Beezie Madden just laid down her second consecutive win at the 2017-2018 Longines FEI World Cup Finals in Paris, and is poised to take the whole thing home. The two rounds on Sunday which will decide the winner but ultimately, Beezie is a champion in every way, no matter what happens from here. She’s a teacher and mentor in the sport, a true horsewoman, an unbelievable talent in the saddle, and her humility knows no bounds. What we’re trying to say is… #BeLikeBeezie or bust. Here’s why.
1. She plays to win. It’s been 13 years since Beezie last competed in Paris, so she obviously knows how to make a plane ticket count. When you’re at Beezie’s level, there’s something to be said for only entering competitions you know you have a solid shot at winning, or nearly winning – especially with a horse like Breitling LS.
“He’s only competed three weeks this year,” Beezie said. “He won the World Cup qualifier at Thermal, we did a 4-Star Grand Prix and Nations Cup (in Wellington) and he was clear in the Nations Cup and won the Grand Prix and then did another 4-Star Grand Prix (in Wellington) and won that as well.”
2. Speaking of Breitling LS, this is the 12-year-old stallion’s first major championship. Sure, he’s extraordinarily talented, but a horse can’t win two consecutive nights at the World Cup Final without an outstanding pilot.
3. She’s won this title before, and she’s poised to do it again. When she won on Simon in 2013, she was only the fifth woman to ever claim the World Cup trophy. (Not sure why the World Cup Final is such a big deal? Read this.)
4. She’s a risk-taker. After her first round win, she said, “I took a lot of risks and I’m relieved to be in the lead tonight.” When the tricky jump-off track in the second round (especially the double combination) proved too much for defending champion McLain Ward, Beezie still attacked the course – which she can do with confidence, since she knows her mount of five years like the back of her hand. (Beezie has figured out exactly what bit to ride Breitling LS in, and tells us why it works.)
5. She’s a champion for female riders. While there are mumblings about how female riders don’t win major championships as often as men, Beezie claps back by besting a field of the best show jumpers in the world. It’s been 5 years since a female rider has won the FEI World Cup Finals (the last winner, of course, was Beezie) and it’s time for another woman to top the standings. As one of the best female riders in the world, Beezie is the only female rider left in the top 10 of the World Cup Final.
Not sure how to watch the rest of the World Cup Final? Go here for live streaming.
Photos by Thomas Reiner.