Beezie Madden and Mademoiselle took out the weekend’s World Cup jumping qualifier in Florida, with a win in the two-star $50,000 Grand Prix of Tampa CSI.
competition was fierce on the concluding day of the Tampa Bay Classic as the nation’s top competitors strived to pave their way to the 2012 World Cup Finals in ‘s-Hertogenbosch in The Netherlands. It was the last opportunity for riders to qualify for the impending World Cup Finals, and the battle came down to two as Madden and Margie Engle fought to the finish. Madden and Mademoiselle beat Engle’s jump-off time by only six-tenths of a second.
Only two riders were able to complete the first round on the Michel Vaillancourt course without fault and advance to the short track.
Engle was the first to master the first round aboard Pauly Du Bruel, and therefore entered the ring first as the jump-off commenced. The pair began with a speedy pace, moving forward through the course with ease. The duo knocked down a rail after taking the vertical from the rollback, a sigh resounded from the audience as it became clear that Engle may have sealed her fate. They finished with a four-fault total keeping all remaining rails in their cups, and tripping the timer at 42.66 seconds.
When Beezie Madden entered the ring with her mount, the 15-year-old Mademoiselle, she knew that all she had to do was complete a clear round to go to the top of the leader board. The pair opted to still slice turns; however, they began with a slower pace than Engle, trying to be conservative and yet efficient as they expertly navigated the course. At the double combination, Madden’s plan suddenly changed, conservative turned into a need for speed as the pair had an unlucky rail. She knew that it would need to make a faster time than Engle to earn the top spot and the chance to go to the World Cup Finals. They crossed the finish line with a time of 42.01 seconds.
“I think Margie was a little faster in the beginning. My plan was to keep myself in contention if I had a rail down in the beginning, but I was already a little bit into the jump-off by the time I had the rail, it was a good thing I had the end of the ring. ”
Engle described the scene as she watched Madden jump the double combination: “I saw when Beezie hit the fence in the combination that she suddenly was flying after that. Her turn after the combination to the wall definitely sliced some time off and allowed her to move in front of me. It was a great class and a lot of fun, I knew it was going to be difficult to beat Beezie going in, but more than anything I was pleased with how well my horse did.”
Madden also was thrilled with her mount. The duo has been working together since the beginning of 2010 and has begun to grow an extensive resume. “She has been a super horse to have,” Madden said.
At the beginning of the fall circuit, Madden had wanted to give herself the option of having the World Cup Finals, but it was not until after the Olympic Trials that she decided her heart was set on it. “I made it a priority to come here for this class. I decided that I needed to qualify for the World Cup more than anything – it took precedence. In hindsight, I could have probably still qualified without the class, but I couldn’t risk somebody moving up over me.”
It is a good thing Madden did not skip the class, because even though Engle was right on her tail, Charlie Jayne and Uraya also proved to be a possible threat. He piloted his mount to the fastest four-fault time, claiming the third place honors. Nick Dello Joio rode Geledimar Z and Notre Star de la Nutria to the fourth and fifth place positions, respectively. Friday night’s Welcome Stake winner Molly Ashe-Cawley and Carissimo snatched the sixth place position with her four-fault round and speedy time.