Lindsay Brock for Jennifer Wood Media, Inc.
Wellington, FL – February 19, 2020 – Four-time U.S. Olympic medalist Beezie Madden claimed victory in the $37,000 Douglas Elliman Real Estate 1.45m CSI5* aboard Jiva, and Georgina Bloomberg topped the Bainbridge Companies 1.40m CSI5* riding new mount Balotelli 5 to open week seven at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) on Wednesday, February 19.
WEF continues through March 29 at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center (PBIEC) in Wellington, FL, with 12 consecutive weeks of world-class competition and $13 million dollars on offer. The seventh week of competition, sponsored by Lugano Diamonds, runs February 19-23 is recognized as a CSI5* and CSI2* by the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). Featured events of the week include the $401,000 Lugano Diamonds Grand Prix CSI5* during “Saturday Night Lights”.
Madden and her lightning-fast mare bested a field of 73 over courses set by Santiago Varela (ESP). The top three in Wednesday’s feature class were all separated by less than a half of a second. Madden’s time of 46.52 seconds bumped Ireland’s Jordan Coyle and Kristen Vanderveen (USA) to a tie for second place with matching times of 46.81 seconds. Coyle piloted Centriko Volo for Celtic Park LLC, while Vanderveen rode Bull Run’s Divine Fortune, owned by her own Bull Run Jumpers Six LLC.
“It feels great,” said Madden of kicking the week off with a win. “This is the first time Jiva has come out and tried to be competitive [this season].”
Jiva has been resting since the fall show season and has not competed in the FEI ranks since the National Horse Show in November. “I’m really pleased that she stepped right up and won her first class,” continued Madden of the 11-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare (Concorde x Nonstop). “She’s really a speed specialist, so this is her class. It’s fun and always good for me to go in and go fast to try to keep up with all these riders in the speed.”
Madden is looking forward to the rest of the WEF season with a stacked string of grand prix mounts as she inches closer to her goal of representing the United States at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan, this summer.
“I’ve been showing them two at time to get their fitness up to level, but they are all back to doing the grand prix again,” she said. “It’s exciting for me to have them all fit and ready to be competitive.”
Fellow U.S. rider Adrienne Sternlicht took fourth riding Cadans Z, owned by Starlight Farms 1 LLC, in 48.04 seconds, while Japan’s Karen Polle capped the top five with her own Kino by stopping the clock in 48.54 seconds.