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September 2020 - Roll Out the Red Carpet for the 2020 PATH Intl. Award Winners

Denver – The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Intl.) takes great pride in the exceptional equines, credentialed professionals, volunteers and veterinarians who serve at PATH Intl. Member Centers and the quality of equestrians whose lives—and horsemanship—have been enriched through equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). PATH Intl. is pleased to announce the 2020 PATH Intl. Adult, Youth and PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Equestrian Award winners and the region award winners (equines, credentialed professionals, volunteers and veterinarians).

Every year industry judges select the PATH Intl. award recipients from a large number of outstanding nominees. PATH Intl. thanks the judges who made the difficult decisions and selected the award winners. PATH Intl. also thanks the individuals and centers who nominated the humans and equines demonstrating excellence in their field, and we offer congratulations to everyone who was nominated.

In previous years, PATH Intl. has celebrated the region winners at regional conferences and the national winners at the PATH Intl. Conference awards luncheon. Although this year the national conference and most of the regional conferences were postponed, the winners of these awards deserve recognition of their achievements. PATH Intl. offers its congratulations and accolades to these winners.

2020 PATH Intl. Equestrian Winners
Adult Equestrian of the Year: Justin Groza, Region 9, Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Bend, OR

Youth Equestrian of the Year: Violeta Rolfe, Region 11, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, Orinda, CA

PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Equestrian Award: Jonathan Brown, Region 10, StableStrides, Elbert, CO

2020 PATH Intl. Regional Winners

Region 1
Equine of the Year: Dixie, High Horses Therapeutic Riding, Sharon, VT

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Lauren Fitzgerald, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Robert Baratt, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT

Volunteer of the Year: Elizabeth "Liz" Lefrancois, Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., Bristol, CT

Region 1 includes the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; and the Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec

Region 2
Equine of the Year, Belle, Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC), Hackettstown, NJ

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Marya Pecukonis, LeCheval Stable, Inc., Glenwood, MD

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Elden Klayman, Chariot Riders, Manchester, NJ

Volunteer of the Year, Rosemary Gatchell, Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program, Port Deposit, MC

Region 2 includes the following states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania and Washington, DC; and Scandinavia, Europe, Middle East

Region 3
Equine of the Year, Gnomeo (Kiss Me Quick), Loudon Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Leesburg, VA

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Eva Finnan, Great Oak Aiken Therapeutic Riding Center, Aiken, SC

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. John Sangenario, EQUI-KIDS, Virginia Beach, VA

Volunteer of the Year, Chuck Hill, Horsepower Therapeutic Learning Center, High Point, NC

Region 3 includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Region 4
Equine of the Year, Astrid (Mercedes), Central Kentucky Riding For Hope, Lexington, KY

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Jessica Moorhouse, Potter's Ranch, Union, KY

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Sasha Hill, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, Chagrin Falls, OH

Volunteer of the Year, Wendy Pearson, Potter's Ranch, Union, KY

Region 4 includes the following states: Indiana, Kentucky Michigan, Ohio; and the Canadian Province of Ontario

Region 5
Equine of the Year, Devon, Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, Boca Raton, FL

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Jan McElroy, Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR), Lenoir City, TN

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Scott Swerdin, Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Loxahatchee, FL

Volunteer of the Year, Lee & Ginny Schroeder, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center, Naples, FL

Region 5 includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Africa

Region 6
Equine of the Year, Here's My Mercedes (Mercedes), Three Gaits, Inc., Oregon, WI

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Sandra Faust, Three Gaits, Inc., Oregon, WI

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Margaret Fauver, HorseSense, La Crosse, WI

Volunteer of the Year, Linda Knutson, River Valley Riders, Woodbury, MN

Region 6 includes the following states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin; and the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Region 7
Equine of the Year, Get A Grip (Grip), Horses of Hope Riding Center, Inc., Baxter Springs, KS

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Terese Klinger, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center, Harvard, IL

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Ashley Wegmann, New Kingdom Trailriders, Sherrard, IL

Volunteer of the Year, Pete Steiger, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center, Harvard, IL

Region 7 includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

Region 8
Equine of the Year, Jessie Enchanted Proof (Jessie), Compadres Therapy, Inc., El Paso, TX

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Shayna Bolton, SIRE, Inc., Houston, TX

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Kenton Arnold, Equest, Dallas, TX

Volunteer of the Year, Cathy Wirz, Born 2 Be Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Valley View, TX

Region 8 includes the following states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; and Mexico, Central America and South America

Region 9
Equine of the Year, Henry T. Fjord (Henry), NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center, Bellingham, WA

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Katie Rohwer, Animals as Natural Therapy, Bellingham, WA

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Cierra Dedeker, Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program, Caldwell, ID

Volunteer of the Year, Donna Young, Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Bend, OR

Region 9 includes the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State; and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia

Region 10
Equine of the Year, Varsity of Lexlin (Varsity), Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Liz de Kock, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Jody Morris, StableStrides, Elbert, CO

Volunteer of the Year, Carol McKennan, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Region 10 includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

Region 11
Equine of the Year, Rootin' Tootin' Ridge D'Lite (Ridge), Happy Trails Riding Academy, Visalia, CA

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Amanda Prestyly Belka, Renaissance Healing and Learning Center, Cotali, CA

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Kelly Zeytoonian, BOK Ranch, Woodside, CA

Volunteer of the Year, Jennifer Wineman, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, Orinda, CA

Region 11 includes the following states: California, Hawaii and Nevada; and Asia and Pacific

2020 PATH Intl. National Winners

Credentialed Professional of the Year (sponsored by Markel Insurance): Marya Pecukonis, Region 2, Le Cheval Stable, Glenwood, MD

Equine of the Year (sponsored by Purina and EQUUS Foundation): Gnomeo (Kiss Me Quick), Region 3, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Leesburg, VA

Veterinarian of the Year (sponsored by American Regent Animal Health, maker of Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan)): Ashley Wegmann, Region 7, New Kingdom Trailriders, Sherrard, IL

Volunteer of the Year: Carol McKennan, Region 10, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Congratulations to all the 2020 PATH Intl. Award Winners!

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About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International® (PATH Intl.®) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, groundwork and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,500 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

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American Regent Animal Health

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Therapeutic RidingTherapeutic DrivingInteractive VaultingEquine Services for HeroesEFP-EFL

Additional Sponsors

AdequanEQUUS FoundationMarkel Insurance CompanyCavalloRIDE TV