Horse and pony - Equiworld site index.Horse chat message boards.Horse breeds, types and breeding gallery.Search for horse information on Equiworld.Horse information and equestrian news archive.Equiworld horse and pony magazine.Horse web links.  

7-Year-Old Wins $2,500, Buys Arabian Dream Horse

Seven-year-old Madison Stephens may be a little girl, but she has big dreams and an uncanny ability to make them happen. After seeing a flyer for a photo cover contest for the Hodges Badge Company that offered a first prize of $2,500, Madison said to her mom Lisa Stephens, "Let's do it. I know I can win the money to buy a horse."

Madison's instructor, Virginia Godwin, snapped a captivating picture of her student kissing her oldest school horse after winning a championship at a Virginia Arabian Horse Association District 6 Open Show last September. Today that photo graces the cover of the 2004 Hodges Badge Company Catalog, and Madison is the proud owner of an Arabian gelding. Madison's photo was chosen from among 330 entries because of the affection she showed for her horse and the clarity of the rosette.

"By the time she was 4, she was begging us for a horse," says Stephens. "I wound up reading horse books to her for hours."

When the Stephens were transferred to Langley Airforce Base in Virginia, Madison began taking English riding lessons from Godwin at Chesapeake Training Center. She rode Paw Paws Surprise (Fire Dance x Lady), a 27-year-old Half-Arabian buckskin that had been Godwin's first school horse 20 years ago. The former multi-regional champion got his nickname, Famous Amos, because at every show someone recalled showing him or competing against him.

"Madison is very intense about her riding, but it's not just about competing," says Godwin. "She loves these horses. She thinks Amos walks on water."

In her first year of showing, Madison won several championships and reserves and a fistful of firsts, seconds and thirds in walk/trot and equitation classes. Impressed by their daughter's talent, the Stephens asked Godwin to look for a horse. In November Godwin found Dyynamic AA (Dyynasty x Baskhemu Tu), a 12-year-old chestnut Arabian with a solid showing record and four white socks that earned him the nickname "Chrome." But there was one hitch.

"Chrome was more than we could afford," says Stephens. "The next day Hodges Badge Company called to tell us we won the prize money which was the exact amount we were short."

To complete the storybook ending Madison had no inkling she was getting a horse until the center's annual Christmas party. "Virginia told her, 'Amos has a surprise for you,' " says Stephens. "When they led her out to the barn to see Chrome and she found out he was hers, she was speechless."

Embarking on a showing career with her first Arabian, Madison has already mapped out her future, "I want to show all my life and be a horse trainer," she says.

For more information on the Hodges Badge Company catalog contest, go to or call (800) 556-2440.

AHA is a 40,000 member equine association that registers and maintains a database of more then one million Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses. It administers more than $4 million in annual prize money, produces national events, maintains official event records, recognizes more than 400 Arabian horse shows and distance rides and provides activities and programs that promote breeding and ownership. For information about Arabian, Half-Arabian and Anglo-Arabian horses, call 303-696-4500, e-mail or visit


Find out more, visit the links page or find answers on the message board.