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PATH Intl. Awards Program

The 2024 PATH Intl.
Awards Nominations
Will Be Open From
September 18th, 2023-May 27th, 2024

Do you admire a particular instructor or an equine specialist in mental health and learning? Is there a special horse, mule, or mini with a priceless attitude that calls your center home? Is there someone special who helps to maintain your herd health? Do you know of a volunteer or veterinarian who generously gives time at a PATH Intl. center? Do you have a talented equestrian at your PATH Intl. center? Is there someone who you think has gone above and beyond in their years of service and deserves even higher recognition with the James Brady Professional Achievement Award?

There are so many individuals in this field that are very deserving, and we hope to bring light and celebrate those that each center wants to recognize with PATH Intl.!

We look forward to reviewing your nominations and celebrating all their hard work and dedication!

In 2018 as part of the strategic plan and from member input, staff reviewed processes related to the PATH Intl. Awards Program. Because all our equines, equine caretakers, volunteers, veterinarians, and credentialed professionals are deserving of recognition, the nomination forms were streamlined into a short form so member centers can nominate in less time. With conference now moving to a bi-annual event, we want to ensure that the awards continue as a yearly event!

Below is information on the awards process and criteria for each award category.

Regional Awards:
  • The awards nomination form for the equines, volunteers, and veterinarians will be scored based on criteria, experience, and ranking of attributes as indicated on the form.
  • The regional winner will be based on the highest score.
  • In the event of a tie for the regional winner, the winner will be selected by random from those tied with the highest score.
  • The awards nomination form for the credentialed professional will be scored with criteria such as being a member in good standing, minimum length of certification/service, contribution to program and adhering to PATH Intl. Standards/Code of Ethics and ranking of attributes.
National Awards:
  • Each of the region winner nominators will be asked to submit their nominee to be considered for the National Award level. This process includes a new nomination form and short essays from references for consideration. National nomination forms will need to be submitted by May 27, 2024, to be considered for the PATH Intl. Award in their respective category.
  • There are three different Equestrian of the Year Awards, Youth Equestrian, Adult Equestrian, and Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian. These awards are only given at the national level. To nominate your equestrian please submit your nomination form for this category is May 27, 2024.
  • Nominating centers must be current center members in good standing.
  • Only one nomination is allowed per center per category.
  • If a center had a regional winner in the previous year, their current nomination will not be eligible for scoring.
    The submission will be removed.
  • The nominee is ineligible if they have won a PATH Intl. award in their respective category in the last five years.
  • The credentialed professional is an active PATH Intl. member in good standing.
  • The credentialed professional holds a current PATH Intl. certification or EFP/EAL credentials.
  • The credentialed professional has a minimum of two years’ experience in their respective field.
  • The credentialed professional demonstrates excellent teaching, facilitating, or other related skills.
  • The credentialed professional demonstrates compassion and respect for students, clients, staff, and volunteers.
  • The credentialed professional demonstrates safe, ethical, and humane partnering with equines.
  • The credentialed professional adheres to all applicable PATH Intl. Standards, guidelines, and code of ethics.
  • Additional information for the credentialed professional to be submitted will include credentials, certifications, and experience information, and the nominator will be asked to rank certain attributes of the nominee.
  • Please be sure to follow the instructions described on the nomination form and fill out the form in its entirety.
  • The equine’s previous experience has added value to his/her services in the EAS industry at the nominating center.
  • The equine has an excellent attitude for work in the EAS industry.
  • The equine’s contributions are significant to the nominating center.
  • The equine has good relationships with the participants with whom he/she interacts with at the nominating center.
  • Please be sure to follow the instructions described on the nomination form and fill out the form in its entirety.
  • The equine caretaker is a volunteer or staff member who has gone above and beyond to care for the member center equines.
  • The equine caretaker works consistently to ensure that the center member equines thrive through their care.
  • The equine caretaker may be involved in but not limited to barn chores, feeding, grooming, medicating, first aid, hand-walking/other rehabilitation activities, assisted the veterinarian or farrier, night check, etc.
  • Please be sure to follow the instructions described on the nomination form and fill out the form in its entirety.
  • The veterinarian volunteers at least a portion of their time or products to the nominating center.
  • The veterinarian is currently licensed in their state or county of practice.
  • The veterinarian demonstrates compassion and respect for participants and clients.
  • The veterinarian demonstrates safe, ethical, and humane treatment of equines.
  • Please be sure to follow the instructions described on the nomination form and fill out the form in its entirety.
  • The volunteer has been active in the center’s program for the entire year prior to this nomination and is still active with the center.
  • The volunteer is not paid for their time at the center.
  • The volunteer’s contributions to the center are of the highest quality.
  • The volunteer is reliable and consistently follows thought with their commitments.
  • The volunteer’s contributions have helped enhance the ability of the center to provide equine-assisted services.
  • The nominee has a long history of volunteer service, either at the center or elsewhere in the community.
  • Please be sure to follow the instructions described on the nomination form and fill out the form in its entirety.
  • The equestrian participates in an equestrian activity at a PATH Intl. Member Center in good standing and has a disability/special need.
  • Age Requirements for Equestrian Awards (Must be meet as of January 1 of current nominating year)
    • Youth Equestrian – Must be at least 4 years of age but under the age of 18.
    • Adult Equestrian – Must be at least 18 years of age.
    • Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian – Must be at least 18 years of age and either currently enlisted or a Veteran.
  • The Equestrian of the Year is not a regional award. The equestrian nominations require reference essays judged by a panel of volunteer judges to determine the winner in each category.
  • Please be sure to follow the instructions described on the nomination form and fill out the form in its entirety.
The PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award is given to a person who has made a significant contribution to the industry of equine-assisted services (EAS). James Brady was the press secretary to U.S. President Ronald Reagan who was shot during an assassination attempt in 1981. The failed attempt paralyzed Brady who as part of his physical therapy began therapeutic riding with his horse. He said riding helped him improve his balance and muscle control more than traditional therapy. Brady was an ally of then NARHA, and subsequently, the association named its most prestigious award in his honor. Winners of this award are recognized for demonstrating the highest ethical behavior in their personal and professional life; for possessing proven leadership and dedication through delivery of service, educational contribution, support, and promotion of the industry; for bringing innovative ideas to fruition; for creating collaborations and partnerships to advance the work of EAS; and for enhancing the success and knowledge of others in the association. Once you have completed the nomination form and reference forms, please submit all the documents to . You will be notified of the nomination being received and a PATH Intl. Staff Member will be in touch with you throughout the process of judging.  

All award nominations will be scored, and in the event of a tie, the winners will be selected randomly out of those with the highest tied score. Also, recognizing that travel to the PATH Intl. Conference may pose financial worries and that family and friends are not always there to share in the excitement, the regional awards will be presented at the regional conferences.

If you have any further questions, email  or call the PATH Intl. office at (800) 369-7433.