Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team Members Wolff and Casall Pick Up Third
Ocala, Fla. – Beezie Madden and Breitling LS led the way for the U.S. contingent with a second-place finish in the $100,000 City of Ocala Grand Prix at HITS Ocala on Sunday. After guiding the Hermès U.S. Show Jumping Team to a second place finish in the FEI Nations Cup™ on Friday, she and Breitling LS earned their second consecutive double-clear. Ali Wolff and Casall, the reserve combination for the FEI Nations Cup™ team, landed in the jump-off to place third. Ireland’s Cian O’Connor stole the win by 21-hundredths of a second.
Beezie Madden and Breitling LS (ESI Photography)
A field of 41 world-class athletes contested Marina Azevedo's challenging four-star course. The spread of the triple combination and the last line comprised of the double combination, followed by a wide square oxer and a tall vertical, showed its complexity. Numerous combinations fell prey to faults in the first round until Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Breitling LS, Abigail Wexner’s 2006 Dutch Warmblood stallion, entered the ring. The four-time Olympian and her determined mount traveled around the course with ease. They secured the field’s first clear round with a time of 79.45 seconds.
“He was a green seven-year-old to start with. The spring of his eight-year-old year, I broke my collarbone, and that was seven to eight weeks before we got going again. He is 11, but he’s not quite as experienced as he should be as an 11-year-old who has been with us since he was seven. I think now he is just starting to get more consistent and being able to depend on him for bigger things,” said Madden.
Madden and Breitling LS continued with the lead going in to Wolff (New Albany, Ohio) and Casall’s attempt on the course. She and the 2005 Holsteiner gelding owned by Blacklick Bend Farm guaranteed a jump-off against their teammates going clear. Irish Olympian Cian O’Connor and Seringat rounded out the jump-off. In a heart-pounding jump-off, it came down to speed. Going last, O’Connor had the advantage. Knowing the time to beat, the combination barely blazed past Madden and Breitling LS for the win.
“[Going] first is a little difficult spot, especially when there are only three. There is a little strategy. I wanted to set it fast enough that it was a little hard to catch, and they would have to pull some risks,” said Madden.
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