Coming from behind to tie the Brazilians for first in the second round of the Nations Cup at Spruce Meadows in Canada on Sept. 9, Beezie Madden had to lay down a clean and fast round in a jump-off to win the class for the U.S
"It was exciting," said chef d'equipe Robert Ridland. "Every win is great, but some are even better."
"We had a good team, but the Brazilians had had a good start and were firmly in the lead after the first round, but it's a two round class, and we've had more come from behind wins," said Ridland.
After the first round, Brazil led with 0 faults, Germany was second with four faults and the U.S. was tied for third with Canada on eight faults.
Lauren Hough on Waterford, Charlie Jacobs on Cassinja and Lillie Keenan on Fibonacci each had four faults, but Madden on Darry Lou was clean, so that dropped one of the four faults, leaving the U.S. on eight.
"We felt we had four solid rounds the first round so there was not a whole lot to fix in the second round, and we figured we could fix things," said Ridland."So many times in a Nations Cup, the second round isn't free; it doesn't ride like the first round. More often than not, things change in the second round, so we expected this outcome."
"The other three knew what they needed to do, and they did it," said Ridland. "We waited in the clubhouse for the rest of the field to come back to us."
"We knew halfway through the second round that we might be in a jump-off," said Ridland.
And in fact, they were in a jump-off - in the second round, Hough and Jacobs put in clean rounds and, although Keenan had a rail down, Madden put in another beautiful, clean round to leave the U.S. with a two round total of eight.
Meanwhile, the Brazilians also had two rails for a total of eight, leaving Brazil and the U.S. tied, and the Germans added five faults for a total of nine, to take the bronze medal.
Madden was first to go in the jump-off, and she laid down a quick, clean trick, and then Brazil's Pedro Jungueira Muylaert on Prince Royal Z MFS had a slip on course that cost him time, and Madden had the faster time.
"BEEZIE laid down a great trip in the jump-off," said Ridland. "We wanted to make sure the pressure was on them, and she did that. Not only did she go clean, she also made great turns, so the pressure was on them."
"I thought I had some very good turns, and a little bit of foot speed, but I thought my horse could beat on foot speed." said Madden.. "My plan going first was to put in a real solid round that they had to go a little to beat. I probably left the door a little open, but I made him go a little too which was the goal."
"I'm so excited for this horse," said Madden. "He is a new one for me, and he is only 9-years-old. This was the first time I went really fast with him and over big jumps in a jump-off ,so I am so happy with him."
"It doesn't get any better than a jump-off," said Ridland. "To see what all four of them did, and for Beezie to clinch the win in a jump-off in indescribable. We had to crawl up the ladder a bit as Brazil set the bar early on, but that's why it is a two round class, and they did the job."
"It was a great class," said Ridland. "There were over 80,000 spectators. This was a big feather in this team's cap. It was a solid team effort."