Where Are They Now – Sam Madden


Blind Equestrian Wins Prestigious Screenplay Award – Rodeo Queen Rides and Writes in the Dark

In July 2021, as part of our celebration of Arabians as our Breed of the Month, we introduced our readers to Sam Madden through the story Pixel Perfect.  Sam, a Region 5 rider, is a blind para-equestrian, who shared the inspirational story of her rescue Arabian, Pixel.  Since writing for YourDressage, Sam has taken her talents to the silver screen!  Via Equus, check out this update about what Sam has been up to.


The 10th annual Equus Film and Arts Fest concluded its weekend-long celebration of horses in the arts on December 4, 2022, by announcing the prestigious WINNIE Award winners. In the screenplay category, the coveted award was bestowed upon Susan “Sam” Madden of Phoenix, Ariz., for her inspiring, equine-infused, disability-focused romantic comedy.

Sam and Pixel

“’Dream in Color’ is based on real people and real situations, a little funnier in retrospect,” says Madden, who jokes that she’s always in the dark. She is America’s first totally blind rodeo queen, amateur filmmaker, published writer, stable owner, and horse show champion against sighted competitors — inspiring the world with humor, hope, heart, and hopefully someday “Dream in Color” on the big screen.

The story looks at the life of a humorous horse lover who learns to dream again after diabetes robs her of her vision. Sans sight, she surpasses her wildest dreams, changing the rules for all disabled dreamers and stumbling upon love along the way. Picture “Seinfeld” draped in “National Velvet.”

Agentless, Madden declares, “I’m just a freckle-faced cowgirl who can ride and write.” Inquiries can be directed to her at sammad@cox.net.

For a sample of Madden’s talents and humor, check it out

The Equus Film and Arts Fest was founded in 2013 by the passionate-about-horses dynamo, Lisa Diersen. It is the world’s premier showcase for domestic and international equestrian content feature films, documentaries, shorts, music videos, commercials, training and educational materials, art, and literature. Learn more and explore this year’s full roster of talented winners at www.EquusFilmFestival.net.

But wait – there’s more! Sam Madden does not sit still! She has something to prove as a totally blind, kidney and pancreas transplant recipient living on borrowed time for 29 years (so far)!

In February 2023, Sam sold her Half-Arabian (x Dutch Harness Horse) mare, Divina, to the most perfect home she could have hoped for: USDF Gold Medalist Tami George, working with the prestigious trainer Tracey Krajenke of Equus Dressage, at the world-class facility Los Cedros USA in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Sam’s new adopted puppy, Shasta

Around the same time, Sam adopted a shelter puppy named Shasta, joking that she‘s downsizing to dogs. She helped Shasta submit a creative essay and 30-second video (written by an award-winning screenwriter!) to PetSmart’s Chief Toy Tester contest. Winners will be announced around April 24.

To watch the next chapter unfold for Sam and her critters, follow SamsDogAndPonyShow on Instagram For cuddly canine chaos and amazing equine antics: https://www.instagram.com/samsdogandponyshow/?hl=en

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