Madden named USEF Equestrian of the Year for third time

As a testament to her 2013 success, Madden spent three months as the second-ranked rider in the world on the Longines/FEI Rankings.

“Congratulations to all who have won awards tonight. I am honored to be Equestrian of the Year. I am thankful to my whole team,” said Madden.

Earlier, after receiving the William C. Steinkraus Trophy, the reining Rolex/FEI World Cup Finals Champion recognized all those that had helped her during her record setting year.

“There are so many people that should be up here with me. Great horses make great riders and I am very lucky to have the partners I have,” Madden said.

Madden received The William C. Steinkraus Trophy, awarded to an equestrian in an Olympic discipline, for the third time. As a result, she was one of eight equestrians in the running for the USEF’s top honor.

Simon named horse of the year

One day after Madden’s award, Abigail Wexner's horse Simon — whom Madden has ridden to win numerous competitions — was named International Horse of the Year at the USEF Year End Awards Gala. Simon's year was one of top finishes in the U.S., and on the biggest international stages.

“This is my favorite awards night of the year because it honors the horse,” said Madden while accepting the award for Simon. “I think what makes Simon so special is his athletic ability and his desire. I have to thank his owner Abigail Wexner for all of her support.”

Simon started the year in Wellington, Fla., where he secured a fourth-place finish in the Adequan Grand Prix at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, and jumped fault free as a member of the victorious U.S. team at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by G&C Farm.

Simon's biggest win of the year, and of his career thus far, came in April at the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final in Gothenburg, Sweden. After winning the opening Speed Leg, Simon kept up his good form throughout the week. It came down to a jump-off, but under the steady hand of Madden, Simon kept composure well and beat out 2012 Olympic Champions Steve Guerdat and Nino Buissonnets to earn his, and Madden's, first ever Rolex/FEI World Cup Final title. Their win in Gothenburg was the second consecutive the Rolex/FEI World Cup Final victory, and a USEF awards trend. Following in the footsteps of 2012 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final winner's Flexible and Rich Fellers, Simon and Madden won the Final, then went on to win the popular vote and take home the USEF International Horse of the Year and Equestrian of the Year titles.

Simon's year didn't end in April though, as he continued to jump well through the summer and fall. At Spruce Meadows Simon collected third place finishes in both the PwC Cup and the ATCO Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup. At the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup Final in Barcelona, Simon and Madden anchored the team and helped it earn the Consolation Round win.

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