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Beezie Madden And Conquest II Win $10,000 International Jumpers Top Score
Showjumping Press Release
A crowd-pleasing ‘Gambler’s Choice’ wrapped up the afternoon competition on Saturday with Beezie Madden, 40, of Cazenovia, NY, claiming her second victory in this inaugural show. Madden topped a field of 20 horses in the $10,000 International Jumpers Top Score competition riding Conquest II for owners Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton – her parents. Cara Raether of New York, NY, aboard News for the Trelawny Farm placed second. Debbie Stephens of Palmetto, FL, aboard Raket owned by her Centennial Farm was third.
Course designer Steve Stephens built 11 single-effort fences with point values varying from 20 to 120 points and set a fixed time of 60 seconds for riders to rack up as many points as they could by devising their own course. No score or penalty was given for knockdowns. After 60 seconds, the riders had to race across the timers to stop the clock, as time determined the winner if points were tied. Riders then had the option of attempting the Joker Fence – the Charlotte Bobcats vertical set at 5’ 5” – if they cleared it, they received an extra 200 points, but if they knocked it down, it was a minus 200 from their score.
Madden tallied up 1,260 points, including the Joker in a time of 62.35 seconds. Raether also earned 1,260 but crossed the timers in 67.13, which put her in second place as the slower time broke the tie. Stevens added up 1,220 points for third.
Madden followed the course she designed for herself, but turned the wrong way at the end. “My last three jumps I did a little in the wrong order but it didn’t make a big difference,” she said. “Instead of going left and around, I went to the right and did the same three fences anyway. Some people got very close by doing almost the same plan. It was a very good course because people were trying to do different things – for some it was better for their horse to do a certain direction or take a certain line over another, but it was hard to tally up enough points to win.”
Madden’s plan to rack up points was simple and direct, “We try to put the highest point value fences in a way that you get to jump them twice – that’s your first objective. Then you have to figure how many fences you think you can get. Sixty seconds in a small ring like this, I planned on 14 fences. I just missed the 14th fence – I was in the air so they didn’t give me the points. I just missed it by fractions of a second.”
Conquest II, Madden’s mount for this victory, is a 13-year-old Dutchbred stallion who was her partner on the US Gold Medal winning team at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She’s had the ride on him for two-and-a-half years. “He’s a very fast horse, he’s clever, he’s careful, he doesn’t like to hit the fences,” said Madden. “You need one like that when you put your own course together and try to get the high point value fences all in. Sometimes it gets a little bit tricky – you can beat yourself sometimes making your own course too difficult. You need a clever, handy horse for that.”