Bronze for Beezie! Madden Outruns Six in Jump-Off for Individual Medal at 2008 Olympic Games
RELEASE: August 21, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: Joanie Morris
Hong Kong, China – Under the unsettled skies of the impending typhoon the individual medals were decided by not one but two jump-offs. America’s Beezie Madden and Authentic out ran six other combinations to be the fastest of the four faulters to win her first Indivdual medal.
Authentic (Shannon Brinkman)
“In the Olympics there is usually a jump off for medals,” said Madden. “So we expected it. When it ended up being seven to jump off for the bronze it made for a very exciting day.”
Canada’s Eric Lamaze rode Hickstead to another clear round in the jump-off for Gold and Rolf-Goran Bengtsson and Ninja had one down in the Gold medal jump-off to end up with Silver for Sweden. They were the only two combinations to jump clear in both rounds. Hickstead jumped four out of five clear rounds (plus he jumped off for the team medals) throughout the entire competition. Lamaze won the first individual show jumping gold medal for Canada.
“I have all the confidence that he will go clear,” said Lamaze of the brilliant jumping Hickstead.
Authentic did have the final part of the triple combination down in the second round but four faults was good enough to return to the ring to jump off for the bronze.
Authentic has a reputation for being very, very fast. Their time of 35.25 was the fastest of the three clears in the Bronze medal jump-off. Madden made a risky move, jumping over some brush to shave seconds off her time. It made the difference.
“McLain pulled it off,” said Madden of her teammate McLain Ward. “He paved the way, I didn’t think you could do it so it was thanks to him. It was kind of fun out there, jumping the brush – he’s brave and handy so it worked well for him. He’s always been a fast horse.”
Madden was the first US rider to return to the ring for the first round of the Individual Final with Authentic. Abigail Wexner’s seasoned veteran, who has won two consecutive Team Gold medals in addition to the Individual Bronze, jumped in his usual phenomenal clear, looking very bright.
“He felt great tonight,” said Madden from Cazenovia, NY after the first round. “He had lots of energy, he’s ready to go again.”
Ward, from Brewster, NY, and Sapphire were absolutely fantastic over the first three rounds, having just one foot in the water on Monday night in their successful Team title defense on Monday. Now 13, Sapphire has somehow continued to improve since the last Olympics and her performance over the last three rounds has been exceptional.
Ward joined Madden in the jump-off after redeeming their first round rail with a textbook clear in round two.
“The second round, she was good,” said Ward. “We tried our best. The course was very difficult which is what we were hoping for. My horse was spectacular in both rounds ¬- one fence down all week.”
The 13-year-old Belgian mare owned by Blue Chip Bloodstock flew through the jump-off and were the first pair to take the short cut and jump the brush. They looked golden until the very last fence where Ward took a big risk and Sapphire couldn’t quite get it done.
“I wanted to win a medal and we tried our very, very hardest,” said Ward about jumping the brush. “I tried to leave it out at the last too but we ended up too far away. I had to try. We gave it everything we had.”
They had one rail down in the first round, but they went through to the second round with 11 other four faulters.
“She jumped brilliantly,” said Ward after the first round. “I was a little quiet into the triple, I was worried about B so I under rode A. I needed more leg. I can’t fault how she jumped.”
Laura Kraut and Cedric didn’t go through to the second round after having eight faults in round one. The 10-year-old Dutch gelding was his usual impressive self but he put a toe on the tap in the water and then Kraut made a mistake at the narrow plank.
“I am really happy with him,” she said. “I was totally focused on the team, I hadn’t