Cazenovia's Beezie Madden on the Road to Rio

Beezie Madden's horse readied for his final pre-Olympic workout by groom Clark Shipley--he will accompany Cortes C on the eleven hour-plus trip from Europe to Rio on Sunday (photo courtesy John Madden Sales)

Cazenovia equestrian Beezie Madden is about to compete in her fourth Olympics. Here's a look at how she is making last-minute preparations for the horse jumping event:

John Madden Sales, the farm in Cazenovia, is all decked out, with American flags on the fenceposts. That's been the tradition for all Olympics Beezie has been in. New this year, lawn signs---so popular that they've run out of the second printing, and have now posted a copy on the farm Facebook Page with the copy to download and print. Madden told us, from her European base in the Netherlands, that she's touched by the enthusiasm and support she's getting, especially considering the equestrian part of the Olympics are not considered 'mainline' sports.

On Thursday, Madden and Cortes C, the 14-year old Belgian warmblood had their final workout before going to Rio.
Cortes C was the star of the 2014 World Equestrian Games (named horse of the games for jumping flawlessly) and has been aimed for the Olympics since, including a summer of showing at the 'big' horse shows in Europe.

Cortes C has a unique jumping style: he crosses his front legs. Beezie says he's always done it, to tuck his legs up even higher to clear the big obstacles.

On Sunday, Cortes C will be loaded into a plane 'stall,' a shipping container that fits into the body of a cargo jet. Clark Shipley, his groom, will make the eleven hour plus trip with him--and 40+ other Olympics bound horses.

Beezie and John Madden will travel on Monday, after the horse has left. She has won two team golds and an individual bronze in per past three Olympics, and she's hoping for gold from Rio.
The team jumping qualifier is on Sunday, August 14th.

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