Twice a Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Final champion, Beezie Madden has ridden some exceptional horses, but even she admitted that her expectations were exceeded when 8-year-old Garant jumped her to another World Cup qualifier victory at the American Gold Cup in North Salem, New York on Sept. 15.
Madden and the chestnut gelding topped a jump-off field of six to win the $210,000 Longines FEI New York World Cup qualifier, the first east coast qualifier of the 2019/2020 North American League season. Using her mount’s foot speed and athleticism to her advantage, Madden crossed the timers of Alan Wade’s shortened track in 40.89 seconds. Last to jump, Karl Cook and Caillou finished second on a time of 41.25 seconds, while Katie Dinan completed an American sweep of the podium with Brego R’n B. The only other double-clear performance, they finished in 41.94 seconds.
“He’s a young horse,” Madden said of Garant. “The plan was to step him up this fall. He jumped on Friday, and he went so well, we decided to go [today]. I wasn’t even sure I was doing this class this week when we came here. For him to come through like that today is amazing.”
Seven combinations produced a clear first round, but Nicole Shahinian-Simpson elected not to return for the jump-off with Akuna Mattata, leaving a field of six. Dinan was the first to add a second clear to her scorecard, before Madden shaved more than a second off her time. The two-time Olympic gold medalist simply could not be caught.
“He has tremendous jumping talent, which as we all know, is not everything,” Madden said. “I also think he’s incredibly smart. He knows he’s not supposed to hit the fences! He then proceeds to know how to run fast and jump high, and I have no idea why!”
Watch Madden’s winning round, courtesy of American Gold Cup:
Madden has now skyrocketed to the top of the North American League’s East Coast sub-league standings. She boasts 35 points, having also finished fourth in Vancouver. Vancouver’s winner, Daniel Coyle, sits second with 20 points, while Dinan moved into third with 15 points.