Madden and Simon Storm to the Early Lead in the 2013 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final

RELEASE: April 25, 2013

Beezie Madden & Simon (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Beezie Madden & Simon (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Gothenburg, Sweden
- Speed and efficiency were the order of the day in the Scandinavum Arena as the 2013 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final kicked-off with the first of four rounds of competition. Utilizing the faults converted format competitors were asked to balance forward riding and efficient turns with tidy jumping. A total of 39 combinations lined up to tackle Uliano Vezzani's 13 effort track and for the second year running an American rider posted an unassailable time. Beezie Madden and Simon, jumping 17th in the order cruised to a time of 62.28 and while a few came close, no one could catch the classy pair.

Madden (Cazenovia, NY) and Abigail Wexner's 14-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding may not have appeared as the quickest combination, but tight lines and the horse's massive stride propelled them to the lead. The hard trying Simon never looked in doubt of jumping a clear round as he gave each element of Vezzani's track ample room.

"I didn't really plan to win, I planned to go as fast as my horse could go to keep him good for the rest of the week;" said the Olympic Team Gold and Individual Bronze medalist. "He's naturally a fast horse; I knew if I could ride my plan and tight lines he could be fast."

Simon is no stranger to Rolex/FEI World Cup success having placed third in 2011 with former rider Jeroen Dubbledam. Madden has had her sights set on the 2013 Final with the talented gelding and plans to ride him in the remaining rounds.

"I think I'll go with Simon if everything goes well," Madden commented about her strategy for the remainder of the week.

Listen to an interview with Beezie Madden

Katie Dinan & Nougat Du Vallet (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Katie Dinan & Nougat Du Vallet (Rebecca Walton/Phelps Media Group)
Katie Dinan (Wellington, FL) defied her age and experience as she piloted Nougat Du Vallet to an efficient clear round. The 19-year-old Harvard freshman is making her Final debut with Grant Road Partners LLC's 12-year-old Selle Francais gelding and finished on a score of 66.50.

"I'm thrilled, I really wanted to ride well this week and my horse felt fantastic in the warm-up," said Dinan. "To go clear in my first World Cup Final is a dream come true."

The pair stands in ninth place following the first round.

The U.S. has three additional riders in the top 15 after Thursday's competition. McLain Ward, Charlie Jayne and Reed Kessler all looked poised to rocket into the top spot but rails late in the course kept all three down the order. Riding Grant Road Partners LLC's 11-year-old Belgain Warmblood stallion Super Trooper De Ness, double Olympic Gold medalist Ward (Brewster, NY) set a quick pace from the beginning. However, a rail jumping out of the double at 12 meant they added four to their time and completed on 66.63. Jayne (Elgin, IL) incurred a similar fate with Alex Jayne and Maura Thatcher's Chill R Z. The 10-year-old Zangerscheide stallion, who was named as reserve for the 2012 Olympic Games with Jayne, was jumping out of his skin in a quick pace but had the final vertical, number 13, down to finish on a score of 66.69. Kessler (Lexington, KY) is also making her Rolex/FEI World Cup Final debut with her 2012 Olympic partner Cylana and like Jayne heartbreakingly added four to their score at the last jump. The 11-year-old Belgain mare completed round one on a score of 67.46.

Currently, Ward stands 10th, Jayne 11th, and Kessler 13th.

Kent Farrington (Wellington, IL) is making his second Finals appearance with R.C.G. Farm's 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding Uceko. They would have challenged the leaders with their time but rails at fences 12B and 13 meant they finished in 16th place on a score of 69.49.

Standing 18th and 19th respectively are Karl Cook and Christine McCrea. Cook (Woodside, CA) and Signe Ostby's 11-year-old Zangerscheide stallion Jonkheer Z had a single knock-down at 7B to finish on 69.53. They too are making their Rolex/FEI World Cup Final debut. Pan American Gold medalists McCrea (East Windsor, CT) and Candy Tribble's 13-year-old KWPN gelding Romantovich Take One had a careful, clear round to stop the timers at 69.59.

Lucy Davis (Los Angeles, CA) jumped a poised round with Old Oak Farm's Nemo 119, just rolling the pole at 12A. In their Final debut, the Stanford University student and 14-year-old Holsteiner gelding stand 30th after posting a score of 76.08.

The reigning champions, Rich Fellers (Sherwood, CA) and Harry Mollie Chapman's Flexible were in the midst of a fabulous round until a mistake jumping into the double at 12. The 17-year-old Irish stallion was unable to jump out of the combination after having the A element down. They stand in 34th after posting a score of 77.54.

Ashlee Bond (Hidden Hills, CA) is jumping Little Valley Farms' Wistful in her third Finals appearance. The 10-year-old KWPN mare had three rails over the course to finish on a score of 78.28 and stand in 35th place.

Heading into Friday’s second day of competition, Madden holds the lead with 40 World Cup points in front of Switzerland’s Pius Schwizer who jumped Verdi II to a score of 62.79, and stands second with 38 World Cup points. Lying third following day one with 37 World Cup points is crowd favorite Rolf-Goran Bengtsson of Sweden; he and Casall La Silla jumped clear in a time of 64.20.

Rolex/FEI World Cup competition, which is being held in conjunction with the annual Gothenburg Horse Show, continues Friday with the first horse on course at 6:00pm CEST.

For more information about the 2013 Rolex/FEI World Cup Final visit:

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