Monday, Jun. 3, 2024

Beezie Madden Makes It Two In A Row At Hickstead

Hickstead, England—July 31-Aug. 2  

It’s not often that Beezie Madden feels like she has to redeem herself a bit. But when she does, she does it in spades.

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Hickstead, England—July 31-Aug. 2  

It’s not often that Beezie Madden feels like she has to redeem herself a bit. But when she does, she does it in spades.

After Round 1 of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain at the Longines Royal International Horse Show in Hickstead, England, the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team was in a three-way tie for first place and Madden was chosen to jump off for the title, as she has done so many times before. In fact, last year, Madden and Cortes ‘C’s last clean round clinched victory for the U.S. team at Hickstead.

But this time, things went wrong. Cortes ‘C’ pulled a rail jumping into a combination and then stopped at the next element. With her jump-off score of 8 faults, the U.S. team finished third. “Friday’s jump-off was not my finest moment, but I learned a little from that as he likes to jump left and I took too sharp of an angle and didn’t compensate,” Madden said.

So, when she galloped into the jump-off for the prestigious Longines King George V Gold Cup two days later on Aug. 2, she kept that lesson in mind. Last year, Madden made history with Cortes ‘C’ as the first woman to win the prestigious grand prix, which was open to male riders only until 2008 (female riders competed in the Queen Elizabeth Cup).

“I know he’s amazingly naturally fast and that I could leave strides out, like the right turn to the vertical and at the second last fence, so I really tested him there and was able to coast home a little,” Madden said. “I knew there were a few fast ones behind me, so I had to respect that, but I didn’t want to run the wheels off and have what happened on Friday.”


Madden and Cortes ‘C’ on their way to victory in the Longines King George V Gold Cup. Photo by Trevor Meeks

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Madden’s jump-off round put her almost 1 second ahead of France’s Penelope Leprevost on Flora de Mariposa, who ended up in second, and more then 6 seconds faster than third-placed Jur Vrieling of Belgium on VDL Zirocco Blue N.O.P. for her second consecutive win in the class on Cortes ‘C’.

See full results of the Longines King George V Gold Cup.

“It’s quite an honor to win it back to back. I thought Cortes was amazing, as he usually is. The first round was great and the jump-off was even better; everything just kept coming up right,” Madden explained. “It feels amazing, but I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet. I have a great team behind me, including Abigail Wexner, who is a fantastic owner. When you have a great day, it feels really good to have done it for the team.”

In the first round of the Longines King George V Gold Cup, two U.S. combinations moved forward to the jump-off after having faultless rounds over Kelvin Bywater’s large track. Madden and Abigail Wexner’s 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding Cortes ‘C’ had an excellent first round, as did teammates from Friday’s Nations Cup, Todd Minikus and Babalou 41, a 10-year-old Oldenburg mare owned by Two Swans Farm.

Minikus and Babalou 41 had a single rail in a time of 44.32 seconds to finish sixth.

Two days earlier, though, Minikus had had a banner day in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain presented by Longines, putting in two clear rounds for the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team aboard Babalou 41. At the end of the two rounds, the U.S. team, consisting of Laura Kraut, Charlie Jayne, Madden and Minikus, was tied with Belgium and Switzerland with a total of 4 faults, requiring a jump-off.  Madden returned to the Hickstead Stadium with Cortes ‘C’,  but an 8-fault round put the U.S. team in third place at the end of an exciting day of competition. The U.S. team had won the Hickstead Nations Cup last year.

“First off, it was a spectacular Nations Cup, with good weather and great footing at probably one of the most traditional venues there is here at Hickstead. Our team had a really good day today,” said Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland. “We put ourselves right in the mix, which we always seem to do. We had a very good second round, as we have several times this year. Then jump-offs, of course, are where things are won in the sport. We would have loved it if we won, but we are honored to be in the position we are in and finish.”

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The Belgian team of Pieter Devos, Olivier Philippaerts, Gudrun Patteet and Judy-Ann Melchoir ended up on top after Devos’s jump-off round aboard 


Pieter Devos helped the Belgian team clinch victory in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain at the Hickstead CSIO with his clean and quick jump-off aboard Dylano. Photo by Trevor Meeks

The U.S. team began its day at the Longines Royal International Horse Show when pathfinders Kraut and Nouvelle, the Evita Group’s 11-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare, had a single rail at Fence 9 for 4 faults. Jayne was next with Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher’s 12-year-old Zangersheide stallion, Chill R Z, having a rail at Fence 2 and a single time fault for a total of 5 faults. Minikus and Babalou 41 laid down the first clear round for the U.S. team. Madden and Cortes ‘C’ followed suit by scoring another clear round, giving the U.S. team a first-round total of 4 faults, putting them in third place.

For the second round, Kraut and Nouvelle improved upon their initial performance to go clear. Jayne and Chill R Z unfortunately had rails at two fences for 8 faults. Minikus and Babalou 41 and Madden and Cortes ‘C’ went clear to be amongst the nine combinations to have double-clear rounds. Adding nothing to its first-round total of 4, the U.S. team was tied with Belgium and Switzerland at the end of the second round, leading to a jump-off to determine the winning team.

Madden and Cortes ‘C’ were chosen for the jump-off and were the first combination to enter the arena. However, a win was not meant to be, as a rail came down at 4A followed by a runout at 4B for 8 faults. Belgium claimed top honors as Pieter Devos and Dylano clocked a clear round in a time of 42.60 to finish ahead of Switzerland’s Janika Sprunger and Bonne Chance Cw with their clear round in a time of 44.17.


The Belgian team of (from left) Pieter Devos, Olivier Philippaerts, chef d’equipe Dirk Demeersman, Gudrun Patteet and Judy-Ann Melchoir emerged victorious in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain at the Hickstead CSIO. Photo by Trevor Meeks


Janika Sprunger’s jump-off round on Bonne Chance Cw helped the Swiss team claim second in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain. Photo by Trevor Meeks

See full results of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain.

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