Beezie Madden added another coveted title to her extensive resume on Sunday when she rode Abigail Wexner’s Cortes ‘C’ to victory in the The Longines King George V Gold Cup at CSIO5* Hickstead. In doing so she also made history as the first women ever to win the prestigious Grand Prix. In the 108-year tradition of this historic class, women weren’t event allowed to compete in its ranks until 2008.
Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and the 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were one of 14 combinations to jump Kelvin Bywater’s 12-obstacle track faultlessly and qualify to return for the jump-off. The pair, which had jumped double clear in Friday’s Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain presented by Longines, had the advantageous position of returning as the final competitors in the jump-off and seized the opportunity with both hands jumping clear and stopping the timers in 46.01 to seal their win by more than a full second.
Making the two-time Olympic Gold medalist’s win all the more impressive, is that she only recently returned to competition after breaking her collarbone on May 18th. She underwent surgery two days later, and began competing again in July. This, her comeback from the injury, was a decisive and significant accomplishment in a month when all eyes are focused on the upcoming Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games.
Also joining Madden in the jump-off was American pair Laura Kraut (Royal Palm Beach, Fla,) and the Evita Group’s 10-year-old KWPN mare, Nouvelle. The pair were clear over the jumps in a time of 54.04 to finish in sixth place.
Reed Kessler and McLain Ward earned 16th and 21st places, respectively, in the feature Grand Prix. Kessler (Lexington, Ky.) and Kessler Show Stables’ 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare, Cylana, were the second quickest four faulters of the afternoon over Bywater’s course finishing the initial round in 78.89 seconds. While, Ward (Brewster, N.Y.) and Double H Farm’s 10-year-old Holsteiner stallion, HH Cannavaro also jumped a four fault round, stopping the timers in 79.90 seconds.
Rounding out the U.S. competitors in the The Longines King George V Gold Cup were Margie Engle (Wellington, Fla.) and Elm Rock Partners, LLC’s 10-year-old Oldenburg stallion, Royce, finishing in 31st place after an eight fault round.
Madden’s victory comes on the heels of double Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup victories this week for the United States. On Friday, the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team were the victors of the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup of Great Britain presented by Longines in Hickstead (Madden and Cortés are pictured above in the Nations Cup on Friday) and the U.S. team at CSIO5* Gijon followed up with a victory of their own in Nations Cup competition on Saturday.
“Beezie’s win is icing on the cake as we close in on our WEG (2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games) preparation. Winning two CSIO5* Nations Cups accompanied by Beezie’s comeback is a tremendous boost for the team as we head down the final stretch,” said U.S. Chef d’Equipe Robert Ridland.
Ireland’s Bertram Allen and Romanov finished second in Sunday’s Grand Prix jumping clear in the jump-off in a time of 47.09, with Germany’s Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue earning third place after jumping clear in a time of 47.91.
Learn more about CSIO5* Hickstead here.
Follow the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team here.
– Via United States Equestrian Federation