This edition of the Readers’ Choice Issue might as well be renamed the Beezie Madden Issue. The poll results made one thing clear in bold, uppercased letters: Madden is beloved. From wowing the world with her show jumping skills, to her and her husband John Madden creating #MaddenMethod YouTube videos, to providing updates on our favorite retired equine Olympians, Beezie and the entire John Madden Sales crew consistently enthrall their fans.
With the newest Madden addition, Rudy, joining Beezie on our cover, we caught up with your favorite equestrian to hear all about their partnership.
What was it about Rudy that captured your heart?
I guess his cute face. We got him from Danny & Ron’s Rescue. Kim Tudor is a friend of Megan Maloney who works for us. And John kind of took Megan on the puppy hunt before Christmas, so they had some pictures to show me. Kim Tudor and the people at the rescue, they hadn’t even put Rudy on their website yet, but they suggested him. And then we saw the picture, and he was so cute.
What’s Rudy like?
He has a lot of personality. He’s super friendly. He likes all people. He’s very friendly with other dogs. He wants to play with all of them, which sometimes is a little exciting. But thank God he likes other dogs. He loves comfort; he’s always looking for a chair or something comfortable to lie in.
How has dog ownership changed your life?
It definitely is a nice distraction. He’s not really a high- strung dog; he’s a hound. He has energy, so he’s likes playtime and a little running around. You have to make sure he has some of that. It’s really fun.
We had one rough night, when I left to come to Europe, and John was still taking care of him at home. He ran off, and it was dark. It was awful. [John] calls me in the middle of the night all upset. He was gone for almost four hours. He took off after a deer. [John] couldn’t find him; he went for hours through the woods looking for him.
He finally stopped looking and went back to the house and sat in his chair. He said, “I started to doze off, and all of a sudden, he was in my lap.” He came back. He was excited to be back, I think—hopefully he scared himself a little bit. I said, “At least he likes us enough to come back.”
In the spirit of Readers’ Choice, I’d love to ask you one of our survey questions. What’s your funniest horse show moment?
I guess probably when I was a kid, and I got jumped off my pony twice in one class. When I had ponies in Wisconsin, there weren’t many pony classes. We went to a show—it was in Illinois, actually—and they said they would lower the jumps, but they didn’t. So I went in on my medium pony, and it was maybe a 3′ class. She was a good jumper, obviously, but I had never done anything like that. She jumped Fence 1 alright, and Fence 2 I just got jumped off. And I got back on and jumped Fence 3 and got jumped off. I fell off again.
Were you able to get back on after fall No. 2?
I think my parents and trainers put a sock in it at that point.
It’s one thing to be a successful rider, but it’s another thing to be beloved. What does it mean to you that all these people say you are their favorite?
It means a lot because I think when you sit down and think about it, jumping horses around the ring probably isn’t like curing cancer or something like that. You feel like maybe you don’t have as much purpose in life as some people do. But then when you hear that people follow you, and that you’re maybe a good role model for some kids growing up, then that makes you feel like maybe you are doing something to help the community or the world or other people.
Is there anything else you’d like to add before we close out the Readers’ Choice Issue?
Thank my fans for supporting me and being behind me all the time.
This article ran in The Chronicle of the Horse in our June 21-July 12, 2021 issue.
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