The FEI World Individual Jumping Championship came to a conclusion on the final day of the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in the d’Ornano Stadium with the highly anticipated Final Four competition. The U.S. closed out the 2014 Games on a high note as Beezie Madden claimed Individual Bronze. Additionally, her partner at these Championships, Cortes ‘C’, earned the Best Horse title following four rounds of impeccable jumping on Sunday afternoon.
“I thought it was a great day and a very exciting Final Four,” said Madden. “I’m very happy to come out with a Bronze medal.”
Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s 12-year-old Belgian Warmblood gelding were joined in the competition, which determined Individual medals, by The Netherland’s Jeroen Dubbeldam with Zenith SFN, France’s Patrice Delaveau with Orient Express HDC, and Sweden’s Rolf-Göran Bengtsson with Casall Ask. In the final, all four started on a clean slate and jumped an eight-obstacle, Frédéric Cottier-designed track with their own horses, as well as with all three of their competitors’ horses.
Dubbledam clinched Individual Gold and the World Championship title after producing clear rounds with all four horses to finish on a score of zero, narrowly edging Delaveau, who also left all the rails in place over four rounds, but a single time fault on Casall Ask meant the crowd favorite collected Silver. Madden finished the day on a score of 12 to earn Bronze, with Bengtsson finishing fourth on 14 faults.
Madden began the Final Four jumping an immaculate clear on Cortes ‘C’ to build momentum for her remaining three rides. Next up for the two-time Olympic Team medalist was Casall Ask. Madden looked on track to produce her second clear of the afternoon with the Holsteiner stallion until faulting at the middle element of the triple, fence 5B, to finish the round on four faults. On her third ride of the day with Zenith SFN, she once again saw the hopes of a faultless effort disappear at the triple when the pole at the C-element came down.
Entering the ring on Orient Express HDC, Madden knew that she had a rail and a single time fault in hand to claim Bronze. The five point margin was cut by four for the second time of the day at the middle element of the triple combination. The team veteran used all her experience for the remainder of the round to leave the remaining rails in the cups and finish within the time allowed.
“Since the triple was my nemesis, I was happy it was over. I thought just settle down and breathe, and the horse was great,” said Madden of her Bronze medal-clinching ride on Orient Express HDC.
Madden was also extremely proud of Cortes ‘C’s performance throughout the week at the Championships that saw him jump four out of five clear rounds in the Team Championship and Individual Qualifiers, in addition to being the only horse to produce four clears on Sunday.
“I’m so, so proud of my horse. I’ve always thought he was a championship horse and I think he proved that today,” Madden said.