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Upper Echelon Academy: Helping young athletes combine academics with top sport

Friday, 24 March 2017

Photo (c) The Book LLC Madison Goetzmann is one of those that manages a very full plate of demanding and impressive commitments. Photo (c) The Book LLC.

Combining academics with the sport obligations that comes with jumping on the international circuit is not easy. However, American rider Madison Goetzmann is one of those that manages a very full plate of demanding and impressive commitments. Traveling nationally and internationally for showjumping competitions with John and Beezie Madden, she also maintains high academic standing at a competitive private school in New York.

Goetzmann works with Upper Echelon Academy—a tutoring service that specializes in assisting student-athletes striving to achieve excellence in multiple domains—to manage her time, commitments and stay competitive in every arena.

Clementine Goutal is a founding partner of Upper Echelon Academy, and she describes Madison – or Maddy among friends – as “an exemplary UEA student”.

“Her focus, dedication, and talent have brought an impressive list of showjumping wins under the guidance of the Maddens,” Goutal explains. “At the same time her academic performance remains stellar. She really uses the resources at hand. She reaches out to my partners and the tutors for guidance and support, and they make sure she doesn’t sacrifice her academics when she is at a championship or intensive training.”

Maddy has been under the apprenticeship of the Maddens for just over two years, and she remarks: “John and Beezie put so much time and effort into every little detail that goes into bettering a horse or training a student and I will forever be grateful for getting the opportunity to ride with such inspiring people. Beezie typically competes in Europe during the summers so last summer the schedule worked out perfectly for me to bring a few horses over and compete alongside her at some shows.”

Maddy made a name for herself in a few short weeks, breaking into the international scene with wins at the CSI2* event at Knokke and a win in the 2* Grand Prix of De Wolden.

Goetzmann then returned to the United States in time for the start of the school year and the upcoming indoor season, at which she won gold and silver medals at Prix des States and was Champion of the High Junior Jumpers at the Washington International Horse Show. Commenting on the necessity to keep up with her classmates at school while competing at indoors, Maddy explains: “With such a busy Fall I was having to miss quite a bit of school… Luckily I had the help of Upper Echelon Acadamy to help keep me on track with my studies.” Maddy impressed everyone, maintaining nearly perfect grades in school while securing these wins.

Now in Wellington, Maddy works every day with her trainers and tutors to continue excelling in her riding and her academics. She describes her schedule, which seems to be second nature by now: “During the week I start my morning's training with John and Beezie with my jumpers and then work with Stacia Madden to prepare for the Equitation. I then spend the afternoons tutoring at UEA which can take several hours since I'm a junior in high school and this is the most challenging year. In addition to regular coursework, I am studying for college entrance exams, but UEA has the teachers and works out my schedule, so it's a routine that really works for me.”

Goetzmann feels confident knowing she will return to school in the Spring having given her all to both her academics and her showjumping, and is excited to compete again internationally this summer. 

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