Beezie Madden: And That’s Two!
The AccorHotels Arena seems to bring good luck to the female American riders. Thirty-one years after Katharine Burdsall and The Natural, when this arena was still called Palais Omnisport Paris Bercy, another woman from the United States was crowned winner of the 40th final of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping.
Beezie Madden led this competition from beginning to end despite the small fault of Breitling LS in the middle of the second round: “When I had the fence down I got a little nervous but I told myself to just go on calmly and trust my horse.” But these four points were nothing dramatic because Swede Henrik von Eckermann had just done the same thing … for the opposite reason: “I put too much pressure on Mary Lou on this fence. If I had just trusted her quality it would not have happened. I owe my career choice to Ludger Beerbaum whom I saw for the first time in Gothenburg when I was 14 years old. He won the final whereas I am third for the second time. But I will try again next year”…
Devin Ryan (USA) & Eddie Blue
The Swede had indeed to concede the second place he had since Friday to the American Devin Ryan whose horse, the young Eddie Blue, barely 9 years old, was the only one to not touch a single fence during the whole week; his time fault from the second day cost him dearly: “But I am very proud to find myself for the first time on a world podium, next to Beezie Madden who is a rider we all respect, it’s almost like a victory. I hope this result will make our national coach want to think of me for the selections for the Tryon World Equestrian Games.”
This Longines FEI World Cup Final usually results in a confrontation between the United States and Europe, this time the US Equestrian Team has clearly won the game with three riders among the top four, the European riders occupying five more Top 10 positions where there is also a Colombian. Two former winners of the event, Daniel Deusser and Steve Guerdat, unhappy after the second day (15th and 19th), made a beautiful recovery and both finish in the Top 10 (8th and 10th). Together with Devin Ryan, they did not touch a single fence during this last day.
The French camp was less happy as only Roger Yves Bost could start again in the second round with Sangria du Coty as the mare cleared all the fences. A performance she could not reiterate though (9 points) leaving the French in 13th place in the final ranking.
This comeback to the AccorHotels Arena was an absolute success, a bet held with superb by the GL events Equestrian Sport team. The doors of this Longines FEI World Cup are closing for the summer and the outside season is ready to start. The 41st World Cup season will be back in October and it will of course come to Lyon in November (also organized by GL events Equestrian Sport) and Bordeaux in February to conclude this time again in Gothenburg (Sweden, from 3 to 7 April). The history of this magnificent and historic circuit is not over.
Beezie Madden (USA) & Breitling
Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden (USA), 1st: “When I had the fence down I got a little nervous but I told myself to just go on calmly. It was the first championship for Breitling and it was really exciting to bring him here. I knew he could do well but I certainly did not expect him to win. Today he proved himself. To win two World Cup finals is pretty amazing. I love the World Cup because it is my annual championships so each year it is a goal to get there and to win. I think it is really important to keep the championships like this going which is possible thanks to Longines.”
Devin Ryan (USA) & Eddie Blue
Devin Ryan (USA), 2nd: “These are my first championships, I am quite new to this level and I am still learning. It is fantastic to be in second place just behind Beezie who is a legend in our country as is McLain Ward who placed 4th. I am proud to be an American today and to be riding alongside these amazing riders. It is true that Eddie Blue did not touch a fence during this whole championship, he jumps clear very often. He won the 5-year-old as well as the 6-year-old finals in the States, he won five Grand Prix last year and won his first one at 7. So, I think his track record shows that he is a very careful and great horse.”
Henrik von Eckermann (SWE) & Toveks Mary Lou
Henrik Von Eckermann (SWE), 3rd: “It was fantastic through the whole weekend and this fault tonight was my mistake because Mary Lou jumped great as always. I came too close to the fence and pulled her a little too much causing the fault. If I had just trusted her quality it would not have happened. So, I am quite angry with myself, because she would absolutely win this final and it is me who lost it a little but it is how it is now and we will try again next year.”
Source: Press Release by Solenn Rispail / Agence R&B Presse for GL Events
Photos: © PSV / J. Morel for GL Events