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Jumping Clinic

Beezie Madden critiques a rider and pony combination over fences.

Overall: It looks like both the rider and the pony are overachievers. The pony is jumping quite high over the fence, and the rider is trying to jump high, too.

Photo 3

Leg/Seat: I like the placement of the stirrup. She’s secure with her leg because the pony is making a big effort over the fence, and she’s not getting jumped loose. She’s over the pommel, but her seat is so high out of the saddle that her leg is straight. I’d like more bend in her knee and her seat a little closer to the saddle.

Upper body: The rider is ducking with her upper body to the left side of the pony’s neck. This has caused her to look down, making it harder for her to recover on the landing and start the approach to the next fence. She doesn’t need to make such a big effort with her body and seat, but instead let the pony jump up to her.

Release: It’s hard to tell about the crest release, but there is a big loop in the reins, making me wonder if they are a little too long. Also, the pony has shifted right over this fence, so the rider could use an opening left rein to hold him straighter.

Pony: The pony is expressive with a classic front end: His knees are so high that his forearms are a little higher than parallel to the ground, and he’s folding his lower legs very even and tight. He’s really stretching his head and neck forward and down. There’s a curve in his neck, and the withers are high, probably partly why the rider’s seat went so high.

Turnout: The rider’s clothes fit well. I like the classic blue jacket and jodhpurs for a pony rider. The hair is done well under the helmet, which fits nicely. The pony’s tack is nice. The dee-ring snaffle is classic for a hunter pony.  

Beezie Madden captured Olympic show-jumping team gold medals in 2004 as well as 2008, where she also earned the individual bronze medal, all riding Authentic. She won the FEI Jumping World Cup™ Final in 2013 with Simon and in 2018 with Breitling LS. Other accolades include an Olympic team silver medal in 2016 riding Cortes ‘C’, with whom she also took World Equestrian Games team and individual bronze medals. She won the prestigious 2019 CP ‘International’ at CSIO Spruce Meadows and was voted the 2019 USEF International Equestrian of the Year. She and her husband, John, are based out of John Madden Sales in Cazenovia, New York.

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2021 issue.

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