Competition during week five of the 2020 Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) came to a close under perfect conditions for Madison Goetzmann (USA), winner of the $50,000 Rushy Marsh Farm Grand Prix CSI2* and Canada’s Tiffany Foster, who claimed victory in the $73,000 CaptiveOne Advisors 1.50m CSI5* on Sunday, February 9, in Wellington, FL.
Balancing her freshman year of college at the University of Richmond in Richmond, VA, with her time in the show ring has not slowed 19-year-old Goetzmann down one bit. She and her long-time mount Prestigious topped a field of 44 over tracks built by Anthony D’Ambrosio (USA) and Andy Christiansen (ECU) to highlight two-star competition during week five.
“Going into the jump-off, I had my competitive edge on and my horse is very fast and reliable in the jump-off,” said Goetzmann. “It was a really great track for my horse; the stride options were forward, and he’s a smaller horse so having those strides set that way with tight turns right after really gave me an advantage. I knew I had a good shot and I gave it my all. He goes in every time and wants to win. I’m lucky to have him!”
Goetzmann has progressed to FEI competition with Prestigious, a 13-year-old Westphalian gelding (Con Cento x Corofino) after they got to know each other in the 1.30m division. “We found him Kuwait where he was jumping 1.20m with an amateur and we took our time moving up, but the last two years we have been focusing on the two-stars. His scope is incredible, and I remember when I was younger thinking it might take a little longer than I thought to get to this level.”
With the help of Goetzmann’s trainers John Madden and U.S. Olympic team gold medalist Beezie Madden, the progression has been easier than she every expected. The 2020 season, however, marks the first time Goetzmann is studying outside of Wellington for the season and has to balance travel into her schedule.
“I’ve been coming to WEF since I was eight years old and my public school at home was very understanding, so this is the first winter that I’m going back and forth,” said Goetzmann, who hails from Skaneateles, NY. “My first show since September was week three and we were clear in both 1.45m three-star classes. I was nervous, but I think Prestigious made it easy for me. I have so much confidence in him because we have such a strong partnership.”
Jumping into the runner-up position, Chloe Reid (USA) finished second riding Souper Shuttle, owned by Live Oak Plantation LLC. They posted a jump-off time of 38.21 seconds, just fractions of a second off Goetzmann’s pace. Still less than a second behind the leader, Brazilian Olympic champion Rodrigo Pessoa rounded out the podium finishing in third on Carlito’s Way 6, owned by Artemis Equestrian Farm LLC, in 39 seconds flat.