February 14, 2008 -- The United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Ad Hoc Committee on Selection has approved naming the horse/rider combinations of Authentic/Beezie Madden and Sapphire/McLain Ward to the show jumping short list for the 2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong August 8-24, 2008.
As per the USEF Selection Procedure for the show jumping team, the selectors have the discretion to recommend up to four of the 10 horse/rider combinations to the short list regardless of their participation or placing in the Selection Trials. The remaining six combinations will be chosen according to their ranking at the conclusion of the selection trials which run February 27-March 9 in Wellington, Fla. (Watch EquiSearch.com for coverage of the trials.)
The short list will travel to Europe and compete at CSIO's La Baule, Rome , St. Gallen, Rotterdam and Aachen before selection for the 2008 Olympic Games is finalized in early July.
Madden and Authentic, a 13-year-old Dutch Warmblood gelding owned by Abigail Wexner, were members of the 2004 gold medal winning Olympic team in Athens and won team and individual silver medals at the 2006 World Equestrian Games in Aachen, Germany.
Ward and Sapphire, a 13-year-old Belgian Warmblood mare owned by Ward and Blue Chip Bloodstock, were on both medal-winning teams with Madden and Authentic in Athens and Aachen.