Beezie Madden and Authentic Are True to Form for Victory in Grand Prix of Tampa
Tampa, FL – April 1, 2007 –The $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa, CSI-W, presented by Kilkenny Insurance Agency was the highlight of the final day of the Tampa Bay Classic, the ninth week of competition at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF). Beezie Madden, one of America’s top ranked riders, and her championship partner Authentic flew to the win and the prize money of $22,500. They won over Richard Spooner on Cristallo and Laura Kraut with Anthem.
Today’s masterful course was set by Great Britain’s Robert Ellis and featured 13 numbered obstacles. It was good preparation for riders that will be attending this year’s Rolex FEI World Cup Finals in Las Vegas just three weeks from now. Madden said, “I just told him that all week he did a beautiful job. I think the jump-offs were all interesting. There was usually an option to go inside or around, and it was super preparation for a championship.”
Eight riders were clear through to the jump-off out of 43 entries. Laurie Bucci (CAN) and Cavalor Catesko, who were the first to go in the class, had no jumping faults, but accrued one time fault to leave her in ninth place. McLain Ward and Larioso were the fastest four-faulters.
It took 20 trips until the crowd saw their first clean round from Molly Ashe and Kroon Gravin. Ashe was the first to return for the jump-off and kept a forward pace throughout. Kroon Gravin struggled to get out of the two-stride and brought rails down. They finished the course with no problem and had four faults in a time of 47.71 seconds.
Kraut and Anthem, who immediately followed Ashe in the first round, were next in to the jump-off. Kraut took her time through the first few turns, but made a sharp turn heading to the final bending line home. Anthem’s natural speed carried them through the timers in 45.35 seconds with a clear round.
Richard Spooner was next to appear with Cristallo, a nine-year-old Holsteiner gelding. Spooner lived up to his nickname of “Master of Faster” as he left out a stride in the first line, and Cristallo blazed through the course. They had a slip going into the two stride, but Cristallo made it clear. They brought the leading time down to 43.56 seconds and took the lead.
Lauren Hough and Casadora had a smooth jump-off course, but two rails for eight faults in 44.36 seconds left them in seventh place at the end of the class. Kate Levy and Vent du Nord saw the same fate as rails fell at fence number four and 12b. Their slower time of 47.75 seconds put them in eighth place.
Ken Berkley and Carlos Boy took their time through the course and galloped down the last line. Carlos Boy jumped his usual lofty style and left all the fences up. They crossed the timers in 47.50 seconds, which was good for fourth place.
Madden was next in line with Authentic. From the very start, Madden was going for the win. She and Authentic copied Spooner’s first line by leaving a stride out, but they opted for an inside turn to a sharp slice across the third jump. They flew through the remainder of the jump-off and the winning time of 42.99 seconds flashed on the scoreboard as the crowd went wild. “He was a little more relaxed for the jump-off. He was fresh the first round, which I knew he would be. I didn’t really prepare him like I would for a championship,” Madden explained. “I wanted to practice going fresh with him and going for the win.”
The final entry in the jump-off was Cara Cheska, who was competing in the first Sunday grand prix of her career, on King. Cheska added to the second jump and King caught the top rail with his front legs for four faults. They finished in 50.98 seconds for sixth place.
Spooner, who is from Agua Dulce, CA, said he came to Florida to show “for a number of reasons,” and went on to say, “I wanted to try and qualify for the Invitational, and I also wanted to do the 300,000 euro class in Palm Beach. There was over $700,000 prize money in a three-week span, which is double the prize money we’d be jumping for in California.”
Spooner has had Cristallo since he was five and said, “I thought he handled it easily [today]. There’s nothing that he can’t jump, that I’ve found. He can jump anything and he’s fast and careful. He’s an exceptional horse.” Spooner plans to compete with Cristallo at the Budweiser American Invitational and the World Cup Finals, for which he is qualified through his second place standing on the West Coast.
By competing with Authentic today, Madden will be able to show him in this year’s World Cup Final, which will be Authentic’s first time at the final. She will also show him in the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational this Saturday.
The grand finale of the Winter Equestrian Festival is the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational, which will be held in Raymond James Stadium on Saturday, April 7, at 7 p.m. General admission tickets, which range from $25 to $40 for advance purchase, are still available by calling 877-909-9436.
Results of Class 100 $75,000 Grand Prix of Tampa
Tampa Bay Classic
March 28 - April 1, 2007
T/A: 82.00 T/A: 53.00
1 73 AUTHENTIC BEEZIE MADDEN USA 0.00 76.99 0.00 42.99 $22500
ABIGAIL S. WEXNER
2 10 CRISTALLO RICHARD SPOONER USA 0.00 81.80 0.00 43.56 $16500
SHOW JUMPING SYN.I
3 734 ANTHEM LAURA KRAUT USA 0.00 79.55 0.00 45.35 $9750
4 232 CARLOS BOY KEN BERKLEY USA 0.00 80.71 0.00 47.50 $6000
5 427 KROON GRAVIN MOLLY ASHE USA 0.00 78.85 4.00 47.71 $4500
6 587 KING CARA CHESKA USA 0.00 79.35 4.00 50.98 $3750
7 623 CASADORA LAUREN HOUGH USA 0.00 78.34 8.00 44.36 $3000
8 495 VENT DU NORD KATE LEVY USA 0.00 80.02 8.00 47.45 $2250
KATE LEVY LLC
9 436 CAVALOR CATESKO LAURIE BUCCI CAN 1.00 83.86 $2250
SOUTH SHORE FARM
10 712 LARIOSO MCLAIN WARD USA 4.00 77.21 $1500
11 280 REDEFIN IAN MILLAR CAN 4.00 78.26 $1500
12 78 LORD G CARA RAETHER USA 4.00 78.55
Photo Credit: Beezie Madden and Authentic, winners of the $75,000 Tampa Bay Classic, CSI-W, presented by Kilkenny. Photo © 2007 Randi Muster.
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