Rotterdam, The Netherlands - Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo triumphed after a 10-rider jump off to win the Longines International Grand Prix of Rotterdam - the last day of the 2011 FEI Nations Cup Series.
In front of a sold-out arena, Madden edged out the Dutch rider Jeroen Dubbeldam, who ended up in second place on Bmc Van Grunsven Simon in a jump-off time of 39.11. Madden came in 0.8 seconds faster in a time of 38.31 seconds. German rider Carsten-Otton Nagel came in third on Corradina in a time of 40.33 seconds. Four riders jumped clear in the jump off.
"It was fantastic," Madden said of her win on her 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare. "The show grounds improved significantly and did great despite all the rain that has fallen today and over the past days," she added. "Our horses became lighter, faster and more careful."
Madden also won the overall Longines award for the leading rider - building on the strong form she has kept up throughout the summer, collecting top placings in both North America and Europe.
Sunday's grand prix hosted 47 entires, with Madden returning after the U.S. Team's disappointing Nations Cup performance on Friday to take the CSIO5* Grand Prix win.
Despite their best efforts, the Americans on Friday took sixth place, one spot behind the Belgians who along with the U.S. were lying in the relegation danger-zone. And although Belgium collected 17 faults in a high-scoring competition, the 18 collected by the Americans was simply too much, and they now join the long-resigned Danish side in the Promotional League for 2012.
Photo: Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo. Photo: Beatrice Scudo.