First Woman to Win!

Beezie Madden

Beezie Madden riding Authentic at the 2008 Olympic Games in Sha Tin, Hongkong

One of the top show jumping events in the world, the Longines King George V Gold Cup, is held every year at Hickstead in England. The first time the event was held was 108 years ago. No woman has ever won—until this year. American Beezie Madden, riding Cortes ‘C’, made history just over a week ago by becoming the first woman to win this prestigious Grand Prix event. Just so you know—one of the reasons a woman hasn’t won until now is that only men were eligible to jump in the King George until 2008!

Beezie Madden

Beezie Madden riding Onlight in 2008.

1. In what year was the first Longines King George V Gold Cup held?

2. Out of those 108 events, how many times have women been allowed to compete in?

In this year’s competition, forty-nine horse and rider teams competed; only fourteen jumped the 12-obstacle course without a fault and made it to the jump-off.

3. What percentage of the horse and rider teams made it to the jump-offs?

Madden was scheduled to ride last in the jump-off, a good position to be in. She’d know going in what time she and Cortes ‘C’ would have to beat.

The first clear round in the jump-off came with the fifth horse and rider team. Ireland’s Shane Breen, riding Golden Hawk finished with no faults in a time of 52.88 seconds.

4. Timing for the competition was kept to what fraction of a second?

The lead changed hands when Australian James Paterson-Robinson, riding Boris III, rode a clear round in a time of 51.14 seconds.

Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue

Marcus Ehning and Plot Blue competing in the 2013 Longines Global Champions in Lausanne, Switzerland.

5. What place value does the number ‘5’ have in James and Boris III’s finishing time?

6. How much faster did James and Boris III complete the course than Shane and Golden Hawk?

Another Irish rider, Bertram Allen, riding Romanov, jumped next and finished with a time of 47.09 seconds.

7. What place value does the number ‘0’ hold in Bertram and Romanov’s time?

Next in the jump-off was American Laura Kraut riding the 10-year-old mare, Nouvelle. The pair were clear over the jumps with a time of 54.04 seconds.

Germany’s Marcus Ehning and his 17-year-old stallion Plot Blue posted a clear round with a time of 47.91 seconds. There was one rider/horse pair left. It was up to Beezie and Cortes ‘C’.

8. You know they won, so they had to have ridden a clear round. What time did they have to beat to win the event?

They rode quickly and with a clear round, beating Bertram Allen and Romanov’s time by 1.08 seconds!

9. What was Beezie and Cortes ‘C”s finishing time?

Speaking afterwards, Madden said: “Us girls were always kind of jealous we didn’t get to jump in this class so it’s really great to win it.”

Before checking your answers, check out this video of Beezie and Cortes ‘C’ winning the CSI De Wolden 2014 in the Netherlands this past June.

2008 Olympic Games Equestrian Game Day Ceremony by WiNG; CC BY 3.0
Beezie Madden Onlight by Julia Rubinic; CC BY 2.0
Marcus Ehning et Plot Blue by Clément Bucco-Lechat; CC BY-SA 3.0

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