CALGARY — Tumbling to the turf a year ago in this event when her horse Prima stopped short in front of an intimidating jump in the International Ring left Beezie Madden with a sore shoulder and slightly dented sense of pride.
The American show-jumping queen was beaming after the duo made amends in the $60,000 TransCanada Parcours de Chasse Saturday afternoon, racing through the ring in 84.47 seconds without knocking down a single rail to claim the $18,000 top prize at the Spruce Meadows National event.
“After I had that fall, I think she won two of the parcours in the Meadows on the Green (ring), and then I placed in the parcours in the North American here (last summer),” Madden said of her 11-year-old mare.
“She got a lot more experience since then.”
It showed as the Dutch Warmblood got the best of Leslie Howard’s Jeans Glove Varnel — a Selle Francais mare that boasts the blood of being three-quarters thoroughbred.
Madden and Prima had the benefit of being last through the clock tower Saturday in the speed event that adds faults as seconds to the overall time.
“It’s always good to go last. Luckily, I’d seen part of Leslie’s round, at least, so I had an idea of what kind of pace she was on,” Madden said.
“You kind of just allow (Prima) to go fast and she covers a lot of ground. On the landing from every fence, she’s quick to pick up and go again.
“She’s fast, and does all the natural fences easy.”
The fences she doesn’t handle so well didn’t seem to be a problem either and she was steered cleanly through the course to put Madden’s name atop the standings for the first time at Spruce Meadows this season.
Her top mounts Danny Boy and Mademoiselle are in Europe competing in the super league tours after qualifying for the selection trials for this fall’s World Equestrian Games.
The lack of numbers allowed Madden to enter Prima into Friday night’s 1.45-metre ATCO Midstream Cup and get an early taste of the big ring.
“I think that helped her a lot to get comfortable,” Madden said.