Coatesville, PA—Judgement ISF, Crown, was the horse of a lifetime. From the moment he was born, throughout his incredible international show jumping career with legends Michael Matz and Beezie Madden in the irons, as a breeding stallion producing Grand Prix winners, and as a retired celebrity, Judgement ISF was special. Last week, just three weeks shy of his thirtieth birthday, Judgement ISF, Crown, was laid to rest at his birthplace at Iron Spring Farm in Pennsylvania.Judgement’s extraordinary life is one for the record books. He represented team USA in two FEI World Cup Finals, the World Equestrian Games and 10 Nations’ Cups. He was the only North American-bred horse to win the $1,000,000 CN International at Spruce Meadows Masters in its 44-year history. He also claimed 25 additional international victories at the biggest venues in the world.“Judgement ISF was an exceptional horse,” said his breeder and owner, Mary Alice Malone. “He gave us so many thrilling moments. Witnessing the magical connection between him and Beezie was the gift of a lifetime.”
Judgement ISF winning the Stallion class at Dressage at Devon 1995
Judgement ISF made an impression starting at an early age. As a yearling, Gert van der Veen, the former director of the KWPN, declared Judgement ISF a true stallion prospect during the KWPN Keuring. Judgement ISF also went on to win the 4-year-old Stallion class at Dressage at Devon in 1995.His jumping abilities began to really shine when he was started under saddle by Melvin Dutton. “When I saw him jumping in preparation for a keuring, I knew he had more talent than any horse I had ever seen,” Malone recalled. After the keuring, Judgement ISF went to Michael Matz for further training.Matz, a World Cup Finals Champion, team gold World Champion and Olympic team silver medalist, brought Judgement ISF along slowly and thoughtfully. The program worked. In 1995, Judgement ISF won the IJF East Coast Finals. Judgement ISF continued up the levels with Matz and won the $60,000 American Gold Cup in 1999. Shortly after the 2000 Olympic Trials, Matz turned his focus to training racehorses and a new legendary partnership was born.
Judgement ISF and Beezie Madden at Spruce Meadows
Beezie Madden and Judgement ISF picked up where Matz left off and soon were on a hot streak that lasted more than nine years. The pair competed at the highest level of sport in 12 countries. Together they represented team USA in two FEI World Cup Finals, the World Equestrian Games and 10 Nations’ Cups. Judgement ISF led the victory lap at the world’s best shows: $60,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National, $100,000 Cosequin US Open Jumper Championship, $150,000 CSI3* Grand Prix of Charlotte, CSIO La Baulle, CSIO St. Gallen, The Irish Field Six Bar CSIO Dublin, the $175,000 Nexen Cup—twice, $1,000,000 CN International and many more.“He loved to go to horse shows,” said Meghan deGaray, breeding manager at Iron Spring Farm and one of Judgement’s biggest fans. “He was amazing to watch in the ring. He had so much power and presence.” Another hallmark of Judgement’s career was his versatility. He won some of the world’s biggest derbies, speed, six-bar and Grand Prix classes. In the $50,000 Animal Planet Sporthorse Cup at the Syracuse Invitational, he set the record at 6’3” in the three-phase competition.His last victory came in 2009 at the $65,000 1.5m Esso Challenge at Spruce Meadows. The venue was his favorite and he was named National Champion there on four occasions. Judgement ISF retired sound at the age of 18 after 10 years in the Grand Prix ring.As a sire, Judgement ISF produced many notable horses. His son Counselor (formerly Artesian) was bred in the USA and eventually sold to Europe. Counselor made 204 FEI starts, with 84 of those starts coming at the 3* level and above, with wins and top placings throughout. Judgement’s daughter Worlds Judgement was another international show jumper, representing Canada at numerous Nations’ Cups, with top placings at prestigious shows like Spruce Meadows.Numerous other sons and daughters successfully competed in the Grand Prix division, as well as in the amateur and junior jumper divisions. Daughter Wednesday Mornin was a two-time USEF Amateur Jumper Horse of the Year. Ghiradelli, Judge Not, Better Judgement and Judgement Call are all successful Grand Prix jumpers.Judgement ISF is also the sire of top hunters, dressage and event horses. Zurich is a winning Intermediate I dressage horse who debuted at Grand Prix in 2020.
Judgement ISF, Crown Performance Achievements· Awarded Crown Predicate by KWPN· First American born and bred KWPN Approved stallion· Winnings of nearly $1.5 million· 1st place, International Jumper Futurity Eastern Finals for 4-year-old jumpers, 1995· 1st Place, Manchester Classic Grand Prix, 1998· 1st Place, $60,000 American Gold Cup Grand Prix, 1999· 1st Place, $60,000 Budweiser Grand Prix de Penn National, 2002· 1st Place, $75,000 Idle Dice Classic, 2003· 1st place, $100,000 Cosequin US Open Jumper Championship, 2003· 1st Place, Welcome Stake Qualifier, Charlotte Jumper Classic, 2004· 1st Place, $150,000 Grand Prix, Charlotte Jumper Classic, 2004· 1st Place, Grand Prix Qualifier, Valkenswaard, 2004· 1st Place, ATB Financial Cup, 2004· 1st Place, CSIO La Baule Nations Cup, 2005· 1st Place, CSIO St. Gallen 1.5m, 2005· 1st Place, Lafarge Cup, Spruce Meadows, 2005· 1st Place, (Tie) Dublin Six Bar, 2005· 1st Place, $1,000,000 CN International, 2005· 1st Place, ATB Financial Cup, 2006· 1st Place, $175,000 Shell Cup Derby, 2006· 1st Place, $50,000 Animal Planet Cup, 2006· 1st Place, $175,000 Nexen Cup Derby, 2007· 1st Place, CN Performance Grand Prix, Spruce Meadows, 2007· 1st Place, Samsung Super League Hickstead Nations Cup, 2007· 1st Place, $175,000 Nexen Cup Derby, 2008· 1st Place, $100,000 CN Performance Grand Prix, Spruce Meadows, 2008· 1st Place, $35 000 Finning Welcome, Spruce Meadows, 2008· 1st Place, $100,000 Encana Cup, Spruce Meadows, 2008· 1st Place, $50,000 Animal Planet Cup, 2008· 1st Place, $65,000 ESSO Challenge, 2009· The Chronicle of the Horse Show Jumper of the Year, 2005· National Champion Title, Spruce Meadows, 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008Check out Judgement ISF, Crown on YouTube:Thank you to everyone who contributed to Judgement’s success, including Melvin Dutton, Michael Matz and his team, Beezie and John Madden and their team, his groom Emily Gailis, everyone at Iron Spring Farm, and his incredible fans.For nearly 30 years, Judgement ISF, Crown, gave us the journey of a lifetime. Rest well.About Iron Spring FarmTop Friesian and KWPN stallions are available to North American breeders as part of Iron Spring Farm’s four-decade commitment to the ISF Advantage. By providing proven bloodlines, along with exceptional service, transparency and impeccable veterinary care, the ISF team helps riders and breeders achieve their sport horse goals. Ongoing expert advice and tools are also available so breeders can develop and market their offspring to the highest level. Iron Spring also offers a select number of talented Friesian and Dutch Warmblood prospects and broodmares for sale. Visit www.ironspringfarm.com for more information.Photos by Tricia Booker and Stacy Lynne.