Beezie Madden in Wellington Winner’s Circle
WELLINGTON, FL, Feb. 2 -
Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden of Cazanovia, N.Y., made her first trip to the winners’ circle in Wellington, FL, by winning the $20,000 1.50m Classic held Saturday afternoon during the Smart for Life CSI2*, presented by Gold Coast Feed, week three of the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising.
Only three horses successfully cleared the first-round track set by course designer Luc Musette of Belgium to advance to the jump-off. A total of 12 horse-rider combinations made a single error to miss their opportunity to advance to the tie-breaker.
Madden was the first rider to return for the shortened jump-off course, setting the pace with a clear round in a time of 42.33 seconds with Play On owned by Allan Shore Jr. Ireland’s Darragh Kerins followed and while he turned in a faster time of 42.01 seconds, his strong approach to the double combination with Night Train resulted in a dropped rail at fence 11a. As the final challenger, James Benedetto of Northport, N.Y., was lightning fast riding Kannan’s Gigi in a time of 40.33 seconds, but a fallen rail saw them settle for second.
“I didn’t have to go in and try to race around with only three in it, I just wanted to go clear and make it risky for them to be faster and clear, and that’s what happened,” said Madden of her jump-off strategy. “I liked the course, although the winner always says that! This is a class for up and coming grand prix level horses and it was good to have the water and a plank that was careful. I don’t think that anyone got in trouble; the horses had a good experience.”
Madden has been riding Play On, an 11-year-old chestnut Dutch Warmblood gelding for the past four years. “He is an over-achiever. He is quite careful, sometimes he jumps too high, but his rideability is really coming along,” she noted.
Madden will begin showing her 2004 Olympic Gold Medal partner, Authentic, during week five of the Winter Equestrian Festival and is hoping for a bye from participating in the U.S. Equestrian Team Olympic Selection Trials being staged in March.
To close out the week, the $50,000 Smart for Life Grand Prix CSI2* will begin at 1p.m. The Smart for Life CSI2*, presented by Gold Coast Feed, marks the third of 12 weeks comprising the CN Winter Equestrian Festival, presented by Zimmerman Advertising and runs through Sunday, February 3, at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.
Results of Class 1001 - 1.50m Jumper Classic
1 - 2111 PLAY
ON BEEZIE MADDEN 0.00 84.607 0.00 42.330 ALLAN SHORE JR
Results of Class 1025 - High Amateur/Owner Jumper Classic - (SJHOF)
1 - 5602 MAYHEM
ASHLEY FLEISCHHACKER 0.00 70.457 0.00 46.397 ASHLAND STABLES
The 2008 CN Winter Equestrian Festival attracts the best horses and riders from around the world to Wellington and offers more than $5 million in prize money. For more information, visit www.equestriansport.com