Beezie Madden and Simon, a 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Abigail Wexner, rose to the top of the Rolex FEI World Cup Finals leader board last weekend to be crowned the 2013 champions, keeping the title for the United States of America and becoming only the fifth woman to hold the title. After three rounds made up of six courses of world-class competition over four days, Beezie and John Madden were on top of the world.
“It feels fantastic. I am so proud of Simon and my team. I can't thank Abigail Wexner enough for her support,” said Madden of her win.
Madden started the competition at the Gothenburg, [Sweden] Horse Show with a bang on Thursday, April 25, by claiming her first ever Rolex FEI World Cup Finals win of an individual round, the speed round. Friday’s course, by course designer Uliano Vezzani, was impressive with Madden ending in ninth place for the round but in second place going into Sunday’s two final rounds.
The first of the two courses Sunday, April 28, proved to be very challenging with no horse and rider combination delivering a clear round. Madden and Simon had four faults in this round, placing them back on top of the overall standings going into the final course. Both Madden and fellow Olympic medalist, Steve Guerdat of Switzerland, emerged from Sunday’s second course with a total of nine faults overall, forcing a final jump-off between the two riders.
Guerdat lowered two obstacles in the final stages of the jump-off, leaving Madden in the very best possible situation. Madden’s task was to not lower more than two jumps and stay in front of Guerdat's time, and that is what she did. Simon laid down another clear round with a time of 41.66 seconds, walking out of the arena victorious.