Elizabeth Wilson Madelener Passed Away

Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Posted by Mary Phelps



Elizabeth Wilson Madlener (Age 81) Elizabeth Wilson Madlener of Martinsburg, WV, passed away on Monday, January 9, 2023, after a long and full life as an accomplished equestrian and educator. Born in Hattiesburg, Mississippi on September 6, 1941, she was the daughter of the late Col. David Jesse Wilson and Betty June (Jackson) Wilson of Hampton, VA. 

Elizabeth Madelener

Though pure grit, raw talent and uncompromising dedication, Elizabeth achieved phenomenal success as an internationally recognized equestrian in dressage. She was a competitor at the Grand Prix level, an international judge with the highest USDF Senior ranking, examiner of judges, and trainer of horses and riders many who went on to compete successfully.

Her horses, including two retired race-track thoroughbreds, were listed in the top ten in national rankings, earning AHSA, USDF, USET Horse of the Year Awards 1976-1983.

Highlights of her career include:

  • 1st foreigner awarded the German Bronze Medal in Riding at 15 in 1957
  • Long-listed on the U.S. Dressage Equestrian Team (1977-1980)
  • A contender for the 1980 Olympics (which the U.S. boycotted)
  • President and CEO of the Maryland Horse Center, Inc. (1984-1993)
  • Choreographer of an equestrian ballet based on the Nutcracker,
  • President of Maryland's Horse Council (1991-1994)
  • Civilian Coordinator of the Equestrian Events for the Presidential Inaugural Parade (1993)
  • Champion at numerous regional and national dressage finals.
Elizabeth Madelener

One ride in which Elizabeth expressed personal perfection was the night she and Gulliver danced as 'ONE' at Devon Dressage in the freestyle event in the summer of 1984. 

Elizabeth also had a deep passion for literature and built an academic career to support her riding ambitions. She taught English starting with high school, then Headed an English Department in middle school, and finally spent nine years as an adjunct instructor at Prince George Community College in MD.

She was able to amalgamate her riding/writing talents to author numerous articles for the leading equestrian magazines and to work as contributing editor for Dressage Today (1996-2000).

To Be Announced: Memorial Service. Condolences and inquiries may be sent to ElizabethWMadlenerMemory@gmail.com.