Thanks to Ariat International, sponsor of the EQUUS Foundation Champions program, five volunteers from equine charities across the United States receive a $270 Gift Certificate for Ariat Boots each quarter from Ariat in recognition of their volunteer service.
We would like to congratulate Jean Parker, Jenna Gailani, Kurt Haberle, John Mann and Paul Sentgeorge for being the five randomly selected winners for the fourth quarter of 2020. We recognize these volunteers for their dedication to keeping horses safe and healthy at equine charities across the United States. While this year was tough on everyone, it allowed the opportunity for these volunteers to fulfill their passion for working with horses and help their equine charities that were hit hard by the pandemic.
Hope Equine Rescue
Winter Haven, FL
Jean grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio, as one of those horse-crazy girls that played with Breyer horses, went to horse camp many summers and begged for a horse until her parents gave in! When she was 10, she got her own horse named Chief. Since then, Jean has lived in Florida, Massachusetts, California, and Washington, all the while yearning to have another horse. She had to settle for just taking riding lessons and borrowing her best friend’s horses. When Jean returned to Florida to take care of her elderly mother, she miraculously discovered Hope Equine Rescue.
“I am so excited to be volunteering with Hope, as they have many horses, donkeys, and minis that are in need of care. Their volunteer program is super organized, and founder, Dani Horton, provides an excellent program for the rescue horses and volunteers alike. I have been at Hope for one year and have learned a ton. If there is one positive outcome of this pandemic year for me, it is that I was free to get to the rescue so many days and was even able to participate in two of their Challenge training programs. Thanks, Hope Equine Rescue, and all the great volunteers there – and thanks to the EQUUS Foundation and Ariat for this generous gift!”
Dream Catcher of LA
Long Beach, CA
Jenna found Dream Catcher of LA online while visiting family in California and unable to unable to return to her spouse in South Africa due to the pandemic.
“Dream Catcher of LA not only became a light in my day but provided me an opportunity to combine my passion for horses and profession as a social worker into something beneficial for the community.”
Jenna was given the opportunity to school the horses and interact with the amazing clients regularly which she described as a priceless experience.
“I have since returned to South Africa but will be returning to Dream Catcher of LA when I am back in California as they are a wonderful organization to be involved with.”
Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary (AGES)
Elkhart Lake, WI
Kurt first started volunteering at Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary (AGES) about four years ago after seeing a feature on a local PBS show called Outdoor Wisconsin. Kurt met Gypsy on his first day at AGES and was immediately captivated by her. A permanent resident at AGES, Gypsy is a blind mare and the unofficial Matriarch.
AGES has rescued and found new forever homes for well over 200 horses as well as becoming the forever home for others.
“I have learned so much there and have myself adopted Ranger, a gelding we pulled from a kill pen in Oklahoma. AGES is truly a place that gives life and I am proud to be a part of it.”
Therapeutic Riding of Tuscaloosa (TROT)
John Mann grew up volunteering along side his grandfather and other church elders. He learned many aspects of construction along the way, skills including electrical, framing, plumbing and roofing. John is responsible for the construction and ongoing maintenance of most of the TROT stalls.
John says, “Volunteering at Therapeutic Riding of Tuscaloosa means so much to me. TROT is where my daughter with Selective Mutism finally found her voice. Just being able to be a small part of such a healing, wonderful place for so many is an honor.”
John is a tireless worker who is most comfortable working behind the scene but steps up willingly to help our young riders feel comfortable,” said Lorraine Epperson of TROT. “Definitely an asset to TROT!”
Camelot Center Therapeutic Riding Program
When Paul Sentgeorge retired as a probate court clerk, he had some extra time on his hands and began researching ways he could volunteer. The mission outlined on the Camelot Center Therapeutic Riding Program’s webpage appealed to him and he began the process of being accepted as a volunteer.
John had not worked with horses before, but now after more than three years, Paul is comfortable at outfitting the horses, leading the horses and riders, side-walking special needs riders, and cleaning stalls as well as performing a wide variety of general maintenance work around the facility. He also serves on the Board of Directors.
“Rain or shine, hot or cold, under all conditions and in all seasons,” said John, “I make myself available to help support the mission of the Camelot Center Therapeutic Riding Center.”
Learn more about Champions here