Cazenoviaâ??s Beezie Madden is set to start her third Olympics early Saturday morning, with a horse thatâ??s new to the Olympics.
The horse that took her to medals in the games in Greece and China, Authentic, is enjoying his days at leisure in a pasture at the Maddenâ??s farm, which is decked out in one hundred American flags.
Beezie, along with the rest of the US Olympic equestrian jumping team, flew to Britain earlier this week from Holland, where theyâ??ve been doing last-minute prepping.
Before heading to the Olympics, to get in shape physically and mentally, Beezieâ??s been riding, and jumping, an average eight horses a day, plus working out at a gym.
Her decades of wins at home and in Europe, plus medals in the last two Olympics, have given her the experience to deal with the pressures of negotiating the obstacle course with no faults, as fast as possible.
The horse, Coral Reef Via Volo, who is nicknamed Shrimp, is a 14-year-old Belgian warmblood. She may be new to the Olympics, but has competed successfully in grand prix jumping events around the country and has some international experience, which has helped her get used to crowd noises.
One concern, for the whole American team, is not the nearly 6-foot-high jumps, but the wide, low water jump.
â??They can be 14-feet wide,â?? says Beezieâ??s trainer-husband John Madden. â??And the difficulty is, thereâ??s no height element to it.â??
The horses must gallop to it, to get the momentum to get over without touching the white tape on either side. Usually thereâ??s a high combination of jumps right after, requiring the rider to â??apply the brakesâ?? and regroup for the effort.
â??The sport is always evolving,â?? says Beezie. â??Course designers are always trying to come up with something that the horses will be surprised by. And itâ??s our job to try to guess what theyâ??re gonna do, and keep the horses up to date on whatâ??s gonna be in front of them.â??
Beezie and Shrimp have the chance at two medals. For the team (3 of the 4 members must finish first rounds of competition above the cut) and for individual effort.
Theyâ??ll be competing through the middle of next week. NBC will be showing the jumping and you can also get an insiderâ??s view on the Maddenâ??s Facebook page.Full Olympics coverage:
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