Cortes 'C'

Photo courtesy of Susan J. Stickle
(2002 – )
Owned by Abigail S. Wexner
Inducted: 2015


Photo courtesy of USEF Archive
Photo courtesy of Susan J. Stickle
Photo courtesy of USEF Archive
Photo courtesy of USEF Archive
Photo courtesy of Susan J. Stickle
Photo courtesy of Kendall Bierer, Phelps Sports
Abigail Wexner's Belgian Warmblood gelding began his campaign at the FTI Consulting Winter Equestrian Festival, twice winning Ruby et Violette WEF competitions with rider Beezie Madden.

In the summer, the formidable pair headed to Europe, where clear round after clear round cemented their place in history. In the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup competition at CSIO5* Hickstead, Madden and Cortes 'C' anchored the Hermes U.S. Show Jumping Team to victory with one of just five double clears, to continue to build the momentum the U.S. would ride through the World Championships.

Two days after sealing Nations Cup victory, the Belgian Warmblood again produced two immaculate rounds, including utilizing his massive step and scope in the jump-off to win the King George V Gold Cup, making Madden the first woman to ever win Hickstead's prestigious Grand Prix.

The following month at the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games in Normandy, France, Cortes 'C' continued to build on his legacy, lowering a single rail over nine rounds of jumping.

After a quick start in the speed leg and another clear trip in the second round, Madden and Cortes 'C' helped the Hermes U.S. Show Jumping Team stand poised for a podium finish. However, when they entered D'Ornano Stadium for the final leg of Team Competition, perfection was the only option, as even a single time fault would leave the U.S. in fourth place. Proving immune to the pressure, the pair delivered, with Cortes 'C' again using his unique form to secure Team Bronze for the Americans.

On the fourth day of World Championship competition, scores of four and zero stamped their ticket into the Final Four, where Cortes 'C' did the near impossible as the only horse to jump faultlessly in all four rounds, garnering the "Best Horse" title, while Madden earned Individual Bronze.

However, he wasn't done yet. The final victory of the season for Cortes 'C' came in the CP World Cup Qualifier at the National Horse Show. In his first competition after returning stateside, Cortes 'C' showed his American fans his winning form as he and Madden out-dueled teammates McLain Ward and Rothchild in a run to the final fence. It was a jump-off for the ages.

Madden, well known for her unconditional love of horses and for forming a special connection to each horse she rides, said, "He is probably one of the scopiest horses I have ever ridden." She added, "As large as he is, he is also very sweet, and I think he would maybe like to be a lap dog."

"He's a horse I've believed in from the very beginning," said Madden, "I'm so glad he got his year to shine."

Cortes 'C' jumped into the record books earning the top accolade as the International Horse of the Year by the United States Equestrian Federation. Madden believed he was a champion, and 2014 was the year that he proved it.