HALL WORTHY: Cazenovia resident Beezie Madden, seen here with her horse Simon, has been chosen as the first equestrian athlete in the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame. The induction dinner is Oct. 15 at Drumlins Country Club.
She spends less than 30 days a year here, but horsewoman Beezie Madden and her husband, John, have put in Central New York on the map of the world’s top equestrian events. The Cazenovia couple sponsor the Syracuse Sporthorse Invitational benefit which awards the Animal Planet Cup, a prize which Beezie has won three times.
Last week, Elizabeth “Beezie” Patton Madden was named as one of eight new inductees into the Greater Syracuse Sports Hall of Fame.
One of the top show jumping competitors in the world, Beezie missed the June 27 announcement at the Syracuse Sports HOF Showcase at Drivers’ Village in Cicero. She was way out west in Calgary, Alberta, Canada competing in the prestigious Summer Series at Spruce Meadows, an equestrian facility which schedules 14 of the richest show-jumping tournaments in the world
Beezie won the Spruce Meadows’ Masters Grand Prix atop Judgement in 2005.
Standing in for Madden at the HOF press conference was Connie Sawyer, a Maryland-based equestrian who handles Beezie’s public relations.
Sawyer reported that Beezie, who won team gold medals at the Athens and Beijing Olympics in 2004 and 2008 respectively, has been nominated for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team. The U.S. Equestrian Federation lists her as the number two competitor riding Coral Reef Via Volo and as number six riding Simon. A team of four and a traveling reserve will be entered on the definite entry on July 6.
Jumping with Via Volo, Beezie won an impressive seven grand prix classes in 2010.
Beezie, who will turn 49 in November, has worked long and hard to become one of her sport’s top performers. Equestrian expert Kathy Blocksdorf has noted that “her rise has not been meteoric, but methodical and steady. She is a cool head and clear thinker.”
She was the first woman and the first American rider to ever reach the Top Three in the Show Jumping World Ranking List, and she was the first woman to pass the million-dollar mark in show-jumping earnings.