PATH Intl. Announces 2017 Award Winners

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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 (EAAT). PATH Intl. is pleased to announce the 2017 PATH Intl. Adult, Youth and PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian Award winners and the region award winners (equines, certified professionals, volunteers and veterinarians).

All region award winners will be recognized, and the 2017 PATH Intl. equine, certified professional, veterinarian and volunteer of the year will be announced at the 2017 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon in San Antonio, Texas, Friday, November 10.

Every year it becomes more difficult for industry judges to select the PATH Intl. award recipients because of the large number of outstanding nominees. This year, the judges read through the more than 220 nomination essays to select the award winners. PATH Intl. thanks the judges who made the difficult decisions and selected the award winners, and we offer congratulations to everyone who was nominated.

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

2017 PATH Intl. Winners

Adult Equestrian of the Year: Herald Peplau, Michigan Abilities Center Equine Assisted Therapy, Ann Arbor, MI

Youth Equestrian of the Year: Charles Finney, Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program, Greenville, NC

PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian Recognition Award:Duane Coombs, Children Horses and Adults in PartnerShip Equine Assisted Therapy (CHAPS), Sheridan, WY


2017 PATH Intl. Regional Winners

Equine, Certified Professional, Veterinarian and Volunteer of the Year

Region 1
Equine of the Year: Latino, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Lauren Kochakian, UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc., Goffstown, NH

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Jerilyn Jacobs, Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center, Wilmington, VT

Volunteer of the Year: Nancy Sheridan, Emerald Hollow Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., Brewster, MA
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: Lucy, Therapeutic Riding at Centenary, Hackettstown, NJ

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Kelly Slonaker, Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford, NY

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Alexandra Bernard, LeCheval Stable, Inc., Glenwood, MD

Volunteer of the Year: Sandra Wolinski, Access Equestrian, 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: Heavenly Details (Happy), Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Clifton, VA

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Margaret Muenzer, NC Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., Mebane, NC

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Jay Joyce, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Leesburg, VA

Volunteer of the Year: Daryl Holland, EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program, Virginia Beach, VA
Region 3 includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Region 4
Equine of the Year: Chico, Central Kentucky Riding for Hope, Lexington, KY

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Jan Vescelius, Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Chris Payton, Reins of Life, Inc., South Bend, IN

Volunteer of the Year: Nate Miller, 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: Tessie, Colby's Army, Nashville, TN

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Melissa Yarbrough, Inspire Equine Therapy Program, Clearwater, FL

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Cody Wohlman, Chastain Horse Park, Atlanta, GA

Volunteer of the Year: Robert Light, Colby's Army, Nashville, TN
Region 5 includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee; Puerto Rico and Africa

Region 6
Equine of the Year: Dun Tap (Tapper), Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills (SMILES), Darien, WI

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Joan Berg, River Valley Riders, Woodbury, MN

Veterinarian of the Year: Gary Quimby, RideAbility, Pine Island, MN

Volunteer of the Year: Dan Henning, Three Gaits, Inc., Oregon, 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: Hank, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center, Harvard, IL

Credentialed Professional of the Year: NA

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Jessica Harrison, Freedom Hooves Therapeutic Riding Center, Witchita, KS

Volunteer of the Year: NA

Region 7 includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

Region 8
Equine of the Year: Bud, SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship, Houston, TX

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Charlynn Bradford, Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas, Longview, TX

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Beau Whitaker, R.O.C.K. Ride on Center for Kids, Georgetown, TX

Volunteer of the Year: Jackie McDonald, JoyRide Center, Inc., Magnolia, TX

Region 8 includes the following states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; and Mexico, Central America and South America

Region 9
Equine of the Year: Sherman (Sherbert), Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center,Redmond, WA

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Evelyn Jones, Spirit Therapeutic Riding Center, Ellensburg, WA

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Robert Fleck, Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, Redmond, WA

Volunteer of the Year: Debbie Bacon, 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: Dean, Horses Help, Phoenix, AZ

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Marci Bender, National Ability Center, Park City, UT

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Sarah Schreiber, Children Horses and Adults in PartnerShip Equine Assisted Therapies (CHAPS), Sheridan, WY

Volunteer of the Year: Carole Miller, Horses Help, Phoenix, AZ

Region 10 includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

Region 11
Equine of the Year: Jerry, DreamPower Horsemanship, San Martin, CA

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Cherie Page, DreamPower Horsemanship, San Martin, CA

Veterinarian of the Year: Tri-County Veterinary Hospital, DreamPower Horsemanship, San Martin, CA

Volunteer of the Year: Antonella Wolf, DreamPower Horsemanship, San Martin, 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 pathintl.org, as well as more information about conference sessions, the Hyatt Regency San Antonio River Walk and fun things to do in San Antonio.

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 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun 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 nearly 62,500 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.