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Beezie Madden and Judgement Win $25,000 Charlotte Welcome Stakes
Showjumping Press Release
Beezie Madden, 40, of Cazenovia, NY, riding Judgement for Iron Spring Farm topped a field of 22 horses to win the $25,000 Charlotte Welcome Stake, the featured event of the Friday evening show at the Charlotte Jumper Classic. Nine horses went clean over the Round One course and qualified for the Jump-Off. Four horses produced double clear performances tonight, but Madden was the fastest by more than a second to claim victory. Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI, riding Anthem for the Summit Syndicate placed second. Aaron Vale of Aiken, SC, aboard Cortino 27 for Town Creek Investments placed third.
Steve Stephens designed the 13-effort Round One track with Time Allowed set at 69 seconds. “I thought it was a very nice course,” said Madden. “For most of the horses, it was their first time in, so it was a nice introduction to the ring. He had two double combinations and no triple, so there wasn’t any place where you were really going to get in trouble, yet there were enough tricky lines just because of the size of the arena. Some of the new fences made it tricky enough. He had a nice number clean. It made for a good jump-off.”
In the eight-effort tiebreaker with Time Allowed set at 43 seconds, Candice King of Wellington, FL, riding Gosse D’Orion for Louiseberg Farm set the pace as rider number two on course, clocking in with the first clear in 38.176, but she ended up fourth. Her lead held up for two more riders when Kraut and Anthem took to the field, taking over the top slot with a clean trip in 36.149, but it proved to be only good enough for second place. Vale followed Kraut into the ring and also went clean but slower in 36.330 and had to settle for third. Madden was the seventh rider in the jump-off and blazed around the short course in 35.16, which proved to be unbeatable for the next two riders, and she claimed victory and $7,500.
In the Jump-Off, Madden performed a spectator-thrilling turn back to the Charlotte Bobcats fence, which none of the other riders could match and also captured the crowd’s attention when she flew at the final fence. “Judgement has tremendous jumping ability so I don’t have to be so perfectly set up to every fence for him to be able to make it over,” said Madden. “I thought I was a little slow the first three or four fences so my only chance was to make it up on the turn there. I just turned him and he had to figure it out himself to get over the vertical. Down the last line, he has so much scope and so much stride that I said, ‘well I’m just going to do one less stride than everybody and if I’m a little long to the oxer he’s going to make it anyway’. I have a lot of faith in him that way.”
That final fence was near the end of the arena heading out of the ingate, so the dash to the fence was a bold strategy – Madden said that she went all out. “He has quite a bit of experience. I think of him as a seasoned horse. He knew how too handle that. They do amazing things in the paddock on their own. When you see them flying at a fence and you see them stop and spin the other way, it’s amazing what they can do when they know what they’re doing.”
Judgement is a 13-year-old, black Dutch stallion that Madden intends to compete in the Athens Olympic Selection Trials in May.