The Plaid Horse Questionnaire With: Stacia Madden

Madden coaching a rider at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show. Photo by Brittany Oliver Photography

I’d be lost without: an assistant at the ring with me. 

As a horsewoman, I am most proud of: the amazing team Beacon Hill has evolved into over the years. 

As a horsewoman, I work to improve on: always caring for the horse and improving with the times. 

The hardest part about showing in the equitation ring is: running your own race and not getting distracted by the subjectivity. 

The most rewarding part of my job:  helping young riders achieve their goals

My favorite horse book is: Very Young Rider. 

My favorite non-horse book is: anything by John Grisham.

I’m a sucker for: a conventional horse that makes the least amount of mistakes. 

People may not know that I’m actually: very organized and love ’80s music. I also love target practice. 

On Mondays, you’ll find me: running errands and going out to a nice dinner. 

I sometimes wish I had the time to learn: to play golf. 

I’m afraid of: retirement. 

My absolute favorite show is: the Washington International when it’s in D.C. because it’s a very level playing field with the restrictions everyone has. 

Photo by Brittany Oliver Photography

The horse people I most admire are: John and Beezie Madden because I learned so much about strategy and scheduling from them. Also, my first trainer and great friend to this day, Valerie Renihan. I learned work ethic and perseverance from her. 

Something I say ten times a day is: put your heels down and have a nice flat, strong back to create a solid foundation. 

One of my favorite horse show memories was: running into Patrick Swayze at Madison Square Garden the night before I won Maclay Finals in 1987. 

One of the best horse names I’ve ever heard is: Don’t Tell Daddy. 

My motto is: always take the high road. 

My best piece of ADVICE FOR YOUNG RIDERS: Try to run your own race and be consistent instead of focusing on results. At a competition, work on bringing your low average up instead of focusing on your high average.

*This story was originally published in the October 2021 issue of The Plaid Horse. Click here to read it now and subscribe for issues delivered straight to your door!