2004 American Grand Prix Association Year End Awards Honor Beezie Madden, Derek Petersen And Glasgow
Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, New York, was named the American Grand Prix Association Rider of the Year for the 2004 season. This is the second time that Madden has won this prestigious title, also taking high score honors following the 1997 season.
In an amazing career that has spanned more than two decades; the 2004 season was her best ever. It was highlighted by the Team Silver Medal at the Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, this summer.
Maddens first AGA start was in the early 80s in Florida. Ive come a long way since my first AGA event in Palm Beach, she said. It was with a horse called Out Of This World. Now, many equestrian across the globe are calling her performance at the 2004 Olympic Games, out of this world.
For Madden, the highest ranked American rider in the world, the trip to Greece was the culmination of a life-long dream. I think everyone who starts out at that early level is dreaming about the Olympic Games, Madden said. Whether its realistic or not, you probably dont know for a couple of years, Madden explained. But yes, it was a dream of mine.
It was Maddens pressure packed performance in the second round of the Olympic team jumping that most will remember as one of the most exciting rides in U.S. show jumping history. That was so exciting, Madden recalled. I didnt know how the third and fourth riders had done for the other teams when I walked up to the arena. When I got there, Johns brother, Frank, told me that if I go clean we win the silver, said Madden. I was so excited at that point that we still had a chance for a medal that I didnt have time to get nervous.
Maddens first AGA Rider of the Year title in 1997 was aboard, Dynamite. He belonged to Alan Shore, Jr. and we got him from Anne Kursinski. In 1997, he won a few, placed a lot, and then all of a sudden he was horse of the year, laughed Madden. Dynamite was a horse that didnt get a lot of credit but had a very good career.
Maddens main mount this season was her Olympic star, Authentic, owned by John Madden Sales & Mrs. Elizabeth Busch Burke.
Authentic has had a meteoric rise. We stepped him up to the grand prix level in the middle of the summer in 2003 and thats when Authentic really came into his own, she said. We felt that he showed us enough to enter him in the selection trials, so we scheduled him to peak at that point. Madden points out however, that it was late in last years season when they were convinced of his Olympic potential. I think it was the European tour late in the year, when we won two out of three big classes over there, that we thought we had a real chance, Madden said.
That potential became reality in Athens. You always, of course, hope for a performance like that. We knew we were going in with a young horse with very little experience, so you really never know whats going to happen, said Madden. You never really know with an experienced horse, she laughed. I couldnt have been more pleased.
With a great start, Madden secured her AGA Rider of the Year title early in the 2004 season. I had a really fast start in Palm Beach, Tampa and Charlotte, Madden pointed out. We had a good Palm Beach, a win in the World Cup Grand Prix at Tampa, second in the Budweiser American Invitational and then the win at the new Charlotte event and I really piled up the prize money and points early on, said Madden. It made it difficult for anyone to catch me.
For Madden, the 2005 World Cup in Las Vegas and the World Equestrian Games in 2006 are the highlighted events.
Madden also would like to preserve her world rider ranking. For sure, thats very important, she said. Well do all of Florida and then on to Charlotte. Then hopefully the World Cup Finals, Lexington, Spruce Meadows and then off to Europe, Madden said.
AGA Rider of the Year Standing:
It was a successful but also a sad and shortened season for the AGA Horse of the Year, Glasgow, owned by the Glasgow Group and ridden by Norman Dello Joio.
Rider Norman Dello Joio had his sights set on the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, and had designed Glasgows show schedule with that in mind. All seemed to be on track as the season started with a top placing in the $100,000 Cosequin US Open Jumper Championship in Wellington, Florida, on March 14, 2004.
The dynamic duo followed with a dramatic win in the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitation at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on April 3, 2004.
They completed their abbreviated Florida tour with $63,000 in the bank.
With an eye on a spot on the squad for Athens, it was on to the Olympic Selection Trials at the Del Mar Arena in Del Mar, California, for Glasgow and Dello Joio.
The Olympic dream for Dello Joio came to an abrupt end in California.
Glasgow suffered a leg injury
that forced Dello Joio to withdraw him from the trials.
The good news is that Glasgow will return to competition sometime during the 2005 season. Glasgow is doing very well now, Dello Joio reports. Hes in full work and is sound and healed up but I think Ill put him on the back burner this coming year, he explained. I dont want to burn him out early because Im planning on having him ready to compete in the 2006 World Equestrian Games.
The 2004 Horse of the Year
Award is something Dello Joio was very proud to receive.
Hidden Creeks Perin, ridden by Margie Engle, with $60,000 finished up second in the Horse of the Year race, just $2500 off the pace.
AGA Horse of the Year Standing:
For Petersen, originally from Durban, South Africa, the dream began almost twenty years ago while attending the 1985 AGA Awards dinner.
We had just fled South Africa with only pennies to our name, recalled Petersen. I had gotten a job on the jump crew for Stadium Jumping and Gene Mische invited us to the awards dinner. I got to see Katie Prudent (then Katie Monahan) win the Horse of the Year Award with the Governor and I thought to myself how spectacular this all was, said Petersen. Little did I think that one day Id be at that podium.
Aboard his 10 year old German bred gelding, Promised Land, Petersen won $36,750, more prize money than any rookie in AGA history. The runner up in this years rookie race, Pablo Barrios bankrolled $15,000. God blessed me with a great horse, Petersen said.
Petersens AGA success this year came at Grand Prix events at Charlotte, Devon, Upperville, Jacksonville, Kentucky and in Tampa.
Tampa had always been part of Petersens dreams since those days on the jump crew years ago. This year, two events in Tampa helped make his dreams a reality. I had set jumps there a few times and had always dreamed of one day riding in the Budweiser American Invitational at what was then Tampa Stadium, remembered Petersen. In order to qualify for the Invitational money won list, Petersen would need a good finish in the $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa. Promised Land was spectacular and the duo wound up second, taking home a prize money check of $16,500, more than enough to make the big show at the new Raymond James Stadium.
A top twelve finish at the Budweiser American Invitational earned Petersen an additional prize money check for $8,000 and pretty much sealed the deal on Rookie of the Year honors very early in the 2004 season.
Petersen, who sold Promised Land this summer, says he hopes that one of the seven he recently purchased in Europe will get him back to his field of dreams.
I credit my support staff for all of their help, said Petersen. My wife, Anita, and my two sons, Jared and Joel, have been by my side the entire time, Petersen said, fondly. Petersen also says that he hopes to be part of the first father-son team to win rookie honors. Jared is winning on pony hunters right now, so one day, who knows? Maybe this dream can happen again.
AGA Rookie of the Year Standing:
For more information on the American Grandprix Association, visit the AGA website at: http://www.stadiumjumping.com/aga/index.cfm
PHOTO CREDIT: Beezie Madden
aboard Authentic at the Budweiser American Invitational. Photo by Randi
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