Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden claimed victory in the $50,000 Old Salem Farm Grand Prix CSI2*, presented by The Kincade Group, riding Breitling LS on Sunday, May 14, at the 2017 Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows, running through May 21 at Old Salem Farm in North Salem, NY. Also on Sunday, Early Winter, owned and ridden by Aubrienne Krysiewicz-Bell, of New York, NY, was named Grand Junior Hunter Champion to highlight hunter competition.
Madden, who hails from Cazenovia, NY, bested a field of 48 horses for the win over a course designed by Ken Krome of Westminster, MD. Riding Breitling LS, an 11-year old Dutch Warmblood stallion (Quintero x Accord II) owned by Abigail Wexner, Madden was third to return in a ten-horse jump-off and crossed the timers clear in 37.34 seconds, which eventually stood for the win.
Andrew Ramsay (USA) piloted Cocq a Doodle to a double-clear effort and finished in 38.55 seconds to earn second place for The Doodle Group. Charlie Jacobs (USA) was third aboard Cassinja S, owned by CMJ Sporthorses, LLC, just fractions of a second behind Ramsay in 38.77 seconds. Adrienne Sternlicht (USA) was fourth riding Toulago for Starlight Farms, LLC, in 40.08 seconds, while Georgina Bloomberg (USA) rounded out the top five riding Manodie II H, owned by Gotham Enterprizes, with a jump-off time of 43.79 seconds.
“Anytime you win it is special because this is quite a humbling sport; you can win one day and be on the ground the next,” said Madden, who was a member of the 2016 silver medal-winning team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. “Last year, I concentrated a lot on the Olympics and didn’t try to win many grand prix events, but this horse has picked up two wins already this year and it feels great.”
Breitling LS joined Madden’s string as a seven-year-old and is now one of her top horses. Madden is on U.S. nations’ cup teams at Aachen and Dublin later this year, with Breitling LS as one of her planned mounts.
Of Krome’s tracks, Madden noted, “I thought they were really nice. It is difficult to build a two-star when you have these top riders here, but he had ten clear, which was excellent. We are usually coming off a break this time of year with a lot of these horses, and it is nice to come here where there is a two-star this week and a three-star next week. You can gradually build them up.”
For Ramsay, Sunday’s second-place finish aboard Cocq a Doodle is a step in the right direction towards the ten-year-old Dutch Warmblood mare (Tolan R x Niagara) becoming a top grand prix mount. Ramsay has had Cocq a Doodle for about a year and is competing at Old Salem Farm for the first time this year.
“She is a great horse – really fast and competitive,” said Ramsay. “She gave it her all, and in the end it wasn’t quite quick enough today, but we will keep on trying. The track posed some good questions with some options, so you weren’t locked into the numbers and it allowed us to adjust for our different horses.
“I am from California, so I have never been in this part of the country at this time of the year,” continued Ramsay. “I love jumping here, and I am thrilled to be here for two weeks.”
The Old Salem Farm Spring Shows is the first competition for Jacobs and Cassinja S after competing at the Longines FEI World Cup Final in Omaha, NE, earlier this spring. Cassinja S, an 11-year-old Dutch Sporthorse mare (Carinjo x Cassini I), is coming off a month-long rest and has quickly bounced back.
“I am debating whether or not to show her next week because of how nicely she went,” said Jacobs, who has owned Cassinja S for four years. “As with most great horses, as they get older they tend to mature and develop in terms of their repertoire and ability, and she really showed that here. I could not be more proud of how she is jumping.”
As Week I of the Old Salem Farm Spring Horse Shows comes to a close, FEI riders will now turn their focus to CSI3* competition during Week II, which offers the $130,000 Empire State Grand Prix, presented by The Kincade Group.
Hear Beezie in her own words following her win: