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Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI**** April 9-11, Wrap-Up

Beezie Madden And Judgement Win $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte

The highlight and featured event of the inaugural Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI****, April 9-11, in Charlotte, North Carolina, was held on Easter Sunday with Beezie Madden, 40, of Cazenovia, NY, riding the Dutch-bred stallion Judgement owned by Iron Spring Farm, to victory in the $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte For the Charlotte Bobcats Cup, a Member Event of the American Grandprix Association (AGA) Series of Show Jumping.

The grand prix was held over two days, April 10-11, in two rounds of competition at the Charlotte Coliseum. Judgement was one of eight horses in a field of 26 that produced a clear trip in Round One on Saturday, carrying no faults forward into Sunday’s Round Two, where only four of the 24 horses were able to go clear again and move on to the Jump-Off. Judgement and Madden went fault-free in the tiebreaker, claiming the win and $45,000 in prize money. The duo posted a time just 1/10th of a second faster than Chris Kappler of Pittstown, NJ, aboard Primeur 58, a horse he owns with Kathy Kamine. Kappler was the only other rider to produce a double-clear performance, which placed him second and he earned $33,000. Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI, riding Anthem placed third, taking home $19,500 for the owners, Summit Syndicate.

In the jump-off, course designer Steve Stephens created a seven-effort track with Time Allowed set at 42 seconds. Eliza Shuford of Hickory, NC, riding her own Gustel II led off, but had a rail down in 41.31 seconds, and finished in fourth place. Madden was next to go and zipped around the course in 35.33 fault-free. Kappler went third in the order and matched Madden’s time at the Charlotte Bobcats vertical, the next-to-last jump, but going around the island to the final fence, he fell short of beating her by just a split second, clocking in at 35.42. Kraut had the advantage of going last, but she had one knockdown for four faults in 36.01, which placed her third.

“My plan was to go as fast as I could go because the worst I could be was fourth,” said Madden. “I thought I was pretty good from one to two. Around the turn to that next line I actually planned to do four [strides] in the jump-off but I just didn’t catch the fence that I wanted off the turn so I opted for five. From there on was quite fast – fast to the Bobcat and real fast to the last.” It was Judgement’s ability that enabled Madden to go clean over the last fence as she made a turn that did not put the big stallion in an optimum jumping spot. “I was glad I had a lot of scope. I felt like I was in no man’s land when I came around that island and then I thought, I just have to go forward.”

For their overall performance at the three-day show, Judgement earned the Best Open Horse Award Madden was presented with the Leading Jumper Rider Award. “It shows that he had a great week,” Madden said of the 13-year-old black stallion who jumped five clear rounds over the weekend. “The horse really deserved it,” she said. “He couldn’t have been any better.”

Highlights Friday through Sunday

Katrina Woods And Susdal Win $5,000 Amateur/Young Rider Competition

Kicking off the first show on Friday afternoon, April 9, Katrina Woods, 18, of Bronxville, NY, riding her own Susdal claimed victory in the $5,000 Amateur/Young Rider Competition, topping a class of 25 horses. Steve Stephens designed the 12-effort speed course in which the fastest clear first round won. Woods was the speediest of six clear performances, clocking in fault-free in 49.33 seconds, well under the Time Allowed of 65 seconds and almost three full seconds faster than her closest competitor. Cara Cheska of Waukesha, WI, placed second riding her own Njordoctro, clocking in clean in 52.31. Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY, riding Action for Gotham Enterprizes placed third, breaking the beam in 53.08. Woods, an English major at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania, trains with Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio. She has owned Susdal, a 12-year-old chestnut Russian warmblood gelding, for 18 months. Woods took the advice of her coaches when she tackled the course. “They just told me to go in there and give it my best shot. I did, but I don’t know how I was so much faster than everybody else,” said Woods. “He’s a really fast horse.” Her course walk plan was to make good turns and be efficient. Her flat-out style and hairpin turns resembled a barrel-racer and Woods said that is exactly what her ride felt like. “I felt like I was flying,” she said.

Laura Kraut And Joyous Win $5,000 International Riders Competition

Wrapping up Friday afternoon’s competition on April 9, Laura Kraut, 39, of Oconomowoc, WI, riding Joyous for owner Summit Partners won the $5,000 International Riders Competition. Kraut topped a field of 31 horses, clocking in the fastest of seven clear trips over the one-round speed course. Kraut went fourth in the order, was the first to go clean, and set the unbeatable pace of 52.04 seconds. Candice King of Wellington, FL, riding Coco Cabana for Louiseberg Farm placed second, going clear in 55.20. Michael Morrissey of Bradenton, FL, aboard Dame for owner Simonetta Meisels placed third with his fault-free trip in 55.25. Kraut called her win, “Very surprising. I was hoping I would stay in the top six. I didn’t anticipate that I would keep the lead.” Beezie Madden of Cazenovia, NY, aboard Conquest II went as the 30th rider and beat Kraut’s time by almost two seconds with her ride in 50.97, but she had the first element of the final jump down and ended up 12th. Kraut complimented course designer Steve Stephens on his use of the indoor space and her mare’s ability to handle it. “He did a great job,” said Kraut. “It was a lot of turning. We’re used to being in fields to rely on the gallop and your momentum. In here you couldn’t really gather any momentum – it was just jump, turn, jump, turn. My mare is really good at kind of springing. She doesn’t need speed really to help her.” Joyous is a 10-year-old, bay Holsteiner mare that Kraut has had the ride on for two years.

Beezie Madden And Judgement Win $25,000 Charlotte Welcome Stake

Beezie Madden riding Judgement for Iron Spring Farm topped a field of 22 horses to win the $25,000 Charlotte Welcome Stake, the featured event of the evening show on Friday, April 9. Nine horses went clean over the Round One course and qualified for the Jump-Off. Four horses produced double clear performances, but Madden was the fastest by more than a second to claim victory. Laura Kraut of Oconomowoc, WI, riding Anthem for the Summit Syndicate placed second. Aaron Vale of Aiken, SC, aboard Cortino 27 for Town Creek Investments placed third. In the Jump-Off, Madden performed a spectator-thrilling turn back to the Charlotte Bobcats fence, which none of the other riders could match and also captured the crowd’s attention when she flew at the final fence. “Judgement has tremendous jumping ability so I don’t have to be so perfectly set up to every fence for him to be able to make it over,” said Madden. “I thought I was a little slow the first three or four fences so my only chance was to make it up on the turn there. I just turned him and he had to figure it out himself to get over the vertical. Down the last line, he has so much scope and so much stride that I said, ‘well I’m just going to do one less stride than everybody and if I’m a little long to the oxer he’s going to make it anyway’. I have a lot of faith in him that way.”

Charlie Jayne And Champion Win $5,000 Amateur/Young Rider Speed Stake

Launching day two on Saturday afternoon, April 10, Charlie Jayne, 18, of Elgin, IL, riding Champion owned by Alex Jayne won the $5,000 Amateur/Young Rider Speed Stake. Jayne topped a field of 14 horses in this speed class where every rail down added four seconds to the rider’s time and the fastest time, regardless of knockdowns, earned victory. Jayne was the third rider on course and jumped clean in 51.84 seconds, which proved to be the ride to beat for the rest of the field. Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY, riding Action for owner Gotham Enterprizes was the 14th rider on course and blazed over the jumps, stopping the timers in 49.69 – more than two seconds faster than Jayne, but a rail down at Fence No. 9 added four seconds to her time, giving her a final score of 53.69 seconds for second place. Kate Levy of South Salem, NY, riding her own Matheus went just before Bloomberg and kept all the fences up, but her time of 54.89 proved to be only good enough for third. When every stride can add another second to the rider’s time, Jayne focused on leaving out as many strides as he could all over the course. “I started galloping right to the first fence and then going to the second jump I left out one or two strides more than everyone else and I caught that good,” explained Jayne. "I was planning on doing five or six strides to the third jump, but I saw the five so I galloped right down to that one too.” Jayne performed a neat, tight rollback to the fourth fence but noted that where he really shaved seconds off was after the sixth fence going to No. 7, the Charlotte Bobcats jump. “I made a lot of time there because I kept galloping, and I kept galloping right into the in-and-out (8AB) and then at the last jump (11) I took a little chance – I galloped to it and I left the ground a little long and just hoped to get to the other side.”

Beezie Madden And Conquest II Win $10,000 International Jumpers Top Score

A crowd-pleasing ‘Gambler’s Choice’ wrapped up the afternoon competition on Saturday, April 10, with Beezie Madden topping a field of 20 horses in the $10,000 International Jumpers Top Score competition aboard Conquest II for owners Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Patton – her parents. Madden tallied up 1,260 points in 62.35 seconds. Cara Raether of New York, NY, aboard News for the Trelawny Farm also earned 1,260 but crossed the timers in 67.13, which put her in second place as the slower time broke the tie. Debbie Stephens of Palmetto, FL, aboard Raket owned by her Centennial Farm added up 1,220 points for third. Madden’s plan to rack up points was simple and direct, “We try to put the highest point value fences in a way that you get to jump them twice – that’s your first objective. Then you have to figure how many fences you think you can get. Sixty seconds in a small ring like this, I planned on 14 fences. I just missed the 14th fence – I was in the air so they didn’t give me the points. I just missed it by fractions of a second.” Conquest II is a 13-year-old Dutchbred stallion who was her partner on the US Gold Medal winning team at the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She’s had the ride on him for two-and-a-half years. “He’s a very fast horse, he’s clever, he’s careful, he doesn’t like to hit the fences,” said Madden. “You need one like that when you put your own course together and try to get the high point value fences all in. Sometimes it gets a little bit tricky – you can beat yourself sometimes making your own course too difficult. You need a clever, handy horse for that.”

Cara Raether And Olympus Win $5,000 Amateur/Young Riders Top Score
The evening show on Saturday, April 10, kicked off with a victory in the $5,000 Amateur/Young Riders Top Score for Cara Raether, 24, of New York, NY, aboard Olympus owned by her family’s Trelawny Farm, Inc. Raether topped a class of 13 entries over the ‘Gambler’s Choice’ track earning 1,270 points. Paige Johnson, 18, of The Plains, VA, riding her own Landria W placed second with 1,240 points. Charlie Jayne, 18, of Elgin, IL, riding Champion owned by Alex Jayne was third, scoring 1,170 points. Raether explained that it took some speculating with her coaches, Katie and Henri Prudent of France, to determine her final route, but once locked in, she stuck to it. “It was tricky tonight because we wanted to get all the high numbers,” said Raether. “We actually changed our minds a couple of times. I watched a few go. We picked what I thought was the best jumps we could find with the highest points. Luckily I didn’t have to ad lib. I cleared all the jumps – if you do that you can just stick to your plan. It’s only when you knock one down that you have to ad lib. My horse turns better to the left so we found the best planned course that I could find with mostly left turns.” Olympus is an eight-year-old gray Dutch gelding by Libro that Raether has owned for a year. The win tonight was an exciting one for her. “It feels great. It’s a great show, they’ve done a fabulous job,” she said. “They make you feel special when you win a class like this.”

Riders Complete Round One Of $150,000 Grand Prix Of Charlotte

A field of 27 riders competed in Round One of the $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte on Saturday night, April 10. The class results set the order of go for Sunday’s Round Two, which determined the winner of the $150,000 Grand Prix of Charlotte for the Charlotte Bobcats Cup. Riders on Sunday would go in reverse order of their placements from Saturday’s Round One, carrying forward any faults earned. On Saturday, 21 riders earned four faults or less but only eight were fault-free. Laura Kraut aboard Anthem owned by the Summit Syndicate posted the fastest clean trip, which will gave her the advantage position of going last in Sunday’s class.

Katrina Woods And Susdal Win $25,000 Charlotte Amateur/Young Rider Grand Prix

Easter Sunday, April 11, kicked off with a win for Katrina Woods of Bronxville, NY, aboard Susdal in the $25,000 Charlotte Amateur/Young Rider Grand Prix. The victory also gave Woods the Leading Amateur/Young Rider Award based on her performances in the four Amateur/Young Rider classes held over three days at the show. Woods and Susdal topped a field of 16 entries and were the fastest of three clear trips in the four-horse jump-off. Cayce Harrison of Wellington, FL, riding Reggae owned by her family’s Double H Farm placed second. Georgina Bloomberg of New York, NY, aboard Nadia owned by Gotham Enterprizes was third. For the four-horse tiebreaker course, Steve Stephens re-set with eight elements to jump in under 42 seconds. Bloomberg aboard Nadia led off and set the pace with a clear round in 31.66 seconds. Woods and Susdal went next and edged Bloomberg out of the lead with a scorching fast round in 30.61. Jeanne Hobbs of Pinehurst, NC, riding Montrachet made a valiant attempt to gain the lead and actually posted the fastest time, clocking in at 29.84 seconds, but unfortunately had three fences down on the way and ended up in fourth place with 12 faults. Last to go, Harrison in the irons on Reggae gave it her all and posted a clear round in 30.75 seconds, but was just 1/10th of a second off the leader’s time and had to settle for second place. Woods’s coaches, Olympian Nona Garson and George D’Ambrosio had advised her to shave time by taking an inside turn from Fence 4 back to the oxer at 5, which she slickly performed on course. “He saw the jump out of the corner of his eye and it was so easy,” she said, noting that she took a few more such risks on course. “He’s such a fast horse. He’s in his prime when he’s in the jump-off, so that’s my favorite thing to do.” Woods purchased the 12-year-old chestnut Russian warmblood gelding from Garson 18 months ago. Garson had shown him as a grand prix horse. “He’s very hot-blooded,” said Woods. “He really gets into it, but once he gets into the ring he’s very composed and he just rides.” Woods was impressed with the Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI**** overall. “It’s really nice. I like everything. The courses were good and it’s run very well, very relaxed, very organized, nice set-up. The ring was good. It’s just like Harrisburg, or Washington, or New York.”

Produced by Eugene R. Mische and Stadium Jumping, Inc. the Charlotte Jumper Classic CSI**** held in the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, NC, April 9-11, awarded a total purse of $260,000. Net proceeds from the horse show will benefit the Bobcats Charitable Fund, the organization’s philanthropic giving arm.

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April 18 - Stanford Financial Group-US Open Championship, International Polo Club Palm Beach, Wellington, FL

May 29-30 – Opening festivities for the new facility HITS On The Hudson, Saugerties, NY

June 15-20 – Debbie McDonald Training Package Auction and “Celebrate The Champions” at the Dressage Olympic Selection Trials, San Juan Capistrano, CA

August 7-8 – North Channel Yacht Club of Desbarats CL-16 White Sail Regatta, Hilton Beach, Ontario, Canada

November 3-7 – Metropolitan Horse Show, New York, NY

December 1-5 –121st National Horse Show, Wellington, FL

4th Annual Sidelines Equestrian Triathlon (date TBA), Wellington, FL


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