Broke in Europe, a Beezie Madden Story
Right now, the identify Beezie Madden is synonymous with American present leaping and Olympic medals.
However there was a time when group USA’s most embellished rider was brief on each cash and good horses. Although by no means on ambition, it will appear.
The yr was 1989.
Twenty-five yr previous Beezie (then “Patton”) was working for John Madden in Nelson, New York, when the pair took a big gamble on their first ever European tour. Utilizing Madden’s life financial savings, they booked one-way flights for themselves and two horses abroad.
Naturally, Madden had a foolproof plan going into the endeavor.
“We didn’t come up with the money for to fly residence until we gained sufficient prize cash,” defined Beezie.
It’s essential to notice right here that within the 80s, flying horses throughout the Atlantic was not an on a regular basis prevalence. Only a decade earlier John flew horses to the World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden solely to find they couldn’t get them off the truck as a result of the loading ramps utilized in Europe didn’t line up with the American transport containers.
“Me and a bunch of different guys went in an Military truck and we obtained some lumber on the lumber yard and constructed a ramp to get the horses off,” smiled John. “That’s how totally different it was.”
By the point the John and Beezie had been Europe certain in ’89, ramps weren’t a priority. However their horsepower most likely ought to’ve been.
“We had one horse that was owned by [Johan] Heins, referred to as Elliot Ness. He was a very good horse, a superb jumper however he was actually unhealthy at water, very spooky. Then we had one other horse [Northern Magic] that was given to us without cost from the Southern’s as a result of he was not so sound,” stated John.
“So we had a free horse and a horse that wouldn’t soar the water and we had no cash.”
Given these promising prospects, the pair hedged their European wager and focused simpler exhibits.
“We began at Rome,” deadpanned Beezie.
Rome, in case you haven’t picked up on Madden’s reserved strategy to danger taking but, is a CSIO occasion. It’s one of many greatest exhibits in Europe.
“We had been so silly, we simply didn’t even know!” laughed John. “We stated, ‘We’ll begin there and identical to we do at residence, we’ll win cash after which we’ll come residence.’”
And that’s exactly what they did.
Beezie being Beezie—and seemingly proof against stress even then—posted the one double clear efficiency of the day within the Samsung Nations Cup at Rome.
“I nonetheless have the newspaper of me leaping over the headlines,” she stated.
From Italy, they proceeded to cease in any respect the largest exhibits in Europe—Wiesbaden, Copenhagen, Hickstead, Eindhoven—scraping by on winnings and pluck.
“Beezie, she type of slept wherever we might
discover,” recalled John. “A number of the exhibits gave her a lodge room. Different exhibits, I
suppose she stayed with associates or in folks’s vehicles.”
John, in the meantime, spent most of his nights within the secure.
“We labored on a shoestring [budget] for a couple of years there, so we had been used to it,” she smiled.
What they weren’t use to was being flush with Deutsche Marks, which is how they left Germany after a very profitable week in Wiesbaden.
“A variety of occasions [the shows] paid you in money,” defined Beezie. “We gained so much in Wiesbaden, so we type of had pockets full of money leaving there.”
Europe granted the pair a wealth of expertise, as effectively.
Previous to their abroad journey, Beezie had contested the Rhode Island Derby in New York, a “severe, severe derby” by John’s estimation. It did little to organize her for the one she’d face in Eindhoven, Holland.
“We go to this park in Eindhoven and I stated, ‘This could’t be any type of derby, there’s nothing right here.’ On Sunday, by the point they set every little thing up, it was treacherous,” stated John.
“In these days we didn’t even see the liverpool trays, the water trays, however in Europe that they had them already. So the following factor they’ve obtained water trays in all places and the banks we thought had been simply ornament you needed to soar them with the horse!”
Once more Beezie prevailed, taking second within the Grand Prix and within the Derby on Northern Magic that weekend.
However their greatest problem was but to return.
With a string of high outcomes, Beezie was named to the US group for probably the most troublesome and most prestigious equestrian occasion in Europe—Aachen. Even John’s indomitable spirit wavered there.
“The primary time we walked the course at Aachen, John requested me if I assumed our horses might soar that top,” laughed Beezie. “I stated, ‘Effectively, I hope so.’ And so they did.
“However Aachen regarded large.”
Beezie and John finally did win sufficient to pay for his or her journey residence. It was the primary of many abroad journeys—and victories—within the years to return and can go down as a footnote in a flourishing profession that continues to succeed in new, unprecedented heights. (See: CP Worldwide.)
However for the Maddens, who married a decade after that fateful European tour, it’s one fondly memorialized by a framed newspaper clipping that hangs of their Cazenovia, NY residence and a lifetime of reflection.
“I assume I used to be dumb sufficient to suppose we might do it and Beezie was dumb sufficient to belief me,” smiled John.
“It was simply fantastic. Actually lots of enjoyable.”
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