‘He rose to the occasion every time’: farewell to top showjumping stallion

  • The top showjumping stallion and former ride of Beezie Madden, Judgement ISF, has died in retirement.

    Owned and bred by Mary Alice Malone of Iron Spring Farm, the stallion represented Team USA on multiple occasions during his career of more than a decade with Beezie, who took over the ride from showjumper Michael Matz in 1999.

    Beezie and Judgement ISF represented Team USA at the 2002 World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, took part in 10 Nations Cup events, and competed in the 2003 and 2006 World Cup Finals. The stallion is so far the only North American-bred horse to have won the $1,000,000 CN International at Spruce Meadows in its 44-year history. Judgement retired sound to Iron Spring Farm aged 18.

    A spokesman for Beezie and John Madden said the couple were saddened to hear of the stallion’s death but “so proud” of the long life he led and the legacy he leaves.

    “Judgey came to be ridden by Beezie after Michael Matz suggested her as a rider who he thought could bring out the best in him as a young stallion. He was powerful, talented, but feared the open water jump. His fears inspired John and Beezie to focus on new training techniques, using positive reinforcement and clicker training to help him overcome his fears,” said the spokesman.

    “Judgement ISF and Beezie went on to have over a decade-long winning career, [him] proving to be not just one of the best North American-bred stallions, but one of the best in the world. At the time of his retirement from sport, he had won nearly $1.5m [£1,290,000] in prize money.”

    Beezie said the stallion changed the couple’s lives.

    “I will always be thankful for Mary Alice Malone giving me the opportunity with him at such an early point in my career,” she said.

    “He made us better horsemen and there was no better feeling than heading in the ring at Spruce Meadows with him. He rose to the occasion every time.”

    A spokesman for Iron Spring Farm described Judgement ISF as “the horse of a lifetime”.

    “From the moment he was born, throughout his incredible international career with legends Michael Matz and Beezie Madden in the irons, as a breeding stallion producing grand prix winners, and as a retired celebrity, Judgement ISF was special,” he said.

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    “Last week, just three weeks shy of his 30th birthday, Judgement ISF was laid to rest at his birthplace at Iron Spring Farm in Pennsylvania.”

    The spokesman added that the stallion’s “extraordinary life was one for the record books”.

    “Judgement ISF was an exceptional horse,” said Mary Alice Malone. “He gave us so many thrilling moments. Witnessing the magical connection between him and Beezie was the gift of a lifetime.”

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