The United States is fielding a formidable team of show jumpers as the Spruce Meadows Masters gets underway Sept. 5 – 9. More than 50,000 spectators turn out to watch some of the world’s best show jumpers vie for an excess of $2 million in prize money.
Margie Engle and Hidden Creek’s Quervo Gold, Beezie Madden and Authentic, Richard Spooner and Cristallo and McLain Ward and Sapphire make up the U.S. squad; Lauren Hough and Casadora are serving as the alternate.
Always a crowd pleaser, Authentic, a 12-year-old KWPN gelding owned by Abigail Wexner, is expected to make a statement at the Masters. But he has done little over the summer, so it will be interesting to see how he performs after his long vacation.
“Mostly he’s been at home,” Madden says. “He did one little show at Traders Point; he just jumped in two small classes. But basically Aachen was his last big thing. He’s pretty consistent either way, whether he’s had a break or not. He’ll be a little fresh in the beginning, but by weekend he should be pretty good. He’s careful and intelligent and fast when you need him to be. He doesn’t wow you with his scope but he has plenty of it.”
Going to Spruce Meadows, is an impressive experience for spectators and riders alike, even for veteran competitors.
“Going there is pretty special,” Madden says. “When they get close to 50,000 people in that arena…if the weather is beautiful, it’s nothing but a pleasure to be there. There is lots of prize money too, but it’s not so easy to win.”