Beezie Madden & Breitling LS accept 1st place honors from Vicky Lowell of WIHS, and Monica McCourt with daughter Luciana McCourt. Ph. Tori Repole for NF
Underground at the Capital One Arena in Washington, D.C., the walls that line the pathway to the main arena are framed with members of the Washington Wizards basketball team. But during the week of October 23rd, the focus at the venue has been on a different group of athletes: the international show jumping riders that have temporarily made this arena their home.
It is here, at the Washington International Horse Show, that USA’s Beezie Madden and the 11-year-old SLS stallion Breitling LS (Quintero x Acrod II) picked up a win in the $35,000 Welcome Stake CSI4*-W on Thursday, October 26, 2017.
Their latest accomplishment follows a summer filled with cross-continental competition. For Breitling, who received a five week vacation leading up to the event, simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to preparing for success.
“I jumped him a couple of times before we came here to an indoor venue to get him used to it, and lately he seems to do well with keeping his life simple, so that’s what we did,” Madden said.
The duo produced the strongest of the clear rounds to best a field of 26 entries. “Even though Saturday night is my biggest goal, today was a great class and it seems to help him to try and be competitive all week. ”
Saturday night will see the $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2017/2018 qualifier. While the matured Breitling LS has proven to do well in various settings, Madden believes that he might have an added edge on the competition whilst indoors.
“He’s done great classes at Aachen and Spruce Meadows, but I’d say he’s good [indoors] because he’s gotten to be a quick horse,” commented Madden. “When he was green he wasn’t quite as quick of a thinker, but now he’s gotten handy. He has a big enough stride to leave strides out, but at the same time he has a quick gallop. At these smaller venues when jumps come up fast and there aren’t so many options, I think he’s faster than some.”
American riders took the top three spots in the jumpoff competition, with Alison Robitaille placing 2nd aboard her own 12-year-old KWPN gelding Ace (Berlin x Irco Polo.) And Laura Kraut finished in 3rd with Confu, the 10-year-old Holsteiner gelding (Contact Me x Cambridge) owned by St. Bride’s Farm. Twelve of the 26 starters on the entry list qualified for the jumpoff round.
WIHS continues through Sunday, October 29, with the highly anticipated $130,000 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping CSI4*-W President’s Cup coming up on Saturday, October 28.