TAMPA — Two-time Olympian Beezie Madden and her horse, Mademoiselle, won the $50,000 Grand Prix of Tampa at the Florida State Fairgrounds on Sunday.
Madden and veteran rider Margie Engle were the only two riders among 12 to complete Michel Vaillancourt's World Cup course fault-free. They advanced to the shorter jumpoff.
Madden, 48, of Cazenovia, N.Y., and Engle, 54, of Wellington, had one rail down in the jumpoff. Madden and her 15-year-old German mare completed the eight jumps in 42.01 seconds.
Engle, aboard 9-year-old French gelding Pauly du Bruel, finished in 42.66.
Both riders plan to compete in the World Cup final this month in the Netherlands.
Madden, who was on the 2004 and 2008 gold medal-winning Olympic teams, said she has been partnered with Mademoiselle for two years.
"She does what I ask her," Madden said.
"She's a sweet mare (with) big eyes and big ears."
Engle, No. 2 on the United States Equestrian Federation's selection trials long list for this summer's London Olympics, has been riding Pauly du Bruel for a year.
"I was just very happy with my horse," she said. "It was his first World Cup class. He's been great."
Vaillancourt said his course followed the "high, high standards" required for a world class event that offers technical and mental challenges for horse and rider.
Both riders agreed the jumps come up quicker in indoor courses and this one was no different.
After competing on big outdoor courses since January, "the horses feel a little claustrophobic the first time indoors," said Madden, who earned $12,500 for the victory.
"It was a good preparation for the (indoor) World Cup," said Engle, who earned $10,000 for taking second. "It makes us think quickly."