|Michael Meller (left) presented Beezie Madden (right) with the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award at the Palm Beach Masters on Sunday.
Photo: Kathy Russell Photography
Wellington, Fla. - Feb. 9, 2018 - On Sunday, some of show jumping's most talented athletes gathered at Deeridge Farms for the $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Wellington CSI3*-W at the Palm Beach Masters. Katherine Gallagher and M. Michael Meller of Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses were proud to support the exciting World Cup event, now in its third year of operation. This year, in addition to his sponsorship of the competition, Meller presented the M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award to two-time Olympic gold medalist Beezie Madden of the USA.
"Beezie really can handle any aspect of the industry," said Meller. "She can manage the care of top horses, she can ride top horses and she can compete top horses. She's a real role model. The award is just fitting for her. Our industry really needs role models, and Beezie embodies what a young rider should aspire to be.
"At Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses, we believe in supporting world-class competitions that showcase the best the sport has to offer," continued Meller. "The Palm Beach Masters is a beautiful venue with incredible footing. The Jacobs are on the right path in turning a horse show back into a world-class event, and we are excited to be a part of it."
The M. Michael Meller Style of Riding Award is presented to an international equestrian who exemplifies the best style of riding, while maintaining a sportsmanlike composure. Previous winners at events in 2016 and 2017 include Beat Mändli, Conor Swail, Alison Robitaille, Charlie Jacobs, Eric Navet, Mavis Spencer, Ian Millar, Callan Solem, Heather Caristo-Williams, Laura Kraut and Catherine Tyree.
Prior to Sunday's competition, Meller presented Madden with the coveted award, which was dedicated in memory of Venezuelan show jumper Andres Rodríguez.
"The style award is always an honor for me to win because style is important to me," expressed Madden. "Good style is more effective for training the horse. They know how to react properly when you ask for something if you have a good understanding of proper basics. For the long-term career of a horse, you have to have some feeling for when to push them and when not to.
"It's so refreshing for us to go to a show and jump on good grass at a venue such as Deeridge Farms down here," continued Madden. "The Palm Beach Masters really is a special and unique experience."
In addition, the "Doc" Spirit Award was presented to The Golden Group and Israel's Danielle Goldstein's Lizziemary. The award, created in honor of the late Dr. John R. Steele, is given to a horse that best exemplifies the heart and athleticism necessary to be competitive at the highest levels of show jumping.
"Lizzie is very talented. What the award represents - I think all of these things about her and I'm glad others see it too," said Goldstein.
Goldstein and the 12-year-old chestnut mare have been competing on the Longines Global Champions Tour and most recently took fourth place in the $220,000 Longines FEI World Cup™ Jumping Wellington CSI3*-W at the Palm Beach Masters on Sunday.
"It is a huge honor to have my mare receive this [award]," said Goldstein. "I knew Dr. Steele personally. He was a wonderful man and a wonderful vet and I appreciate Michael Meller for carrying on his legacy."
The mission of Gallagher/Meller Sport Horses is to find and produce some of the world's top young show jumping mounts. For more information, please visit www.gallaghermeller.com.