U.S. Show Jumpers Are Looking for a Golden Repeat

Beezie Madden riding Authentic

Beezie Madden and Authentic are hoping to reclaim Olympic Gold.

U.S. riders are tasting gold going into 2008 Olympic show jumping competition, and they have good reason for it. During the 2004 Athens Olympics, the U.S. show jumping team claimed gold and two horse-and-rider combinations from those Games are back for action this time around.

Beezie Madden and the 12-year-old KWPN gelding Authentic, as well as McLain Ward and the 13-year-old Belgian warmblood mare, were part of the 2004 gold medal-winning team. They are joined this year by fellow teammates Will Simpson riding Carlsson Vom Dach, a12-year-old Holsteiner gelding, and Laura Kraut riding Cedric, a 10-year-old Dutch-bred gelding.

Each U.S. show jumper has an incredible resume. In addition to her Olympic achievement and her numerous international successes, Beezie Madden was the first woman and the first American rider to ever reach the Top Three in the Show Jumping World Ranking List (achieved in 2004), and she was the first woman to pass the million-dollar mark in show jumping earnings.

McLain Ward is a second-generation equestrian, who’s been riding nearly all his life. He’s had an extensive lineup of wins dating back as far as 1990, but his most notable achievement was winning Team Gold during the 2004 Olympics.

Will Simpson and Carlsson Vom Dach have had an impressive string of performances going into these Olympic Games. The pair won the $100,000 FEI World Cup Qualifier and romped the field during the 2008 USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping. Although this is their first Olympic experience, Simpson and Carlsson Vom Dach are expected to turn some heads in Hong Kong.

Laura Kraut isn’t exactly new to the Olympic scene. She was a member of the U.S. show jumping team at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and she would have qualified for the 2004 Olympic team, but her horse wasn’t quite right, so she withdrew from the competition and helped propel the American show jumpers to Athens where they won gold. Kraut’s achievements since those Games are too numerous to mention, but one thing is for certain: Laura Kraut and Cedric ran the board at the 2008 USEF Selection Trials for Show Jumping and they’ve never looked back.

Show jumping competition is underway. For complete results, visit http://www.equestrian2008.org/eng/front.aspx.

For a roundup of all the equestrian happenings in Hong Kong, visit HorseChannel’s Olympic news page.



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