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Southgate Teen is Champion of Equestrian Competition

A local girl from Southgate is now a champion in equestrian competition.

Madalen Paul, 15, is known as Maddie to her family and friends, and has been riding since she was 5 years old.

Her proud grandfather, Ken Paul, the former Campbell County Judge/Executive, submitted this story to celebrate the achievement.


Anyone who knows Maddie knows that she is passionate about horses and riding.  

This fall, her hard work, dedication and training paid off as she earned a champion title, a reserve champion title, and a seventh place award at the American Quarter Horse Congress event.  

These rankings navigated her to an All-Around Reserve Champion, Hi-Point Level 1 Youth 14-18.  Out of 633 competitors in this category, Maddie finished second – after a 3-way tiebreaker with the first place champion.

Maddie is an established champion rider from Saddle Lake Equestrian Center, located in Camp Springs, KY, where she trains 2-3 days per week under the direction of Missy Jo Hollingsworth.   

Missy Jo is also the coach of the University of Cincinnati equestrian team.  

Maddie rides Pipen Hot Irons (“Hope”), a yearling purchased from and trained by Missy Jo. Maddie competes in approximately 10 shows a year and assists with some of the UC shows.  Maddie trains and competes in Working Hunter, Equitation Over Fences, Hunter Hack, Hunter Under Saddle, Equitation, Showmanship and Halter.

With the guidance of the trainers at Saddle Lake, at age 6, Maddie started her competitive career.  She learned the basics of riding and participated in the Campbell County 4H programs and shows and was successful at their district and State competitions. Maddie says the key to her success has been all of her training at Saddle Lake.

Maddie is supportive of her teammates and is always encouraging them to be their best. Maddie is passionate about horses, has a deep connection with her horse and is looking forward to a career that involves horses in some form or fashion.  

Maddie has been thrown from her horse several times, has had bumps and bruises, gets sore and suffered a concussion that resulted in her being off of horses for four months. The therapy that was required from the concussion actually made her a more balanced and better rider.  

In 2017, Maddie was Novice Youth All-Around Champion at the Tennessee Quarter Horse Spring Celebration, Multiple Circuit Champion at the Martinganza Show in Williamson, North Carolina, Division Champion at a Kentucky Hunter Jumper Association event, Novice Youth All-Around Champion at the Dogwood Classic in Harriman, TN, and Youth All-Around Champion at the TQHA Murfreesboro event in September.   

Maddie’s final competition of the year was the American Quarter Horse Congress event.   The All American Quarter Horse Congress is the largest single breed-horse show in the world and is held at The Ohio State Fair Grounds where there are over 23,500 horse show entries in a wide variety of categories.  The largest collegiate and youth judging contest is held at the Congress, with more than 65 teams of college students, 4H, FFA and Quarter Horse youth members and where 77% of the entries have attended college or are college graduates.  Competition is from across the country.  Only 12 All-Around awards are presented and Maddie’s dedication, effort and, most importantly, training, earned her one of them.

Maddie is a freshman at Highlands High School in Fort Thomas. Highlands is known for its champion football, cross country, baseball, track, and soccer teams.  While Highlands does not have an equestrian team, Maddie is happy to say she’s a Bluebird, wears the colors proudly and carries on their winning traditions in equestrian riding.  Maddie is truly a winning Bluebird that flies over fences on a horse.