Congratulations 2016 PATH Intl. Exemplary Award Winners!

Premier Accredited Centers are in red.

ind adult karissa peterson 

2016 PATH Intl. Paul Spiers Independent Adult Equestrian
Award
Karissa Peterson
Region 10
Hearts & Horses, Inc.
Loveland, CO

youth equestrian matthew scotella 

2016 PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian Award
Matthew Scotella
Region 1
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
Old Lyme, CT

es4h paul hoiland 

2016 PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Equestrian Award
Paul Hoiland
Region 6
Freedom Farm
Waverly, MN

 james brady michael kaufmann

2016 PATH Intl. James Brady
Professional Achievement Award
Michael Kaufmann
Region 2
Green Chimneys Farm
Brewster, NY

equine reg 8 dancer

2016 PATH Intl. Equine of the Year Award
Co-Sponsored by:
Purina and The Equus Foundation
 Dancer
JoyRide Center, Inc.
Region 8
Magnolia, TX

 cert prof reg 11 mari parino

2016 PATH Intl. Certified Professional of the Year Award
Mari Parino
Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center
Region 11
Orinda, CA

vol reg 10 dave culbertson 

2016 PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year Award
Sponsored by AIM/Equine Network
Dave Culbertson
Hearts & Horses, Inc.
Region 10
Loveland, CO

vet reg 8 angel jordan 

2016 PATH Intl. Veterinarian of the Year Award
Sponsored by Luitpold Pharmaceuticals
Dr. Angel Jordan
Hearts & Hooves, Inc.
Region 8
Sherwood, AR

 

2016 Region Award Winners

PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers are in red.

 

Region 1

Equine of the Year Once in a Blue Moon, "Mr. Blue" Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
Greenwich, CT; Darien CT; and Brewster, NY
Certified Professional of the Year Elizabeth Fortes

Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc.

Greenwich, CT; Darien CT; and Brewster, NY
Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Suzanne McGraw Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Greenwich, CT; Darien CT; and Brewster, NY
Region 2
Equine of the Year Hobbit Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center Lancaster, PA
Certified Professional of the Year Laura Stringer Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. Bedford, NY
Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Jennifer Buchholz Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy, Inc. Philadelphia, PA
Volunteer of the Year Joan Harrington Heritage Christian Stables
Bedford, NY
Region 3
Equine of the Year Chance Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program Greenville, NC
Certified Professional of the Year Sherri Moore Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program Greenville, NC
Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Richard Goldston Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program Greenville, NC
Region 4
Equine of the Year Masterpiece, "Bear"

Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center

Augusta, MI
Certified Professional of the Year NA NA NA
Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Sarah Welday Dreams on Horseback
New Albany, OH
Region 5
Equine of the Year Indian Creed, "Indian" Healing Touch Therapeutic Riding Center
St. Cloud, FL
Certified Professional of the Year Robin Bowen Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding Knoxville, TN
Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Jerry H. Rudnick Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida
Boca Raton, FL
Volunteer of the Year Ken Furman Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians Pike Road, AL
Region 6
Equine of the Year Buddy We Can Ride, Inc.
Minnetonka, MN
Certified Professional of the Year NA NA NA
Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Katie Livingood RideAbility Pine Island, MN
Region 7
Equine of the Year Beau Main Stay Therapeutic Farm Richmond, IL
Certified Professional of the Year Jamie Stevener Exceptional Equestrians of the Missouri Valley, Inc. Washington, MO
Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Patricia Homeyer Exceptional Equestrians of the Missouri Valley, Inc. Washington, MO
Volunteer of the Year Sara Foszcz Main Stay Therapeutic Farm Richmond, IL
Region 8
Equine of the Year Dancer JoyRide Center, Inc. Magnolia, TX
Certified Professional of the Year Patty D'Andrea Healing With Horses Ranch
Manor, TX
Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Angel Jordan Hearts & Hooves, Inc.
Sherwood, AR
Volunteer of the Year Linda Robinson EQUEST Wylie, TX
Region 9
Equine of the Year Pippin Forward Stride Beaverton, OR
Certified Professional of the Year NA NA NA
Veterinarian of the Year NA NA NA
Volunteer of the Year Kathy Rohe Forward Stride Beaverton, OR
Region 10
Equine of the Year Sadie Hearts & Horses, Inc. Loveland, CO
Certified Professional of the Year Christina Pescatore Children, Horses and Adults in PartnerShip
Sheridan, WY
Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Michael Suit Hearts & Horses, Inc. Loveland, CO
Volunteer of the Year Dave Culbertson Hearts & Horses, Inc. Loveland, CO
Region 11
Equine of the Year Excel Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center Petaluma, CA,
Certified Professional of the Year Mari Parino Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center
Orinda, CA
Veterinarian of the Year Dr. Neal Spiro Happy Trails Riding Academy
Tulare, CA
Volunteer of the Year Lindsay Hendricks Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center Orinda, CA

Bios

Dave Culbertson: 2016 PATH Intl. Volunteer

Volunteers volunteer in their spare time, right? Dave Culbertson is an extraordinary volunteer who logged almost 2,100 hours in 2015. That is an average of more than 40 hours per week for the entire year. A United States Army Veteran, Dave is essential to Hearts & Horses, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Loveland, Colorado, and is an integral part of the community for many reasons: his kind and warm heart, his skills and knowledge, and his willingness to rise to any occasion. Dave can be seen on any given day working with the herd on training and conditioning, caring for the herd by mucking, feeding and assisting with medical treatments, helping out in lessons, acting as a role model for participants, helping with facility maintenance and lending a hand to anyone in need of assistance. His unwavering dedication motivates others to ask, “What more can I do to help?”

One center staff member said, “Dave has a huge impact on nearly every area of our center operations and programs; we would be lost without him.  Every day his heart and soul go into giving back at our center with such perseverance to help reach out with compassion and camaraderie for each rider, volunteer and staff member. He is the oil that helps our center thrive.”
Another person joked, “Does Dave have a cot or hammock stashed around the ranch that I don’t know about?” He is always there to lend a hand, heart, knowledge and skills, connecting with equine partners and humans alike. In a word, he is priceless.

Congratulations, Dave. You are well deserving of the title PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year.

Dancer: 2016 PATH Intl. Equine

In his youth, Dancer was a racehorse and became the first horse at JoyRide Center in Magnolia, Texas. Sensitive, alert, patient and kind, Dancer as the herd boss loves deeply, caring for his horse AND people herd, ensuring their safety. He has helped to advance the skills of many riders, but it is his loving heart that creates success.

Dancer has done it all, from giving a steady first ride to apprehensive new clients, to working in competition with independent riders. An instructor at the center remembers, “He worked with a boy for whom remaining still and calm was a real challenge, and who needed a leader (me) and two side-walkers for safety.  His very next ride was a tall man, who (though nonverbal) had excellent balance and rides almost independently with just a long lead for safety.  Dancer, while knowing when to ignore the wiggling and bouncing of the first rider, still responded instantly to the slightest weight shift of his second rider—and using the same tack!  I am humbled by how much this horse gives of himself on every working day.”

As one parent said, “From the start, Dancer and my son were a perfect match. By being tolerant, Dancer taught my son to be tolerant, and he now participates in a group. My son’s sensory needs change often, so he rides laying on his back, sideways and backwards. No matter the need or position, Dancer happily obliges, making my son’s ride more fluid and fun with fewer stops. This horse has greatly impacted our lives. He will continue to be family forever.”

Congratulations, Dancer, on being named the 2016 PATH Intl. Equine of the Year.

Paul Hoiland: 2016 PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian

Paul Hoiland proudly served in the United States Army as Military Police with several deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. Searching for a place to continue his path of healing from a traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress, he found Freedom Farm, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Waverly, Minnesota on the PATH Intl. website, and now his riding skills have increased to the point where he can ride at out-of-state riding clinics for veterans. But most of all, horses, have given him joy and he has found great purpose volunteering at our center. As a fellow volunteer said, “While he is passionate about growing as a rider, his passion for helping others is his calling.” He is a very intense individual with a strong desire to help. He has a pretty unique way of getting good results from others, whether it’s side-walking and encouraging a fellow veteran to sit tall or relax his leg, or encouraging an at-risk teen to learn a new skill.

Paul volunteers several days a week with barn chores, writing grants, speaking to organizations about Freedom Farm and assisting his fellow veterans and teens in its program for at-risk teens. One teen helped Paul mount a flag he had carried in Afghanistan to hang in the center. While carefully preparing the wall and unfolding the flag, he was explaining to the teen the meaning of this particular flag. The teen, greatly affected by the meaning, was overcome with emotion that Paul chose him to help.

Through therapeutic horsemanship and the power of the horse, Paul continues to have an impact on his country and on those around him. We are proud to name Paul the PATH International Equines Services for Heroes Equestrian of the Year.

Dr. Angel Jordan: 2016 PATH Intl. Veterinarian

Hearts & Hooves, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Sherwood, Arkansas, first called Dr. Angel Jordan on a routine visit, just to test the water. Dr. Jordan jumped in not only with both feet, but with heart as well, and never looked back. As a new vet in town, she made herself indispensable by being a resource for the latest health and stable management information She always takes the time – even though many clients now lay claim to her time and her schedule has become much busier – to explain various treatments, and she works with the Hearts & Hooves staff to keep costs down by showing them how to manage injuries and chronic complaints.  She is always finding free samples and pharmaceutical company deals for the center, saving the program several thousand dollars.  She encourages her clients to support the program and articulates to them why the horses are so important to the well being of the center’s participants.

Her support for Hearts & Hooves has gone far beyond veterinary duties. She found a horse for the center, which the owner then donated to the program. She became a sponsor of the center’s annual fundraiser. She gave the center a contact to get donated vaccines for the horses, and then she financially adopted two of the program horses.

One person at the center said, “There are many, many veterinarians who serve EAAT centers that are deserving...but Dr. Jordan’s selfless contributions to our center are noteworthy. She has become a member of our center’s family.”

Congratulations, Dr. Jordan, on being the PATH Intl. Veterinarian of the Year.

Michael Kaufmann: 2016 PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award

The James Brady Professional Achievement Award honors those individuals who make lasting contributions throughout the equine-assisted activities and therapies field. We recognize them 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 EAAT; and for enhancing the success and knowledge of others in the association.

PATH Intl. is pleased to name Michael Kaufmann the 2016 James Brady Professional Achievement Award recipient.

Michael has been actively involved in human and animal interaction programs, animal welfare and in humane education for more than 25 years. In 2005 he joined Green Chimneys Children’s Services as Farm and Wildlife Director and in 2012 was named Director of the Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, a program dedicated to education and research on the human connection to animals and the natural world. At Green Chimneys Farm, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Brewster, New York, he directs all aspects of the nature based therapeutic/educational programs and supervises the Institute dedicated to education and research on the human connection to animals and the natural world.

Michael worked on instructor certification and criteria, creating the professional standards for our industry.  He took Strides Magazine to the award-winning publication it is today.  With the PATH Intl. Board and Staff he gathered professionals for the Terminology Summit, building the language for our burgeoning field, and he helped guide and shape equine-facilitated psychotherapy, one of the fastest growing parts of our industry, through the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association of which he was a founding board member.  

PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor and past James Brady Award winner Boo Martin said, “Michael’s expertise, leadership skills, personality, hard work, dedication and commitment to professionalism have been the guiding light for us all. His mark of excellence has left an enduring legacy in the field of therapeutic horsemanship, making it the internationally known field that it is today.”

Michael has worked across disciplines and organizations to better promote human and animal interactions. He has worked with the Humane Association, the ASPCA, the International Association of Human Animal Interaction Associations, the Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International, the Denver University Graduate School of Social Work Institute for Human and Animal Connection and chaired the Humane Education Advisory Council for the Latham Foundation, and was a board member for the Horses and Humans Research Foundation as well as PATH Intl.

Molly Sweeney, the founder and vice president of Horses and Humans Research Foundation and past James Brady Award winner, said, “Animal welfare is a central core of his being. Michael’s curiosity makes him a lifetime learner.  I remember when he brought in two camels to Green Chimneys. He said no one really understood camels, so they began paying very careful attention to camel behavior patterns, and discussing what those behaviors might mean. Then they began paying closer attention to the farm animals they thought they knew, and they started noticing other behaviors among the familiar animals. The camels Michael brought in initiated new learning about all the animals.
“I don’t know a more honest, sincere and dedicated man to both EAAT and human animal interaction, whose thirst for knowledge constantly leads him to new levels of meaning and understanding of the work we all share in.”

Judith Lightfoot, former PATH Intl. president and past James Brady Award winner, said, “The man is a gem and richly deserves the broadest recognition as an influential leader of and spokesman for our field. I know of no one more deserving than Michael.”

Michael, we are proud to recognize you as the winner of the 2016 PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award.

Mari Parino: 2016 PATH Intl. Certified Professional

What characteristics define a PATH Intl. Certified Professional? Tireless. Openness. Selfless. Mentor. Leader. Infectious passion. These are also the characteristics that define Mari Parino, the PATH Intl. Certified Professional of the Year.  Mari, who is the executive director of Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Orinda, California, started a program in Thailand, enhanced one in Singapore and then came to Xenophon as an instructor. She rose to program director then executive director, growing the program to include its first summer camp, completing a covered arena and transitioning the center from seasonal to year-round. She grew the hippotherapy program and started a young adult program. She formed partnerships to include more of the community, increased sponsorships and doubled the budget.

Included with all these impressive characteristics is the ability to motivate others to become the best they can be. When a young student with multiple disabilities challenged side-walkers and equines alike, Mari utilized her expertise to help make the lessons positive. She took the time to find the best methods to work this student.  

The positive and nurturing team environment she creates is reflected in the longevity of staff and volunteers, many who have been with the program for fifteen to twenty years. As one co-worker said, “I’ve worked with Mari for 15 years and know her as someone who gives selflessly of her time, talents and resources. She fills in as instructor when needed, mentors prospective new instructors, organizes and teaches at volunteer trainings and fundraisers, trains horses, and works to grow our center to fulfill the needs of the community with an open heart.  She never fails to educate others about the importance of therapeutic riding. It is a privilege to work with an individual like her.”

Congratulations, Mari!

Karissa Peterson: 2016 PATH Intl. Paul Spiers Independent Adult Equestrian

“Normal” is not common in Karissa Peterson’s life. The label “person with Down syndrome” comes with certain limitations and unique challenges. Karissa is acutely aware of her differences from others. However, when she’s on a horse, those differences disappear.  When she started at Hearts & Horses, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Loveland, CO, she needed the assistance of three volunteers. She was hesitant to push herself.  She slowly began to make progress and dismissed the volunteers at her side, and in the saddle she bloomed. For the first time in her life, she did not feel the limits of her disability and progressed quickly: trotting independently, posting trot without stirrups—which she joyfully calls the “thigh master”!—riding bareback, jumping and barrels. Once given the taste of success, Karissa became a tenacious fighter. Riding has given her the strength and desire to live just as her peers do—without limitations.

She has ridden many horses, but even her current favorite can be challenging on occasion; Karissa is gently assertive, consistent and exceedingly patient. She does not judge them for their peculiarities. She understands that the challenges make her a better rider, and she demonstrates a growing pride and skill in each ride. Her parents said, “Simply put, therapeutic riding has provided Karissa with skills and accomplishments that no other activity can. What a powerful thing that is!”

Normal is good, but horses are transformational, and in riding, Karissa has become exceptional. Congratulations, Karissa, on being the PATH Intl. Paul Spiers Independent Adult Equestrian of the Year.

Matthew Scotella: 2016 PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian

Riding independently on the trails has been a long term goal for Matthew Scotella, the PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian of the Year.  Limited in his daily life by Muscular Dystrophy, fatigue, ataxia, atrophy, sensory issues, and now most recently nausea, headaches and pain from brain cancer, relief from the constraints of the wheelchair fade away as he sits astride his steady steed, Latino. The slow, consistent gait of the broad backed horse allows Matthew to find comfort and stability even while traversing the many trails and hills throughout the property of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

To all who know him, Matthew epitomizes strength of character and determination.  The rare form of Muscular Dystrophy, which dramatically alters both his life and that of his two younger brothers, has given him hurdle after hurdle to overcome in his short life. And yet, he overcomes. Success for Matthew is defined as enjoyment in the moment, freedom from the wheelchair, trotting independently around the arena and laughing with the group.  His consideration for others is unwavering despite his many personal battles.  His gifts to all who are fortunate enough to be within his glow are undeniably admiration, renewed sense of purpose and respect for life being lived!

As one person at the center said, “Matthew’s strength and acceptance leave us all deeply moved and filled with both admiration and inspiration.” Congratulations, Matthew.

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Additional Sponsors

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