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WoSJ Exclusive; Beezie Madden – on Simon, Vanilla and the Olympics

Monday, 12 December 2011

Beezie Madden; one of the strongest cards for the American team in 2012! All photos by Jenny Abrahamsson/ Madden’s strong string of horses makes her one of the best cards for the US team in 2012. With Coral Reef Via Volo Beezie was on the gold winning team at the Pan Am Games this autumn, as well as claiming individual silver. The pair also won the Grand Prix in Rotterdam in August. On her other top horse Cortes C Beezie also took home the Global Champions Tour leg in Valkenswaard. In November Beezie added two new exciting horses to her string; Simon and Vanilla. WoSJ sat down to speak to Beezie about the purchase of Simon and Vanilla – as well as how she will prepare towards the Olympics in London in 2012.

Beezie with new ride Simon. Could he be the one for the Olympics?Can you tell us about your future plans for Simon?
“I hope he has a chance for the US team next year. We are getting some experience together now in December; as we had already planned to go to Stuttgart, Paris and Geneva we took him with us. Then he will start up again in January in Palm Beach,” Beezie explains. “I love him; I mean there’s a reason why I bought him,” Madden laughs when we ask her of what she thinks of Jeroen Dubbeldam’s former ride. “It’s gone a little bit smoother with him than what I thought though, and I feel pretty comfortable on him. Jeroen has done a nice job,” Beezie says.

And Vanilla – can you tell us a little bit about her?
“Vanilla is Coral Reef Via Volo’s daughter, and they are a bit the same. Their jumping styles are for example similar. I jumped her in the 1.45 classes in Stuttgart, and she jumps at the same level here in Paris. I bought Vanilla from Tina Lund in Denmark after spotting her at Hickstead and in Dublin. Vanilla is a little inexperienced though; she has had two foals and has been a late starter, but in the future I hope that she will make it on the team as well,” the American rider says.

A family affair; Beezie and Vanilla - a daughter of Coral Reef Via Volo.How much more will you be competing in Europe this season?
“I will compete in Geneva and then we will go home for the holidays and have a break. Around the 1th of January we head for Palm Beach. That’s where the business is with the World Cup qualifiers and the selection trials,” Beezie smiles.

Where are you based when competing in Europe?
“I stay in Holland with Johan Heinz. Back home in the US we have our yard in Cazenovia, New York state, and we have an average of fifteen horses at our stable that are competing. Then we have another 15-20 horses that are retired, broodmares or younger horses growing up,” Madden explains.

One of many triumphs this year; Beezie & Cortes C won the GCT in Valkenswaard.Which of your horses is your strongest candidate for the Olympics?
“I will bring Simon, Cortec C and Coral Reef Via Volo for the selection trials which will be held at Palm Beach in Wellington towards the end of March. So the horses will all prepare for the selection trials at the Winter Equestrian Festival. Which horse it will be in the end is hard to say; so many things can happen towards London,” she smiles. “So, we will see what happens. After the selection trials we will do some shows in North America, and then I will return to compete in Europe after the 1th of July,” Beezie explains.

How do you think the Olympic preparation for the US team will be affected by the fact that you are not in the Top League anymore?
“It’s a problem, for sure. But there are four observation trials set up in North America next year, and the team will have a technical delegate there that will make sure that the preparations make the horses hard enough for what’s to come,” Madden explains. “And then we will tailor each horse’s schedule to make the most of the preparations.”

Simon looks very comfortable with Beezie; they are one of the most exciting combinations for next year.And how will it be for the team when your long time chef d’equipe George Morris isn’t there anymore – it must be some big shoes to fill?
“There will definitely be a problem replacing George,” Beezie concludes quickly. “But we have a search committee looking for candidates, and the interviews will most likely take place in March,” she says. “Most would probably prefer an American for the job as chef d’equipe, but if there is a foreigner with better qualifications that will of course be taken into the consideration,” Beezie replies on our question on who we might see in the position in 2013 when Morris retires as chef d’equipe.

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