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Beezie Madden And Judgement Win $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte
Showjumping Press Release
Wrapping up the inaugural Charlotte Jumper Classic on Easter Sunday, Beezie Madden, 40, of Cazenovia, NY, riding the Dutch-bred stallion Judgement owned by Iron Spring Farm, claimed victory in the $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte Bobcats Cup, a Member Event of the American Grandprix Association (AGA) Series of Show Jumping. The grand prix was held over two days, April 10-11, in two rounds of competition. Judgement was one of eight horses in a field of 26 that produced a clear trip in Round One on Saturday, carrying no faults forward into Sunday’s Round Two, where only four of the 24 horses were able to go clear again and move on to the Jump-Off. Judgement and Madden went fault-free in the tiebreaker, claiming the win and $45,000 in prize money. The duo posted a time just 1/10th of a second faster than Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, aboard Primeur 58, a horse he owns with Kathy Kamine. Kappler was the only other rider to produce a double-clear performance, which placed him second and he earned $33,000. Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI, riding Anthem placed third, taking home $19,500 for the owners, Summit Syndicate.
Going in reverse order of their placements from Saturday’s Round One, 21 riders started off Round Two with four faults or less carried forward – one carried 12, one had eight, 12 carried four, one had a time fault, and eight came in with a clean slate. Steve Stephens designed a 10-fence course that none of the first 17 riders could clear and they accumulated additional penalties. Two riders were eliminated and two riders retired on course. A triple bar at Fence No. 6 and a triple combination at Fence No. 7 took their toll. “They were just plain old big tonight,” Madden explained about the jumps. “The triple bar walked like you could do it in four strides, and outdoors you probably would have, but indoors and off the short turn you had to do the five – so you needed a horse that was adjustable enough to fit the five in and then reactive enough to go forward and cover the distance over the triple bar. The triple combination was a little the same – it was basically oxer-oxer, which always is a scope test. The blue panels underneath are spooky for the horses, so it makes it even harder.” Four horses went clean for the tiebreaker.
In the jump-off, Stephens created a seven-effort track with Time Allowed set at 42 seconds. Eliza Shuford of Hickory, NC, riding her own Gustel II led off, but had a rail down in 41.31 seconds, and finished in fourth place. Madden was next to go and zipped around the course in 35.33 fault-free. Kappler went third in the order and matched Madden’s time at the Charlotte Bobcats vertical, the next-to-last jump, but going around the island to the final fence, he fell short of beating her by just a split second, clocking in at 35.42. Kraut had the advantage of going last, but she had one knockdown for four faults in 36.01, which placed her third.
“My plan was to go as fast as I could go because the worst I could be was fourth,” said Madden. “I thought I was pretty good from one to two. Around the turn to that next line I actually planned to do four [strides] in the jump-off but I just didn’t catch the fence that I wanted off the turn so I opted for five. From there on was quite fast – fast to the Bobcat and real fast to the last.” It was Judgement’s ability that enabled Madden to go clean over the last fence as she made a turn that did not put the big stallion in an optimum jumping spot. “I was glad I had a lot of scope. I felt like I was in no man’s land when I came around that island and then I thought, I just have to go forward.”
Madden also rode Judgement to a double-clear performance and victory in the $25,000 Charlotte Welcome Stake on Friday. Their overall performance at the show clinched the Best Open Horse Award for Judgement and the Leading Jumper Rider Award for Madden. “It shows that he had a great week,” Madden said of the 13-year-old black stallion who jumped five clear rounds over the weekend. “The horse really deserved it,” she said. “He couldn’t have been any better.”
In addition to her success with Judgement, Madden aboard Conquest II owned by her parents Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton won the $10,000 International Jumpers Top Score, giving her a win on every day of the three day-show. She was enthusiastic about the inaugural event. “It was great. It was very exhibitor-friendly. The hospitality was fantastic. The arena itself was really good.”
The Charlotte Jumper Classic was Madden’s last competition before the Athens Olympic Games Selection Trials which take place in California in May. She will take three horses, Judgement, Authentic, and DeSilvio to the Trials. Madden acknowledged that she is in an athletic ‘groove’. “When things are going good you just go out there and ride like you’re not going to knock a fence down. When things are going bad, you’re wondering which fence you’re going to knock down. It’s really a momentum sport. When things are going well, you’re not trying to fix things. When you’re trying to fix things sometimes you make mistakes the wrong way.”