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Beezie Madden and Exclusive Master 1.40m at the Tampa Equestrian Festival

Tampa, FL - March 27, 2009 - It was a warm, sunny day at the Bob Thomas Equestrian Center on the Florida State Fairgrounds, where riders competed for the third day during the Tampa Bay Classic. The Tampa Bay Classic is the second week of the Tampa Equestrian Festival, a three-week horse show featuring the nations premier hunters and jumpers competing for top prizes. Today jumper riders competed in the Covered Arena in the 1.40m class, where Beezie Madden garnered the top two prizes, earning the blue ribbon with Exclusive, owned by Elizabeth Busch Burke and John Madden Sales, and the red ribbon with the Neopolitan Holding entry, Prima.

"Exclusive is a new young horse for me," smiled Madden. "We got her right after the Syracuse Invitational and we started her at Palm Beach. She won a 1.45m class there and she's placed in a lot of classes. She's a really exciting new horse for us."

Today's first course was difficult with 15 jumping efforts that included many challenging bending lines, a triple combination, and an oxer to vertical double combination. Only six riders advanced to the jump-off, which included very sharp turns and rollbacks, the double combination, and finished over a large oxer going away from the gate.

McLain Ward and Sagamore Farm's Rothchild were the first horse and rider combination to complete a faultless first round and advance to the jump-off. The pair had rails at fence eight, a single vertical, and the first jump of the double combination, for an eight fault score and the sixth place award. Leslie Howard and Hip Hop, owned by David Goodwin, were the next pair to compete over the short course, but they also had a rail at fence eight for a four fault score in 38.074 seconds for fourth place. Kent Farrington and Uceko, owned by RCG Farm LLC, were the first to complete a faultless jump-off effort, but their time of 41.463 seconds placed them in the third position.

Madden followed Farrington into the ring with her first mount Prima, posting a clear effort and beating his time by stopping the clock at 38.611 seconds to earn the second place prize. Shane Sweetnam was the next to compete in the jump-off with Triviant, owned by the Curtis Lourie Group, but the pair had a rail at fence eight and moved into the fifth place position after tripping the timers at 39.772 seconds. Madden entered the ring last with Exclusive and didn't hold back in the jump-off, allowing the mare to cut the turns and fly through the timers in a clear 38.202 seconds to capture the day's win.

"The first round was a little difficult; there weren't very many clear," explained Madden. "I was a little conservative with my first horse, Prima, because she's done a lot of running. She's kind of my main speed horse, so I didn't want to let her go in and just be fast the whole time. When we went in and took over the lead being conservative I knew that if I let Exclusive slip around at her own pace she'd probably be a little bit faster to win."

Madden will continue to compete with Exclusive next week and then she will show her at the Charlotte Jumper Classic and Spruce Meadows. Madden also hopes to take her to Europe over the summer.

Madden has enjoyed having the opportunity to show at the Tampa Equestrian Festival. "I like the facility because everything is convenient," she said. "You get to see some of the other horses and some of the other people; it's more social. They've done a beautiful job. We love to support the show and we love the Invitational; we hope everybody comes out to watch."

The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational will be held Saturday, April 4, at Raymond James Stadium, and is the finale of the Tampa Equestrian Festival. The $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational is a star-studded event featuring the top equestrians from all over the world competing for one of the largest purses in show jumping.

For more information please visit http://www.stadiumjumping.com.

Photo Credit: Beezie Madden and Exclusive win 1.40m class during the third day of the Tampa Bay Classic. Photo Rebecca Walton/PMG. Photograph may be used only in relation to this PMG press release.


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