The Champions’ Welcome “World Cup” Grand Prix was the perfect way to set up for the $2 million Spruce Meadows “Masters” Tournament.  With a tick in the win column, Beezie Madden (USA), gained some experience and valuable World Cup points.

Riding her 13 year-old Holstein mare, Mademoiselle, Madden took on the field of 28 on the Meadows on the Green.  The first round saw 12 clear the Werner Deeg (GER) designed course to move onto the jump-off.  With rain from earlier in the day coming into play, Deeg provided the riders with a more forgiving first round.

“I think Werner thought a bit too much about the rain and made the first round a bit too nice,” said Madden.  “But the jump-off was more difficult and it was a really good jump-off.” 

It was Mexico’s Jaime Geurra and his 10 year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding, Taunus who set the time to beat early in the jump-off at 38.76 seconds.  “I only got the horse four days ago,” said Guerra.  “It’s the first time I’ve been in the ring with him.”  With a little rookie luck the veteran rider put the pressure on the rest of the entry.

Madden came out gunning with Mademoiselle, eating up the 8 jumping efforts over the 340 metres of course in 37.77 seconds, bumping Guerra from top position.  Coming in to try and take the win from her team mate was American Ashlee Bond and her 11 year-old Zangersheide gelding, Chivas Z.

Their finish time was 38.11, and good enough for second place for Bond.  With a top two finish Madden and Bond are feeling confident heading into Saturday’s BMO Nations’ Cup.  “I feel really good,” said Bond.  “We always feel good before it starts,” added the veteran Madden.

Friends of the Meadows FEI World Cup Qualifier top 10 –
1. Beezie Madden – USA – Mademoiselle
2. Ashlee Bond – USA – Chivas Z
3. Jaime Guerra – MEX – Taumus
4. Yann Candele – CAN – Game Ready
5. Richard Spooner – USA – Cristallo
6. Samantha Buirs – CAN – Total Touch
7. Nicola Fitzgibbon – IRL – Puissance
8. Antonio Maurer – MEX – Charro
9. John Anderson – CAN – Terrific
10. Jennifer Crooks – IRL – SF Sadin