The U.S. Equestrian Team Foundation announced that reigning show Jumping World Cup Champion Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, N.Y., is the recipient of the 2013 Whitney Stone Cup. The award is presented annually to an active competitor who displays consistent excellence in international competition and high standards of sportsmanlike conduct while serving as an ambassador for the United States and equestrian sport.
This marks the third year that Madden has received the prestigious honor after an incredible season that included her victory at the 2013 Rolex FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final aboard Abigail Wexner's Simon in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Madden was presented with the award during the USET Foundation Gala on Jan. 24th, in Wellington, Fla.
"It's always an honor to win this award and be an ambassador for the sport," she said. "This year has been amazing, and winning the World Cup was a huge accomplishment. All of the horses contributed, with Simon at World Cup and Cortes winning a qualifier at [the FTI Winter Equestrian Festival] last year and helping the teams qualify at the Nations Cups. It has been a huge team effort."
The 2013 World Cup Final was a dream came true for Madden, a staple on the U.S. Show Jumping Team, who has won countless grand prix honors and competed all over the world. She and her talented mount Simon took home a title that had eluded her previously: FEI World Cup Final champion. A brilliant clear round gave them an early lead and helped them get to the nail-biting jump-off, where Madden and Simon managed to best the reigning Olympic champions with a brilliant round and take home the coveted title.
The success did not stop there though, as Madden went on to win the $60,000 Great-West Life Cup 1.50-meter, the $35,000 ATCO Energy Solutions Cup 1.45-meter, and the $33,000 1.50-meter AON Cup at Spruce Meadows in Calgary to earn the Spruce Meadows North American Leading Rider Award.
She concluded the year with a victory in the Longines Grand Prix of Chantilly (France) aboard Cortes 'C', as well as helping the United States win the Furusiyya Nations Cup Final Consolation Round (Spain) by completing a clear jump-off round with Simon.
"I was happy with all of my horses and their progress over the year," noted Madden "We were able to finish the year early and give them a nice break, so I think they are going to be fresh and ready to go for this year. Simon and I have grown to know each other better and have been more consistent. I am really thinking Cortes had an equally good year with his Nations Cup performances and his win at Chantilly and Wellington."
Madden added, "That is probably what I am most satisfied with this year, because I've always believed in that horse. He's a little more sensitive than he looks, and he just needed more time. This year he got to where jumping clear rounds over big courses was what he did."
Madden will continue to compete in 2014 and hopes to return to the show jumping Longines FEI World Cup Final (France) to defend her winning title, as well as representing the United States during the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France.
"The Foundation has been great help to me and the U.S. Team," concluded Madden. "They fund our entire trip to WEG, and we owe a lot to them and the Foundation's contributors. WEG is the most important goal this year, and I think both horses will be ready."