An exciting day of competition took place at CSIO5* Hickstead on Sunday as 42 athlete-and-horse combinations entered the International Arena in hopes of winning the Longines King George V Gold Cup. Beezie Madden made history with Cortes ‘C’ last year, becoming the first woman to ever win the prestigious Grand Prix. Following this year’s six horse jump-off, the pair did what did not seem possible and claimed the win once again. “I thought Cortes was amazing, as he usually is. The first round was great and the jump-off was even better; everything just kept coming up right,” Madden explained. “It feels amazing, but I don’t think it has quite sunk in yet. I have a great team behind me, including Abigail Wexner, who is a fantastic owner. When you have a great day, it feels really good to have done it for the team.”
In the first round of the Longines King George V Gold Cup, two U.S. combinations moved forward to the jump-off after having faultless rounds over Kelvin Bywater’s large track. Madden (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Abigail Wexner’s 2002 Belgian Warmblood gelding had an excellent first round, as did teammates from Friday’s Nations Cup, Todd Minikus and Babalou 41, a 2005 Oldenburg mare owned by Two Swans Farm.
With six combinations returning for the jump-off, it proved to be an exciting finish. Though some came close, none went clear under the time of 43.06 laid down by Madden and Cortes ‘C’, earning them top honors for the second year in a row. Minikus (Loxahatchee, Fla.) and Babalou 41 had a single rail in a time of 44.32 to finish sixth. Penelope Leprevost (FRA) and Flora de Mariposa were second with a time of 43.42, while Jur Vrieling (NED) and Vdl Zirocco Blue N.O.P. were third with a time of 49.54.
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