Beezie Madden had just one fault on her way to capturing the CP International Grand Prix at the Spruce Meadows Masters on Sunday.
After going clear in the first round of competition aboard Darry Lou, Madden had a single time fault in Round 2 to put her in top spot with only Eric Lamaze, of Schomberg, Ont., left to complete the course.
“Well, I thought I was pretty polite,” said Madden, who went on to win the top prize of $1-million after Lamaze and Fine Lady 5 finished with eight faults in the final round. “If he jumped clear, he could have beaten me.
“Eric, he’s always great with me. We have nothing but tremendous respect for each other, but when we’re out there, we’re each trying to win and we respect that as well. He was gracious. I’m happy when he wins. He’s happy when I win.”
Because of Madden’s victory, both she and Lamaze now have a pair of CP International Grand Prix victories to their credit. Madden previously won in 2005 aboard Judgement, while Lamaze and his legendary horse Hickstead captured the prestigious title in both 2007 and 2011.
“This is such an amazing place,” said Madden, of Cazenovia, N.Y., who finished third last year behind Egypt’s Sameh El Dahan and Dutch rider Maikel van der Vleuten. “It’s just an honour to be here. Any win is fantastic, but I have to say this one’s pretty special.”
Lamaze, who earned the right to go last after his clear run in the best time of 87.56 in the preliminary round, ended up falling to fifth place over all to earn $18,000.
Madden, who also won $44,125 on Friday for capturing the Tourmaline Oil Cup, rode clear in the first round in the second best time of 89.24 seconds before going on to win it all. In doing so, she became the first woman to win a leg of the Rolex Grand Slam of Show Jumping in its seven-year history.
“Winning this is amazing and to have the chance to start trying to win the Grand Slam or at least a portion of it would be amazing,” said Madden, who can win a 500,000-Euro bonus if she captures the next leg of the Grand Slam in December in Geneva, Switzerland. “We were questioning whether we want to go there or not, but I’m guessing this might seal the fact that we probably do want to go there.”
Australian Rowan Willis received $600,000 for finishing second on Sunday, while Austria’s Max Kuhner placed third to take home $445,000.
“[It’s our] first time in Calgary and I have to say I was really impressed.” Kuhner said. “It’s a fantastic venue and we are very happy that we can be here.”
Calgary’s Kara Chad was one of the top 12 riders to qualify for the second round of competition after receiving just one time fault Round 1. Aboard Quidamo F, Chad took 13 more faults in the final round to finish 12th overall, which earned her $30,000.
“This is the toughest Grand Prix in the world,” said Canadian chef d’equipe Mark Laskin, who helped guide Canada to a second-place showing behind Belgium during Saturday’s Nations’ Cup. “You expect Eric Lamaze to be there especially on a horse like Fine Lady who was an Olympic medallist three years ago.
“A bit of a surprise for Kara. She was on our Nations’ Cup team [Saturday] and was really solid and even better today, so the horse is progressing and we’re pretty excited about it.”