day of competition.

“First off, it was a spectacular Nations Cup, with good weather and great footing at probably one of the most traditional venues there is here at Hickstead. Our team had a really good day today,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “We put ourselves right in the mix, which we always seem to do. We had a very good second round, as we have several times this year. Then jump-offs, of course, are where things are won in the sport. We would have loved it if we won, but we are honored to be in the position we are in and finish.”

The U.S. team began its day at the Longines Royal International Horse Show jumping sixth in the order of eight teams. Pathfinders Kraut and Nouvelle, the Evita Group’s 2004 KWPN mare, had a single rail at fence nine for four faults. Jayne was next with Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher’s 2003 Zangersheide stallion, Chill R Z, having a rail at fence two and a single time fault for a total of five faults. Minikus and Babalou 41, a 2005 Oldenburg mare owned by Two Swans Farm, laid down the first clear round for the U.S. team. Madden and Cortes ‘C’ followed suite by scoring another clear round, giving the U.S. team a first round total of four faults, putting them in third place.

For the second round, Kraut and Nouvelle improved upon their initial performance to go clear. Jayne and Chill R Z unfortunately had rails at fences nine and 12 for eight faults. Minikus and Babalou 41 and Madden and Cortes ‘C’ went clear to be amongst the nine combinations to have double-clear rounds. Adding nothing to its first-round total of four, the U.S. team was tied with Belgium and Switzerland at the end of the second round, leading to a jump-off to determine the winning team.

Madden and Cortes ‘C’ were chosen for the jump-off and were the first combination to enter the arena. However, a win was not meant to be, as a rail came down at 4A followed by a runout at 4B for eight faults. Belgium claimed top honors as Pieter Devos and Dylano clocked a clear round in a time of 42.60 to finish ahead of Switzerland’s Janika Sprunger and Bonne Chance Cw with their clear round in a time of 44.17.

Complete results from the Longines Royal International Horse Show.

By Kathleen Landwehr

Beezie Madden and Simon Win $34,000 Duncan Ross Cup at Spruce Meadows

Beezie Madden of USA riding Simon. Photos © Spruce Meadows Media Services.

Todd Minikus and Con Capilot Top $34,000 WestJet Cup

Calgary, AB, Canada – June 26, 2015 – The ‘Canada One’ Tournament at Spruce Meadows continued on Friday, with two international competitions featured in the Meadows on the Green, and wins for USA’s Beezie Madden and Todd Minikus. Madden won the $34,000 Duncan Ross Cup 1.50m riding Abigail Wexner’s Simon. Minikus topped the $34,000 WestJet Cup 1.45m aboard Nancy Gooding’s Con Capilot.

The ‘Canada One’ Tournament features over $431,000 in prize money with top horses and riders from around the world competing in eight FEI sanctioned events through Sunday, June 28. The weekend’s headlining events include the $34,000 CIBC Cup, the $34,000 West Canadian Cup, and the $126,000 Imperial Challenge.

Peter Grant (CAN) set the courses in the Meadows on the Green for Friday’s international competition. The evening’s feature Duncan Ross Cup 1.50m saw 50 entries in total, with five advancing to the jump-off where Beezie Madden and Simon emerged victorious.

Margie Engle (USA) and Elm Rock LLC’s Royce set the pace with a double clear round in 44.67 seconds to eventually finish in reserve. Nina Fagerstrom (FIN) and Finca Horses, Inc.’s Flower followed with a clear short track in 44.67 seconds, landing the pair in third place overall. Madden and Simon took the lead next with their clear round in 43.37 seconds. Todd Minikus and Two Swans Farm’s Babalou 41 were faster in 41.05 seconds, but settled for fourth place with a rail at the final fence. Last to go, Sameh el Dahan (EGY) crossed the timers in 43.41 seconds, but one rail came down to put the rider in fifth place aboard his own and Joanne Sloan-Allen’s Sumas Zorro.

Second in all-time prize money winners at Spruce Meadows only to Canada’s Eric Lamaze, Madden is no stranger to the winner’s circle in Calgary. This was the rider’s first win in this year’s Summer Series, however, and she was happy to lead the victory gallop.

“It is my first win here this year, and I was not here last year, so it feels good to win here again,” Madden acknowledged.

Both the first round course and short track suited Madden’s mount, Simon, a 16-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding (Mr. Blue x Polydox).

“When there are not as many in the jump-off it is good for me. I can’t always let him run really fast because he gets pretty strong,” Madden explained. “He was actually particularly good today in the jump-off and I was able to kind of keep him under control in the turns. He made really good turns to the double and to the second to last fence.”

“I figured Todd is always going to go faster than me and Sameh is also very fast with that horse, so I thought that I should just do what works for me and hope it was good enough. It ended up working out, but I got a little lucky,” Madden admitted.

Speaking of the first round track, Madden added, “It was an excellent course for me because the distances were all a little short and I could make my horse wait. Not only was it a good course for me to do, but it was also a good set up for Sunday’s grand prix for me. It was a very technical course to make the horse add strides and he did it well.”

After his winning round, Simon casually strolled in to accept the winning prize. Madden noted that he enjoys the ceremony and wears his winning cooler with pride.

“He looks like a hot horse because he is so strong, but he is actually kind of a relaxed horse when he is not in competition mode,” Madden detailed. “He knows he is done and he is going in for ribbons. He can eat some grass, so he likes that.”

Minikus Flies to Victory

Friday’s first competition in the Meadows on the Green was the $34,000 WestJet Cup 1.45m, which saw 77 entries compete, with 22 clear rounds to advance to the jump-off. Eight of those entries then cleared the short course without fault. USA’s Todd Minikus took the victory in a blazing fast time of 35.48 seconds aboard Nancy Gooding’s 12-year-old Westphalian stallion, Con Capilot (Con Capitol x Pilot).

Eric Lamaze (CAN) finished second with Artisan Farms and Torrey Pines Stable’s Rosana du Park in 36.71 seconds. Shane Sweetnam (IRL) guided Sweet Oak Farm’s Easy Contact Humlan to third place honors in 37.38 seconds.

Todd Minikus of USA riding Con Capilot
Todd Minikus of USA riding Con Capilot

Con Capilot was previously ridden by California’s Mandy Porter for several years and had a lot of good results. The horse’s owner then sent him to Minikus at the end of the winter this year to be sold.

“He is a beautiful, drop dead gorgeous horse,” Minikus stated. “He has great technique over the jumps. He is quick in the air; there is no wasted energy, and that is what it takes to win.”

Minikus showed Con Capilot in Kentucky this spring and explained that he did not have great results in the first two weeks at Spruce Meadows, but continues improving.

“It seemed like it took my horses a while to get going on the grass. Or maybe it took me a while to get going on the grass, I don’t know which,” Minikus laughed. “Yesterday he was fifth in a nice competition and then obviously today he went great.”

“I watched the first couple riders go (in the jump-off) and there were some fast rounds,” Minikus detailed. “Then I was up in the warm-up ring flatting and all the likely suspects started showing up. When Eric (Lamaze) took the lead, for sure I knew it was fast, so I just tried to cheat everywhere I could and somehow it was good enough.”

The ‘Canada One’ Tournament continues on Saturday featuring a $34,000 Friends of the Meadows 1.45m competition in the morning followed by the $34,000 CIBC Cup 1.50m.

For a complete tournament schedule and full results, please visit www.sprucemeadows.com.

Lauren Fisher for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.

Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.