Moreland Hills, OH - Beezie Madden and the 12-year-old Belgian warmblood, Coral Reef Via Vo, owned by Coral Reef Ranch, took top honors in the 23-horse field of the American Gold Cup FEI World Cup Qualifier. The very competitive field representing the United States, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Hungary, and Russia included many riders preparing for next month’s World Equestrian Games.
Only five horses went clean in the first round over the Steve Stephens-designed course. The second-to-last obstacle in the course of 17 jumping efforts, a blue and white triple combination, caused rails for nearly half of the field. Four horses did not complete the first round.
In the exciting jump-off no one had a clean round. Madden and Brianne Goutal each accumulated four jumping faults, but Madden was 1.2 seconds faster with 39.94 seconds to clinch the top spot. Goutal, aboard the 14-year-old Dutch warmblood Onira, owned by Remarkable Farms LP, finished second with a time of 41.14 seconds. Goutal also finished in sixth place with Nice De Prissey, owned by Cloverleaf Farm.
Margie Engle, aboard Gladewinds Farm’s Indigo, finished third with eight jumping faults and a time of 40.66 seconds. Finishing fourth was Karen Cudmore, aboard Blair Cudmore’s Southern Pride, with 11 jumping faults and a time of 50.48 seconds. Katie McVean, of New Zealand, finished fifth aboard her horse Delphi with 12 jumping faults and a time of 46.81 seconds.
Following the awards ceremony, Madden left for the airport to catch a flight to Amsterdam, but on the way out she commented, “This mare is an exciting new horse, I’ve only had her since February. We had a good gallop going when we caught the block (on a wall) in the jump-off. The course was tough to jump clear; it was overall a tough course, which is good. World Cup Qualifiers should be tough. The triple was especially tough with the oxer to verticle to oxer and challenging because it was right against the rail, near the spectators.”
Goutal had a lot to say about Onira, “He’s my knight in shining armor. I’ve been with him for seven years. He has a ton of personality, but he’s very serious in the ring. He is sweet, lively, and energetic. Around the barn we call him The Prince. He was really fast today and he tried really hard. The course was bigger than I had expected, but after this course we should all be prepared for the World Cup. This is my second year at this show and I will keep coming back because it is easy to get to, the management is great, the footing is amazing, and the crowds have great enthusiasm.”
The exciting American Gold Cup was a qualifier for the FEI World Cup to be held in Leipzig, Germany in April 2011. This final class wrapped up the two-week Cleveland Autumn Jumper Series. For more information or results visit www.stadiumjumping.com.
Photo: American Gold Cup Winner Beezie Madden Aboard Coral Reef Via Vo Credit: David Mullinix