LEXINGTON, Ky.--After spending the summer training with Beezie Madden and showing jumpers in Europe, Madison Goetzmann returned to the states to train with Stacia Madden of Colts Neck, N.J., training that paid off with her first victory in a national championship as she won the ASPCA Maclay Championship at the National Horse Show in Lexington on Nov. 5.
Riding San Remo VDL, Goetzmann went 128th in the first round on Saturday and finished second on the standby list behind Jordyn Rose Freedman.
The top 25 returned Sunday for the flat phase, which was divided into three sections, and a final round over fences.
Judges Ralph Caristo and Bernie Traurig tested the juniors in the flat phase with a variety of tests, including a counter-canter, flying changes, a hand gallop. extension and collection at both the trot and canter and riding without stirrups, and after the flat phase Goetzmann moved into first in the standings.
Tests in the final round over fences included fences with false ground lines, a hand gallop across the diagonal two counter canter fences and a trot fence.
Goetzmann's mount, 17-year-old San Remo VDL, is a seasoned veteran having carried a number of different riders to
Ffinals wins at Washingon and Capital Challenge.
FREEDMAN was reserve champion with Grady Lyman placing third.
"Honestly, I tear up just thinking about it," said Goetzmann, who was in tears during the awards ceremony. "My trainer also won this final, which makes it a really special win. It's just incredible. It was a dream of mine to win."
Stacia Madden won the Maclay in 1987 and this year was awarded the Maclay Trainer Award.
"I think the jumpers have helped me learn to deal with the pressure," said Goetzmann. "I was anxious last night being second for both the Maclay and U25, (the jumper championship for riders under 25), but Beezie has helped me a lot. She has been an anchor rider for many teams, and she's really helped me learn how to slow things down and stay focused."
"San Remo VDL is a very special horse," said Goetzmann. "It's hard for me to take credit for all of this because really he is the one who helped me get where I am right now. I first started riding him in late August, and we started off with a win. For me, riding this horse has been a big deal because I know what a huge part of the family he is at Beacon Hill. He is really a championship horse, and I am glad I could give him the win he deserves."
"The course rode just as it walked," she said. "The only question really was the last line as an eight or seven. As the round went on we decided to just do the seven because historically San Remo has a big stride, and there was no way he was spooking at the last fence."
"IT WAS A beautiful thing to watch it all come together," said Madden. "For me, I knew that she had the ability to have the composure, the focus and the basics. She is very focused on being the best rider that she can be. We made an executive decision to sell her equitation horse so that she could focus on the jumpers, but she has also kept with the equitation. She spent a lot of time in Europe over the summer, which was an unbelievable experience for her. Equitation teaches you about discipline and track and all of the things that make you fast in a jump-off. I'm really happy that this ended up so well for her. Winning the finals is the end result of a good plan, hard work and everything coming together."
"Madison is one of my best friends, since we were on ponies, and once they said we were the top two I was just so happy, no matter how it went," said Freedman. "I came out of the ring crying after the second round because I was just so happy that I kept it together."
"My plan was just to do everything my trainer told me to do to the best of my ability," said Freedman. "When I was at the gate, Linda [Langmeier, her trainer] reminded me that the last line was a seven, but I wasn't feeling very sure about it because I hadn't seen anyone do it. I was nervous to jump the last line, but Linda was right as always."
"Going into the ring, I had my plan set, but as the course went on I needed to change my plan a little bit," said Lyman.. "Going to fence seven, my horse flipped his tongue over his bit, and I lost a little bit of control, so I had to work my way around that. Coming into the last line, I had planned to do the seven but I added the eight to have a little more control."
"They were both head-to-head right through this whole competition," said Caristo. "Really, the deciding factor was the flat work. Jordyn's was a little different from Madison's, and that made a difference. It really came down to the last round, and they were both fantastic. In the end, we decided to choose Madison, but either one of them would be considered a champion today."
"I think we both felt that as soon as Madison picked up the canter, from the first jump to the last jump, she just performed very confidently," said Caristo. "We just watched her. We didn't even mark the card because she didn't make any mistake that required it, and we just looked at one another and said, 'That's it, no test.'"