Beezie Madden wins $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington
The 60th Anniversary Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) came to a peak on Saturday, October 27, with a victory for reigning FEI Jumping World Cup™ champions Beezie Madden and Breitling LS in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington, presented by Events DC.
A four-time U.S. Olympian, Madden topped a 24-horse field by more than two seconds in 30.74 seconds for owner Abigail Wexner over courses built by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. From a four-horse jump-off, she edged out Katherine Dinan riding Dougie Douglas, owned by Grant Road Partners, LLC, who sat on a leading time of 32.93 seconds. Madden’s silver medal teammate from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, Lucy Davis, rounded out an all-female podium in 33.44 seconds riding Caracho 14, owned by Old Oak Farm. Ireland’s Shane Sweetnam rounded out the jump-off with a four-fault performance for fourth place riding Don’t Touch Du Bois, owned by Sweet Oak Farm, Spy Coast Farm, and Paul Tracy. A 2018 FEI World Equestrian Games team gold medalist, Laura Kraut finished fifth with the fastest four-fault ride from the opening round aboard Confu, owned by St. Bride’s Farm.
“This was his first indoor event of the year, so it’s nice to see that he’s in form,” said Madden of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. “It shows why he was good at the World Cup [Final]; he walked right in here and was clever, rideable, adjustable, careful, and he can handle tight spaces like this.” A quick horse by nature, Madden relied on Breitling’s foot speed to shave significant time off the clock, saying, “I thought one to two was a little bit of a tough turn to a big jump, so I didn’t think that was really the place to win it. I feel like I was a touch slow there, but then I knew my horse has some speed, and he’s quite good at turning, so I think I made it up at the turns on both ends, particularly the last turn.”
Taking a proud runner-up position to Madden, Dinan watched trainer Beat Mändli win the Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington in 2017 and was on the hunt for her own top finish this year. “I would have loved to have a repeat victory for our team, but beside Beat I don’t think there’s anyone else in the world I’d rather be second to besides Beezie,” she said. “She’s been a longtime idol of mine and Lucy is one of my oldest and best friends in the sport, so to have the three of us here is a great night.” “I had no choice but to go for it,” continued Dinan. “Last year, I had the fastest time and one down in this grand prix. This year, I said, ‘You know what, there’s only four.’ I was thrilled with him.”
Since helping the U.S. team win a silver medal in Brazil, Davis took some time to develop some young mounts including Caracho 14. “I’ve been patiently waiting since he was seven, so we know each other well,” said Davis, who is based out of Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. “Lucky for me, he has an amazing brain, so I can keep kind of challenging him at each show. He’s been delivering each time, so I’m super excited. I am working on going faster each time and getting our turning. It was a nice opportunity to give it a go without really risking anything. I knew that three good riders were behind me so I had nothing to lose.”
In reaction to the week, course designer Olaf Petersen, Jr. was impressed during his first appearance at WIHS and his first trip to the nation’s capital, saying, “It’s unique what has been done here and amazing. This atmosphere is really, really good. I think the class was fair. It was delicate, but we saw good sport. “For me, it’s important that I put a course [together] that they can come into the ring with a rhythm,” continued Petersen. “So I tried to make it a little easier to come into the rhythm, and then the tests started.”
For her victory, Madden was presented with The President of the United States Perpetual Cup, donated by Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy in 1961. Additionally, she collected The Margaret Chovnick Memorial Trophy as winner of the $10,000 Leading International Rider Award, sponsored by Robin Parsky, and the Leading Lady Rider Award, sponsored by The Linden Group at Morgan Stanley. Breitling’s owner, Abigail Wexner, was presented with Leading Jumper Owner Award, sponsored by The Reid Family.