"We are hoping to change the public's view of horses in transition through awareness and education," said Torrie Ward, who, along with Marion Kerviche, Christine Remy, Patti Simpson, and Lynn Turek are being honored by Ariat International for their volunteer service on behalf of horse welfare. Each will receive a pair of Ariat boots. Ariat sponsors the EQUUS Foundation's Champions program which is dedicated to inspiring and rewarding equine service.
Copper Horse Crusade, Cambridge, OH
"Her Jockey Club name is Hell on the Heart," said Torrie Ward. She said Copper Horse Crusade got the mare by outbidding the kill buyer.
Ward has been an important part of Copper Horse Crusade for several years, an equine charity focused on saving slaughter bound horses. Donating her time in a variety of ways, Torrie has contributed to Copper Horse Crusade's social media profile as well as putting 'boots on the ground' at the barn and at the kill sale.
Torrie has loved horses since the first time stepping into a barn. She is able to fulfill her passion through her volunteer work coming to the aid of slaughter bound horses.
Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center, Augusta MI
Once the bond with horses forms, it stays with you even if time passes and horses are not an active part of your life. That is true of Marion Kerviche. Marion rode horses for five years as a child, but other demands drew her away and she stopped riding.
She missed her experiences with horses, and then, a year ago, she happened upon Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center. "I decided to check it out," said Kerviche, "and I haven't been able to leave."
"Cheff is truly an amazing place where clients of all ages who have physical, emotional or cognitive disabilities are provided with therapy, but our horses and volunteers also benefit. It is a place to have fun, to relax, and to make great memories."
DreamCatcher Horse Ranch Rescue Center, Clermont, FL
"DreamCatcher inspired me," said Lynn Turek. She is an artist who paints horses regularly, but volunteering at DreamCatcher for the past nine months has changed the course of her life.
Now, she's considering going back to school to become an equine massage therapist, and she is also taking lessons in the hunter/jumper and dressage disciplines for the first time.
As a volunteer, she helps groom, muck stalls, and assist with barn chores. "Every time I leave, I am looking forward to the next time I volunteer," said Lynn. "Everyone who works or volunteers at DreamCatcher expresses a love for these horses that is truly awesome."
"I didn't know there were so many horses that are suffering from abuse and neglect. It's shocking but, thankfully there is DreamCatcher, and many other centers, who help them recover and find them loving homes."
Redemption Road Rescue, Jackson, TN
Originally from England, Patti Simpson attended one of the top equine training facilities where she obtained the British Horse Society Instructors Certificate and went on to manage several equine barns throughout Southern England.
Simpson moved to the United States in 1978 to take on positions of ownership and upper management in the hospitality and technology industries. Settling in Tennessee, Simpson volunteered for Saddle Up, an equine therapy facility based in Franklin, and was instrumental to expanding its operations as Board President.
Simpson's move to Jackson, Tennessee, in 2013, also brought her to Redemption Road Rescue. She serves on the Board of Directors as Secretary, handles the bookkeeping, does barn chores and also helps with special events. "Seeing the transformation in the equines that arrive is my reward!"
The Right Step, Littleton, CO
Christine Remy is no stranger to horses as she currently competes as an amateur in hunter and jumper competitions.
She started volunteering for The Right Step in 2008, the year it was founded to better the lives of people with disabilities through the healing power of horses. She was smitten. She joined the Board in 2011 and now serves as the Board Chair.
"We are a completely volunteer-run organization so I wear many hats - from administrator to fundraiser to barn aisle sweeper. However, my favorite place to be is in the arena helping with the horses and their riders," said Remy.
"Many people thank me for my time, but my response is, 'I get far more from the program than I give!'"
About EQUUS Foundation
The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, the only national animal welfare charity in the United States dedicated solely to horse welfare and the horse-human bond. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website:www.equusfoundation.org.
About Ariat International
Ariat International, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, apparel and belts. Featuring a patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat pioneered the application of advanced athletic shoe technology into English riding boots and authentic Western boots. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800-899-8141 or visit www.ariat.com.