Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Update from Olympic Gold Medalist Beezie Madden (USA) on her European Tour
May 17, 2010--We just finished our first Super League competition in La Baule, France, as a team and the Americans did extremely well. The team consisted of myself with Mademoiselle, McLain Ward with Sapphire, Richard Spooner with Cristallo, Mario Deslauriers with Urico and Hillary Dobbs with Quincy B. We all had additional horses there for classes other than the Nations Cup and Grand Prix. We finished second in the Nations Cup to the home team of France and McLain won the Grand Prix with Sapphire. Mario finished just behind him in second with Urico. In addition, McLain won two other classes with a new horse, I won a 1.50m class with Via Volo, and Richard Spooner won the Derby with Pako. McLain ended up the Leading Gentleman Rider of the show, and I was the Leading Lady Rider.
I was pleased with Mademoiselle’s performance since she was third the first day in the qualifier for the Grand Prix and then had just four faults in the Grand Prix. Our chef de equip, George Morris, chose not to have me ride on the Nations Cup this week, but based on Mademoiselle’s performance in La Baule, he plans on having me on the Nations Cup team in Rome. I hope she and I can have a great performance there to boost her chances of making the team for the WEG in October. Since she is a new partner for me and she finished ninth in the rankings, she needs to come on strong now to make up some ground on the others.
Since I haven’t written in a while, I would like to give a brief summary of what the horses have been doing. Danny Boy and Mademoiselle both had a few weeks of light work after the Florida Circuit. They traveled to Lexington, KY instead of home with our other horses, so they could be there for the test event at the horse park during the Rolex Three Day Event the last week in April. I planned to compete with them in two competitions there, but due to inclement weather, the first one on Saturday night was cancelled. That meant that Sunday was my only chance to get them into the stadium. Luckily, they both were very comfortable in it. Danny Boy won the Grand Prix and Mademoiselle was fifth. Obviously, the course was not as big as what it will be at the WEG, but I was relieved to know that both horses liked the venue.
From there they went home for one week and then flew to Europe. They stayed about three days at our base in Holland, at Johan Heins’s stable, and then traveled by van to LaBaule. Right now, Danny Boy is in Torino waiting to compete there this week, and Mademoiselle is in Milan for one week of R&R before her next competition in Rome. More to come after Rome!