Beezie Madden and Garant Victorious in $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ – New York CSI4*-W at American Gold Cup
Saving the most exciting event for last, the 2019 American Gold Cup, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, hosted the prestigious class that awards its namesake Sunday, September 15, as some of the globe’s most decorated horses and athletes vied for the top spot in the $210,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup–New York CSI4*-W, presented by CaptiveOne Advisors, LLC, as well as the illustrious American Gold Cup. Coming off a recent streak of notable triumphs, Beezie Madden maintained momentum by piloting Garant, her young up-and-coming superstar, to another incredible finish to emerge as the class victors. Having won the feature contest twice previously, Sunday’s victory marked Madden’s return to the winner’s circle and the third time her name will be etched into the American Gold Cup trophy.
Creating a course fit for the occasion, world-renowned designer Alan Wade produced a 16-effort track set at 1.60m in height to be contested by the 40 entries who had qualified for the competition following their results in the $75,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*, which was won by Shane Sweetnam and Chaqui Z. Though the 79-second time-allowed proved to be a heartbreaker for three competitors who otherwise would have been clear, seven duos managed to master the track by leaving all the rails in the cups without time faults. Led by Katie Dinan and Brego R’n B, penalty-free rides followed from Paul O’Shea and Imerald van’t Voorhof, Nicki Shahinian-Simpson riding Akuna Mattata, Madden on Garant, Brian Moggre aboard MTM Vivre Le Reve, Devin Ryan with the reins on Eddie Blue and Karl Cook on Caillou. All told, the American contingent made up almost the entire pack, with only Ireland also represented by one finalist.
After a hard-fought initial round of riding, six of the seven qualified contenders opted to return, with Shahinian-Simpson electing to forego the jump-off. Shortened to only eight fences, Wade’s second design served to further whittle down the challengers, of which three ultimately produced foot-perfect trips. The early pathfinders, Dinan and Brego R’n B, owned by De heer A. Vos, set the pace for the short course with the first double-clean trip of the afternoon in 41.94 seconds. Third to return following a downed rail from O’Shea, Madden and Abigail Wexner’s 8-year-old Garant took to the ring with another American Gold Cup victory in their sights, and the pair lived up to expectations with a smart navigation around the pattern that stopped the clock in 40.89 seconds, one second faster than the previous frontrunners to propel to the top spot.
With Madden in the lead, the three final combinations each tried to eclipse her, but none would prove able to exceed her performance aboard Garant. Though Ryan and Eddie Blue turned in the swiftest ride in 39.87 seconds, the pair lowered a fence to incur four faults against them and keep them out of contention for the rosette. Last to take his chance, Cook piloted Signe Ostby’s Caillou to the second-best jump-off time of the prestigious class, tripping the timers in 41.25 seconds to capture the second place honors, while Dinan and Brego R’n B’s time held for the third spot on the podium.
Madden’s win on Sunday upped her recent collection of high-profile victories by one, adding to a growing list of impressive performances in only the past few months. Earlier in September, Madden jockeyed Darry Lou to a stunning performance that bested the elite field in the $3 Million CP ‘International’ Grand Prix, presented by Rolex, at the 2019 Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5*, one of only four Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping events. In July 2019, the veteran athlete won the Sparkassen-Youngsters-Cup at CHIO Aachen with Garant, a testament to the horse’s ever-increasing experience. No stranger to Longines FEI Jumping World Cup competition, the New York-based rider has now won the event three times at the American Gold Cup, with the first two coming in 1989 and 2010. In 2013 and 2018, Madden reached superior status as the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final champion riding Simon and Breitling LS, respectively.
Having consistently earned the best results to accrue the most points in competitions offering $25,000 or more in prize money throughout the course of the week, Sweetnam was awarded the coveted CaptiveOne Advisors $15,000 Leading Rider Bonus following the conclusion of Sunday’s activities. His preeminent accomplishment of the week came in the $75,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier CSI4*, and he also clinched superb finishes in the $71,200 Fidelity Investments Classic CSI4* and the $35,700 Staller Welcome Stake.