Mark your calendars—this season will go down in the history books as the United States’ own Beezie Madden again claims a top three ranking in world show jumping standings. Madden, a true pioneer for equestrians, is the first woman ever to reach a top three placing.
“It gives hope,” Madden says. “Women that ride here [in the United States] don’t think about it because we have more women [riders] than men, but Europe has always been a little behind, so it might encourage women there to do better.” Ever down-to-earth, Madden is modest about her ranking, but happy for the boost it gives to fellow riders in the United States. “It’s great that we can have an American that high on the list now,” Madden says. “It’s difficult to do that, but we have a lot more international competitions in the United States and Canada now so it makes this more of a world list than a European list.”
Following a flawless finish that helped secure a Team Silver during the Athens Olympics, Madden scored 150 points at Spruce Meadows atop her Olympic partner, Authentic. She earned an additional 50 points at Devon CSI-W, a part of the FEI World Cup series (North American League - East Coast), helping to cement her claim as the third highest ranked show jumper in the world.
“Beezie is one of the finest riders in the world and I’m glad she’s being recognized for it,” says Sally Ike, director of show jumping and vaulting activities for the United States Equestrian Federation.
Claiming the top spot in the rankings is Ludger Beerbaum of Germany. Olympic Silver medalist Rodrigo Pessoa of Brazil ranks second.
The Western European League of the FEI World Cup Jumping 2004/2005 series begins Sunday in Oslo, Norway where 50 riders will battle it out for points. For complete rankings, check the Federation Equestre Internationale website at www.horsesport.org