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Beezie Madden: "I certainly didn’t expect this"

Sunday, 15 April 2018
Longines FEI World Cup Final Paris 2018

Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson. The top three: Beezie Madden, Devin Ryan and Henrik von Eckermann. Photo (c) Jenny Abrahamsson.

The top three of the Longines FEI World Cup Finals 2018 met the press in Paris on Sunday evening, with the newly-crowned champion Beezie Madden looking back at a fantastic weekend together with vice-champion Devin Ryan and third placed Henrik von Eckermann.

“Very excited!” answered Beezie Madden on how she felt claiming her second World Cup title. “It is always exiting to win a championship. To win two of these is pretty amazing. Breitling’s owner Abigail Wexner was here to watch today, and I’m so happy for her and for the rest of my team and the horse especially.” 

“It is double exciting I guess,” Madden answered about winning the final twice. “I won in 2013, and to win here with a horse that we really believed in but took a little to mature – and for him to come through today – is really fantastic. It has taken a little while to replace Simon and Cortes, but it actually happened a bit quicker than I thought it might. So, it is really exciting today.”

Madden found Breitling LS as a 7-year-old at Jeroen Dubbeldam’s and always believed in the stallion. “He did really well in the young horse classes coming up, and he did some good things along the way but the consistency was lacking for the first few years – when he was nine and ten. Now the last two years as an eleven and twelve-year-old he really became consistent and kind of my go-to horse to win some Grand Prix classes. This was his first championship so he is stepping his way up the ladder in my string of horses,” Madden detailed.  

“I love the World Cup,” Madden commented on the importance of the series. “It is an annual championship, so each year it is a goal to get there and to win it. It is really important to keep championships like this going. Thanks to Longines that is supporting, it is amazing! For me it was the first championship with this horse, and it was really exciting to bring him here. I thought he was hot at the time, and I hoped to do well but I certainly didn’t expect this. To have him to do well again today in a championship format, he really proved himself. If I hadn’t had that today I wouldn’t know if he actually is capable of jumping at the top of this level. “

Madden made it very exciting when she had a pole down in the second round today, and was asked how she felt when the rail fell: “A little nervous, but I still felt my horse was jumping well and all you can do at that point is pull it together and finish on four and try to get it done.”

Madden seems to always find horses with a fantastic temperament. “I have a lot of help when I’m looking for a young horse, but if it was just jumping ability it would be easy for us to pick horses and bring them along but it so much more that goes in to it and I really believe that temperament is a big part of that. I’m very lucky with the support that I have with an owner that is willing to provide me with multiple horses. I’m in an extremely lucky position,” said the American rider.

“If I can add also what a fantastic thing for the Americans!” Madden said. “To have three in the top four, it is really exciting. To have Devin with a new horse coming up and McLain – that is always good.”

Devin Ryan was perhaps beaten, but not at all disappointed: “To be second behind Beezie is always a great place to be. Especially as an up and coming, I’m learning. This is my first championship so I’m proud to be American today and to sit next to Beezie.”

Ryan’s horse Eddie Blue was the only horse that didn’t have any fence down during the four rounds, and the youngest in the final with his nine years. “He jumps a lot of clear rounds,” Ryan said. “He won the 5-year-old final in the States, he won the 6-year-olds and won five-star Grand Prix classes last year. He won his first Grand Prix at the end of his 7th year. It is a track record there that tells you that he is a very, very careful horse.”

Just like last year Henrik von Eckermann finished third, and took time to reflect on the results as well as his one pole down in the second round today: “For my own feeling I would have wished for Beezie to be double clear. Because if I wouldn’t have had that fault it would have been a jump-off, but then it is a lot of ifs. Beezie was fantastic through the whole weekend and deserved to win. It was my mistake in the end. My horse jumped fantastic as always. It was a little bit close up on seven strides to number two and I tried a little bit too much and gave her a pull and she broke up behind and had that fence down. I should have just trusted her quality and it wouldn’t have happened.”

“It is an extraordinary good horse and she made it very easy,” Von Eckermann said about Mary Lou. “It is an anger on myself, she could have won it and I didn’t.” 


Text and picture © World of Showjumping

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