Jumper Nation gets the scoop from a U.S. showjumping powerhouse.
In the show ring Beezie Madden is a machine, the sort of elite athlete who knows how to win and has the skills to execute. Her competition record, which includes two gold and one bronze Olympic medals, is a manifesto of where hard work and talent can you if you want it bad enough.
But what is it, exactly, that makes Beezie tick? What made her the rider she is today, and what keeps her going back out there day after day, year after year, always striving for more?
We were lucky enough to snag a few moments of Beezie’s time to answer a few of our burning questions. We’ll let her take it from here.
JN: Tell us about your very first horse related memory.
BM: My first horse related memory is when my brother and I went outside on Christmas to discover our first ponies waiting for us in the trailer parked outside.
JN: You are always credited with top-notch equitation. What would you say is the number one piece of coaching advice you’ve given when it comes to why position is important?
BM: Good position is good position for a reason — it helps you rider better. Good position allows you to be in the best possible position to be the most effective and develop the best and clearest communication with your horse without interfering with his movement or distracting him.
JN: What equestrian sport would you try if you were given the opportunity?
BM: I think it would most likely be dressage as dressage plays a large role in what we do in jumping, but I honestly could never see myself doing anything other than jumping.
JN: What do you think you’d be doing if you did not have a career in horses?
BM: I cannot imagine a career outside of horses. Even if I wasn’t riding, there are so many facets to our industry that I know I would always find a career that involved horses.
JN: What is the best/most memorable piece of advice you have ever been given when it comes to your riding career?
BM: When I was young and competing in Europe and Ronnie Massarella was Chef d’Equipe for Great Britain, he told us to go out there and have fun. At which point we said, “You don’t really mean that,” but he said, “Yes I do.” If you go out and have fun it allows you to be the best you can be.”
Many thanks to Beezie for taking the time to answer our questions. Stay tuned for more Q&A sessions with your favorite riders!