2012 Award Winners

2012 PATH Intl Award Winners

Congratulations 2012 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Exemplary Award Winners!

(Click on the photo to be taken to the bio below.)

 Katie-Parry-adult

2012 PATH Intl. Adult Equestrian
Recognition Award
Katie Parry
Region 2
Maryland Therapeutic Riding
Crownsville, MD
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Isaac-Raske-child 

2012 PATH Intl. Child Equestrian Recognition Award
Isaac Raske
Region 7
Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities
Warrenville, IL
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

 Cliff-Uber-independent-adul

PATH Intl. Independent Adult Equestrian Recognition Award
Cliff Uber
Region 10
Hearts & Horses Inc.
Loveland, CO
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Robert-Wells-youth 

PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian Recognition Award
Robert Wells
Region 5
Saddle Up!
Franklin, TN
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

 Cathy-Davis-es4h-1

PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian of the Year
Cathy Davis
Region 2
Maryland Therapeutic Riding
Crownsville, MD
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Sponsored by Bimeda/Equimax

Orphy-Beattie-sis-gould

PATH Intl. Sis Gould Award
Orphy Beattie
Region 6
River Valley Riders
Bayport, MN

 



 Champagne-equine

PATH Intl. Equine of the Year Award
Champagne
Region 7
Therapeutic Horsemanship
Wentzville, MO
(Premier Accredited Center)

Sponsored by American Quarter Horse Association

 Shane-Clarke-vol-11

2012 PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year
Recognition Award
Shane Clarke
Region 11
Partners Therapeutic Horsemanship

Sponsored by AIM/Equine Network

 Carrie-Bunge-prof-7

2012 PATH Intl. Certified Professional of the Year Recognition Award
Carrie Bunge
Region 7
Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities
Warrenville, IL
(Premier Accredited Center)

Sponsored by Purina

 

Mark-Fitch-vet-10

2012 PATH Intl. Volunteer Veterianarian Recognition Award
Dr. Mark Fitch
Region 10
Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center
Longmont, CO
(Premier Accredited Center)

Sponsored by Luitpold Pharmaceuticals, makers of Adequan

Sandy-Webster-james-brady

2012 PATH Intl. James Brady
Professional Achievement
Sandy Webster
Region 11
Gaits of Change

Sponsored by Equus Foundation

 ross-braun-pres-award

2012 PATH Intl. President's Award
Ross Braun
New Haven, MO


 Lesley-Shear

2012 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Membership
Lesley Shear


 

2012 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Education
Michelle Weed

 

2012 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Programs and Standards
Sharon Butler

2012 Region Award Winners

Click on region to see photos of the winners on the region page.

Region 1

Equine of the Year Kennebago's Knight Carlisle Academy
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Lyman, ME
Certified Professional of the Year Kristen McGraw

UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Goffstown, NH
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Meryl Friets High Horses Therapeutic Riding Program
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Norwich, VT
Region 2
Equine of the Year The One and Only HorseAbility
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Old Westbury, NY
Certified Professional of the Year Megan Tritsch Maryland Therapeutic Riding
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Crownsville, MD
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Heather Beaudry-St. Germain EquiCenter, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Honeoye Falls, NY
Volunteer of the Year Karen Martin Celtic Charms Therapeutic Horsemanship Howell, NJ
Region 3
Equine of the Year Blaze the Wonder Pony On Eagles' Wings Fairmont, WV
Certified Professional of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Sally Banner Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Johns Island, SC
Volunteer of the Year Lawana Harper Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Leesburg, VA
Region 4
Equine of the Year Presley

Reins of Life, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

South Bend, IN
Certified Professional of the Year Claire List Achievement Centers for Children - Camp Cheerful
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Strongsville, OH
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Ron Genovese Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Chagrin Falls, OH
Volunteer of the Year Diane Sennett Reins of Life, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
South Bend, IN
Region 5
Equine of the Year Chester Bakas Equestrian Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Tampa, FL
Certified Professional of the Year Alice Duva Saddle Up!
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Franklin, TN
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Todd Cooley Hands and Hearts for Horses
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Thomasville, GA
Volunteer of the Year Heather Hipp The Reece Center for Handicapped Horsemanship Sharpsburg, GA
Region 6
Equine of the Year JMCJackiesGotAClue Equul Access, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Hutchinson, MN
Certified Professional of the Year Laurie Olson SMILES Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Darien, WI
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Kevin Nelson Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program Union Grove, WI
Volunteer of the Year Sandee Gould Freedom Farm
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Waverly, MN
Region 7
Equine of the Year Champagne Therapeutic Horsemanship
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Wentzville, MO
Certified Professional of the Year Carrie Bunge Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Warrenville, IL
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. James McCaslin Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Warrenville, IL
Volunteer of the Year Madeline Jarosik Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA)
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Valley, NE
Region 8
Equine of the Year Blaze Shamrock Healing with Horses Ranch Manor, TX
Certified Professional of the Year Amy Causey EQUEST
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Wylie, TX
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Dee Miller Turning Point Ranch Foundation Stillwater, OK
Region 9
Equine of the Year Dutch Treat Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center Bellingham, WA
Certified Professional of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Shannon Shields Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Woodinville, WA
Region 10
Equine of the Year Sir Rocko Hearts & Horses Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Loveland, CO
Certified Professional of the Year Beth Allman Front Range Exceptional Equestrians
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Fort Collins, CO
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Mark Fitch Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Longmont, CO
Volunteer of the Year Karl Phaler CANTER (Cochise Area Network of Therapeutic Equestrian Resources)
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Sierra Vista, AZ
Region 11
Equine of the Year Foolie REINS - CA Bonsall, CA
Certified Professional of the Year Joan Summers Ivey Ranch Park Association Oceanside, CA
Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Richard Markell J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
San Juan Capistrano, CA
Volunteer of the Year Shane Clarke Partners Therapeutic Horsemanship Lakeside, CA

Bios

Orphy Beattie, PATH Intl. Sis Gould Driving Recognition Award

Fifteen years ago Orphy began instructing therapeutic driving after retiring from her full-time nursing career, and she retired from River Valley Riders in Bayport, Minnesota, on October 4.

Over the years her students have experienced her loving nature and learned from her expertise of horses and driving. One student, Tana, would express her happiness as she drove with Orphy and do her little "happy dance” by wriggling her arms and legs with a laugh of pure joy. Many of Orphy’s students have limited speech and Orphy engaged them in ways that produced smiles and words like “happy.” She challenged all her students to their highest level of independence, and thereby became responsible for the increased self-esteem of all her students.

As a mentor in driving, Orphy displays patience and support. She has a wealth of knowledge that she shares freely, offering praise generously and correcting mistakes kindly.

Orphy’s husband, John, volunteered with her during all therapeutic driving lessons. Orphy’s other partner is her 19-year old Norwegian Fjord, Olaf, who she purchased specifically for the therapeutic driving program. Olaf would always be well groomed and conditioned for lessons as well as the harness and carriage flawlessly maintained and spotlessly cleaned. Her attention to detail produced a spotless safety record as well.

Orphy has promoted therapeutic driving in many ways including speaking at meetings of carriage driving organizations, assisting in the creation of the PATH Intl. driving standards, and presenting the therapeutic driving demonstration at the NARHA National Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Orphy is a blessing to those who are privileged to know and love her and who were privileged to work with her. She is well-deserving of the Sis Gould Driving Recognition Award for 2012.

Carrie Bunge, PATH Intl. Certified Professional of the Year

When the certified professionals are nominated, the judges usually read letters of recommendation from those who work with the instructor or equine specialist. Sometimes a recommendation will come from a volunteer or possibly a parent of a participant. Carrie Bunge, this year’s Certified Professional of the Year, received a very special recommendation from someone who knows her skills in a way that co-workers don’t. First-hand.

Pixie Ramsey, a young rider at Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities in Warrenville, Illinois, had this to say. “I think Miss Carrie is a wonderful riding instructor because she helps me to really understand how to ride correctly. She reminds me every class to keep my heels down and my toes up. Sometimes horseback riding is challenging but Miss Carrie always helps so much. For a little while, I was scared of trotting but Miss Carrie helped me to overcome that fear. She said that the best way to not be scared would be to keep my heels down and keep on trotting. And I did!

“I love Saturday mornings when I go to the barn for my lessons. Miss Carrie is always there waiting for me with a smile. She is a really REALLY great teacher! We sometimes work on hard skills but I always feel a sense of accomplishment riding with Miss Carrie. Every day after class I smile about what a great ride I had, all because of the best riding teacher I will ever have!”

Congratulations, Carrie, on being what this little girl has known all along: the certified professional of the year.

Champagne, PATH Intl. Equine of the Year

Fifteen years ago, Therapeutic Horsemanship of Wentzville, Missouri, was performing a demonstration at the St. Louis National Charity Horse Show. Following the demonstration, the staff was approached by the owner of a young 17.1 hand liver-chestnut Oldenburg gelding. Typically, a giant, young Oldenburg would not ever have been considered for their program, but something was different about this horse. 

Fifteen years later, Champagne, or “Champ” as he is lovingly called, has gone from being a young mount suitable for only the most capable riders, to being the favorite horse of young and senior riders alike, whether beginning or advanced. Champ has allowed countless riders to go from being dependent on leaders to riding independently. He has performed in demonstrations, polo matches and schools. At the request of her parents, Champ even made an appearance at the funeral of Jennifer Francisco, a young volunteer who was killed suddenly in a car accident. Champ stood calmly by her graveside in the middle of a chilly December afternoon as she was laid to rest. He kindly, soulfully, watched and joined everyone as they said their final goodbyes. 

On a much lighter note, Amy Willard, program manager says we’ll be happy to know that handsome Champ has a much smaller girlfriend named Ali, who is only a dainty 16.2 hands and that he is all heart. He has an amazing talent for lunging himself in a perfect circle even without a lunge-line. OR for that matter, even without a lunger!  We hear he is also perfectly capable of letting himself out of any and every stall, even when they are safely latched.

But Champ’s legacy is in the participant’s lives he has changed. One such boy is Vincent. Vincent’s mother says, “Who could have thought that the most important friend in his life would be a horse? Vincent and Champ work well together, and Champ was a constant in our weekly routine. Vincent started talking more and was learning to express his feelings. The love toward one another—boy and horse—became apparent to all around. Champ even started ‘hugging’ Vincent, rubbing his large horse head across Vincent’s chest whenever he had the chance. It was like Champ was saying, ‘Glad to see you. I love you.’”

Champ is indeed unforgettable and irreplaceable, the horse of a lifetime.

Shane Clark, PATH International Volunteer of the Year

There is something wonderful and amazing about watching a child with special needs blossom through equine-assisted activities and therapies and then go on to become a volunteer doing the same for others. Such is the case with Shane Clarke, the 2012 PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year. Shane suffered brain damage at birth, but through his parents’ determination and his own can-do attitude, Shane progressed. When he was ten, Shane’s mother believed that therapeutic riding would help him progress even more.

Shane became a participant at Partners Therapeutic Horsemanship in Lakeside, California, and the program that once taught him is now the beneficiary of his many volunteer hours. He trained in a veterinary assistant program, which allows him to administer medications, give shots and deal with minor equestrian maladies. The boy who once couldn’t cinch a saddle because of his disability is now a young man who teaches that skill to others.

Shane has learned many skills through the riding program and is an amazing example of giving back. He has learned through observation all the skills to coach and assist all types of special needs riders as a sidewalker. He is always willing to help in lessons no matter how hot, dusty or late in the day it is. As Karen Crampton, executive director of Partners, said, “’No’ and ‘I’m too tired’ are not in his vocabulary.”

Whether it is learning dressage, riding in competitions, attending college classes or working with program participants, Shane is respected and admired by everyone. “He is a truly good person,” said Bobbi Buettgenbach, Partners assistant director. He is a shining example of the impact EAAT can have on someone’s life and is a daily inspiration to those around him.

Cathy Davis, PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian of the Year

It’s not surprising when a military person exhibits strength and determination in the face of challenges. Cathy Davis, the PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes award winner, pushes those qualities to the max. According to Kelly Rodgers, her instructor at Maryland Therapeutic Riding in Crownsville, Maryland, Cathy is a perfect example of a rider whose determination, self-discipline and sense of humor has served her well. She has overcome a number of challenges and setbacks like the strong champion she is, with admirable endurance and will power. Her resilience after several personal injuries, and especially after experiencing a fall from a horse a year ago, is quite impressive. Despite such a frightening experience, her courage and stamina contributed to her successful comeback.

She no longer avoids speaking and enthusiastically engages in conversation with her volunteers and the staff. Her enthusiasm has grown over time as her confidence improved and she learned more riding skills. Although Cathy enjoys learning about horsemanship and working on her riding skills in the arena, she prefers her trips beyond the arena out on the trail where she enjoys talking with her volunteers and filling them in on her progress in the other activities in which she participates. She has become so comfortable that she will even give instruction and advice to a new volunteer sidewalker!

Cathy is very considerate and caring toward her mount, Flashy. Like a true horsewoman, she can be quite sensitive to his feelings and often offers encouraging words to him and tries to cheer him up when he is grumpy.

Kelly said that they appreciate Cathy’s enthusiasm and loyalty toward the riding program. “She has been involved in promotional activities, such as riding demonstrations, and she participated in a video developed for our website. We are grateful for her active involvement in our community and look forward to sharing our love for horses with her for years to come.”

Mark Fitch, DVM, PATH Intl. Volunteer Veterinarian of the Year

Equines are important partners with us at our centers, and their health and well-being is vital to our programs and participants. It takes a dedicated veterinarian to volunteer time to take care of our centers’ equines, and Dr. Mark Fitch has shown his dedication to Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center in Longmont, Colorado, with every visit for the last 32 years.

Whether through horse care, facility management or program development, Dr. Fitch is invaluable in training an endless stream of volunteers and staff, and every visit is a teaching opportunity, providing countless hours of education. Dr. Fitch has a profound understanding of the workings of the horse’s mind and is able to clearly explain, in a way that few others can, why and how horses react to their environment. His lessons are powerful because he teaches as much through his remarkable interactions with horses as he does with his quiet, gentle words. He helps the staff assess if a horse is appropriate for the program or to guide in the decision to retire a much-beloved and steadfast horse. He has offered to take a sick horse home with him to give staff a break and to provide around the clock care (even when he was right by their side providing care throughout the day).

Joe Schapp, who also uses Dr. Fitch as his personal veterinarian, said, “Not only has Dr. Fitch provided us excellent routine medical services for our horses over the years, he has helped us through some very difficult and, for us, terrifying emergencies. His services, recommendations and guidance have allowed several of our horses to make it through life threatening situations and flourish.”

As Carol Heiden, executive director of CTRC, said, “It is absolutely indisputable that Dr. Fitch, through his almost unfathomable commitment, service and generosity, has touched and improved the lives of countless horses and humans.”

Katelyn Parry, PATH Intl. Adult Equestrian of the Year

It is an amazing woman who can make other people feel that their lives are better from knowing her. Katie Parry is one such a woman. As her instructor at Maryland Therapeutic Riding in Crownsville, Maryland, said, Katie loves to help other riders learn new skills and is always willing to demonstrate what she’s learned to others so they can become better riders. And not just riders. When Julianne Mills joined MTR as an instructor, she needed to learn how to operate the SureHands lift. Katie happily agreed to help. Katie confidently took hold of the remote control and was patient while Julianne carefully got each piece of the equipment in place. Julianne said, “Then my nerves were put to rest when Katie proceeded to giggle her way through the entire process!”

Katie has made tremendous improvements. With hard work at home, in the gym and on horseback, Katie has gone from unstable to strong in the saddle. She loves a challenge and any opportunity to increase her independence, and she has recently started trotting. Apart from riding, Katie has learned everything she can about taking care of horses. She volunteers her time to help in the barn and helps with summer camp as a volunteer camp counselor, even in 100 degree heat. On the first day, Katie befriended the only camper who was in a wheelchair. Katie helped show her that she could still do what the other campers do, even from a wheelchair.

When Katie graduated from high school, she asked family and friends to donate to Maryland Therapeutic Riding in her name. Instead of collecting the cash for herself, she collected over a thousand dollars and gave all of it to her riding center.

Her instructor says, “Katie is perhaps the most selfless, strongest person I have ever met. The world is a better place for having Katie in it. She brightens my day and after knowing her, I will never be the same!”

Isaac Raske, PATH Intl. Child Equestrian of the Year

Isaac was born in 2006 in China with a severe visual impairment that would prove to be just a mountain to climb to increase his strength and character. Intuitive, energetic and curious, Isaac came to Friends for Therapeutic Equine Activities in Warrenville, Illinois, eager for adventure. From the sounds in the indoor arena, Isaac knew they were inside but something was amiss. With an inquisitive look on his face, Isaac brushed his shoe against the ground and asked, “If we are inside, why is their so much dirt on the ground?”

After satisfying his curiosity, Isaac began his first lesson at the barn with an initial exploration of his equine partner.  At first he was a little uncertain as he sensed the “bigness” of the horses, but with the help of his instructor he ran his hands up and down his pony’s shoulders, legs and mane as he stood on the ground, allowing him to grasp its size, shape and feel. Transitioning from the ground to the saddle, Isaac rode away from the mounting block with a white-knuckle grip on the saddle—and he fell in love with horses and the freedom, confidence and enjoyment they would bring him each week.

Isaac enjoys guessing with amazing accuracy which horse he will ride each week; of course the bigger the horse the better for this young cowboy. He is able to name his mount with simply a pat on the shoulder as a clue. When his horse trots, he invariably fills the ring with giggles that make everyone smile. With his endearing spirit, Isaac always quickly befriends his fellow riders and always happily cheers on his classmates from atop his horse as they learn new skills.

One of Isaac’s favorite games is at Halloween and everyone, including the horses, are in costume. One year, he was Buzz Lightyear. With his curiosity, joy and energy, Isaac can overcome anything and go “To infinity and beyond.”

Cliff Uber, PATH Intl. Independent Adult Equestrian of the Year

Cliff Uber started at Hearts and Horses in Loveland, Colorado, over nine years ago. Cerebral palsy not only spurred his desire to be self-sufficient but also fired a strong will to become the best horseman possible. In the beginning, Cliff required two side-walkers and a horse leader. From the moment he settled in the saddle, he knew this was where he belonged.

Riding multiple times a week was not enough. He took a saddle home to enable him to practice every. At the time, no one could fathom that someday he would make a course jump and obstacle let alone that he would do so with style and grace.

After years of developing high-level equine skills and building self-confidence, Cliff has emerged as a key component to the facility’s training team. In order to be an exceptional equestrian, you must understand the horses you are working with. Cliff spends hours watching videos from various trainers, then learns how to make their techniques work for him and his horses. Cliff volunteers at Hearts and Horses, working with the herd on basic groundwork and desensitizing new horses.

Even more than his work with the equines, though, is his willingness to be an example to others in the program. Whether it is at the All-Abilities Summer Camp or working with at-risk youth in the Changing Leads program, Cliff offers insight to others about communication between horses and humans.

Cliff is a Hearts and Horses icon of success, strength, fortitude and dedication and he exemplifies inspiration. As Dori Eppstein-Ransom, former executive director, said, “There is no other person I have met in my 8 years of association with Hearts & Horses who deserves this level of recognition more than Cliff Uber.”

Through the increasing belief in what he can accomplish, he sets a stellar example of what can be done on horseback by persons with or without a disability.

Note: It was with great sadness that we learned that Cliff passed away in early December. We were grateful to have the chance to celebrate his accomplishments with him at the PATH Intl. Conference. He will be missed.

Robert Wells, PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian of the Year

When you are a teenager, there are all sorts of things that motivate you. Like wanting to have six-pack abs. That’s the case with our PATH Int. Youth Equestrian of the Year, Robert Wells.

When Robert first came to Saddle Up! in Franklin, Tennessee, physical strength was low, resulting in him frequently saying “I’m melting,” as he would lose strength after about 15 minutes on his horse Nacho. He needed much support from sidewalkers, who he fondly calls Robert’s Angels. It is clear that these young volunteers motivate him as well!

Eventually, though, Robert was able to spend longer amounts of time on Nacho, five minutes a time at first or one more time around the ring. He was able to start reining and using a stronger voice for walk on and whoa. He can ride without thigh holds or physical support most of the time. And in 2011, at a horse show, Robert won red ribbons in his two vents, as he made it clear to the judges through his strong voice and improved reining that it was he and not the leadeer who was in control of his horse.

His instructor Dana Marshall said, “Robert is a remarkable young man and has grown so much as a rider in these last few years. His personality and his heart make him a pleasure to work with and we always look forward to his lesson. When that is added to the amazing strength he has developed in the last few years it is clear he is infinitely worthy of this award. It has been my pleasure and my honor to work with him.”

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