Beezie Madden (USA) and Breitling LS showed just why they’re the reigning Longines FEI Jumping World Cup champions by speeding to the win in the $135,000 Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington, presented by Events DC, during the 60th anniversary of the Washington International Horse Show on October 23-28 in Washington, D.C.
A four-time U.S. Olympian, Madden topped a 24-horse field and a four-horse jump-off by more than two seconds for owner Abigail Wexner over courses built by Olaf Petersen, Jr. of Germany. “This was his first indoor event of the year, so it’s nice to see that he’s in form,” said Madden of the 12-year-old Dutch Warmblood stallion. “It shows why he was good at the World Cup [Final]; he walked right in here and was clever, rideable, adjustable, careful, and he can handle tight spaces like this.”
Other winners in the international jumper division included Georgina Bloomberg capturing the $50,000 Speed Final riding Paola 233, Aaron Vale clearing 6’11 ½” with Finou 4 to claim the $25,000 Land Rover Puissance, Catherine Tyree racing to the blue in the $40,000 Welcome Stake aboard Bokai, and 17-year-old Brian Moggre topping the $35,000 Accumulator Costume Class riding MTM Flutterby.
Elli Yeager, 16, of Wellington, Florida, bested a field of 40 of the nation’s top junior riders to win the Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund WIHS Equitation Finals. She won the hunter phase, then placed fourth in the jumper phase with her own Copperfield 39, and eventually clinched the overall title with a seamless ride-off round on second place finisher Coco Fath’s horse, Class Action.
“This is my favorite horse show, and it went better than I ever could have imagined!” said Yeager, who trains with Stacia Madden at Beacon Hill Show Stables. “I didn’t think this was ever going to happen to be honest – especially just being 16. But it happened, and I’m just elated that it happened here at my favorite horse show with my favorite horse who is the best partner that I could ask for.”
Samantha Takacs, of Oldwick, NJ, catch-rode Storyteller to victory in the WIHS Pony Equitation Final. Despite qualifying for the WIHS Pony Equitation Finals, Takacs didn’t have a mount available to compete and jumped her first fence with Storyteller the morning of the final.
“I am so thankful that my friend Caroline [Signorino] and Temple Equestrian were both kind enough to let me borrow him,” said Takacs of the 15-year-old German Sport Pony gelding. “In the schooling area, I got a little self-conscious and wasn’t sure how it was going to go. But, once I got in the ring I knew he would do it for me.”
Hunt Tosh, from Milton, GA, piloted Ceil Wheeler’s Bastogne to the Grand Hunter Championship after claiming the Green Hunter 3’6″ title. “Coming to a venue like this with a first year horse, you never know how they’re going to take it, but he was great,” said Tosh of Bastogne, who, at only six years old, was making his WIHS debut.
Becky Gochman, of Palm Beach, FL, and her Catch Me won the Grand 3’6″ Amateur-Owner Hunter tricolor in Gochman’s first year showing the horse. “We decided early on when I first bought him that we would take our time turning him into an amateur horse,” Gochman said. “We still do it very carefully because he is not the easiest, but again that’s what makes him so good. He really jumps up and he uses himself well, but he’s also very comfortable actually in the air.”
Lindsay Maxwell, of Beverly Hills, CA, rode her own Belgravia to the Grand 3’3″ Amateur-Owner Hunter title. “This is one of my absolute favorite shows; it means a lot to me to win here,” said Maxwell, a strong supporter of the WIHS through her own Lindsay Maxwell Charitable Fund. “[Belgravia] has just been incredible throughout this indoor season.”
Ashley Vogel, from Mequon, WI, claimed the Grand Junior Hunter championship on her Legacy and also took home the Best Child Rider on a Horse award. “I wasn’t expecting it at all, so it was a really nice surprise,” said Vogel. “This is my favorite horse show, and I was hoping for some good rounds – the same as last year. We had some good ribbons last year but not like this. It’s pretty incredible.”
Tessa Downey, of Houston, TX, not only claimed the Best Child Rider on a Pony award, but also guided her own Anisette to the Grand Pony Hunter title. “We came here just with our goal being to jog in every class,” Downey said. “Then this happens, and we’re over the moon!”
Equestrian Living Magazine presented the “Future Star Award” to Gabrielle Morin riding Ace of Spades. She is a member of the WIHS Junior Committee and is volunteering her time all week to help the show run smoothly while also competing. Gabrielle was sixth in the $10,000 WIHS Children’s Hunter Championship.
Read more about the winners and entertainment of the 60th Anniversary WIHS.