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Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Awards

Nickname: Bonanza
Birth Year: 1992. Gender: Gelding. Breed: Paint.
Affiliated with Riding Unlimited Inc .

I am nominating Bonanza because he has always been a gentleman who takes such good care of his disabled riders. His gentle disposition allows new riders to gain confidence, yet he responds very well for the more experienced riders. Bonanza came to us from a family that wanted him to have a job and to be able to compete after his "girl" went off to college. However, they didn't want him to work too hard. His years of training shine through both in the riding lessons and at the horse shows. The minute he gets in that arena, he becomes that show horse all over again. Riders young and old with all levels of experience have won belt buckles and ribbons thanks to Bonanza's steady performance. In the past year Bonanza did his part with a little girl that can only move the fingers on her left hand. He was her showmanship partner. This was the first time the little girl had been allowed to participate in a horse show, they took first place ! At that same show, a man who suffered a stroke that left him paralyzed on his right side, took second in his equitation class and first in his trail class. Both him and his wife cried with joy. The man had ridden horses all his life and they never thought he would be in the saddle again. Riding Bonanza gave him the confidence he needed to move beyond the limitations of his paralysis. Bonanza is 26 now. Although he still works in the classes and takes his riders to the winners circle, he is a little stiff from arthritis in his hips and he needs extra supplements to keep weight on him in the winter. He has the potential to serve these exceptional riders for a while longer, he just needs a little help from his friends.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I have been involved with Riding Unlimited for 21 years. First as a volunteer, then as the volunteer coordinator, and now as the executive director.I have worked with Bonanza since he arrived in 2011. -- Patricia Dellemann