PATH Intl. Announces 2015 Award Winners

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Every year it becomes more difficult for industry judges to select the PATH Intl. award recipients because of the large number of outstanding nominees. PATH Intl. takes great pride in the exceptional equines, certified professionals, volunteers and veterinarians who serve at PATH Intl. Member Centers and the quality of equestrians whose lives—and horsemanship—have been enriched through equine-assisted activities and therapies. PATH Intl. is pleased to announce that the region award winners have been posted on the PATH Intl. Conference website along with the 2015 PATH Intl. Adult, Paul Spiers Independent Adult, Child, Youth, and PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian Award winners, Sis Gould Driving Recognition Award and Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy/Equine-Assisted Learning Professional Award recipients.

All award winners will be recognized, and the 2015 PATH Intl. equine, certified professional, veterinarian and volunteer of the year, and the James Brady Professional Achievement award recipient will be announced at the 2015 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting Awards Banquet in Cleveland, Ohio, on Friday, November 6.

PATH Intl. thanks the judges who selected our award winners and offers congratulations to everyone who was nominated.

(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers are shown in UNDERLINED.)

2015 PATH Intl. Winners
Adult Equestrian of the Year: Cara Yar Khan, Chastain Horse Park, Atlanta, GA
Child Equestrian of the Year: Joshua Kim, R.O.C.K., Ride on Center for Kids, Georgetown, TX
Paul Spiers Independent Adult Equestrian of the Year: Josef Hudson, Calvin Center Therapeutic Riding Program, Hampton, GA
Youth Equestrian of the Year: Tricia Sullivan, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center, Harvard, IL
PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian Recognition Award (sponsored by Bimeda/Equimax): Mary Ballengee, R.O.C.K., Ride on Center for Kids, Georgetown, TX
Sis Gould Driving Recognition Award: Lauren Fitzgerald, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT
Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy/Equine-Assisted Learning Professional Award: Cheryl Meola, Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program, Greenville, NC

2015 PATH Intl. Regional Winners
Equine, Certified Professional, Veterinarian and Volunteer of the Year

Region 1
Equine of the Year: Chester, Strongwater Farm Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc., Tewksbury, MA
Certified Professional of the Year: NA
Veterinarian of the Year: NA
Volunteer of the Year: Gregory Wentworth, Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center, Bristol, CT
Region 1 includes the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; and the Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec

Region 2
Equine of the Year: White Roses’ Lilly, “Lilly,” Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford, NY
Certified Professional of the Year: Emily Wygod, Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford, NY
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Rosemary Ganser, Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford, NY
Volunteer of the Year: Caroline Black, Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford, NY
Region 2 includes the following states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania and Washington, DC; and Scandinavia, Europe, Middle East

Region 3
Equine of the Year: Levi, EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program, Virginia Beach, VA
Certified Professional of the Year: Linda Aikey, Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Clifton, VA
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Candace Thrift, Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program, Greenville, NC
Volunteer of the Year: Elizabeth Schwitz, Rainbow Therapeutic Riding Center, Haymarket, VA
Region 3 includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Region 4
Equine of the Year: Reo, Offering Alternative Therapy w/Smiles, Inc. (O.A.T.S.), Clarkston, MI
Certified Professional of the Year: Lauren Simak, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, Chagrin Falls, OH
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Colleen Porter, Offering Alternative Therapy w/Smiles, Inc. (O.A.T.S.), Clarkston, MI
Volunteer of the Year: Dave Barry, Reins of Life, Inc., South Bend, IN
Region 4 includes the following states: Indiana, Kentucky Michigan, Ohio; and the Canadian Province of Ontario

Region 5
Equine of the Year: Phantom, Bethany’s Equine & Aquatic TS, Inc. (BEATS), Canton, GA
Certified Professional of the Year: Cynthia King, Bethany’s Equine & Aquatic TS, Inc. (BEATS), Canton, GA
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. April Andrews, Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians, Pike Road, AL
Volunteer of the Year: Kim Light, Colby’s Army, Fairview, TN
Region 5 includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee; Puerto Rico and Africa

Region 6
Equine of the Year: Amanda, Equul Access, Inc., Hutchinson, MN
Certified Professional of the Year: Anne Anderson, We Can Ride, Inc., Minnetonka, MN
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Judy Batker, Three Gaits, Inc., Oregon, WI
Volunteer of the Year: Anna Klinke, Free SPIRIT Riders, Inc., Fond Du Lac, WI
Region 6 includes the following states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin; and the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Region 7
Equine of the Year: Huff, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center, Harvard, IL
Certified Professional of the Year: Patrick McKevitt, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center, Harvard, IL
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Andrea McGowan, Main Stay Therapeutic Farm, Richmond, IL
Volunteer of the Year: Anna Vermett, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center, Harvard, IL
Region 7 includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

Region 8
Equine of the Year: AMIGOS IN JAGS, “Amigo,” EQUEST, Wylie, TX
Certified Professional of the Year: Priscilla Lightsey, R.O.C.K., Ride on Center for Kids, Georgetown, TX
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Kurt Heite, JoyRide Center, Inc., Magnolia, TX
Volunteer of the Year: Smith Bazemore, The Right Path Riding Academy, Drumright, OK
Region 8 includes the following states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; and Mexico, Central America and South America

Region 9
Equine of the Year: Zorro, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, Redmond, WA
Certified Professional of the Year: NA
Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Ron Friedman, Forward Stride, Beaverton, OR
Volunteer of the Year: Lori Shepp, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, Redmond, WA
Region 9 includes the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State; and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia

Region 10
Equine of the Year: Mr. P, Horses Help, Phoenix, AZ
Certified Professional of the Year: Heather Cotterman, Pikes Peak Therapeutic Riding Center, Elbert, CO
Veterinarian of the Year: NA
Volunteer of the Year: Elise Brenninkmeyer, Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., Longmont, CO
Region 10 includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

Region 11
Equine of the Year: Magic Marker, “Mark,” Helen Woodward Animal Center, Rancho Santa Fe, CA
Certified Professional of the Year: Heidi Koch, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, Orinda, CA
Veterinarian of the Year: NA
Volunteer of the Year: Bev Winton, EQUI-ED, Santa Rosa, CA
Region 11 includes the following states: California, Hawaii and Nevada; and Asia and Pacific

Early registration for the PATH Intl. Conference, presented by title sponsor Purina, is currently offered online at www.pathintl.org, as well as more information about conference sessions, the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and fun things to do in Cleveland.

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 866 member centers, more than 61,000 children and adults may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride and independence through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are more than 55,000 volunteers, 4,666 instructors, 7,672 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.