Beezie Madden is representing the United States as a member of the U.S. show jumping team at the London Olympic Games. In the opening round of competition, Beezie and her mount, Coral Reef Via Volo, suffered two refusals, eliminating them from individual competition. She put that round behind her yesterday for the first round of team competition, logging just one rail in that round. Madden has two team gold medals from the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games to her credit, along with individual bronze from the 2008 Olympic Games and team and individual silver from the 2006 World Equestrian Games.
Just a quick update for today, as we ride in a few hours. Yesterday was a much better day for me and Via. I am very grateful to have great teammates. They all had really strong performances on Day 1 that carried us through. Of course I am disappointed about not being able to compete for an individual medal. Yesterday, Via felt great. I rode her a little more aggressively than I usually do, and I am so proud of our ride yesterday. The last two days emphasize what it means to be part of a team. In this sport, we don’t have as many opportunities where others’ performances in the ring affects your placing—it’s usually such an individual sport. Competitors coming together to compete as a team and represent a country makes the Olympics special and memorable.
London has just done a great job here for equestrian sports. The venue, the crowds and all of the unique new jumps have been great. It is great to ride out into the arena filled with so many fans of our sport and to hear the cheering.
Via did some hand walking yesterday afternoon, and today we compete in a very close race for the team medals. It’s really anyone’s game today to win or lose. Two teams (Canada and Brazil) are down to just three riders which puts them at a little bit of a disadvantage, but three good rounds is all you need, so anything is possible. I expect the courses to be harder and that endurance will be a factor. It’s going to be some really great competition for sure, but as we all know in this sport on any given day, anything can happen. I think our team is looking very strong. Saudi Arabia has to continue the pace they have set, and Great Britain is looking very strong as well. Less than two rails separate us, so we shall find out soon.
Read about how Beezie and Team USA prepared for the London Olympic Games.