Beezie breezes to Shell Cup

RANDY SPORTAK -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:01 AM ET

Beezie Madden's shock wasn't over her clear round. It was the news she'd won the $175,000 Shell Cup derby outright without requiring a jump-off.

"I didn't know Richard (Spooner) had a time fault, so I thought I did have to jump off when I finished," Madden said after winning the $58,000 first-place prize. "Then, they announced I'd won."

Madden, the final competitor in the event from Cazenovia, N.Y., came to the start line facing a soggy Spruce Meadows course that had rain falling on it and a pair of competitors in Spooner and Kyle King atop the leaderboard with one fault each.

She and her 15-year-old Dutch warmblood stallion Judgement had no problem with the obstacles en route to winning the National tournament finale. She won the class for the second time in four years, claiming it with Innocence back in 2003.

"I chalk it up to the horses, really," she said. "It's amazing how much easier it is when the horses have done it a few times. This is the first time Judgement has felt like Innocence did in the end.

"He felt like he knew the course and jumped around it like a normal course, which is how Innocence did it in the end when he won it."

Madden, third on the Spruce Meadows all-time money list with $1.5 million in winnings, also claimed the Canadian championship, which comes with a $15,000 prize and the use of a Chrysler car for a year.

Spooner didn't get the chance in a jump-off but did claim second with Hilton Flight to win $35,000 and fourth aboard Robinson for another $17,500 cheque.

"I was surprised there was only the one clear," said the rider from Agua Dulce, Calif. "Although the weather turned south at the end, it was sufficient throughout the day and the footing was superb. The grass field felt fantastic and the horses were jumping very, very well.

"I knew when I looked up and had the time fault, I was in trouble."

Spooner also cleared the $1-million mark, the 10th rider to reach that milestone in Spruce Meadows history.

"That was a goal this year," he admitted. "I was gonna get it at the North American and now I have to come up with another."

King was third with Capone 1 and pocketed $21,500.

The top Canadian was Eric Lamaze with Telegraph, who placed sixth to win $7,500.


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