Beezie Madden

Elizabeth Madden (née Patton; born 20 November 1963) is an American Olympic champion equestrian competing in show jumping. She has two Olympic golds and one silver in team jumping, and an individual bronze. She won the FEI Show Jumping World Cup twice;[1][2] won two silvers and two bronzes at World Championships; and won two golds, one silver and two bronzes at the Pan American Games. She was the first American to break into the international top three show jumping ranking, and the first woman to win over one million dollars in show jumping prize money.[3]

Beezie Madden
Beezie Madden - 2008 Olympic Games.jpg
Madden on the medals stand in 2008.
Personal information
Birth nameElizabeth Patton
Full nameElizabeth Madden
BornNovember 20, 1963 (1963-11-20) (age 57)
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.
Spouse(s)John Madden

She competed at the 2004 Athens Olympics, winning team gold for the United States; at the 2008 Beijing Olympics winning team gold and individual bronze; at the 2012 London Olympics; and at the 2016 Rio Olympics winning team silver.[4] She and her husband John Madden own and operate John Madden Sales, a horse training and sales business, out of Cazenovia, New York.[4]

Early life and educationEdit

Madden was born Elizabeth Patton in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Kathleen "Kathy" McGregor/Schlesinger and Joseph "Joe" Patton.[5] Her parents were involved in horse training and sales, and eventually built a stable of their own.[6] As a child, she rode at the Milwaukee Hunt Club,[4] where her parents kept the horses they trained and sold.[6] She began riding at three years old and received her first pony as a Christmas gift at roughly age four[3][7] or five.[3][8] She named the pony Flicka. Her brother Stuart also rode, and received a pony for Christmas that same year, naming it Fudge. They rode the ponies bareback, as they only had bridles.[6] Madden began competing at about age six.[9] She rode in the hunters for most of her junior career,[6] but competed equitation for her last two junior years, and jumpers in her final year.[6][10] Her highest finish in equitation was eighth at the Medal Final, a national competition.[6][10]

She attended Southern Seminary Junior College and rode for the school's team in addition to playing basketball and softball.[3][7] In 1984, she won the Cacchione Cup at the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association's national competition.[10] Madden graduated as valedictorian and was accepted at University of Virginia. She opted to take a job at Katie Monahan's farm instead of attending university.[6][10]


Madden worked and lived at Katie Monahan's property for four years.[6] While there, she met her future husband, John Madden, who was also working for Monahan at the time.[6]

Madden began riding grand prix, show jumping's highest level, at age 22 in 1985.[3][7] She made her international debut in 1987, representing the United States at the World Cup in Paris.[4] In 1988, John and Beezie bought a farm in Cazenovia, New York.[6] In November 1998, they got married.[6] In 2002, she attended her first World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain.[10]

At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Madden won the gold medal as part of the United States team in team jumping, together with Peter Wylde, McLain Ward and Chris Kappler.[11] That year, Madden also became the first woman ever to pass the $1 million mark in show jumping earnings.[12]

At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, Madden earned gold in the team jumping competition along with Laura Kraut, Will Simpson and McLain Ward. She also earned a bronze in the individual show jumping competition. She placed first in the Animal Planet Sport Horse cup aboard Judgement that year. During the 2008 Rolex Events in Las Vegas, Authentic threw Madden into a jump, and later was disqualified from the entire event.[citation needed]

Madden riding Authentic (left) at the 2008 Olympic Games ceremony

In 2012, Madden competed in the 2012 Summer Olympics for the United States on Coral Reef Via Volo.[2]

In 2013, she was the 4th ranked rider in the world in the FEI Longines Rider Rankings and the number one woman rider.[13] To accomplish this goal she won the Show Jumping World Cup in Gothenburg, Sweden on Simon, the $125,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida on Cortes 'C',[14] was a member of Team USA winning the $75,000 Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup CSIO4* at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival in Wellington, Florida, again on Simon,[15] the $35,000 RBC Capital Markets Cup 1.50 m at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta on Amadora,[16] the $60,000 Great West-Life Cup at Spruce Meadows in Calgary, Alberta on Coral Reef Via Volo.[17] the Global Champions Tour CSI5* Grand Prix of Chantilly in France on Cortes 'C' [18] and the $100,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier in North Salem, New York on Coral Reef Via Volo.[19]

In 2014, riding Cortes 'C', Madden was the first woman to win the King George Gold Cup at Hickstead, and the first woman to win the same competition back to back in the King George V Cup when she won again on the same mount in 2015.[20] In May 2014, Madden and Breitling LS fell during a competition. The horse was uninjured, but Madden broke her collarbone and was on a six-week hiatus after surgery.[9] Immediately after the hiatus, Madden competed at the 2014 World Equestrian Games, winning a team and individual bronze aboard Cortes 'C'.[20] The horse was voted the Best Horse of the Games. She also won the $200,000 Budweiser American Invitational in Tampa with Coral Reef Via Volo in 2014.[20] As of 2014 Madden was 2nd in all-time prize money winnings at Spruce Meadows.[20] Madden also won the USEF Equestrian of the Year award again in 2014, making her the first rider to win this award four times.[21] In 2015, Madden competed in her tenth FEI Jumping World Cup Final with Simon in Las Vegas where she finished as the top US rider and 4th overall.[22] Later that year, Madden and Breitling LS were 10th in the $50,000 Douglas Elliman Grand Prix Qualifier and 11th in the $250,000 Hampton Classic Grand Prix CSI****.[22]

In 2016 the U.S. Team won the FEI Nations Cup with Madden aboard Breitling LS.[22] Madden and Cortes 'C' were named to the 2016 U.S. Olympic show jumping team, making this her fourth Olympics, along with McLain Ward, Lucy Davis, and Kent Farrington.[23] At the 2016 Olympics, Madden won team silver. Age fifty-two at the Games, she was the oldest female athlete on the United States Olympic team in Rio.[24] Madden and Cortes 'C' traveled to Europe to show with the U.S. Team, as they tied with France for the silver medal in the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup presented by Longines in Italy.[22]

Some of Madden's best-known horses have been Authentic, Cortes C, and Judgement (now retired). As of 2016, Madden currently has seven horses that she competes on regularly; most are owned by her longtime sponsor, Abigail Wexner, of New Albany, Ohio.[25]

In April 2018 she again became the Longines FEI World Cup champion riding Breitling LS.[26] With this victory, Beezie Madden became the oldest athlete to win the World Cup, at age 54.[27] In 2019, Madden competed at the Pan American Games in Lima, winning two bronzes.

In February 2020, Madden announced that she will semi-retire after the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, shifting her focus to training horses and riders.[28]

International Championship ResultsEdit

Year Event Horse Placing Notes
1987 World Cup Final Medrano 18th
2002 World Equestrian Games Judgement 6th Team
29th Individual
2003 World Cup Final Judgement 30th
2003 Pan American Games Conquest II   Team
33rd Individual
2004 Olympic Games Authentic   Team
28th Individual
2006 World Cup Final Judgement 13th
2006 World Equestrian Games Authentic   Team
2007 World Cup Final Authentic 39th
2008 Olympic Games Authentic   Team
2009 World Cup Final Danny Boy 12th
2011 World Cup Final Coral Reef Via Volo / Danny Boy 4th
2011 Pan American Games Coral Reef Via Volo   Team
2012 World Cup Final Cortes 'C' 17th
2012 Olympic Games Coral Reef Via Volo 6th Team
EL Individual
2013 World Cup Final Simon  
2014 World Cup Final Simon 7th
2014 World Equestrian Games Cortes 'C'   Team
2015 World Cup Final Simon 4th
2016 Olympic Games Cortes 'C'   Team
46th Individual
2018 World Cup Final Breitling LS  
EL = Eliminated; RET = Retired; WD = Withdrew


  1. ^ Parkes, Louise (April 29, 2013). "USA's Beezie Madden Takes the 2013 Rolex Crown in Three-Round Thriller". Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved July 26, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Elizabeth Beezie Madden". Team USA. Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e "Beezie Madden". USET Foundation. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d "Elizabeth MADDEN". Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  5. ^ "beezie madden". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Moon, Vicky. (2004). A Sunday horse : a year on the Grand Prix show jumping circuit (1st ed.). Sterling, Va.: Capital Books. ISBN 1-931868-41-7. OCLC 52876222.
  7. ^ a b c "Athlete Biography: Beezie Madden". US Equestrian.
  8. ^ "Athlete Biography: Beezie Madden". US Equestrian.
  9. ^ a b Rosen, Karen (June 30, 2016). "At age 52 Beezie Madden riding into Rio for her fourth straight Olympic Games". Team USA.
  10. ^ a b c d e Staff, Practical Horseman Editorial. "Beezie Madden: A Focus on Excellence". Expert how-to for English Riders. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  11. ^ "2004 Summer Olympics – Athens, Greece – Equestrian" Archived June 29, 2008, at the Wayback (Retrieved on April 27, 2008)
  12. ^ Regarding Horses: Beezie Madden and Authentic Are Jumping For Another Olympic Gold Archived October 1, 2015, at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved December 22, 2009
  13. ^ "2013: The Year of Beezie". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  14. ^ "Fire It Up! Beezie Madden and Cortes 'C' Sizzle on a Cool Night to Win $125,000 FEI World Cup Grand Prix". Archived from the original on September 15, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  15. ^ "Victory! Team USA Wins the $75,000 Furusiyya Nations Cup CSIO4* at Wellington". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  16. ^ "Beezie Madden is Two for Two on Friday at Spruce Meadows". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  17. ^ "Kent Farrington and Uceko Repeat Winning Performance in $200,000 CN Performance Grand Prix CSI-W". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  18. ^ "Beezie Madden and Cortes 'C' Take Thrilling Global Champions Tour Victory at Chantilly, France!". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  19. ^ "Beezie Madden and Coral Reef Via Volo Victorious in $100,000 American Gold Cup Qualifier". Archived from the original on August 16, 2016. Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d "Home of Beezie Madden". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  21. ^ "Elizabeth MADDEN". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  22. ^ a b c d "Beezie Madden :: The Hampton Classic". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  23. ^ "Beezie Madden, McLain Ward named to fourth consecutive Olympic show jumping team". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  24. ^ Flynn, Erin. "Beezie Madden, Team USA's oldest woman, eyes gold". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved March 12, 2020.
  25. ^ "Horse sense". Retrieved July 26, 2016.
  26. ^ "BEEZIE MADDEN WINS HER SECOND TITLE! | FEI World Cup(TM) Finals Paris 2018". Retrieved August 26, 2018.
  27. ^ Cowan, Lisa (April 2, 2019). "Beezie Madden, the U.S. Star, Tries for a Repeat". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 3, 2019.
  28. ^ Print. "Madden To Change Sport Career Direction After Tokyo". Retrieved February 29, 2020.

External linksEdit