May 23, 2004 - San Juan Capistrano, CA – Beezie Madden described today as “a bit of a rollercoaster,” and she gave the crowd a real thrill ride when she and Authentic brilliantly attacked the course becoming the only ones to go clear in both Trial #5 and the final Trial #6 in the 2004 Olympic Selection Trials Finals at Oaks Blenheim. They finished with a cumulative total of only 8 faults for all six selection trials that have been held in California over the past two weekends.
Prior to Trial #5 one of her three mounts, Di Silvio, was scratched from competition. “We don't know what it is yet. Like I said, it was a big disappointment.” But that disappointment was balanced by her performance on Authentic, a young 9 year old Dutch warmblood gelding. “He's gained a lot of experience in the last two weeks, and we have plenty of time to be in top form again,” said Madden. “It was a lot for a young horse, I was more worried about the Trials than Athens and it hasn't sunk in yet. I had a lot of confidence coming in with three good horses. You dream since you're a little kid to represent your country in the Olympics.”
Wylde has now signed-up for the Beezie Madden fan club, “She's one of the greats, she's leading this team. She has brilliant horses, absolute quality,” he said. Wylde and the graceful Fein Cera had a clean trip in Trial #5 and were leading the cumulative standings with just 4 faults but found trouble in the shortened course in Trial #6 and picked up another 8 faults. “My heart was racing that's for sure. I went too slow into the triple. I'm a bit disappointed in myself but she's had a lot to do and she's jumped four clear rounds out of six so I'm thrilled with her.” Wylde and Fein Cera finished with a total of 12 faults for the trials.
Both riders are enthusiastic about the chances the U.S Show Jumping Team will have in Athens . “The team we have is the strongest we've had in a long time. We will have four great riders. I think we have a really, really good chance. The Germans and French maybe aren't as strong as they have been,” said Wylde.
McLain Ward and Sapphire finished third with a total of 15 faults for the six Trials. In describing the young 9 year old mare he said, “she got better and better, more solid. This horse is medal talent. She might be the least experienced horse on the team but she's so gifted that she makes up for it.” In both trials today they had five faults, four jumping faults and one time fault.
Allison Firestone and Casanova were fourth with 21 total faults, and Lauren Hough and Clasiko were fifth with 25 faults. “I'm certainly going to stay prepared,” observed Hough. “Anything can happen before Athens . I'll be ready in case they need me.” Madden was sixth on Judgement with 30 faults.
Chris Kappler and Royal Kaliber have already been selected to the Short List. Kappler and Madden were members of the gold medal winning Pan Am Games team last year. In addition to the top two horse and rider combinations coming out of these trials, Madden and Wylde, the Selectors will choose two more horse and rider combinations for the Short List for a total of five to send to Athens . The horses of the top eight placing riders will jog tomorrow for a post-competition soundness inspection. The Short List will be officially announced on Tuesday and is subject to approval from the United States Olympic Committee.