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Beezie Madden Takes Top Honors in $5,000 Open Jumper Classes

Lexington, KY - May 6, 2009 - Beezie Madden would not be stopped by rain during the opening of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. The Olympic gold medalist was victorious in two classes in the new outdoor stadium at the Kentucky Horse Park. First, Madden competed with Prima in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper class and had a wire-to-wire victory. She then went on to ride in the $5,000 1.45m Open Jumper class where she was the last entry with Exclusive, who had the fastest double clear round.

"It was a very good day," smiled Madden. " They've all had a little break so it was nice to see that they came back and didn't forget how to do it!"

Richard Jeffery designed today's courses, and both included a swedish oxer over a liverpool, a vertical to oxer double combination, a triple combination with an oxer and two verticals, and an optional water jump. The 1.40m Open Jumper class was scored under Section 1, a Timed First Round. The 1.45m Open Jumper class was scored under Section 2b, an Immediate Jump-Off. Today's Jump-Off course began over a single vertical followed by a large oxer with a long roll back to a single vertical. Riders then continued to the double combination and finished over a skinny vertical rolling back to a large vertical.

The 1.40m Open Jumper class was the first to compete in the new outdoor stadium, with Madden and Prima, owned by Neapoliton Holding of Naples, FL, at the top of the order. The pair would post a time that was unmatchable, slipping through the timers in 60.11 seconds, and leaving all the rails in their cups. Mario Deslauriers and Tigger, owned by Jane Clark of New York, NY, were the next duo to complete a clear round, but their time of 62.507 would fall just short of Madden and Prima, earning them the second place position.

Next to make a bid for the lead would be Todd Minikus, of Loxahatchee, FL, riding Ultimo Van Ter Doude. The pair was clean and fast, tripping the timers in 69.457 seconds to place fourth in the class. The next horse and rider combination to leave all the rails in the cups would be Shane Sweetnam and Saphir. Saphir is owned by Spy Coast Farm of East Setauket, NY. The pair came very close to catching Deslauriers' time after crossing the finish line in just 62.822 seconds and taking over the third place position, securing Madden's wire-to-wire victory.

"I was really happy about my round with Prima," expressed Madden. "It was quite smooth. My plan was really not to go for broke, but she's so naturally fast that when I'm smooth and uninterrupted she covers the ground so fast that she is hard to beat; even when I'm just letting her go along, she wants to go fast anyway."

After her win with Prima in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper class Madden, of Cazenovia, NY, moved on to compete in the 1.45m Open Jumper class where she earned the blue ribbon with Exclusive, as well as fourth and fifth place honors. Madden entered the ring first with Crème Brule, owned by Abigail Wexner of New Albany, OH, and the pair produced clear jumping efforts during the first round and jump-off. Their fast time off 41.988 seconds vaulted them to the lead during the beginning of the class, but as the competition continued, they earned the fourth place award. Madden then competed with Comtess III, owned by Trelawny Farm of Stonybrook, NY. After completing a clear first round she advanced to the jump-off where she attempted to beat her own time. The pair was clean but Comtess III tripped the timers in 42.228 seconds, just behind Crème Brule to earn the pink ribbon.

Mario Deslauriers successfully challenged Madden's lead with Ardeche Van De Zelm, owned by Lisa Silverman of New York, NY. The duo produced a fault-free effort in the first round and jump-off, and stopped the clock in 41.553 seconds, just passing Madden and Crème Brule. Their victory was short lived as Todd Minikus and Romy, owned by the Diamond Group of Loxahatchee, FL, advanced to the jump-off and also left all the jumps standing. The pair tripped the timers in 40.966 to take over the lead, but Madden was not beat yet and Minikus would eventually earn the second place ribbon.

Madden and Exclusive were the last entry to compete in the new outdoor stadium during the opening day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show and they made their mark. After an effortless first round the pair advanced to the jump-off and again left all the rails in their cups. Madden and Exclusive raced through the finish line in 40.713 seconds, passing Minikus and Romy, and earning Madden's second blue ribbon of the day.

"Exclusive's a winner," Madden laughed. "She is a lot like Prima, I don't have to think about going really fast. I was just trying to be as smooth as I could today. I didn't want to rattle her brain because she's already an excited horse that wants to go fast. She's just so naturally fast and quick on the turns and quick through the air that she ends up on top."

Although there were a number of horses that went clear during today's jump-off, Madden did not feel that the track was simple. "I think that the second jump was a little difficult because to be fast you had to slice it," she explained. "It was an oxer going away from the gate, so that was a little hard. Then you had to run across the middle of the arena over to the double combination so that was a little difficult. I think I was a little lucky there because she hit the jump but it stayed up."

Today was the first opportunity that Madden has had to compete on the new OTTO Riding Arena Mat system that was installed in the new outdoor stadium and she was very happy with the experience. "Thank god we had it today with all the rain we had," she said. "With this footing you couldn't even tell it had rained. In fact, I think the rain helped it. It's certainly a huge improvement."

Tomorrow the Kentucky Spring Horse Show will continue with the $30,000 Hagyard Lexington Classic at 5 p.m. in the new outdoor stadium. This event is part of the Hagyard Challenge Series, sponsored by the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, and consists of seven grand prix show jumping competitions. The series concludes in September at the Kentucky National Indoor Horse Show, and a $50,000 Leading Rider Bonus will be presented after the $50,000 CSI-W Lexington Grand Prix to the rider who accumulates the most points throughout the series.

For more information on the Kentucky Spring Horse Shows please go to http://www.kentuckyhorseshows.com.

To learn more about the Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, please go to http://www.hagyard.com.

Photo Credit: Beezie Madden had a wire-to-wire victory aboard Prima in the $5,000 1.40m Open Jumper class during the opening day of the Kentucky Spring Horse Show. Photo: Rebecca Walton Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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