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Ariat® Signs Exclusive Footwear and Apparel Sponsorship with Champion Show Jumper Beezie Madden

Union City, CA – March 13, 2008 – Ariat International, Inc. is delighted to announce their partnership with Olympic Medalist and #1 U.S. Ranking (#8 world ranking) Show Jumper, Beezie Madden. Considered by many to be one the finest American riders in the history of the sport and the quintessential role model for aspiring athletes, Beezie joins Ariat as an endorsee for their performance equestrian footwear and apparel collections. Beezie will also act as a product development consultant for the company.

“We are thrilled to partner with such an accomplished rider as Beezie Madden,” said Beth Cross, President and CEO of Ariat International. “Beezie is truly an icon, displaying a rare combination of athletic excellence, perfect sportsmanship and grace on the international stage. She is a tremendous addition to the Ariat Pro Performance Team.”

2008 has already proven to be an exciting year for Beezie Madden. She has been named to the US show jumping short list for the Olympic Games by the U.S. Equestrian Ad Hoc Committee on Selection. She will travel to Europe in the upcoming months competing with Authentic. Authentic, described by Beezie as her “once in a lifetime horse,” is a 13 year-old Dutch Warmblood named 2006 Farnman®/Platform™ USEF Horse of the Year.

Three fundamental accomplishments say it all about Beezie Madden's international success:

She was the first woman and the first American rider to ever reach the Top Three in the Show Jumping World Ranking List (achieved in 2004),

The first woman to pass the million dollar mark in show jumping earnings.

The first two-time winner of the prestigious USET Foundation Whitney Stone Cup, awarded for a distinguished record in international competition while also serving as an ambassador for equestrian sports.

Other career highlights include:

-Critical member of the U.S. jumping squad. Riding in six out of eight competitions, she anchored the team for the 2005 Samsung Super League, which the U.S. won.

-In 2005 Beezie won the $1,000,000 CN International at Spruce Meadows on Judgment and won the $200,000 American Invitational in Tampa, FL on Authentic.

In double clear rounds at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Beezie helped the U.S. win Team Gold.

-Beezie led show jumpers at the 2006 World Equestrian Games until the last rail in the Final Four jump off, resulting in an Individual Silver Medal, following up on a Team Silver for the squad.

-Named the 2005 United States Equestrian Federation “Equestrian of the Year”. Her horse Authentic was named “Show Jumping Horse of the Year”.

Beezie’s passion for the sport began at the tender age of three when she climbed on her first pony in her home state of Wisconsin. From showing ponies, Beezie began competing in equitation and the junior hunter division. In 1980, she attended the Medal and Maclay finals on a borrowed horse. That year, she finished eighth in the Medal Finals. After graduating valedictorian from Southern Seminary College in Virginia, Beezie declined admission to University of Virginia to join Katie Monahan Prudent as a working student. There she met her husband-to-be, John Madden, who was Monahan Prudent’s barn manager. Today Beezie lives on her 160-acre farm in Cazenovia, NY with her husband, who is her business partner, her horse trainer and coach.

Of her new role as Ariat spokesperson, Beezie Madden says, “I am looking forward to my new partnership. As an admirer of Ariat’s innovative product, I’m excited to endorse their footwear and apparel. Ariat is a unique partner in the industry that is passionate and aligns itself with top business industry professionals. I am proud to be part of the team.” Beezie also said that she would like to use her new position with Ariat to mentor up and coming riders. Her advice to young riders is to, “Always think about what is best for the horse. Work hard to get with the best people you can to learn from no matter what job you have to do to start with them."

Ariat will be unveiling an English brand campaign featuring Madden in the coming months.

About Ariat International, Inc.

Ariat International, Inc. is a leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, apparel, handbags and belts. Featuring a patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat pioneered the application of advanced athletic shoe technology into English riding boots and authentic Western boots. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800.899.8141 or visit http://www.ariat.com.

 

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