As I was leaving work to go Spruce Meadows on Friday afternoon, I had some worries. Not only could my wipers not keep up with the torrential downpour, but my poor car was also being pelted with hail. Ugh. A quick look at the radar confirmed that it was just a small system, but the entire Calgary area had lots of these intense cells dancing around. After hiding at a gas station for a bit, I finally made a dash for Spruce Meadows, and I’m sure glad that I did. The show jumping gods must have been shining down on Spruce, because it was a lovely evening with no rain and only a little wind. My cold medicine also did its job quite well, so I was good to go for a night of show jumping (just not talking, my voice has taken a leave of absence).
Before I talk about the days competitions, I have to gush a little about a couple of new horses under Canadian riders. Not only did I get to see Eric Lamaze’s Power Play, but Ian Millar was also aboard Baranus. As far as Power Play goes, he sure has power! Although I missed their first round, I saw the jump-off and he looked really good. Definitely a few communication bobbles, but that is to be expected at this early stage of their partnership. To picture Baranus correctly, just picture Star Power, and name him Baranus. They are so much alike! Not a super explode-off-the-ground type, but more like the raw power can-jump-anything-without-thinking type. Together with Dixon, Ian has a triple threat of talent.
Alright, so let’s get down to talking about the competitions on Friday evening. Two words: Beezie. Madden.
The recently crowned World Cup Champion, Beezie put on a clinic about how to compete at the top level and win. In the nights first class, the 1.45m ATCO Energy Solutions Cup, Beezie was aboard the 10 year old mare, Wrigley. After a clear over the tough first round, Beezie let Wrigley fly in the jump-off. Exteme efficiency between fences and a nice open gallop left Beezie at the front of the pack when all was said and done.
In the second class of the night, the RBC Capital Markets Winning Round, once again, Beezie showed us all how it was done, this time on the 10 year old mare, Amadora. Another fabulous first round put her into the jump-off, where she easily leaped out into the lead later on in the order.
Now, at the time, I didn’t think she had it. Sure, it was a great ride, but she had speed demons McLain Ward and Kent Farrington coming after her. Both in it to win it, McLain and Kent went for speed. Unfortunately, McLain would have a rail with Sandor de la Pomme, and Kent Farrington would have a slip cause a refusal with Blue Angel. If I had to put money on it, it would have been on Kent, so I was super surprised when things fell apart on him. Blue Angel is incredibly nimble and quick, but it just wasn’t their night.
So did the night tell us anything that we already didn’t know? No, we knew that Beezie was amazing, but I think it really says something that she was able to win those two classes on two very different horses. From her fabulous equitation, to the way she adapts her riding style to each horse, Beezie puts on a clinic every time she enters the arena. If you ever need someone to emulate in the saddle, make it Beezie Madden.
Video highlights from Friday (it’s a Flash video – it may not work from iPhones)
You can find full results for all of the tournaments classes here.
Be sure to keep checking back for more updates from Spruce Meadows- we still have the weekends big classes to go! Also, I will be posting photos to the HJU FaceBook page, so keep your eyes peeled!
Read my other blog posts here!