Beezie Madden is the 2018 Longines FEI World Cup™ champion!
The wonder woman of American show jumping dominated in Paris, France aboard her veteran partner, Breitling LS (the same horse involved in the broken collarbone incident of 2014), winning all four rounds of the coveted individual championship.
It started with a win in Thursday’s opening speed leg.
Madden and the 12-year old bay stallion mastered the 13-fence course set by Spain’s Santiago Varela to take the early lead.
“It’s quite tense on the first day,” said Madden. “It’s a little bit of a juggling act, so when it all works out well it’s a big relief!”
(Historical aside: Madden also won the first leg in 2013 with Simon, the year she captured her first World Cup title.)
On Friday, the comrads of consistency put in another faultless performance to win Round II and a one rail lead going into Sunday’s Final.
Demurred our humble champion, “It’s nice to have a rail in hand, but we are really only halfway through the competition. We have two more rounds and maybe a jump-off on Sunday…it can all change a lot yet.”
(Second historical aside: defending champion McLain Ward won the first two legs of the Final in 2017, the year he won the title.)
In Round III, it was yet another foot perfect performance from the Queen. Madden and Breitling posted a clear to hold on their duck egg score going into the fourth and final round.
A rail at the B element of the triple their only fault, they closed the deal in Round IV to capture Madden’s second ever World Cup champion title!
In a week where consistency counts, the double Olympic gold medalist delivered and then some.
(Third historical aside: Ward also swept the Final in 2017.)
But for the fans paying attention, it should come as no surprise. Winning is just what Breitling LS and Madden do in 2018.
Prior to their trip to France, the amazingly consistent pair accumulated victories in each of the three competitions they showed in this year, including a victory in the qualifying class and second place finish in the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Thermal in California and two 4* Grand Prix wins in Wellington in March.
Madden’s victory today marks the fourth time in seven years that Team USA has claimed the coveted individual title. The trend started with Rich Fellers in 2012, who ended a 25 year World Cup drought for the Americans when he captured the victory with his speedy stallion Flexible. Madden picked up the torch in 2013 with Simon. Then last year, it was Ward and HH Azur.
Only this year, the Americans didn’t just win—they nearly swept the podium.
Team USA locked down three of the top four spots with World Cup rookies Devin Ryan and Eddie Blue taking second and defending champions Ward and HH Azur, fourth.
So, you could say that Team USA is the monarch of consistency. But Beezie is the reigning Queen.