Madeleine A. Pickens
March 5, 1947|
Lebanon Flag of Lebanon
Rancho Santa Fe, California &|
Animal welfare activist
1) Mr. Richter|
2) Allen E. Paulson (1988-2000)
3) T. Boone Pickens (2005-present)
|Equine Advocates Award (2007)|
|ABC News Person of the Week (9/13/08)|
Born Madeleine Baker of an English father and a Lebanese mother, she did modeling and worked as a flight attendant for Pan American Airlines before going into business for herself, providing cabin service crews for corporate jets and special charter flights. She moved to the United States in the 1970s where she made her home in Marina del Ray, California and went into business for herself. Her daughter, Dominique Richter, was born in 1980.
In 1988 she married Gulfstream Aerospace founder, Allen E. Paulson. An astute businessman, Paulson introduced her to Thoroughbred horse racing, a sport in which the couple achieved enormous success. While her husband owned several superstar horses such as U.S. Racing Hall of Fame inductee, Cigar, Madeleine Paulson owned show jumping horses plus Thoroughbreds competing in flat racing. She notably won the 1992 Breeders' Cup Turf with Fraise, the 1997 Prix Foy with Yokohama at Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France, and the 2005 Santa Anita Handicap with Rock Hard Ten. A friend of weight-loss guru Jenny Craig, the two owned Rock and Roll who won the 1998 Pennsylvania Derby and ran in the Kentucky Derby. Madeleine Paulson also raced Dominique's Joy, named for her daughter.
In his 2003 book, Legacies of the Turf noted race historian Edward L. Bowen wrote that according to Paulson family banter, Madeleine Paulson traded Cigar to husband Allen for the filly, Eliza, the 1992 Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winner and that year's Eclipse Award winner as American Champion Two-Year-Old Filly. In a 1996 interview with the New York Times, Madeleine Paulson recounted the story. 
Widowed in 2000, Madeleine Paulson remarried in 2005 to Texas oilman, T. Boone Pickens. While she maintains her home at the Del Mar Country Club in California, she and Pickens live in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of north Dallas and own a ranch along the Canadian River in the Texas Panhandle where she keeps her riding horses.
Madeleine Pickens continues to race horses in partnership with Las Vegas, Nevada businessman, Ernest Moody under the nom de course, Mercedes Stable.
In 2005, Madeleine Pickens provided substantial funding to allow Old Friends Equine to purchase Fraise and the multiple Grade One winner, Ogygian from their then Japanese owners and bring them back to retirement at the Old Friends facility in Georgetown, Kentucky. Following her marriage to Boone Pickens, the couple led the fight to close the last horse slaughterhouse in the United States. Their work resulted in the passage of the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act by the United States House of Representatives. In recognition of their efforts, in 2007 Madeleine and Boone Pickens received the Equine Advocates' Safe Home Equine Protection Award..
During the disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in August 2005, Boone Pickens donated $7 million dollars to the Red Cross to aid the people of the city of New Orleans. Madeleine Pickens watched the events unfold on television and set about to organize emergency aid for the multitude of homeless dogs and cats wandering the streets of New Orleans plus others whose owners could no longer take care of them. She arranged and paid for aircraft to transport a great many of these animals to the safety of the Marin Humane Society in Novato, California.
After the Bureau of Land Management announced in 2008 that the United States government was considering euthanasia and/or selling more than 30,000 wild mustangs to slaughterhouses overseas, Madeleine Pickens announced plans to develop a one million acre sanctuary for the horses. On September 13, 2008, Madeleine Pickens was named ABC News "Person of the Week." On March 3, 2009 she testified before the United States House of Representatives Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands in support of H.R. 1018, the Restoring Our American Mustangs (ROAM) Act.
- Humane society of the United States September 13, 2005 article on Madeleine and Boone Pickens and Hurricane Katrina