Sound Bites from the WEG - Jumper Riders Analyze Their Rounds: Speed Class
By Charlene Strickland
Over the challenging courses of the speed class and Nations Cup, U.S. jumper riders have kept the team in third place. Beezie Madden and Authentic hold the leading rider position. We've been “catching” the U.S. riders after their rounds, for their quick analysis of how they handled the course. Experience what they report, fresh from the saddle, in this collection of selected sound bites.
Margie Engle, riding Hidden Creek's Quervo Gold: “The biggest factor was I tried to go too fast with what he's comfortable doing. I went forward to the double, and he got undone. Once I slowed down again, he went beautifully. “In the beginning and end of the course, he was fantastic.”
McLain Ward, riding Sapphire in his first World Championship: “The course is big and difficult, but fair. “This course lent itself to leaving out strides. “Every day, every event, we've planned for this event for the last 2 years. This is for me what heaven should be—it's like Yankee Stadium.”
Beezie Madden, riding Authentic, speed class winner: “He was jumping beautifully. His rideability stayed great. “I have the advantage of riding a naturally quick horse. I try to let him get quick away from the fences. “This show is over the top. Aachen is always a big show. “Here we need to be in the top 25, and this counts for the team. There's a lot more pressure right out of the starting gate.
“My horse jumped the water great. He has enough adjustability that I could add a stride after the water so he could jump the double a little easier.”
Watching her speed round from the stands, chef d'equipe George Morris let out a series of loud whoops to celebrate. Later he explained his strategy: “I put Margie first with the strategy because with that horse I did not want him to go super fast because tomorrow he'd be a little above himself. He's a very good jumper.
“Laura [Kraut, riding Miss Independent] has a quicker horse, so I was building into Beezie. Laura kept the same strategy. “That mare has a very big stride. The mare is very fresh. “That mare is a slow-motion mare—she's not a rabbit.”
“Beezie epitomizes what I preach, the forward seat, so I put her in as the anchor on this leg. It was impeccable, and she won the class. He summarized the class as “a sort of up and down day. It could have gone worse, and it could have gone better,” he said, chuckling. “This speed round was a big step in the right direction. You have to walk the quality track in the first leg.”
Jumper Riders Analyze Their Rounds: Second Rating Competition
By Charlene Strickland
Aachen, Germany, 30 August. U.S. riders share more sound bites after their rides, this time from the first part of the Nations Cup. The U.S. team is in third place so far.
Margie Engle: tape 17
“He wanted to be clear today. “The speed is a harder part for him. He's got a ton of scope and is totally brave. He'll be great over the rest. He's one of the best water jumpers I've ever had. “If I keep him in rhythm, the size and width are not really a problem.”
Laura Kraut on Miss Independent: “She felt super. “The distance in the combination was a little bit short 2 [A] to a long 1 [B]. She jumped so high over A it was almost an extra leg in 1. “It's the World Championships. The jumps are really big. The last plank fence is taller than I am, 1 meter 62. It's big. I'm glad I found that out now! “I couldn't be more pleased with her. In her mind, she thinks she was clear.”
Beezie Madden, still the leading rider in the 114-horse competition: “It can't be more exciting than to be in front of this crowd here.” About Authentic, who she called “a great horse,” she said, “Mrs. [Abigail] Wexner bought him after Athens, to keep him in the States. She also owns De Silvio and Integrity. She is a dream owner.”
And what about riding under the stadium's floodlights Thursday night? “George just discussed with us to have the horses not too fresh under the lights.” George Morris: “They have to be very careful. “I was surprised today. Yesterday it was a great track, but not as difficult as far as scope.
“I will tell them I expect 3 or 4 clear rounds, period. I can't tell them how to do it, as this stage of the game. They have good horses and are top professionals.”
He expressed surprise about the good showing of the Ukraine and Belgium teams, and that the French weren't performing up to expectations. And he called Madden “one of my heroes. She exemplifies what is done correctly. She demonstrates the American forward seat.”