How do you know if your horse is ready to defend his Longines FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final title?
If you’re USA’s Beezie Madden, you ask him—with a mock final.
Winner of the 2018 World Cup Final, the second of her career, Madden intends to defend her title with Breitling LS next month in Göteborg, Sweden. She used week 9’s CSI 5* at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL to test the preparedness of her mount.
“I really used this week as a prep for the World Cup Finals,” explained the current world #8 ranked rider.
“I do plan on taking [Breitling to the Final] and so in the first day, even in the 1.45m, I went a little fast with him, and then I had the WEF [Challenge Cup on Thursday] and [Saturday’s Grand Prix], so I wanted him to jump enough rounds in the week that I’m sure he’s fit enough.”
Spread over five days, the World Cup Final features a speed class in the first competition (on Thursday), a jump off class in the second competition (on Friday), and a two-round grand prix for the third (on Sunday).
“I’m really happy with [Breitling’s fitness],” said the double Olympic team gold medalist. “I think he could have jumped another round or two [on Saturday]. This is his last prep before the World Cup, so I think we’re good to go.”
Their double clear performance in the $391,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate Grand Prix CSI 5* at WEF supports that claim.
“I’m just really thrilled with his performance,” continued Madden. “I thought in the first round, he was excellent. In the jump-off, I think I was right on it when I flew across the middle and jumped that vertical so fast. I thought I should take a little care to the next and I throttled down a little bit too much, but I couldn’t be happier with the way the night went.”
Madden and the 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion finished third in the Grand Prix. Come April 3–7 in Göteborg, they’ll be looking for her third FEI World Cup title, a feat only achieved by four riders in history—Hugo Simon (AUS), Rodrigo Pessoa (BRA), Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum (GER) and Marcus Ehning (GER).
American riders have won four of the past seven World Cup Finals. In 2018, team USA took the first, second (Devon Ryan) and fourth (McLain Ward) places at the Final in Paris.