What Do Truffles, Magnum, Goat, Doree and Lucy Have in Common? Caring Volunteers!

Thanks to Ariat International, five deserving volunteers at equine charities across the United States receive a $270 Gift Card for Ariat Boots each quarter. Ariat International sponsors the EQUUS Foundation Champions program, which aims to stimulate and reward volunteerism on behalf of horses.

We would like to congratulate the winners for the second quarter of 2022: Abby Berglund, Brenda Nussbaum, Maisey Pautz, Ella Riley, and Denise Van Why. The EQUUS Foundation is grateful for volunteers like these who dedicate their time to keeping horses safe and healthy and aiding the charities and horses that serve people in need.

Brenda Nussbaum
The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc.
Centerburg, Ohio

EQUUS Foundation

Nussbaum (right) with Truffles and six-year-old Avery, a Shane Center client

A professed horse, dog and people loving person, Nussbaum grew up on a farm in Southeastern Ohio and started riding horses “before I could walk! That was when my love for all animals began,” said Nussbaum. “My love for people brought me to the most fantastic volunteering experience I could ever imagine at the Shane Center where I have been volunteering for the last four years.”

Since its inception 29 years ago, no client has ever been denied services due to their financial circumstances. “Even after the two years of wearing our masks, you can still see their eyes light up and see their smiles that run ear-to-ear as they enter the facility and greet their horses.” That smile also runs ear-to-ear on the faces of Brenda and all the volunteers. “I love volunteering each week to help improve the quality of life for people with different abilities. Thank you, Ariat — the boots will be put to good use!”

Abigail Berglund

Secretariat Center
Lexington, Kentucky
EQUUS Foundation

Berglund (left) with Magnum and Kelly Bechtol

Abby Berglund grew up in Denver and has been competing in hunter and jumper divisions for five years on the CHJA (Colorado Hunter Jumper Association) and IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) circuits, serving one year as the captain of the IEA team at In Stride, Inc.

Now a junior at Colorado State University double-majoring in Business Management and Equine Science, Berglund had the opportunity to complete the Kentucky Equine Management Internship program where she volunteered at the Secretariat Center. “I intend on extending my studies abroad in Ireland next fall and ultimately plan to pursue an administrative career in the equine industry, hopefully making my way back to Central Kentucky,” said Berglund.

Ella Riley

Iron Bridge Hounds Pony Club
Sandy Spring, Maryland
EQUUS Foundation

Riley and Goat

A member of the United States Pony Club (USPC), Ella Riley joined the Maryland Region’s Iron Bridge Hounds Pony Club in 2017. “Pony Club is one of the best ways to make fun memories with other horse-loving friends, while also learning so much about horses and how to take care of them,” says Riley. “Pony Club has taught me how to respect the horse and human connection, and how to handle many different situations, both mounted and unmounted!”

Riley is also learning leadership skills by volunteering to teach younger members. “Seeing the younger members learn and grow into smart, great equestrians is the true reward in Pony Club. There is nothing quite like Pony Club and I’m so grateful to be a part of it!”

Maisey Pautz

Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc.
Spencer, New York

EQUUS Foundation
Pautz with Dorees Giant Neal (Dorree)

Maisey Pautz is a lifetime equestrian with a passion for off-the-track thoroughbreds (OTTB). She competed in hunt seat equitation in high school through the IEA (Interscholastic Equestrian Association) and the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Shows Association). A regular at local shows, she has gained experience in riding green horses and working with horses with behavioral challenges.

“Maisey is dedicated to showcasing the diversity OTTB and serving as an ally for the breed through her work at Second Chance Thoroughbreds,” said Collette Duddy, Executive Director.

Denise Van Why

Hearts and Horses
Loveland, Colorado

EQUUS Foundation
Van Why with Lucy

Prior to retirement, Denise Van Why was a registered nurse in the Northern Colorado Area. She enjoys hiking, crocheting, needlework and watching nature from my deck in the mountains and added volunteering for Hearts and Horses to her activities in 2021 where horses play the primary role in enhancing the lives of people.

“I so enjoy getting to understand the unique riders and horses as well as being with an awesome organization that is present for all involved.”

Learn more about Champions here

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