Paul Livingston just passed the half-century mark on January 6, 2004. Livingston has spent the last fifty years in the walking horse industry. Following in the footprints of his father, Ralph “Fuzzy” Livingston, who trained and was associated with noted horses such as Triple Threat, Hawaiian Sunset, Mack’s Big Story, Prime Time, Royal Cruiser, Royalty, Countdown Scorpion and Midnite Little Foot, just to name few. Before Paul was even walking, Fuzz would put him in front of the saddle with him for hours. At the dismay of his mother, Fuzz put Paul on a horse when he was about three years old. The horse took off down the pasture and returned without Paul. The horse’s name was Merry Boy’s Farewell. Ms. Bea, Paul’s mother, said she thought it was farewell for both Paul and Fuzz. It took her a long time to recover from her near “farewell” of Paul.

Paul’s mother also tells the story of Paul and Bright Red, Paul’s first horse. he was six-years-old when he started showing Bright Red. Ms. Bea said Paul stayed on that horse from daylight to dark. Perhaps that is the reason he has such patience with his young riders.

On January 10, 2004, Paul’s customers, fellow trainers, friends and family showed their love and threw a surprise 50th birthday party for him at his barn. That was no small feat, considering Paul never leaves the barn, much less on a Saturday with several folks there riding their horses. Just in the nick of time the partygoers had everything set-up; food, decorations, a bluegrass band and gifts. Paul returned after an hour of sight seeing in Hawkins County with friends. To his surprise there were over a hundred folks lining the drive to his barn to celebrate his big day. Everyone enjoyed themselves by telling stories of which horses were doing the biggest “lick.”

Paul has some great contenders for the upcoming show season. His juvenile contenders consist of Lindsey Henry riding Royal Prestige, Keshia Ashe with Extremely Dangerous, Dustin Peeler aboard Brown Sugar In The Sky and Zach Rasnick in the irons on Jewel Heist. Paul has high hopes for a great season Competing for the blues in the amateur division are Jennifer Brown with Pride’s Gold Millennium, Richard Stock riding Generator’s Ebony Man, Brian Jeffers aboard Generation Conversation, both Tom and Cindy Leatherwood with Ragz-2-Riches, Terry Lynn Bailey in the irons on Bow-Tie and also Candra Shular with Fury’s Jackpot.

Some of the top three-year-olds that Paul will be putting in the showring this year include Irresistible Cash, Busted and Bay and Pattern’s Royal Affair. This is just a short list of the incredible line-up of horses Paul has to offer for the 2004 show season.

This has been a busy winter for Paul. He has a new bride, Julia and two new sons, Jordan and Jonathan. He has a deep appreciation of his customers, family and friends. Paul stated, “Since I can remember, all I ever wanted to do is train horses.” After high school, I was offered a job in Nashville doing studio work, playing the drums for a major recording company. My mother and father insisted that I go to college. So, in 1973 I enrolled at ETSU pursuing a degree in music. After school I did work for several major country music artists on recordings and played in several bands in the southeast. All the while I was missing horses. In 1979, I made the decision to train horses. I moved to Wise, Va., and went to work for Sun Blood Farms. After a year, I moved to Church Hill, Tenn., opened my own barn, where I have been happy ever since.”

“Growing up my dad taught me to work hard and do the best with what you have. Treat people like you would like to be treated. He always said to get respect, you have to give respect. I have always tried to live by that, I miss him very much.”

“The Lord has blessed me so much. I have the best of friends anyone could ask for. Success in the show ring is not possible without good help. I have some of the best to thank, Sam Steadman, Matt Thomilson, Billy Wason and Josh Baxter. My wife, Julia and stepson Jonathan, I love you very much. So at 50 years old, I feel good. I’m going to take what I have, work hard and do my best. Thanks to God, my mom for all that you do, my family, customers and friends."