Madden Scores Second Win of the Week with Prima in
Wellington, FL – February 20, 2011 –
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden scored her second win this week at the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival in the $50,000 G&C Farm Palm Beach Jumping Derby. She and Prima, owned by Neapolitan Holding Co., LLC, were the fastest over a challenging derby course on the grass field at The Stadium.
The FTI Winter Equestrian Festival’s sixth week concluded today and was sponsored by Fidelity Investments. The 2011 WEF will continue through April 3 and award more than $6 million in prize money.
There were 22 entries in today’s derby, and the course was designed by Richard Jeffery of Bournemouth, England. It featured a step bank, open water, liverpools, Devil’s Dyke, and a triple option jump through a “maze” of hedges. The format was Table C, where rails down were converted into added seconds for a final time.
Madden and Prima, a 12-year-old KWPN mare by Kigali x Nimmerdor, went ninth in the order and were lightning fast through most of the course. With a huge, open stride, Madden barely pulled on the reins and made the trip look smooth and easy. They had no faults for a final time of 122.81 seconds for the win.
They were chasing an early leading time of 128.49 seconds set by Great Britain’s Ben Maher on Oscar, owned by Lindsay Cook. They would eventually finish in second place. Pablo Barrios (VEN) and G&C Sinatra, owned by Barrios and Gustavo Mirabal, were third in 129.64 seconds.
If he had left the rails up, Shane Sweetnam (IRL) would have tied with Madden for the win. He and Belle Bleu S, owned by Jerry & Maria Sweetnam and Spy Coast Farm had the same time of 122.81 seconds, but with eight faults converted, they finished with a final time of 130.81 for fourth place. Mario Deslauriers (USA) placed fifth and sixth with Vicomte D (132.59 seconds) and Whistler (132.93 seconds), both owned by Jane F. Clark.
Barrios and G&C Sinatra, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding by Epilot x Libero H, won the $175,000 Nexen Cup Derby at Spruce Meadows last year and he was very pleased with his third place finish today. “Sinatra loves this type of class with natural obstacles. He’s not the fastest horse in the world, but I did some pretty tight turns,” Barrios said.
Barrios’ sponsors, G&C Farm, were the title sponsor of the derby. He said, “I’m very happy that they sponsored this class and happy that I placed in the top three!”
This was Oscar’s first ever derby class, so Maher was pleasantly surprised at his great result. “He’s one of those horses who kind of does everything,” he said with a smile. Oscar is a 15-year-old KWPN gelding by Harcos x Animo.
Maher added, “There was no chance to beat Beezie. I don’t care if there was every rider from Europe or anywhere, I don’t think anyone was going to beat her. It’s nice going home knowing you did the best you could even if you didn’t win.”
Madden and Prima have plenty of experience together in speed and derby classes; Prima placed fifth in last year’s derby at the FTI WEF. “She’s been a really good speed horse for me all over the world, at Spruce Meadows and at Dublin (where) she was the champion of the speed division,” Madden described. “She was kind of an obvious pick for me for this class. She’s fast, she’s careful, she does all of the natural jumps that she knows really well now. It’s a lot of fun to do these classes when it goes well like that!”
Madden won her first big class two days ago in the $31,000 WEF Challenge Cup Round 6. She said of her win, “I hadn’t won one all circuit, and now I’ve won two! It’s great.”
Final Results: $50,000 G&C Farm Palm Beach Jumping Derby
1999 KWPN mare by Kigali x Nimmerdor - BEEZIE MADDEN (USA), Neapolitan
Holdings Co., LLC: 122.81
The 2011 FTI Winter Equestrian Festival has 12 weeks of top competition running from January 12 through April 3. WEF is run by Equestrian Sport Productions, LLC, and Wellington Equestrian Partners and held at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. All 12 shows are "AA" rated and Jumper Rated 6, and more than $6 million in prize money will be awarded.
Please visit www.equestriansport.com or call 561-793-5867 for more information.