2020 Platinum Performance
Horse Welfare Awards

Nickname: Knight
Birth Year: 2008. Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred.
Affiliated with RideAbility Therapeutic Riding Center

Knight is an OTTB that went to 2 homes before we brought him home. The previous owner could not figure him out. When I met him my heart raced. I knew he was mine.

My heart horse before Knight for 15 years was Romeo another OTTB who did it all. 4ft jumper, cross country, endurance and then special Olympian(We have a therapeutic center) he was retired.

I was looking for my next jumper cross country partner. When I found Knight I knew he was mine. We could not get him on the trailer and it took over a week to get him to me. Once we got him home he was the most amazing horse. I fell in love. Once I started trotting poles on the ground he jumped them like they were 10 feet tall, ditches them and dumped me all the time. Once he knew the poles/jumps were there he was amazing. The next day when we started it was as if he never saw them and it started all over again, it was as if we were starting from scratch. This was both on the ground and in the saddle. One day I was just had a gut feeling, (I have worked with enough horses) something is wrong physically. I thought what can it be? His vision! I went back to the barn and took photos of his eyes. He was blind. 75% one eye 50% the other. I contacted the eye specialist. He said they were the biggest corpus nigra cysts he had seen. Not only did they affect his vision the cysts moved. Every time I came to a pole it moved. How scary this is for a horse. I explained the trailer situation to the vet and he said he can’t gauge it. He came to us to perform laser surgery. After he did the surgery Knight could see for the first time probably in many years. The problem is his brain is imprinted  with fear of poles and jumps.  We decided no more jumping and I love him so much we switched to dressage. If you met him in one minute you would feel how special he is. How loving he is. He is mine. He is learning and tries so hard to please.  He is my heart, my love, my partner. I will go on this journey at his pace and together we are succeeding. Slowly. But heck I’m 54 so I have no rush. I love our journey.

Knight is now the number one horse in our Veterans program at RideAbility Therapeutic Riding Center in Clover, S.C. He works with our veterans and changes lives everyday. He also teaching our riders to learn to groom. That is the very short story of my Partner, my boy Imperial Knight. Wendy  

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Owner of Knight and Owner of RideAbility Therapeutic Riding Center in Clover, S.C. -- Wendy Schonfeld

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