Each issue, MSEDA will highlight a member who is active in the organization to give other members a peek into their horse-loving lives. Interested in being featured? Email Sarah at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Sarah E. Coleman
As passionate about rider fitness as she is about her mare, nicknamed Queen V, Madison Lee was born into a horsey family and has thrived under the tutelage of her mother, Kelly Stoochnoff. Her path to the Bluegrass was a winding one, but with a family farm, a wonderful job and a life she loves, she doesn’t plan on going anywhere any time soon.
MSEDA: Where are you from?
Madison Lee: Well originally I am from Canada, then I moved to Colorado. I spent high school in Arizona, then moved to Woodstock, GA, to Chattanooga, TN, and finally Kentucky!
MSEDA: If you're not from Kentucky, what brought you here?
ML: My Job: I’m an engineer.
MSEDA: When did you begin riding?
ML: Well, if you ask my mom, since I was in the womb.
MSEDA: What is your background in horses?
ML: Hunters and dressage. My mom always wanted to make sure I had a correct foundation, so I had to do dressage, but being a kid, I thought it was boring!
MSEA: How long have you been competing?
ML: I did my first leadline class when I was 2 years old.
MSEDA: When did you get your first horse?
ML: I was born with my own horse! I was very lucky.
MSEDA: What horses do you own now?
ML: Technically only one, but my family owns six and I ride them all.
MSEDA: How did you get him/her?
ML: I purchased her from Julie Burt; originally she was supposed to be my dad’s driving horse, but it turns out she doesn't like pressure on her chest from the harness.
MSEDA: What horses do you compete and what do you compete in?
ML: I own my mare Bonne Vie (Velvet, V or Queen V--usually Queen V). I have competed her to 2nd level and we are working towards 3rd right now. I have a pony that I am going to start competing next year, as well.
MSEDA: How long have you been a MSEDA member?
ML: 2 years.
MSEDA: What is your favorite event and why?
ML: I like anything at the Horse Park because it’s so close for me, but I also like anything at Masterson--it’s just such a beautiful location!
MSEDA: What level do you compete in?
NL: 2nd. Hopefully 3rd soon.
MSEDA: What are your horse's favorite treats?
ML: Nicker Makers! Holy moly you will get mauled at the barn for those! She does also really enjoy apples and carrots, but the apples have to washed (she is a Queen, after all!).
MSEDA: What is your favorite show and why?
ML: USEF Nationals when they are at the Horse Park! I get to see all my friends from all over and I love being able to use the other arenas.
MSEDA: Do you have any good luck rituals?
ML: You know I don't know--maybe my socks.
MSEDA: If so, what are they?
ML: I NEVER wear matching socks on a normal day. But on shows days I always wear brand new matching socks.
MSEDA: What do you do full time? Do you enjoy it?
ML: I am an engineer! I LOVE it—it’s a good balance from the horse world.
MSMEDA: How did you get into this job?
ML: I kind of accidentally fell into it. There was a company that needed to fill a spot immediately.
MSEDA: What are your favorite equestrian brands?
ML: Realistically, Equine Couture. I wish Pikuer! J
MSEDA: What is your goal this year?
ML: To get my Bronze medal.
MSEDA: Who do you ride with?
ML: I ride with my mom, Kelly Stoochnoff. She is a nationally certified instructor and really makes sure you ride your very best to make the horse go to the best of their ability.
MSEDA: Where do you ride?
ML: My parents just bought a farm called Basye Stables, so she's home with them!
MSEDA: What is the biggest obstacle you have overcome with your horse?
ML: She is kind of like the princess and the pea when it comes to saddle fit. So I think it took us 8 months to find a saddle for her. Kate Wooten likes to say she is the hardest easiest horse to fit. She is VERY picky and she will tell you immediately if it is wrong.
MSEDA: Describe your horse in 10 words.
ML: SHE IS THE QUEEN!
MSEDA: What is your favorite memory?
ML: Winning High Point with her in Georgia.
MSEDA: What other animals do you own?
ML: One dog and one incredibly crazy cat.
MSEDA: Is there anything unusual about your horses now?
ML: Velvet is 5 months pregnant and is in full work. I want her labor to be as easy on her as possible.
MSEDA: What are you passionate about other than horses?
ML: Fitness. I can't expect my horses to be at the top of their game if I am not.
MSEDA: What is one piece of advice you wish you had when you were younger?
ML: Push yourself! And do the things that scare you!