Excerpt from the April issue of Heels Down Magazine.
Olympian and superstar show jumper Beezie Madden wasn’t a stand out rider as a junior.
Her brother-in-law and head trainer at Old Salem Farm, Frank Madden, will be the first to tell anybody that.
“Beezie had talent, but it was her drive that got her where she is today,” said Frank, who is arguably one of the most decorated trainers of young and developing show jumpers in the United States. “She had the passion to keep going, and that’s what made her the international star she became later on in life.”
Frank trains dozens of young riders every year, teaching them the basics of American equitation and watching them move from the A-circuit hunter and equitation rings to Grand Prix level show jumping. He prides himself on cultivating the next generation of all-star American riders, including Brianne Goutal and Sloane Coles.
He’s always on the lookout for the next Beezie.
“The young riders that are out there today are extremely proficient at what they do,” Frank explained, adding that their flat work and equitation is much better than what riders looked like from generations before. “They far surpass what young riders were doing 20 years ago. These are the very best junior riders we’ve ever seen.”
But it takes whole lot more than talent to get to the top of the sport.