Dramatic Final Competiton for Showjumping Individual Gold at The FEI World Equestrian Games Aachen 2006

Karen Robinson for HorsesDaily®.com

Can Beezie Hang On?

It wasn’t quite by the skin of her teeth that Beezie Madden managed to stay in the number one position in the individual top 25 competition, but it certainly wasn’t a cake walk. Only two clears in the first and bigger of the two rounds was perhaps a shock to riders and spectators alike. Early in the group, Edwina Alexander of Australia on Isovlas Pialotta made the course look quite rideable with the first clear round.

But horse after horse followed, and the majority took not one but two rails. Jos Lansink and Cumano would be the only other pair to go clear in the first round. For both riders, a clear second round would provide exceptional trips up the leader board, right to the final four.

The Dutch crowd were devastated by Jeroen Dubbeldam’s and Gerco Schröder’s rides. Eight fault first rounds and four in the second took both of them from comfortable positions in the top four down to eleventh and sixth. But the shock from the German crowd far exceeded any disappointment heard all day, when Ludger Beerbaum took down a fence in each of the two rounds, to knock himself out of contention. A similar fate befell McLain Ward, whose lovely clear second round couldn’t compensate for the eight faults he took in the first. He would end the day out of the running, in seventh place.

Read the rest of Karen Robinson's gripping report on the FEI World Equestrian Games Aachen 2006 - Showjumping Final....