Horse Bits Magazine - created for everyone equestrian!

Beezie Madden jumps into her 4th Olympic Games with Cortes.

  • Author: Anonym
  • Number of views: 4853

Beezie Madden - Photo Credit S. Brinkman

I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with Beezie Madden, who will be competing for the United States on the Olympic Equestrian Show Jumping team in Rio de Janeiro this summer. Beezie and her husband John are currently residing in the Netherlands where they’re training several of their horses for the upcoming games. 


Beezie Madden, is an Individual Olympic Bronze Medalist and a member of the two gold medal U.S. teams from the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Games where she rode Authentic. Madden is the first United States equestrian to reach the top three in the show jumping world rankings and the first horsewomen to exceed the million-dollar mark in show jumping earnings. As a seasoned veteran for the United States Olympic team, Beezie will be competing in her fourth games, a feat unmatched by any other US horsewoman. At the experienced age of 52, Beezie is gaming for gold. 

Congratulations on being selected to your fourth Olympic games - how does it feel? 

“It feels great. Having been on previous Olympic teams it was a big goal of mine this year. I’m fortunate to be selected from a large group of outstanding American riders.”  

Cortes “C”, a 14 year old large black warm blood gelding, well known for crossing his front legs over jumps, will be your horse in Rio, what makes him so special?  

“We have been riding some very strong horses the past few years. Cortes has the most experience - he is incredible over big fences. He likes to compete and has the will to win. He has a great temperament and is comfortable in different venues and big championships. Cortes is very sensible and responsive and wants to train and work with you - that makes him special”. 

The Olympics are different in the fact that you can only bring one horse. Will you and the trainers prepare differently going into Rio? 

“Yes. We have been building up Cortes’s stamina over the last few months in anticipation for the event. We will ride him in five, maybe six, rounds in the upcoming Grand Prix. The Olympics are longer than most events with several rounds per day. We will work to make sure Cortes is prepared for the format.” 

With the Olympics being a worldwide event with many spectators and large TV coverage. Do you get nervous before big competitions like this? 

“It is easier now than earlier in my career. Experience is real important. Though I still have nerves, most of my thoughts are on the horse. Are they healthy? Do they have focus? Over the years I have ridden in most of the venues, so that helps.” 

HorseBits Magazine has a significant amount of young readers that look up to you as a role model. What advice would you offer them as they continue their riding career? 

"I would encourage all riders to get an education. People skills are so important. Being able to talk with sponsors, media, and other individuals on different levels is absolutely essential. I would advise riders to soak up all you can from trainers and other riders as we are always learning. Be dedicated, work hard, and have a passion for improving”. 

In 1998, Beezie married John Madden, her trainer at the time. That same year Beezie and John purchased a farm just outside of Cazenovia to operate “John Madden Sales”. The company breeds, buys, and sells show jumping horses and trains amateur riders as well. The couple built their home overlooking the stables and paddocks.

How often do you get back to Cazenovia? 

“I have spent four nights in Cazenovia in the last seven months. We left for Wellington, Florida on January 2nd. It’s hard, but we compete worldwide. We have a great team back home that takes care of the horses and farm.” 

Why Cazenovia and Upstate New York for Beezie and John Madden? 

“John had done some business through the years in the area. He actually knew the farm before it was for sale. John and I liked the area as it was affordable land with a lot of horse people and very good veterinarians. John likes the seasons for horses. We turn out the horses often. He feels cold months are good for the animals.”  

I understand you have purchased additional land continuous with your property and it is being groomed and transformed into more open fields and paddocks. 

“Yes. We are excited about that. Great rolling hills with views and it will give us another entrance to our property, we have several brood mares so this will give us more room for foals and young horses. We also have a retired horse program that has grown and this will open up additional space for that program as well.” 

You are continually evaluating horses for potential show jumpers. How do you know if they have what it takes to get to the top level? 

“We’ve had our best success with young horses. You can tell if they can jump and are explosive right away. It is tougher to tell if they will work out long term - will they be healthy? Will they grow into the right temperament? It’s like a young basketball player - they might be the best player in high school but when they get to college can they handle additional training, bright lights, distractions of being away from home. Some horses don’t do well with travel, different bedding, different vets, new arenas. I guess its a feeling and a little luck.” 

How do you feel about the US team’s chances going into the Olympic Games next month? 

“I feel we have a really strong team actually. I like are chances allot. The riders and horses chosen all have had strong years leading into the event. Many things need to go right. Horses staying healthy, riders staying healthy”, putting together clean rounds”. If you and Cortes are fortunate to win Olympic Gold - who gets to wear the medal? “Well it certainly will not fit around his neck - He is a really big boy.” 

Beezie - thanks for taking time for the interview and good luck in the Olympics. We will all be watching and cheering. 

“Thanks - I’m just hoping to make everybody back home proud.” 

You already have.

Photo courtesy S. Brinkman.
Please login or register to post comments.

Theme picker


Red Fox Run Bed and Breakfast Advertisement

Theme picker

Upcoming Events

«August 2022»



Horse Bits Magazine is publication of Canastota Publishing Co.  For more information about the magazine call (315) 697-9010.