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Beezie Madden: “For us in the United States, planning our winter schedule is probably easier than for those in Europe”

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping. Beezie Madden. Photo © Jenny Abrahamsson for World of Showjumping.


Text © World of Showjumping


As predicted by many, the Covid-19 pandemic has hit Europe with a second wave. With measures and restrictions being tightened in most countries as cases are surging, indoor show after indoor show is being cancelled. Traditionally the highlight during the winter season, the Longines FEI World Cup Western European League has been cut down dramatically over the last months – with only three legs currently remaining in the calendar for 2020/2021. World-wide there are now three CSI5* events scheduled from October to December, compared to twelve last year – two of them are indoors. The number of CSI4* shows in the same period is now six – two of which are indoors – compared to thirteen last year. 

What plans are the riders making for the winter season with so much uncertainty and so few indoor events? World of Showjumping asked several top riders how they schedule for the months ahead. Here we move on to USA’s anchor-woman Beezie Madden, who believes the US riders have a slightly easier task in scheduling for the winter season compared to their European colleagues.

“Initially when shows were cancelling, it was difficult to have a plan and a direction,” Madden says about the early spring of 2020. 

For sure it was – and still is – difficult to set goals.

"I was lucky this summer because once it was clear that we were staying in the US, and that we would be able to start up again in June, we came up with a plan and all of the shows we planned on going to were able to happen.” 

“For us in the United States, planning our winter schedule is probably easier than for those in Europe,” Madden explains about the coming months. “So far, we still have our Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington and also some other options in Ocala. Wellington has also added a 3* and a 4* in November and December, so we have some competitions this fall as well. Since they are outdoors and they don’t rely on spectators for much revenue, we hopefully have a good chance that all of their competitions will be able to go on.” 

As to Olympic preparation towards Tokyo, Madden is positive on behalf of the American team – even if the spring might prove to be challenging when it comes to travelling. “I think the US riders will be able to do enough big competitions in Wellington to build up to the Olympics. The tricky part will come in the spring and early summer because we don’t know if we will be able to participate in enough Nations Cup events, or whether we will be able to travel to Canada for Spruce Meadows. So, we could be caught at a disadvantage in a worst-case scenario,” Madden concludes.


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