Judgement day

CAMERON MAXWELL -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:16 AM ET

Beezie Madden has won just about everything in show jumping but hadn't been able to capture Spruce Meadows' crown jewel -- until yesterday.

Thanks to three clear rounds, including a jump-off, Madden won the $1 million CN International, beating a field of the best riders in the world.

And she did it with her rock-solid 14-year-old black stallion, Judgement, as the duo beat 46 other horse/rider combinations, including Great Britain's Nick Skelton, a three-time winner, and his mount, Arko, in the jump-off.

After her stellar performance, Madden, who is from Cazenovia, N.Y., was ecstatic.

"It's been great here all summer and this is quite a climax," said Madden.

"There's very few people that win this class. It's unbelievable and I'm still in awe."

Most would be awestruck at winning $325,000, which Madden did yesterday.

To put it in perspective, her three rounds in the International Ring took a total of 130 seconds, meaning she earned $2,500 per second.

In addition, Madden, the No. 11 rider in the world, earned a $75,000 bonus for winning two Grand Prix events in the CN Precision Series after capturing the Queen Elizabeth II Cup in July.

In the tense jump-off, Skelton went first and laid down a clear run with a good pace of 48.02 seconds.

Then it was Madden's turn and she and Judgement made it look easy, besting Skelton by nearly two full seconds, in 46.04.

Skelton earned $200,000 and said he didn't leave anything in the ring, knowing Madden, who is as fast as they come, was following.

Interestingly, Madden was scheduled to ride another horse of hers, Authentic, but after she rode the 10-year-old gelding in Saturday's soggy Nations' Cup, she decided yesterday morning it would be better to rest him and bring out Judgement.

"We didn't think Authentic needed to be out for two days in those conditions and Judgement jumped beautifully on Friday. He loves this place and we all thought it was a class he might be able to win some day and here he is," said Madden with a laugh.

Quebec's Mario Deslauriers, with his mount, Paradigm, finished third.

After Round 2, only Madden and Skelton were clear. Eric Lamaze of Schomberg, Ont., had a great run going with Hickstead but took down a rail on the final jump.

SPEEDY SPOONER: Rack up another speed class victory for Richard Spooner.

The American captured the $75,000 Molson Cup with a newer horse, Quirino 3, a 10-year-old Oldenburg gelding. The duo bested Great Britain's John Whitaker and Lactic 2 by more than a second.

Spooner finished in 87.58 seconds, good for a $26,000 cheque, while Whitaker clocked 89.24 and earned $15,000.

Norway's Geir Gulliksen was third on Clear Rounds Then Party, easily the best-named horse at the Masters, and won $9,000 for his effort.


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