Meet the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team - Expert how-to for English Riders

Meet the U.S. Olympic Show Jumping Team

Get to know the riders named to the U.S. Show Jumping Team for the 2016 Rio Olympics
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Follow along with all the Olympic action from Rio!

Lucy Davis and Barron


California born and on a horse soon after she could walk, Lucy Davis began taking structured lessons at the age of 5. Her grandfather first encouraged her to ride, and he has had a huge impact on her life. Lucy was an extremely competitive child and growing up, played soccer and rode horses. In her late teens, Lucy no longer had time for two sports. She needed to choose between them, and she chose riding. Lucy went on to take the individual silver at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships in 2009. At the same show in 2010, Lucy was on the Zone 10 Gold medal winning team and won fifth place individually. At the conclusion of the shows, the European Young Masters League invited the top medalists from the North American Championships to compete in the final in Frankfurt, Germany. While there, Lucy trained with Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and her husband, Markus Beerbaum. Lucy won the competition, and this was a turning point in her riding career. She realized she could make a life out of her passion and began to take riding much more seriously. She continued training with Meredith and Markus and learned how to ride at the top of the sport, which included good flatwork and horse care.

Lucy Davis and Barron | © Nancy Jaffer

Lucy Davis and Barron | © Nancy Jaffer

After almost two years of searching, Markus found a horse that could take Lucy to the top. Originally called Underground des Hauts Droits, Lucy changed the horse’s name to Barron to match her grandfather’s middle name. In 2011, she started college at Stanford University to pursue an architectural degree. For four years, Lucy juggled a rigorous college program and a competitive international show jumping schedule. During this time, Lucy and Barron won the 2013 Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix in Lausanne, Switzerland. This was Lucy’s first ever five-star win, and she was one step closer to her dreams.

In 2014, the pair finished double clear in the Nations Cup in Aachen, and were on the U.S. Team competing in the World Equestrian Games in Normandy where the team won the Bronze medal. Lucy graduated college in 2015 and can now devote herself to riding full-time. Since finishing college, she has trained with Eric von der Vleuten in the Netherlands in preparation for the 2016 U.S. Olympic Selection Trials. Riding in the Rio Olympics has been a goal of Lucy’s for many years, and this will be her first Olympic games.

Kent Farrington and Voyeur


Kent Farrington began riding at 8-years-old at a carriage barn in downtown Chicago. Soon after, he moved his riding to the suburbs where he raced ponies and retrained ex-racehorses. As his riding improved, Kent began catch-riding for professionals in the industry. During this time, he won the 1998 Eiser/Pessoa National Equitation Medal Finals and the Washington International Equitation Medal in 1999. At age 18, Kent won a gold medal at the 1999 North American Young Riders International Competition, and this greatly strengthened his reputation on the competitive circuit.

Kent Farrington and Voyeur | © Nancy Jaffer

Kent Farrington and Voyeur | © Nancy Jaffer

Kent gained his professional status in 1999 when he accepted a job with Tim Grubb, and a few years later he went on to work for Leslie Howard. During his early years as a professional, Kent won over $1 million in prize money and was given the Maxine Beard Award recognizing young American riders who have great show jumping talent and the potential to represent the U.S. on an international scale. In 2011, Kent did just that when he rode on the U.S. Team in the Pan American Games and helped the team win the Gold medal. He and his Rio Olympic partner, Voyeur, competed in the 2014 FEI World Equestrian Games in France where the U.S. Team earned the Bronze medal. In 2015, Kent won numerous national and international show jumping competitions, and this streak has continued into 2016. He travels all over the world to compete in the show jumping ring as he advances toward his Olympic debut in Rio.

Beezie Madden and Cortes ‘C’


Born into a horse-loving family near Milwaukee, Beezie Madden began riding at the age of 3. She grew up on her family’s farm and received her first pony, Flicka, as a Christmas gift. Beezie was a working student for Katie Prudent during her junior years and moved up the levels of show jumping until she reached Grand Prix competition in 1985.

Beezie Madden and Cortes 'C' | © Amy K. Dragoo/AIMMEDIA

Beezie Madden and Cortes 'C' | © Amy K. Dragoo/AIMMEDIA

Beezie was the first woman to pass the $1 million mark in prize money for show jumping and in 2004, she became the first woman and first American rider to be one of the top three show jumpers in the world. Beezie, aboard Authentic, represented the United Sates at the 2004 Olympics in Athens where the team took the Gold medal. At the 2006 World Equestrian Games, she earned a Silver medal in both the individual and team competitions. The next year, Beezie won the world renowned Grand Prix at Aachen riding Authentic. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she and Authentic were members of the U.S. Show Jumping Team and helped the team earn the Gold medal as well as winning the Individual Bronze medal.

In 2011, Beezie rode Coral Reef Via Volo in the Pan American Games and won the Team Gold and Individual Silver medals. She went on to represent the United States in the 2012 London Olympics where the team won sixth place. In 2014, Beezie won the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational in Tampa, Florida. This was the third year she won this competition, the others being in 2005 and 2007. Over the years, Beezie has won the Spruce Meadows Atco Power Queen Elizabeth II Cup three times and has won the second highest amount of prize money at Spruce Meadows to date. Beezie currently trains out of Cazenovia, New York where she and her husband run their farm. The 2016 Rio Olympics are Beezie’s fourth Olympic appearance.

McLain Ward and HH Azur

McLain Ward and HH Azur | © Amy K. Dragoo/AIMMEDIA

McLain Ward and HH Azur | © Amy K. Dragoo/AIMMEDIA

McLain Ward was introduced to riding before he could walk, and has been a highly competitive member of the equestrian community. In 1990, at age 14, he became the youngest rider ever to win both the USET Medal Finals and the USET Talent Derby. Upon becoming a young professional, McLain was the youngest rider ever to break the $1 million mark in prize money at 24-years-old.

McLain and long-time mount Sapphire competed in their first Olympic Games in 2004 at the Athens Olympics where the U.S. Team brought home the Gold medal. The duo also represented the United States in the 2006 FEI World Equestrian Games where the team won the Silver medal. This pair went on to ride in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and helped the U.S. Team win another Gold medal.

McLain and Rothchild competed at the 2014 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games where the U.S. Team won the Bronze medal. At the 2015 Pan American Games, McLain won his first individual medal with Rothchild, and it was gold. Also in this year, McLain and his Rio Olympic partner, HH Azur, were fifth in the $1.5 million Grand Prix and won the CSI***** $400,000 Queen Elizabeth II Cup, both at Spruce Meadows. More recently, the duo won the 2016 Loro Piana City of Rome Grand Prix. McLain and his wife, Lauren, live at Castle Hill Farm in Brewster, New York with their 1-year-old daughter, Lilly. This will be McLain’s fourth Olympic games.

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