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Lifetime APHA member Monika Hagen of Haldenwang, Germany, has been named as the association’s 2020 Distinguished Service Award winner.
For nearly 30 years, Monika has owned, raised and shown Paint Horses with the support of her husband, Georg, and children Stefan, Verena and Lena. Monika has served as a regional leader in Paint Horse Club Germany since 2000, including president for four years. Following her election as an APHA national director for Germany, Monika joined the International Advisory Committee where she has served as chair since 2015.
In 1995, Monika spotted her first Paint Horse stallion, Hesa Tiny Paycheck, in a pen full of Quarter Horses in Canada. She fell in love, imported him to Germany, and started breeding Paints. Over the years, Monika expanded and fine-tuned her breeding program, always striving to produce a better foal crop than the last. She currently stands two Paint stallions and owns several APHA broodmares, along with a great bunch of foals and talented show horses. To date, she’s bred more than 100 registered Paint Horses.
In the show pen, Monika and her children have won numerous German and European Paint Horse Championship titles, and she’s earned multiple PHCG Leading Breeder and year-end high-point awards. Between the horses she’s bred, and the hundreds she’s imported from the U.S. and Canada, Monika has made a profound impact on the Paint Horse community in Europe.
As an instructor, Monika has introduced hundreds of Germans to the joys of Western riding, with many of her students going on to win German and European titles. She was Europe’s first APHA Professional Horsewoman. Monika has worked tirelessly to help young riders connect with Paint Horses and realize their goals and dreams as equestrians; she organizes youth horsemanship camps every summer, attracting young riders from throughout Germany, France and Israel to Bavaria. She coached Paint Horse Club Germany’s youth team for several years and volunteered her time, talents and horses to make the first Youth World Games held outside of the United States a resounding success.
APHA is pleased to honor Monika with this award, in recognition of her work as a pioneer to APHA goals, both locally and internationally. Congratulations!