Calgary, Alta. – Sept. 9, 2017 – The Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team clinched the gold medal in the BMO Nations Cup in front of more than 80,000 show jumping fans in the International Ring on Saturday during the Spruce Meadows ‘Masters’ CSIO5* Tournament.
The victorious U.S. team consisted of Lauren Hough, Charlie Jacobs, Lillie Keenan and Beezie Madden, led by Chef d’Équipe Robert Ridland.
Eight nations turned out for the first round of competition, where Team USA kicked things off as first in the order-of-go. Madden and Abigail Wexner’s Darry Lou produced the only clear finish of the first round, while the rest of the team incurred 4 faults each, thus concluding round one with 8 faults after dropping one 4-fault score.
The top six teams returned for round two, which included Team USA, Brazil, Belgium, France, Canada and Germany.
Sitting in third place tied with Canada and having completed Leopoldo Palacios’ enormous track once already, the U.S. horse-and-rider combinations returned for the second round of Nations Cup competition confident and ready to perform their best in order to move up in the standings. Madden and Darry Lou, Jacobs and CMJ Sporthorse LLC’s Cassinja S and Hough and Meredith Mateo’s Waterford all finished clear, while Keenan and Chansonette Farm LLC’s Fibonacci 17 collected 4 faults to be the drop score. As a result, Team USA added no faults to their name and finished round two on a total of 8 faults from round one.
In an exciting turn of events, the team from Brazil also concluded the second round of competition with 8 faults, causing Team USA and Team Brazil to face-off in a jump-off to determine the winner.
It was Madden who was chosen to represent Team USA in the jump-off. Aboard the 9-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion, they crossed the finish line with no faults in 39.21 seconds. Brazil’s Pedro Junqueira Muylaert and Prince Royal Z MFS followed with another clear round, but just missed Madden’s time, finishing in 39.75 seconds and propelling Team USA to the top of the podium.
Saturday’s gold medal finish was the USA’s eighth Nations Cup podium appearance at Spruce Meadows and comes just as Team USA is gearing up to head to the FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in Barcelona, Spain, at the end of the month on Sept. 28.
“For Beezie to clinch this in a jump-off is indescribable,” expressed Ridland. “My team delivered. We had to crawl up the ladder a little bit. Brazil really set the bar early on, but that’s why it’s a two round class and they did the job.”
Photo: ©Cealy Tetley