US showjumper Beezie Madden’s former World Cup final-winning partner Simon has died after a happy retirement aged 22.
Abigail Wexner’s KWPN gelding, by Mr Blue, joined Beezie in 2011 following success with Jeroen Dubbledam of the Netherlands including a third-place finish at the 2011 World Cup final.
In 2013 Beezie and Simon won the World Cup final in Gothenburg. The same year Simon was named US Equestrian’s horse of the year.
Beezie and Simon enjoyed two more World Cup final appearances; in 2014 they finished seventh and in 2015 fourth. Their highlights also included multiple grand prix placings and Nations Cup team appearances, and winning the HITS Saugerties $1m grand prix in New York in 2015.
The gelding retired at Beezie and her husband John’s farm Madden Mountain in 2017 and was “best friend” to Beezie’s retired 2004 Olympic team gold medalist Authentic, and “second in command” on weanling raising duties.
A spokesman for Beezie and John said Simon was “laid to rest” at Madden Mountain on Monday (21 June).
“I was lucky to have the years together that we did and happy to have had so much success together. He was loved by our whole team,” said Beezie.
“He gave us so many thrilling moments. Witnessing the magical connection between him and Beezie was the gift of a
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“I am grateful to Mrs Wexner for allowing me the privilege of having him in my life and for caring deeply for him through his retirement. It is a testament to his talent and brilliance that he was so successful with two different riders during his career. I know Jeroen and his connections join us in our mourning of his passing.”
Jeroen paid tribute to the “extremely talented and special gelding”. The pair were part of the Netherlands’ winning Nations Cup team in Aachen and Rome in 2011. They also won Verona leg of the World Cup in 2010 and the Spruce Meadows grand prix.
“We are extremely sad by the news but we are also grateful for the fantastic care and retirement Simon enjoyed at Madden Mountain and from the Madden team,” he said.
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