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Beezie Madden is competing in equestrian at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for the USA.

Beezie Madden aims for her third consecutive Olympic Games, but she will have to do so without Authentic, her trusted Dutch Warmblood gelding. Madden rode Authentic to a gold medal in team jumping in both Athens and Beijing as well as an individual jumping bronze medal in Beijing in 2008. But a tendon injury in 2009 forced Authentic – who Madden called her "once-in-a-lifetime horse" – to retire to Madden's farm in Cazenovia, N.Y. She now rides Coral Reef Via Volo, a 13-year-old Belgian warmblood mare.

In 2010, Madden rode Via Volo to first place finishes in the $75,000 Equine Couture/Tuff Rider Grand Prix and the Grand Prix of Aachen. The pair also finished third at the Grand Prix of Dublin. Madden placed first with four different horses in 2011: Via Volo, Prima, Cortes 'C,' and Danny Boy.

Madden has set the standard outside of the Olympics as well. She was the first woman to pass the $1 million mark in earnings for show jumpings. In 2004 she became the first woman and the first American rider to reach the Top Three in the Show Jumping world-ranking list. In 2006, Madden and Authentic earned an individual silver and contributed to a team silver at Worlds. In 2007 Madden was awarded her second Whitney Stone Cup for her consistent excellence in the sport, making her the first person who has ever won the prestigious accolade twice.

Madden was three years old when she began riding. Her parents owned show horses, which they kept at the Milwaukee Hunt Club. When she was six years old, she and her brother Stuart both got their first ponies on Christmas. He named his pony Fudge, and she named hers Flicka. As she grew up, she became more serious about riding. She spent part of her junior year in high school on the Florida Show Jumping Circuit, juggling horse shows and classes. She attended Southern Seminary, a junior college in Virginia, from which she graduated as the valedictorian. She turned down an acceptance to the University of Virginia to work for Katie Monahan Prudent on her Plain Bay Farm in Middleburg, Va., where she worked until she met John Madden.

Madden's full name is Elizabeth, but she goes by her childhood name of "Beezie," after her great grandmother.



BEEZIE MADDEN: FACTS

How tall is Beezie Madden? How old is Beezie Madden? Where does Beezie Madden live? Find out here.

Age: 51 years old
Birthday: November 20, 1963
Height: 5' 6"
Weight: 137 lbs.
Birthplace: Milwaukee, WI
Hometown: Mequon, WI
Current Residence: Cazenovia, NY





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