2022 Platinum Performance
Horse Welfare Award Recipients

Animal Health is the Platinum Performance® Mission. Platinum Performance® believes in the power of nutrition and supplementation, and is committed to providing formulas that produce superior results. For more information, visit www.platinumperformance.com

2022 Recipients

Official Name: Devon's Legacy
Birth Year: 1996 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Brook Hill Farm
I am nominating Devon because he could really benefit from this award. Until June of 2022, Devon was an active member of our team, teaching at-risk youth how to ride. Then he contracted EPM, a neurologic disease that horses get from eating infected opossum feces. Devon came up from the field and took a few steps forward, and then spun in a circle.
We immediately called the Vet and he presented all of the symptoms of EPM, including, incoordination, stilted movement, and an abnormal gait. We immediately begun expensive medication, and now he is doing much better. The disease took a lot out of him, he lost a lot of weight and has some muscle atrophy. Now he needs time to recover. He could really use your wonderful supplements to help aid in his recovery, and the money attached to this award would go directly towards his medical bills.

In the words of one of our participants:

I came, maybe 2 years ago to Brook Hill suffering with anxiety, having panic attack causing me to have trouble with just about everything. They partnered me with Devon, and I am no longer scared and alone. He makes me feel better and helps me make friends with the other riders. Now it is my turn to help him!
At-risk youth, United Neigh Program

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Executive Director, Brook Hill Farm
Devon works in our therapeutic riding sessions with at-risk youth. -- Jo Anne Miller

Official Name: GiGi
Birth Year: 2002 Gender: Mare. Breed: Haflinger


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Pal-O-Mine Equestrian, Inc.
We bet you have never met a horse quite like GiGi. This 20-year-old Haflinger excels as a therapy horse here at Pal-O-Mine and is a well-known barn favorite. GiGi came to us after being found in a field with another mare out of state. With very little information about how her life started, we only knew she may have been used to give pony rides for a circus.
She is known for her zesty personality, her intelligence and her steady demeanor. Her ears are always forward while doing her job. GiGi is the only horse we have known to be able to open stall doors with one quick motion of her muzzle. During her lessons, she knows exactly what pace her students need and helps create the input to help each student succeed. The majority of her students are on the autism spectrum, have ADHD, behavioral challenges or sensory processing difficulties. Once a child is on GiGi, their entire day changes for the better. Gigi is used for all of our programs. Besides adaptive horseback riding, she is a favorite for speech and occupational therapy sessions, equine assisted psychotherapy and learning, unmounted horsemanship and natural horsemanship.
GiGi is truly an all-around horse. When Pal-O-Mine's staff members put together a mounted drill team, GiGi pranced through the elaborate routine to the music from "The Greatest Showman", she can definitely pick up a beat! From performing dressage freestyles to western barrel racing, GiGi is one of the most versatile horses at Pal-O-Mine.
GiGi is entering her senior years and would greatly benefit from Platinum Performance products to help maintain her health and personality for many more years to come.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Lisa Gatti is the CEO/Founder of Pal-O-Mine, which is the owner of GiGi. -- Lisa Gatti

Official Name: Six Shooter Boogie
Birth Year: 2003 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Quarter


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National Center For Equine Facilitated Therapy (NCEFT)
Pistol’s Background:

Pistol is a 19-year-old Quarter Horse gelding. Before arriving at NCEFT, Pistol was a western cutting horse. He spent several years under the care of his owner, Casey Terribilini, NCEFT’s Board Chair. Casey felt his treasured horse, Pistol, would be a suitable match for NCEFT’s programs as Pistol was a loyal and trustworthy companion to Casey and possessed both the temperament and quality of movement that would be ideal in our work. Pistol is also super affectionate and cuddly which makes it easy for our patients, staff, and volunteers to connect with him. Everyone loves Pistol!

Pistol’s Life as a Therapy Horse:

Pistol came up to speed quickly in his new role as a therapy horse at NCEFT. He was taught how to work in long lines and be led under saddle for our various programs. He took to these new modalities very well, all while maintaining a stolid and safe disposition. His trustworthiness in long-lines, and steady gaits under saddle make him a great mount in both our Therapy and Adaptive Riding programs. The barn staff was delighted to have discovered that Pistol’s niche is Adaptive Riding, where the rider is typically more able-bodied and is working towards riding independently. Pistol is ideal for these clients because he provides immediate and appropriate reactions in response to the rider’s cues. Pistol required very little time to become comfortable in our arena setting, including around the use of toys. It is common for our patients/clients to hold or toss toys while mounted to help with focus, balance, and comfort. These objects consist of pool noodles, rings, balls, and all sorts of toys. The NCEFT staff is so thankful to have Pistol in our herd, as he is willing and well-behaved no matter what we ask of him. As a member of the barn staff, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Pistol over the past year.

Pistol’s Health History:

Upon arriving at NCEFT, Pistol was challenged with hives as well as lameness in his right foot due to his age and past career as a cutting horse. Our staff, under the guidance and help from our primary veterinarian, attempted to resolve Pistol’s hives via a multitude of treatments. After several months, Pistol’s hives finally began to clear up and revealed a beautiful smooth coat, ultimately resulting in a happier and more comfortable Pistol. Additionally, our farriers provided Pistol with corrective shoeing, and with time off to rehabilitate his lameness and through the care of his horse handlers, Pistol was able to begin his training as a therapy horse. Over time, he blossomed into a sound and comfortable horse who was fit for work. Pistol had quite the turn-around and has since proven to be an asset to NCEFT, and is an incredibly valuable equine partner. The NCEFT staff would love the opportunity to supplement Pistol’s diet with Platinum Performance as he continues his health journey, in order to keep him healthy, happy, and supported in all the hard work that he does for us.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
The description below was written by Skylar Assaf, NCEFT's full-time Horse Handler. Pistol is used in NCEFT’s Equine-Assisted Therapy and Adaptive Riding programs.

This application is being submitted by the Development Team at NCEFT. Thank you very much for your consideration! -- Cherie Hammer

Princess Grey C
Official Name: Princess Grey C
Birth Year: 2018 Gender: Mare. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Secretariat Center
Princess Grey C, the star of Team GreyC and the Princess GreyC Chronicles, is a 4-year-old that arrived at the Secretariat Center shortly after having won her last race. A Kentucky homebred for her racing connections, she had raced several times before breaking her maiden in a claiming race just before New Year’s. Pleased with the effort and spunk of this young lady, her owners made the caring decision that she should retire a winner to a second career to prevent her being claimed away to an uncertain future. GreyC immediately caught the eye of the Secretariat’s trainer who appreciated both her willingness and courage. Partnering up, the two began to work towards becoming a team to act as ambassadors of the breed and equine aftercare at the Retired Racehorse Project (RRP) in October. As all great duos have experienced, it takes time to learn and become successful but after months of hard work and Kentucky heat, this team just keeps getting better. They have worked to conquer the obstacle course, lead the Kentucky Horse Park trail ride, and absolutely crush their training program for their competitive trail class. Which has also led to lots of laughs for staff and tour guests as GreyC ‘s love of water requires us to coax her out (not into) water with treats. Apparently she’s part seahorse? GreyC has not only become an incredibly lovely mount for her future adopter, but she has truly excelled in the role of ambassador for her breed and a shining example of how caring owners are focused on Thoroughbred aftercare. As she continues to prepare for her big performance in October, Platinum Performance products like Platinum Power and Platinum Performance CJ would help GreyC to be in the best shape and health as she goes to showcase the Thoroughbred breed, the racing industry, and the aftercare community at the RRP.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Princess Grey C is the first horse that my racing stable sent to the Secretariat Center. We wanted somewhere for GreyC to go that her aftercare and safe future was the main priority. When we arrived to drop her off, we toured the facility, saw how the training programs are created, and met the entire staff. We have been able to be a part of the retraining process throughout her training and have since donated additional horses to the program. We are excited to see her grow as an ambassador for the breed and find her adoptive home in October. - Jan Martin, Breeder and Race Owner -- Jan Martin

Official Name: Sophocles
Birth Year: 2016 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Standardbred


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South Florida Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Sophocles was found starving, with a body score of 2. He was with 7 cows in a field in what is known as “The 8.5”, an expanse of undeveloped land in western Miami-Dade. Unfortunately because the area is wild, overgrown, and remote, “The 8.5” is a favorite location to dump animals. Over time we have rescued far too many animals from that area.

Sophocles is a Registered Standardbred. He has an identifying freeze brand so we were able to confirm his identity and establish that he had not ever raced. He is a big, agreeable gelding. Unfortunately Sophocles is still in the rehabilitation process. When he arrived it was obvious that he was malnourished. Upon arrival he was given a complete veterinary and dental exam, as well as much needed hoof care. We have also determined that he is a non-sweater. We have started some minimal training evaluations, but the heat has limited progress. Living in the humidity and the sweltering heat of South Florida makes having Anhidrosis a considerable health challenge. We often seek placement in the colder states for horses with this particular health challenge, however in the meantime we have to properly address the challenge. We would like the opportunity to try Platinum Refresh in hopes that we are able to support this horse and the challenge of Anhidrosis.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the Executive Director at the South Florida SPCA- Guardian Charity
We rescued this horse. He is currently residing at our Rescue Ranch. -- Chris Septer

2022 Runners-Up

Dylan Dream (Dylan)
Official Name: Dylan Dream
Birth Year: 2002 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Standardbred


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Sunshine Horses Inc.
Dylan, a Standardbred gelding pacer came to Sunshine Horses in September of 2020.
He was foaled in 2002, trained as a harness racer, raced a year and earned very little. Dylan was then sold at auction at the age of 4 becoming a buggy horse for the next 14 years.
Dylan had lived out his usefulness in that career as he developed a stifle injury and arthritis. At the age of 18, he was found in the killpen. Luckily, a generous donor pulled him from there and he was sent to Sunshine Horses. Upon arrival, Dylan was emaciated, requiring extensive rehabilitation. It was then we found his injuries prevented him from being a riding horse.
The Platinum Performance product for joint care would benefit his well-being. It would help provide him with a better quality of life, where he can enjoy the rest of his years as a companion horse.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am a volunteer with Sunshine Horses, Inc. We are a 501c3 horse rescue, specializing in Standardbreds but also take in other breeds. We rehabilitate the horses, when necessary, retrain them for another career or reinforce what they already know, and finally rehome them to an adoptive family. -- Mary B. Minkoff

Official Name: Koda
Birth Year: 2005 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Mixed


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Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc.
On a cold February morning this past winter our hearts sank as we saw our beloved Koda limping to his water trough. Our veterinarian was called immediately and judging by the severity of his lameness we hoped it would be an abscess and not something more severe. A gas pocket was identified as well as a small deformity in his coffin bone. We crossed our fingers and hoped his lameness was related to a gas pocket created by an abscess only. We went to work soaking his hoof in epsom salts and wrapping his hoof with drawing salves. However, over the next two months an abscess never erupted and Koda alternated between sound and lame. The gas pocket would resolve only to reappear a couple weeks later. After almost two months of this we sent Koda in for an MRI and we discovered a keratoma was the source of his lameness. A small benign tumor was growing in to his coffin bone.

Fortunately we have a great team of veterinarians and surgeons in Kentucky who could perform the surgery Koda needed. We also had a great farm that could rehab Koda while the hole that would need to be cut out of his hoof to remove the tumor grew back. So we packed our Koda on to a southern bound trailer in April and hoped for the best.

The surgery was a success and currently Koda is rehabbing with a couple hours of turnout on rich Kentucky bluegrass that is helping to keep him relatively happy and healthy. Koda does not like to be stalled at all so he has not been his best self but he is trying to be the best horse he can be as he heals. We are hoping he will be ready to return to us in New York this fall, and be ready to resume his spot in program next Spring. Only time will tell of course.

The reason we are nominating Koda is because of how special he is to our program and to everyone who meets him. In late 2016 our staff found Koda at a local rescue that really didn't know what to make of him. One of our staff members with a gifted intuition saw Koda and knew he could be a wonderful addition to the Endeavor herd. She was right.

Koda came with a variety of issues that we have navigated through and through. He has some neurological issues which caused his left eye to be smaller, sunken, and more sensitive to light. When he his stressed he sweats profusely on his left shoulder (and only his left shoulder). We do not know much at all about Koda's past but we suspect there was some abuse and neglect as he has displayed some of the telltale signs that come with that type of traumatic history.

Despite whatever Koda's dark past might have been he shines brightly at Endeavor as a friend to all who meet him. He teaches his participants how to work with horses, how to ride, and he listens to them closely. On the ground Koda is standoffish with new people at first, but with a little dedication and care Koda accepts them in to his circle of trust. He shows them affection in his own unique ways. One of the programs Koda is most exceptional in is our military veterans programs. Having to win over his trust is a challenge uniquely appreciated by our veterans. Koda is very clear about what he likes and what he doesn't like and that type of personality can be extremely beneficial in equine assisted psychotherapy sessions. This spring we noticed Koda nuzzling a veteran who was grooming him, something we'd never seen him do before with participants nor staff. After the session the veteran reported that at the moments Koda started to nuzzle him he was beginning to experience flashbacks. Koda felt it somehow and helped nudge him back to the present.

We could go on and on about Koda but hope what we have laid out here paints a clear picture. We can not put in to words just how much his presence is missed right now with him not here. Participants and volunteers ask for updates on his recovery daily.

We believe Koda would benefit from the $500 Platinum Performance grant immensely. We would work with our brilliant veterinarian, Dr Laura Faulkner, to pick which supplements would serve Koda best. We assume the Hoof Support might be a great option as he grows new hoof were the tumor was cut out. Also considering his unease with not being out in turnout full-time for the time being we think the Platinum Tranquility might help ease some of his nervousness and anxiety. We will of course see what Dr Faulkner recommends based on his needs and design a plan that makes the most sense for him!

We know that there won't be a horse nominated for this grant that doesn't deserve it, we just hope that Koda is one of them!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
We are staff at Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship in Bedford Corners, New York. We serve a variety of participants year round. We have a therapeutic riding program, a physical therapy and occupational therapy program, and we have a residential youth program. We also have a large military veterans program where veterans can participate in EAGALA, horsemanship lessons, and individual equine assisted psychotherapy sessions. Koda joined the Endeavor herd in 2017 when he was found at a local rescue by our staff. -- Emily Bushnell

Mae West
Official Name: Mae West
Birth Year: 2010 Gender: Mare. Breed: Clydesdale


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Loudoun Therapeutic Riding Foundation, Inc.
When most people think of a Clydesdale, they think of big beautiful horses with crisply white flowing feathers on their legs and pulling a carriage of beer with a full team of Clydesdales. When people who know Mae West think of Clydesdales, another picture is brought to mind. She told us early on in her life that she did NOT want to be a carriage driving horse and insisted on becoming a therapeutic riding horse. She also does not have the flowing feathers on her legs because she always ends up with scratches and sores from itching them constantly on whatever she can find…the wall, the paddock gates (the gates did not fare well!) or laying down and chewing on the back of her heals.

As a therapeutic riding horse, she has taught several teens and adults how to post the trot, become more confident, build strength and just improve their lives overall. Mae is a particular favorite among our team of Veterans who participate in our Equine Services for Heroes Program. She has been a community favorite as she is one of the ambassadors for Loudoun Therapeutic Riding. She loves meeting people, and we affectionately refer to her as the “Wal-mart greeter”.

For these reasons and more, Mae West is an outstanding candidate for this grant. She would absolutely love and benefit from Platinum Performance products that help with skin allergies and her overall health. We'd love to help her continue to help people experience the joy of connecting with this amazing equine. Thank you for considering Mae West!!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the program director for Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Inc. and have known Mae West since we first went to see her in late 2015. Our horse manager and driving instructor and I went to a farm near Lancaster, PA to see an entirely different horse, however as meeting Mae West our attention immediately shifted toward this lovely mare. She joined LTR in 2017 (after undergoing some additional training) as member of our exceptional herd. -- Kathryn P. Blaine

Official Name: Quicksilver's Black Pearl
Birth Year: 2008 Gender: Mare. Breed: Miniature


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Mini Therapy Horses
We are proud to nominate Pearl for the 2022 Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award! Pearl was our very first mini therapy horse here at MTH and for the last 14 years she has been an steadfast part of our team and a true leader of all of our minis.

When we got Pearl in 2008 and I decided we would be a therapy team, I knew it would be an exciting challenge. I had trained horses all my life, but this was my first time working with a miniature horse and focusing on EAT/EAA-related training. We were both new to each other and new to the therapy world. From the get-go, Pearl was so eager to learn and took to it right away. She picked up on commands and visual cues immediately. With each training session, we became more and more in-sync and developed a deep understanding of each other and what we needed to be a successful team. I was so impressed with how quickly this young horse was learning, but more importantly, with how she was so loving and gentle in spirit.

When I felt we were both ready to get out there and begin doing therapy visits, I thought there was no better place to start than with our veterans. What a privilege it would be to serve those who have served us. Our first ever therapy visit was at the VA Hospital of Greater Los Angeles. Pearl was a natural. It was like she’d be doing this her whole life. The patients and staff were absolutely blown away. They had had dogs in the facility before, but a horse? And she’s potty trained too? People couldn’t believe it.

It was so beautiful to watch how time with Pearl transformed people. Some of the patients there, like many in our military, have suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and/or suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. It is a very delicate environment and making sure the patients feel safe is of the utmost importance. It is almost as if Pearl knew this. She was calm, gentle, kind, focused and seemed to really understand she was there to heal. Sometimes patients would be really engaged and eager to interact, so we would teach them some of our visual cues for Pearl and then have them help us tell Pearl to do a trick like “up,” where she rears, or “smile.” As fun as they are to see, the tricks are really aides to help the patients feel connected to Pearl. They also help people feel accomplished and in control, feelings they may have not felt in a very long time. In other instances, sometimes patients just wanted to sit quietly and run their hand through her mane and down her back. Whatever the patient needed in that moment, somehow Pearl knew and was able to provide it. Watching people transform, even after just a few minutes with her, was like watching a miracle happen.

Pearl and I have now been making weekly visits to the VA Hospital for 14 years and it remains the longest-running outreach in the Mini Therapy Horses program. Whether we are visiting the Intensive Care Unit, the psychiatric ward or hospice wing, the patients know they can depend on Pearl to bring a weekly dose of joy and comfort into their lives. In 2013, we were honored with the “Volunteers of the Year Award” for the entire VA Healthcare System. And Pearl’s accomplishments don’t end there. She is part of the LA Mayor’s Crisis Response team, has participated in the world-famous Rose Parade® five times, has been featured in numerous magazines, won various awards and even appeared on the Kelly Clarkson show! She is, without a doubt, the head of the herd here at MTH. She loves playing the keyboard, doing tricks and being an all-around superstar. Not only that, but she has cemented herself as such a leader and served as an amazing example for the younger minis. Whatever the situation, whether it’s out on a therapy visit or at home in the barn, they know they can look to her to lead and we know we can always count on her to be a steady, reliable presence within the team.

As we are already big believers in and regular users of the Platinum Performance product line, we know first-hand what a vital role diet and nutrition play in our program. There is no doubt Pearl, and all of our minis, would not be able to do what they do without the health benefits provided by their daily intake of Platinum Performance Equine and Platinum Performance Balance. We are extremely proud that both Pearl and Platinum Performance are part of the MTH family. Thank you for your consideration.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the owner of Pearl and the President/Executive Director of Mini Therapy Horses, an EAT/EEA non-profit in Los Angeles. -- Victoria Nodiff-Netanel

Official Name: Tracker
Birth Year: 2004 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Paint


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Horse Haven of Tennessee, Inc
When Tracker was rescued, he was a body score of a one. He was immediately rushed to our veterinary clinic and spent the night to ensure he was eating, drinking, and could be monitored 24/7. He was barely alive; barely able to stand on his own. There was still hope in his eyes and Tracker fought to live. He began the refeeding process and began to thrive. Our equine dentists performed a dental float and we were unable to accurately tell his age. We believe he is approximately 25 years old. He is currently still in an ongoing court case and cannot be adopted until he’s fully released from the courts. We provide all of our rescue and rehabilitation to our equine at no charge to each county within the State of Tennessee. We hold equine for the entire time the cases are litigated in court. Currently Tracker has been with us for eight months and he is completely up to weight. He is a volunteer favorite and we love him! He is a gentle horse and has a big personality. He will make an excellent horse to add to any family or herd. He will make an excellent kid’s horse. He could benefit from Platinum Performance Products to ensure he’s feeling and looking his best.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Tracker was rescued in October 2021 and I was on the rescue call. Tracker was immediately taken to our veterinarian’s office for an overnight stay. I am the Executive Director for Horse Haven of Tennessee. -- Ashley Boatman Ford

2022 Honorable Mention

Official Name: Beyond All Limits
Birth Year: 1992 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Saving Horses, Inc
Beau has endured much hardship in his life, being raced 84 times up the age 10. He is a warrior, and represents never giving up. Now at age 30, Beau lives with a certain amount of body and joint pain, and a chronic sinus condition, where Ecoli lives in his nasal cavity and needs to have treatment with a nebulizer daily. Yet he is stoic and never gives up. Monthly acupuncture and herbs have been added to his regimen. At 16.3hh he may be the biggest horse at the sanctuary but he is a gentle giant a favorite with all the volunteers, special needs and therapy clients. He is special. He will benefit from one of the many Platinum performance products available, for his intestinal well being and joints.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am Beau's rescuer and caretaker at Saving Horses, Inc. I rescued Beau on a slaughter bound feedlot in 2008. He was 16 yrs old. An OTTB, had 84 starts on the track, raced to age 10. He is a long term retiree at Saving Horses, Inc. -- Audrey Reynolds

Official Name: Anna
Birth Year: 1994 Gender: Mare. Breed: Grade


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Drifter's Hearts of Hope
Anna is truly going to outlive us all - she's a testament to the sentiment that "age isn't a disease." While Anna is not young, not sound, and not an easy keeper, she's a fantastic horse that is so deserving of love and companionship. Despite this, she has spent quite a bit of time at the rescue, and sadly has not had any adoption appointments scheduled.

She's a sweet gal who can be ridden, but only goes out for rides every so often now. However, every time you hop on her, she's more than happy to cruise around at the top speed that you'll allow :). She has no idea how old she is, and still thinks that she's a speedy young athlete!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am a volunteer at Drifter's Hearts of Hope and came to know Anna through her time at the rescue. -- Jacqui Avis

Big Sis '18
Official Name: Big Sis '18
Birth Year: 2018 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Secretariat Center
Big Sis ’18 nicknamed Elliott had a challenging start to life. He was born blind in the right eye. But if Elliott ever realized he was different from other horses, you couldn't tell. As a youngster, he trained here in Kentucky with all the other horses as they prepared for life at the track. However, his owners decided that Elliott was not to be a racehorse and he retired on a small farm in Kentucky. That is until one day a supporter of the Secretariat Center came up the drive to talk to the director. She had a horse that she believed could be happier with a special person in a second career. Elliott arrived a few days later, just before Christmas. Elliott was a big mover with a willingness to learn and a trusting nature. He has proved his stellar personality repeatedly through his retraining. He learned to jump, tackled the obstacle course and has learned to have confidence in his rider to attend and win in local horse shows. He is even helping interns and visitors learn training, handling, and nutrition. Elliott's zest for life and willingness to learn will make him a perfect partner for when he is adopted. Performance products like Platinum Performance CJ, Longevity, and GI Support will aid in keeping this amazing future partner sound and healthy through his second career and give him many years of success with his special person.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Elliott or Big Sis '18 is a favorite of all the Staff at the Secretariat Center. I was an intern with the Secretariat Center when Elliott arrived. Not having any experience with horses before, we bonded as I watched his first ride, helped with his intakes, provided care for him (i.e. grooming, turning out, feeding, bathing, etc.). During my time spent with Elliot, my relationship with him has grown significantly, especially as we both learned new skills and gained confidence through training here at the center. We have established a strong enough bond to be able to calm the other down from nerves or being anxious, and my bond with Elliot has given me the confidence needed to pursue other equine roles and be successful in them. – Makenzie Smith, Secretariat Center Intern 2022 -- Makenzie Smith

Bobbi Jo
Official Name: Bobbi
Birth Year: 2013 Gender: Mare. Breed: POA


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Nature's Edge Therapy Center
Bobbi is a very nice POA that loves all people of all ages. She has an exceptional movement including lateral, anterior and posterior and rotation. She is not spooked by toys or obstacles. She loves to be petted and brushed.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Bobbi was purchased for Nature's Edge Therapy Center to be incorporated in to Speech and Occupational Therapy in hippotherapy sessions. She is an incredible mare. She works hard for patients of all disabilities and is very tolerant with exceptional movement. -- Becky Payne

Official Name: Brave
Birth Year: 2021 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Grade


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New Mexico Horse Rescue at Walkin N Circles Ranch
In September 2021, we received an emergency call from the NM
Livestock Board to rescue two young colts found near
our ranch. One colt could no longer stand on his own, and
we feared he wouldn’t live through the night. He couldn't stand on his own and was severely dehydrated. But our volunteers and operations manager worked every hour to provide for his needs. His buddy Armando (protector) also kept vigil over him, giving us hope for a good outcome. We named the ill colt Brave, because he showed a fire and determination to get back up on his own and beat whatever was holding him down.

Later that week Brave was diagnosed with West Nile Virus. Despite the odds, Brave survived this serious illness and is now completely healthy and thriving. In fact, Brave is now competing in our upcoming in-hand Training Challenge and Adopt-a-Thon with his volunteer trainer, Lindsay. He is excelling at trailer loading and the obstacle course, making him a real contender for the competition. We'll soon begin saddling him but won't start riding until he's at least age 3.

Though he's one of the youngest in the competition, this courageous and plucky yearling has already won in our book!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
This sweet blue roan was found in an open field with another colt near Stanley, New Mexico by the New Mexico Livestock Board. The Livestock Board asked Walkin N Circles Ranch, a local horse rescue, to take Brave and his friend in. Brave was very sick and could not stand on his own. Once they were both rescued, his colt friend kept vigil over him until Brave improved. Now Brave is perfectly healthy, very friendly, loves attention and has started in-hand training. -- Lauri Michael

Official Name: Loaded Cartel
Birth Year: 2013 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Quarter


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Horse Feathers Equine Center Inc.
We are nominating Bruno aka Loaded Cartel for his award winning personality. He was raced and did not do well on the track which resulted in a leg injury that sent him to the kill buyers. He is a very affectionate horse, loves to snuggle and give attention. Even with his stout features and height he is very calm and easy to handle. Bruno is utilized in our seniors program for the Ole Timer's who come to visit on Wednesdays. Bruno needs every advantage to maintain his health as he recently underwent colic surgery and we monitor what he gets closely. He could truly benefit from Platinum Performance products.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Horse Feathers acquired Bruno in 2020 from an owner surrender. She had purchased him from kill sale and he needed specialized medical care for his leg injury. -- Cheri White Owl

Official Name: Calico
Birth Year: 2012 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Gypsy


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Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center
We are nominating Calico to receive the Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award because he provides invaluable services to our community and deserves to be recognized for it! Calico was born in the state of Utah. As a youngster, he found a home at a dressage barn where he received wonderful care and training. As Calico got older and started to move up the dressage levels with his owner, it became obvious that Calico was not interested in Dressage past First Level.

His owner was worried that Calico was physically uncomfortable and that was why he was not able to continue to competitively improve. Calico received the very best vet, farrier, and bodywork care. Nothing seemed to help Calico improve at his job. Eventually, Calico’s owner decided Calico might be happier doing a different job. That is when Calico entered the Little Bit Herd.

Calico is a stunning 10 year old, 15.1 hand, skewbald Gypsian with soft eyes and a calm mind. Calico is part of our Therapy and Adaptive program. His versatile skills and sound mind make him a strong partner for a wide variety of our riders and patients.

Calico’s steady, rhythmic, and consistent gait make him a perfect match for adult and pediatric therapy patients working to strengthen and create new neuropathways. Currently, Calico regularly works with three adult Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients. These patients have seen increased improvement towards their goals because of Calico’s type of movement. Many times, we see adult patients who believe their whole body or specific parts of their body are ineffective and cannot create physical change. Calico is sensitive to the aids and safe with his responses to the aids. He gives patients biofeedback that creates both physical improvement as well as cognitive and mental health improvements. He will yield to small leg and seat aids. Calico works with a patient who has a self-proclaimed “dead leg.” The patient is able to use the weaker leg to ask Calico to step over! This feedback is both exciting, confidence building and incredibly useful in therapy. Calico treats both adults and children in therapy and carries both adults and children in adaptive riding lessons.
In adaptive lessons, Calico is a trustworthy, safe, and valuable mount. Because of Calico’s biofeedback to the seat and leg, Calico excels at teaching riders to correctly use body aids. He is known to correctly and safely respond to leg and seat aids, even from the smallest of children. Calico is very loving and playful. Some of his favorite activities are playing with toys like balls and hula hoops, trotting over poles, and walking outside around the track and paddock loop.

Calico can benefit from many of the Platinum Performance products. Little Bit is committed to providing the best nutrition and care possible to our herd of almost 30 horses. Calico has some environmental allergies that make him a very itchy boy. Platinum Skin & Allergy is already a part of Calico’s daily diet. Calico would also benefit from Platinum Performance CJ to maintain joint health and comfortability and Platinum Balance to support digestion and absorption. Calico and the Little Bit team are excited for this opportunity to provide Calcio with this wonderful nutrition to keep him healthy and happy.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the equine assistant and nutritional advisor at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Redmond, WA. I came to know Calico when he was brought in as a trial horse in early 2021. Calico’s stunning looks and boy band personality had everyone enthralled from the moment he stepped off the trailer. Calico was not suited for high level Dressage, but he was made to work with our clients. Calico has formed relationships and bonds with our staff, volunteers and clients that are immeasurably special and valuable.

Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center is a large, PATH-certified Therapeutic Riding Center established in 1976. We provide Hippotherapy, Adaptive Riding Lessons, and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy/Learning to our clients. Through the healing powers of equine facilitated therapies, our community and our horses transform the bodies, minds, and spirits of people with disabilities. -- Tess Millar

Official Name: Chrissy
Birth Year: 2001 Gender: Mare. Breed: Quarter


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Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
We are nominating Chrissy for the Horse Welfare Award because she embodies the horse and human connection that truly changes lives. Chrissy has been in our program for 13 years. She is used in Physical, Speech and Occupational therapy with Licensed Therapist as well as adaptive riding sessions with certified instructors. Chrissy has been our go to horse for our most involved riders for many years. Last year Chrissy suffered a severe colic that needed surgery. Chrissy’s community came together donating to fund her surgery and recovery, one of her participants even brought their entire piggy bank to donate to Chrissy’s care. We are so thrilled with Chrissy’s recovery and happy to report that she is back in lessons. On Monday’s Chrissy works with a nonverbal young man. Some days the participant struggles with keeping his helmet on and staying on the horse, if the participant has to dismount in order to put his helmet back on Chrissy gently whinny’s to him, clearly communicating “come on we’ve got this, let’s go for a ride.” She truly is changing lives every day. We would love to be able to support Chrissy’s hocks and digestive system with Platinum Performance GI as she continues to support the community she loves so greatly.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Maryland Therapeutic Riding has owned Chrissy for the last 13 years. Chrissy came to MTR from a western background. After deciding she no longer enjoyed the job of a Western Pleasure horse she came to MTR to be apart of our Therapeutic Riding program. -- Kelly Rodgers

EF Won
Official Name: EF Won
Birth Year: 2020 Gender: Stallion. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Thoroughbred Athletes, Inc.
EF Won came to us after an injury associated with a terrible tornado in eastern Oklahoma. EF Won is a 2020 Bay stallion, who was injured before his first race. His endured a "down-to-the-bone" gash, and he was bleeding terribly.

For those of us in Oklahoma, we know that Tornados are rated by their EF spectrum. This horse has been renamed EF Won as a reminder of the tornado injury and the racing career he'll never have.

Once EF Won has healed from his injury (he is well on his way), he will be gelded, and then be up for adoption. He will never have the racing career he was hoping for, but he will be able to run in a pasture and provide enjoyment to his owners in his forever home!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
EF Won came to TAI after a terrible injury, following a tornado in eastern Oklahoma. We have been nursing EF 1 back to health. -- Charles S Tanner

Official Name: Felora
Birth Year: 1999 Gender: Mare. Breed: Mixed


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Bluemont Sanctuary
Felora is a lovable sweetheart with a sad past

At almost 23 she has terrible arthritis and EMP which is being managed an historically soft soled

She is extremely bonded with Tess another one of our rescues and they live in a larger heard under the sun and stars.

Felora due to her conditions is on consistent supplementation and close care to make sure she is comfortable and in the best health.

Felora is in full retirement however we feel she makes a perfect candidate for this award as she is in need of constant supplementation due to hard past

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Charity Owner and Operator - offered her sanctuary after she was being let go by a lesson barn due to EMP -- Carl J Quaglia

Official Name: Good Bros9505
Birth Year: 1995 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Quarter


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Faith N Friends
At the young age of 28, Fritz developed arthritis that we have to maintain with supplements. Fritz lives a pain-free life and is able to still give therapy lessons to disabled children and adults. Fritz has benefited from chiropractic adjustments and carrot stretches. He would also benefit from adding Platinum Performance Equine Wellness and Performance formulas to complete his diet.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Fritz came to our rescue, as most of our other horses do, as an owner surrender. Fritz is an excellent boy and loves to be loved on. In his young life he was used for reigning and ground work. -- Faith Sadiku

General (I Gen)
Official Name: I Gen
Birth Year: 2018 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation
Off-track Thoroughbred I Gen, known as General around the barn, arrived at ERAF in April of 2022 after being responsibly retired by his owner.

He is a young developing horse recovering from a racing injury requiring stall rest.

We are using Platinum Performance Wellness & Performance Formula + Complete Joint for General. (This was generously donated to ERAF by someone who no longer needed it.)

The supplement gives his body the extra support he needs for growth and healing. We believe General will fully recover and move on to a second career in the sport horse world. I guess we should talk about his silly personality too. He's definitely a barn favorite.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
General is in the care of Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation. -- Melissa J. Muller

Get Western
Official Name: Get Western
Birth Year: 2015 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Secretariat Center
Get Western aka “Westie” is a graded stakes winning descendant of Storm Cat. He raced over 20 times in his career and won almost $300,000 before retiring to a second career at the Secretariat Center. He won his last race by jumping a shadow across the finish line and into his second career. Westie like many horses coming off the track needed some let down time and TLC before becoming available for adoption. He has had to learn new skills in the ring and had to remember what it is like to have roommates, but he insists they be of average size, minis throw off his mojo. Westie, like many others that have raced hard in their careers is still working through the process of retraining both his mind and body and working out the kinks that come with athletes of his caliber. Westie has benefited from chiropractic and integrative care and continues to get better every day. He is quiet under saddle and is slowly getting stronger and gaining muscle as he transitions to a second career. Platinum products help athletes with more wear and tear like Westie to be able to feel good in their second career and extend its longevity. Osteon, Platinum Performance CJ, and Ortho-Chon® HA are all products that will keep Westie healthy and successful as he searches for his adoptive home.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Get Western came to the Secretariat Center in the spring of 2022 after racing for almost 6 years, he had some down time coming. I got to know this sweet guy after providing veterinary care to him to get him back to feeling good and showing off his full potential. He, like many others, just needed time and care to heal before becoming someone’s equine partner. Witnessing horses like Westie go on to become exemplar ambassadors for the breed has been an incredibly rewarding experience for myself as a veterinarian and an equestrian. -Dr. Holly Schmidt, President of the Secretariat Center Board and Co-founder of Foxwood Equine -- Holly Schmidt, DVM

Honey (AKA Velvet)
Official Name: Honey
Birth Year: 2004 Gender: Mare. Breed: Quarter


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Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center
Honey is a 18-year old Quarter Horse and she is one of the original herd members at Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center. Adopted from a rescue, Honey came to our program when we opened ten years ago as young, green mare. It quickly became evident that what she lacked in experience she made up for with kind heartedness. One of the founding members of the herd, Honey is involved with every new program we introduce. Her calm, quiet demeanor makes her uniquely suited for this type of work. At about 15 hands, she is both large enough and small enough to make every rider feel comfortable. One of Honey’s greatest achievements is working with riders who use wheelchairs. When we started a program with a local residence where everyone used a wheelchair, Honey was the first horse the participants met and rode. She was always patient and kind. Even when the riders had tight legs due to Cerebral Palsy, or held onto her mane too tightly because of nervousness, Honey stayed calm and reassuring. Honey also works with riders who have spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Standing patiently as the we use the mechanical lift to transfer riders from their wheelchair onto Honey’s back, she never flinches. Honey knows her job is important and the riders she carries trust her to take care of them. I know everyone says their horse is the best, but Honey embodies everything a therapeutic riding horse should be, she surely is one in a million!
As Honey ages she is starting to show stiffness and body changes that are typical of aging horses. Honey would definitely benefit from the addition of Platinum Performance joint supplements and complete body supplements.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the Program Director at Whispering Manes Therapeutic Riding Center. I have been employed at Whispering Manes since we opened ten years ago and Honey is one of the original herd members. -- Robin Bramson

Official Name: Juniper
Birth Year: 2016 Gender: Mare. Breed: Pony


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Gerda's Equine Rescue, Inc.
Juniper was rescued from a feed lot in September of 2021—she was only 4 years old, had just had a baby pulled from her and was pregnant with her second baby. She has a crippled leg due to what our vet believes is an old pelvis fracture that healed improperly. He was very concern if she would be able to carry another baby to term with all the excess weight it would put on the pelvis and leg and if she did, if she would be able to push the baby out. She defied all odds and happily carried and delivered a beautiful filly on her own! While her leg may be cripple, she is pasture sound and not in any pain. She gets around just fine in her own way—she adores children and loves nothing more than to be groomed and hand grazed for hours. Juniper is thriving now that her second baby has been weaned and could really benefit form Platinum Performance CJ supplements to help support strong bones and joints.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am a volunteer for Gerda's Equine Rescue who saved Juniper. Juniper has been with us for almost a year know and we have gotten to know her and her baby Dylan quite well while volunteering at the rescue. -- Dani Brown

Official Name: Kahlua
Birth Year: 2019 Gender: Mare. Breed: DutchH


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Hidden Pond Farm Equine Rescue
Kahlua is a very special horse for us in many ways. She arrived to quarantine painfully thin and nervous. Through TLC, she is learning to trust again. She was transferred to our facility in June of 2022.

Since she has arrived, Kahlua has just started a wonderful journey. She is finally reaching out for attention and making human and horse friends alike. Her sweet face certainly commands love and scratches. She still quickly becomes nervous in new situations and has started cribbing. She is a very large young lady; at approximately three years old, she is easily over 16 hands and clearly has more growth in her future. She is curious and watchful. As she learns to relax and simply be a horse, she has a playful side that is starting to become evident.

As we usually rescue from the kill pen and/or auction, many of our horses arrive injured in some way and frequently can only be used as companion horses or for light riding only. Kahlua poses a unique challenge for us. Not only is her physical size beyond what we usually rescue, her age and soundness make her a fantastic adoption prospect. We have very high hopes for this mare to be a wonderful horse for a lucky person. However, due to her youth and size, she will need dedicated, professional training and has unique nutritional needs that is uncommon for our rescue. This is relatively new territory for us, and any assistance with the nutritional needs of this young and promising horse would be greatly appreciated.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Kahlua was purchased at auction. She is a young, vibrant, gorgeous Dutch Harness mare. She was acquired through a partnership with another rescue, Equine Rescue Network. She was terribly thin and needed TLC. -- Marissa Federico

Laycock Bay
Official Name: Laycock Bay
Birth Year: 2011 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Remember Me Rescue
Laycock Bay arrived at Remember Me on June 15, 2022 after a long night at the auction. This warhorse raced 76 times and earned $183,942 during his racing career. After his racing career ended, Laycock Bay ended up in a bad spot. Luckily, Remember Me's supporters stepped up and helped us purchase him at auction. Laycock Bay is 11 years old and is a big, kind Thoroughbred. He is very curious. Due to old injuries, Laycock will stay at Remember Me as a permanent resident. Laycock will become part of our Veterans Program, where he will help veterans transition to civilian life and work through any issues or problems they face. We think Laycock Bay will excel in this position and we are excited to see what the future holds!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Laycock Bay is the newest permanent resident at Remember Me where I'm the adoption and grant coordinator. -- Molly Diane Herod

Official Name: Leroy
Birth Year: 2004 Gender: Gelding . Breed: Other


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HETRA - Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy
Leroy’s big beautiful blue eyes have greeted all who enter the HETRA barn for the last 7 years. He came to us as a quiet and confident horse and was easily integrated into our programming. Today, Leroy is one of our busiest horses in the HETRA herd. His valuable and versatile skill set allows him to participate in nearly every part of HETRA programming. Leroy’s gentle nature makes him a great partner for our Therapy Services program, helping some of our most fragile riders build strength and stability. Because of his large, draft-sized frame, he is a stable, supportive partner for many of our adult-sized participants and those that may need extra support. He is trained to perform wheelchair lift mounts, standing firm and steady while participants are lifted from their wheelchair and onto the back of him. Leroy is also known for his reliable demeanor in our Adaptive Riding Program. Our Instructors trust Leroy to take care of their participants as they hand the reins over. Many participants have gained confidence in both themselves and their riding skills on Leroy’s back.

Horses, like Leroy, are often in their second or third career when they come to HETRA. Platinum Performance products can help our horses continue being active and engaged into their advanced age. The work we do would not be possible without the partnership of our wonderful, reliable, horses. Optimal nutrition and supplementation are key factors in keeping our horses happy and comfortable in their work at HETRA.

Julie Lagemann became a volunteer at HETRA in 2014 and has been especially impacted by the work of HETRA horses, and specifically Leroy’s presence. Here are her words:

“I have witnessed so many miracles since becoming a volunteer. Many people with traumatic brain injury and strokes have regained strength and balance while on the horse and progress to walking. I have seen young children who are afraid of the horse when they first start eventually ride and said their first words to the horse. I’ve seen teenagers and Veterans learn to have the confidence and horse skills so they can lead a horse through a trail course. I’ve seen agitated autistic children become calm and able to complete tasks while on the horse. Each experience has been a blessing, and I’m so proud to be a part of their journey.”

“When they [HETRA] found themselves in need of a draft-cross horse, I wanted to help. It took about six months to find an appropriate horse, but we eventually brought Leroy home to HETRA in May of 2015. He’s a beautiful blue-eyes Belgian/Haflinger cross, and he’s such a gentle and calm horse who is perfect for HETRA’s riders. Leroy has really grown into his job, and honest, I believe he loves it! He’s always relaxed and confident in the arena during sessions. My husband would tell you Leroy is ‘priceless’ because, along with HETRA, I have become a better and happier person. I am so proud of everything Leroy does for this organization along with all the other hard-working horses in the HETRA herd.”

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I came to know this horse as a staff member at HETRA. I joined the Development Team at HETRA three years ago, but have gotten to know him much better as I became a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor this past year.

However, the quote below comes from a valuable member of the HETRA volunteer team, Julie Lagemann. Since 2014, Julie has passed through every level of volunteer training available at HETRA and can be found in the barn at any hour of the day or night feeding horses, leading horses in sessions or conditioning horses in our exercise program. She spends a great deal of time getting to know our participants and our horses, like Leroy. -- Lucia Charvat

Magical Lights WRF
Official Name: Magical Lights WRF
Birth Year: 2002 Gender: Mare. Breed: Haflinger


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The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc.
Maggie is a versatile horse who has pretty much “done it all”! She spent the first 10 years of her life where she was foaled, on a Haflinger farm in Northern Ohio that offered riding lessons, competitive horse show opportunities, 4-H County Fairs, trail riding, parades, and horse camping in the mountains for their family and clients. Maggie is trained in English, Western, Hunter Jumper, and cross-country events. In addition, Maggie drives both single and double! My family purchased Maggie in 2012 from this farm for our 11-year-old daughter as she had outgrown her pony and it was a mutual “love at first ride”!
Maggie is a beautiful, sweet, intuitive mare who always offered the appropriate level of challenge for our daughter to learn equitation, jumping, and good horsemanship. We realized how intuitive she was when I would ride, as I had some limitations due to some previous injuries. When I was riding, Maggie was cautious and became a caretaker for me as I was working to strengthen my injured leg. Maggie was also the perfect ambassador for equines at our county fairs, as her sweet disposition and gorgeous flaxen mane and tail thrilled the excited children because they could “pat the beautiful pony” and get their picture taken with sweet Maggie. Initially, both my daughter and I both showed Maggie at the Haflinger Breed shows in Ohio and New York. My stepdaughter, an accomplished equestrian, began teaching her sister the art of jumping, and she then began to show Maggie in the upper level jumping classes! This is when “mom” bought her own Haflinger to ride, allowing the girls to enjoy Maggie to her fullest potential! In addition to shows, trail riding, driving, and hitching to the sleigh in the winter, Maggie was a standby member of the Ohio based High Flying Haflingers synchronized jumping drill team, traveling with them to Beyer Fest at The Kentucky Horse Park.
So now we Fast forward to July of 2020. In the midst of the covid pandemic, The Shane Center tragically lost one of their long time, beloved therapy horses, Mack, who was also a Haflinger. The death of Mack left a huge void in our therapeutic riding lesson schedule and in the hearts of our riders, volunteers, and staff. Mack was a favorite as well as a trustworthy and dependable lesson horse. My daughter at this point was away at college, my stepdaughter had acquired numerous Haflingers of her own, and I with my own mare, left Maggie at loose ends and bored. I truly felt Maggie would love having a job at The Shane Center and felt her innate intuitiveness made her an ideal candidate as a therapy horse. I contacted our Executive Director at The Shane Center, offering the idea that she borrow Maggie and try her out, to see if she could fill the huge void that Mack’s death left, as well as filling the void Maggie was nor feeling with my daughter being away at school. Maggie began her training and trial period at The Shane Center and, SUCCESS! To say Maggie found her calling in her golden years would be an understatement! She LOVES her job as a therapy horse! One of Maggie’s first riders sits with just one seat bone down, so he is not quite centered, or rather, he is centered but his weight is not evenly distributed. Maggie is so intuitive that she kept stopping and turning her head to the horse handler every time this rider’s upper body swayed to one side. She was “asking” her side walker and horse handler to “please check my rider”!
Maggie is now 20 years old and is still loving her job at The Shane Center! She carries the most fragile of riders with care, is patient, and enjoys being “dressed up” to fit the theme of the lesson. Maggie also has the job of helping independent riders learn proper horsemanship skills. She looks forward to seeing “her” riders every day, and absolutely loves receiving attention and adoration from our riders, staff, and volunteers. On her days off, Maggie has been observed to watch longingly as other horses are being groomed and warmed up to participate in lessons. As one volunteer said, “Maggie was watching wistfully over the arena fence, almost as if asking why she wasn’t going to be used in lessons that day!” The Shane Center has an excellent management protocol for their horses which includes rotation of horse lesson schedules, weight limits of riders, and having adequate “time off” for both mental and physical health.
As a senior horse having lived such a full and active life, Maggie would benefit greatly from the addition of Platinum Performance CJ to her daily nutritional regimen. Although Maggie is currently in excellent health, the addition of this supplement would support her whole health as well as give her crucial comprehensive joint health support in her senior years. In addition, the $500 monetary award would be a blessing to help defray some of the expenses related to Maggie’s care. I firmly believe that becoming a therapy horse at The Shane Center has extended Maggie’s longevity by providing her a sense of purpose, a special job, just as each of us needs that reason to get out of bed each day. Platinum Performance CJ, along with The Shane Center, will help ensure that “Magical Lights” can continue to create “Magical Moments” and keep that “Light Shining Bright” in each of her rider’s eyes.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I have been a staff member and volunteer of The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship since 1994, and I am also the owner of Magical Lights WRF, aka “Maggie”, “Maggie Mae,” and “Miss Mags”. I have owned Maggie since 2012. I can honestly say that Maggie not only creates magical moments for her riders, but she also lights up the eyes of all who work with her. She is a very special girl! -- Karen Sanchez

Mongoose Gold
Official Name: Mongoose Gold
Birth Year: 2004 Gender: Mare. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Friends of Ferdinand Inc
FFI was the first TAA accredited organization to develop a program for the retired thoroughbred broodmares. Many of the aftercare organizations focus on the thoroughbred right when it comes off the track, but many mares go on to be broodmares and then later have a need for a soft landing. Those horses are particularly at risk as they are older and often get passed around or overlooked.
Mongoose Gold, aka GG, is our first graduate from the Broodmare Bunch who is ready to find her new home! Born in 2004, she was a successful racehorse, winning 8 of 33 races and banking over $250k in her career. She then retired from the track, and had 6 foals, including two very successful runners who have earned over $100k each. She was responsibly retired from breeding by her owners, who look forward to her enjoying her golden years with a person who can dote on her. They thought she was the sweetest mare, but she was done breeding and had the right personality for a third career as a riding horse.
Mongoose Gold was donated in the fall of 2021 to Friends of Ferdinand as a 17 year old pensioned broodmare. At our intake exam our vet observed some idiosyncrasies that led him to do an EPM test, which came back elevated. We treated her for EPM and after that was completed our trainer worked with her and got her going at her pace. She has been ridden by a variety of students and even participated in an archery clinic earlier this year. She is available for adoption as a riding horse and has been restarted English and is even cleared to jump.
GG has had some ups and downs getting through her treatment and even still struggles holding her weight sometimes that she could greatly benefit from extra platinum performance supplements. She is a loved horse and has an endearing personality, including lip smacking tricks, and we can't wait to see how she can feel even better with Platinum Performances help!

More pictures and video avaialable - https://friendsofferdinand.com/collections/current-horses/products/mongoose-gold-the-first-graduate-of-the-broodmare-bunch?variant=42714631667886

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Mongoose Gold was donated to Friends of Ferdinand through our Broodmare Bunch program. I am on the board of Friends of Ferdinand and helped launch the new program in 2021. -- Diana Cooper

Official Name: Nutmeg
Birth Year: 2003 Gender: Mare. Breed: Tennessee


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Ridin' High, Inc.
Nutmeg is Ridin' High's 'go to' therapy horse, and safely takes care of riders from 4 to 84 years old who have a wide variety of disabilities. She is an attractive, 19-year old spotted saddle (Tenn. Walking) horse mare who is incredibly sweet and quiet in temperament, while still being people-oriented and friendly. Nutmeg is completely trustworthy, popular, and used in mounted activities for complete beginners, older riders with dementia or balance issues, stroke survivors with uneven weight distribution and weakness on one side, those with ADHD or anxiety (she's very calm and tolerant), riders with cerebral palsy, and those with autism. To illustrate her patience, she stood patiently in the mounting ramp area for 45 minutes one day because her rider (a young man with Down Syndrome) was very nervous about getting on a horse. Finally, he mounted and she quietly and slowly gave him a wonderful ride and feeling of freedom and success.

She is also perfect for groundwork as she's interactive and friendly, while still extremely quiet. She has been stellar with all participants, including a 911 first responder who is recovering from PTSD, camp riders (who like to paint her), special needs students from a local high school, and new volunteers. She's learned a number of tricks, such as opening a mailbox (for horse treats, of course) and playing soccer with a large therapy ball. And she knows her 'job' as a groundwork horse, too! One day she was in the crossties and the volunteer forgot to attach one side. Nutmeg stood exactly in the middle of aisle with only one side connected for 15 minutes without moving.

Nutmeg would benefit greatly from the Platinum Performance Products as she is an older mare with osteoarthritis and crepitus in her joints. Although she's an attractive mare, her conformation isn't the best, which affects her biomechanics and soundness. She has special shoes to help keep her sound and happy; Platinum Performance Products would be extremely helpful to ensure that she can continue in our program. Since she is a key member of the therapy horse herd, we are dedicated to helping her have a great quality of life so that she can continue to impact the lives of those with disabilities.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the director at Ridin' High Therapeutic Riding Center. Nutmeg has been an incredible therapy horse and contributed significantly to the riders in our program. She has influenced dozens of lives! -- Linda Bird

Official Name: Am Reigning Star
Birth Year: 2008 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Arabian


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Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
Am Reigning Star, “Ray”, was foaled in Arizona in 2008 - one of the last horses bred by champion Arabian breeder Bazy Tankersley. His lineage dates back over 100 years and some of his ancestry hold prestigious records, awards, and championships.

Ray was schooled by legendary reigning trainer Joe Frizzell and, in 2013, Ray became the A.H.A. 'Arabian Reigning Jr. Horse’ and ‘Arabian Reigning Futurity’ Champion.

For two more years Ray continued to travel around the country to compete and win but by 2016, at the age of 8, his career was over. Deemed to be weak in the rear, Ray was sold as a pleasure horse and shipped to New York.

For a few years Ray did well as a pleasure horse but was being ridden in the same hard, western style that got him hurt in the first place and, eventually, he wasn’t moving well again. It seemed his pleasure horse days were coming to an end.

Strictly on trial, Ray was brought to Pegasus Therapeutic Riding in the late winter of 2021. Though he was a bit unruly and had some bad barn habits, he was seen by many as having tremendous potential for program. But during a routine exam, the Pegasus veterinarians found Ray was faltering due to the condition of his hocks and recommended treatment, stall rest and full rehab to be able to participate in PATH programs.

When contacted, his previous owner was informed of Ray’s potential for work in program and that it was only his hocks that needed attention. Unfortunately, Ray’s previous owner made it clear that she would not contribute in any way to Ray’s medical needs and stated several times that Ray would be put down.

Many Pegasus staff and volunteers found that hard to accept and a team formed around saving Ray. A medical, physical, and nutritional regimen was created. Ray was sent to Brushy Hill Farm where he was rehabbed with tools, techniques, and advice from the team. Even with all that, after seven months of walking, hundreds of hours of working, massages and gentle persuasion Ray was only halfway home. He still needed to get a job.

In November of 2022, Ray came back to Pegasus for his second trial but needed to get in shape to work. To build up his musculature, Ray was ridden in a gentler, more consistent style than he was accustomed. Throughout the winter of 2022, Ray was worked regularly by the PTR staff and, sure enough, as his back grew stronger, his face, and eyes, and manner grew softer. Just like that, a therapy horse was born.

Ray’s primary duties at Pegasus include working in our traditional Therapeutic Riding programs, as well as our non-riding activities in our Therapeutic Horsemanship programs, including our Veterans and First Responders programs. Ray is earnest, brave, gentle, eager to please and incredibly patient. He is enjoying his work and the slower pace of life at Pegasus.

With Ray’s history of Western competition, health history and his enjoyment of the work he does as a therapy horse, being provided with Platinum Performance products would keep Ray in top shape to help our participants continue to grow and thrive in our programs.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Ray is a therapy horse at Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Inc. We came to know Ray through his owner, a long time Pegasus volunteer. -- Candice Sciarrillo

Red Blue and True
Official Name: Red Blue and True
Birth Year: 2013 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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CANTER Michigan
Red Blue and True is a retired Thoroughbred racehorse. He is a true warhorse - he raced 87 times over seven seasons! Red Blue and True was donated to CANTER Michigan by his owner/trainer after sustaining a sesamoid fracture in a workout. She wanted him to have a safe place to land and good potential for a second career, even if it's just as a companion - he's certainly earned it! Red Blue and True received arthroscopic surgery to treat his fracture through CANTER Michigan's partnership with Michigan State University's College of Veterinary Medicine. During his treatment at MSU, the veterinarians discovered that he also has significant arthritic changes due to wear and tear from his long racing career. Combined with his original injury, these arthritic changes make him a horse who could benefit greatly from a variety of Platinum Performance supplements, particularly those for bone and joint health. Though Red Blue and True is a sweet gelding and a true professional after his lengthy time at the racetrack, he's also a highly conditioned athlete who could use a little help to stay calm and quiet and help him take his four months of rehab in stride so his fracture can heal successfully. Off-track Thoroughbreds have so much love to give - once he completes his rehab, we hope to place Red Blue and True in a light-riding or companion home with someone who will return his love and give him the retirement he deserves without any expectations for performance.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the Secretary on the Board of Directors for CANTER Michigan. Red Blue and True was donated to CANTER Michigan by his owner and trainer, Megan Reust, and we took him in on July 11, 2022. I worked with Megan on the horse donation and intake process. -- Meghan Oliver

Official Name: Rolex
Birth Year: 2006 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Quarter


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Horses For Healing, Inc.
Rolex is not the therapy horse that stands patiently for you to decide what emotion you’re currently experiencing, or which brush to use next, or how to navigate the obstacle course that’s been constructed. Rolex is the therapy horse that knows the exact moment to push the comfort zone… to demand your attention and bring you back to the moment … or to hang his tongue to the side and make a funny face at you to make you smile.

I am nominating Rolex for the Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award because Rolex has experienced the unkindness of this world himself that many of his clients have also seen. He has been neglected, has experienced the pain, and he shows his clients (and myself) a healthy way to acknowledge the trauma that comes with those experiences, while learning resiliency, and embracing that which we can control along our healing journeys.

Rolex was found at a ranch with his ribs showing and barely able to stand because of the poor condition of his feet. He was immediately removed from the neglectful home and when well-enough to travel was brought to his now forever-home in Corrales, NM. Since his arrival in 2016, he has recovered his weight and received appropriate treatment to repair his feet as best as possible. While he still has scars from his experience and has long-term limitations due to his subsequent hoof lameness he continues to live uninhibitedly in the moment. He shows his clients the freedom in letting go of the past by acknowledging it and giving oneself the credit that is due for surviving it. And once one finds the empowerment in that, he shows them how to laugh again, how to be comfortable in their own skin, how to not sweat the small stuff and keep your eyes on the big picture. While Rolex’s daily pursuits may be to coerce his clients to take him on walks down the road, or feed him peppermints, the same sentiment still applies. He demonstrates self-truth and sharing what makes him unique with those around him. He shows gentle persistence while still practicing kindness. His intuition in reading social situations and body language is like nothing I have ever seen; he knows when to nudge or when to stand still, when to walk away and when to follow. He requires mindful and respectful attention but most importantly, he ALWAYS shares joy along the way.

In my four years of work at HFH, I have yet to see a client not leave with a smile on their face after working with Rolex. He has most certainly left his own mark on HFH’s barn and each human he chooses to greet at the gate upon arrival.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I have had the privilege of working with Rolex at Horses For Healing, Inc. (HFH) in my Ashva Yoga (Mat Work + Horsemanship) program for Veterans and their families for the past four years. My first steps through Rolex’s paddock gate were short, but filled with excitement to get to know this funny-standing horse and it has forever changed my life. In working with Rolex in training and in lessons, I am continuously amazed at the effect he has had on me and the clients we work with. My career as a therapeutic riding instructor, wrangler, and ranch manager has brought many horses (and other animals) across my path, but Rolex has always stood out the most. He has the uncanny ability to break any hesitation, sadness, confusion, or frustration with his quirky personality. He is a therapy horse, but he brings a unique thread to the herd and to his clients with his intentional limited attention span, and undeniable clear communication and expression. -- Calle Poindexter

Official Name: Ruffles
Birth Year: 1999 Gender: Mare. Breed: Other


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Kentucky Equine Adoption Center
Ruffles is one of the sweetest horses that we have here at the Center. Her calm personality is perfect for people who are unsure of horses and is a great example of the work we do here. She has been a rockstar in our SASH program, teaching first-time horse owners how to care for and handle horses. She is very kind and forgiving with people, which is perfect for our education programs. She has also been a great presence in our Equine-Assisted Learning program, teaching people how to communicate through body language. Ruffles has been an incredible horse to have here at the Center and we hope she will find a home with someone who will appreciate her as much as we do. As an older mare she would benefit greatly from Platinum Performance products. She is currently on a generic hoof and joint supplement and is on Prascend medication to help with her metabolic issues, but we would like to get her on a more advanced hoof and joint supplement to make sure she is getting the best support possible. With everything that Ruffles has given us, we want to give her something in return. She truly deserves the best supplementation to keep her healthy and happy in her older years.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Ruffles was surrendered to the KyEAC in March of 2021 due to some medical issues causing her to no longer be ridden by her owner. She came to us diagnosed with Cushing’s and White Line disease. After stepping off the trailer, we could immediately tell she had a wonderful, kind spirit and although she was clearly foot-sore, she was happy to see us and had hope in her eyes. We spent the first few months treating her feet and figuring a shoeing plan that would help keep her sound. She went on Prascend medication for her Cushing’s and we began to see her transform into a sound, happy horse. Although she is limited to being adopted as a companion only horse, she still has a lot to give her future adopter. -- Karen Gustin

Official Name: Mustang Sally
Birth Year: 1995 Gender: Mare. Breed: POA


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Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding
I am nominating our POA/Haflinger cross mare Sally for the Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award because she is our oldest, and most gentle, patient, and reliable pony here at CTR.

Sally came to us as a donation from a family who could no longer ride or care for her due to the deaths of several individuals. She from the first appeared interested and inquisitive when it came to working with our rider population--children and adults who live with disabilities and diagnoses. Approaching each person she interacts with, with tolerance and acceptance, she takes them at face value and treats them just like she would any other person. She is gentle, quiet, and good-natured with them and really excels in unmounted work with our older veterans and our very youngest children who live with disabilities. She seems to have a knack for intuitively knowing how to move or not move around people who have physical disability--sometimes providing just a steady shoulder for them to lean and arm on while they groom her, or a strong flank to rest against when the physical exertion of moving feels a little to hard for them.

One of our veterans from the Medical Foster Home program of the VA at Perry Point came to work with Sally at CTR a few years ago--and he arrived without the willingness and ability to speak to any of the staff as they walked him through an unmounted series of lessons regarding basic herd care. But he listened, and learned how to pick up the curry comb, and use it in circles around her soft fur. He wasn't able to stand for long periods of time due to advanced arthritis in his legs, and the arthritis in his arms made it hard to grasp a lot of the grooming tools, so it took him longer to complete each task. But we set him up with a chair near-by that he could sit in to rest and let him take all the time he needed. And Sally did to. She stood close to him, careful not to knock him over, and nuzzled him occasionally with her muzzle when he needed to rest. He came back consistently each week, and then he began to open up--to Sally (not staff) and told her his story. Told her all about himself, and his life. The VA staff who transported and attended with him pulled CTR staff aside to show them how he was talking to Sally, saying "I've never seen him do this before, anywhere." And after a few more weeks of conversation with Sally, he began to speak with CTR staff too.

Sally's impact as an adaptive recreation therapy horse over the course of her career here at CTR isn't limited to just this one disabled veteran. She's helped thousands of people who live with diagnoses and disabilities learn how to live and heal and grow, and she's been a part of everything we've done here. She is an incredible horse, and incredible steward of the program, and a wonderful friend.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the program director for Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding, so I work with Sally in her role as an adaptive riding therapy horse on an almost daily basis. -- Katharine Santiff (Program Director)

Sand Save
Official Name: Sand Save
Birth Year: 2001 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc.
Two years ago Birdie suffered from an extremely serious bruised hoof that turned into an abscess. He sloughed off his entire sole and regrew a new one. It was horrible and painful for him and we thougth we would lose him many times but due to diligent care, and a fantastic farrier, he made it through. However, this hoof still gives him trouble. We feel that Platinum Performance products to help his feet could go a long way to helping him with his compromised feet to give him a long and happy life.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Sand Save or Birdie as we call him is now a 21 year old pensioner here. He was taken in by Thoroughbred Placement Resources, Inc. when he was seven years old. He was severely, emotionally and physically abused. We made efforts to rehabilitate him into a riding horse but although he is safe to sit on and walk around, he is not able to do more than that due to the defensiveness that developed from being abused. On the ground he is a funny, friendly, sweet horse. Everyone who visits the farm and gets to know him adores him. -- Kimberly Clark

Official Name: Santino
Birth Year: 1999 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Zangershied


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Green Chimneys
Although Santino is an older horse, he still has a lot of youth and pep in his step!

At his former home, Santino was a serious athlete- running in upper level eventing competitions. After sustaining a leg injury, Santino deemed unfit for such competition and given to a private owner who was hoping to ride him for the rest of his days- unfortunately, as a side effect from the COVID shut down, this new owner was no longer able to keep him as her own. This is when he came to Green Chimneys- she wanted to find a home where he would continue to get the medical support his older body needed, but where he could continue to work and bring joy to those who work with him. Again, while Santino might be older on paper, he is thriving in our program and is often the first to the gate for feeding, and the one horse who loves to move forward willingly for his riders. Whether it’s a young first time beginner on his back or a seasoned staff member schooling him, Santino adjusts to his rider’s level and takes great care of them.

Santino would benefit greatly from the Platinum Performance Award. Santino still requires some specialized medical support due to his old injuries in order for him to remain comfortable and content as a member of Green Chimneys herd. This award would enable us to maintain his good health, allowing him to continue his important role as therapeutic partner to our students.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Santino resides at Green Chimneys Farm and Wildlife Center, part of our herd of 20 equines that provides equine-assisted services to the special needs students that attend our therapeutic day school and residential treatment center. -- Carol Levine

Official Name: Shadow
Birth Year: 1994 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Morgan


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Faith Equestrian Therapeutic Center
Shadow has been with Faith Equestrian since 2010, born in 1994.
Shadow is the go-to horse for each instructor that is working with a high-need client who may be unpredictable or have high anxiety. Shadow is an absolute saint! He stands quietly for all activities and actively engages with participants as well as volunteers. He enjoys being with people in general. Shadow is always the easiest to catch and lead in. He is gentle with children as young as 5 and a steady support to those who have balance issues. He is never pushy and is always respectful. Stands quietly for the farrier and veterinarian. Shadow enjoys baths and spa days with his best friend Cody, the pony. He is a handsome, black horse with graying around his muzzle with a heart of cold and the patience of Job.
He is truly a valued equine staff member! Shadow would greatly benefit from the Platinum Performance Products due to his age alone but also because of his digestive issues which require soaked alfalfa cubes.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Shadow is an active and widely loved therapeutic riding horse in our program. -- Brent Bissell

Official Name: Smart Thinking
Birth Year: 2012 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Second Chance Thoroughbreds Inc.
Smarty is a 12 y/o gelding who raced 95 times including 22 times in Puerto Rico before being retired to the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare organization. Smarty is full of life, and very happy and willing under saddle. Smarty does have bone chips so would benefit from a joint health product. Smarty does wear front shoes, occasionally pulls one, so he definitely would benefit from a hoof supplement. Smarty's favorite time of day is "grain" time (so that's 3 times a day!), he is a voracious eater and we haven't found a treat he doesn't like. Smarty is turned out all night in the summer, and when the gate opens to come up, he is the first to his stall and shows off (running around, bucking, rearing) until his stall door is opened, allowing him in to eat. Smarty is suitable for lower level disciplines including a little jumping and thankfully shows no bad behavior under saddle. He is great for grooming and loves attention. Smarty is always eager and ready to work despite his 95 races.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the director of Second Chance Thoroughbreds, Inc. We work with the Caribbean Thoroughbred Aftercare in helping to bring NY Bred thoroughbreds back to New York. -- Collette Y Duddy

Official Name: Smirk
Birth Year: 2006 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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New England Equine Rescue - North Inc.
Please describe in detail why you are nominating this horse to receive a Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award, including the horse's background, horse's personality and temperament, the type of services, disciplines or activities performed by the horse and why the horse would benefit from Platinum Performance products.
Smirk is a Kentucky bred Thoroughbred 16.3 hand bay gelding that was sold at Kneeland Association 2006 September Yearling Sale for $240,000. During his racing career he had 30 Starts with 6 Wins, 4 Places, and 2 Shows earnings of $132,888. After retiring from racing, he was sent to Essex Agricultural and Technical High School in Massachusetts where he spent time as a schooling horse. He was surrendered to NEER North due to developing behavior issues under saddle.
Smirks awesome personality and ability to get along with everyone, horse and human alike, made him an instant barn favorite. He continued to have behavior issues under saddle due to discomfort. NEER Veterinarian was called to X-ray Smirk in 2019. The X-ray showed that he had mild kissing spine. This diagnosis has deterred potential adopters.
He was sent to NH for rehab after an injury to his Knee that required surgery following by rehabilitation and training in 2020, that is when I met Smirk. Holy good-looking horse! What a beauty. I started to spend time with him while he was stall bound. Then once he could move around, going for walks, doing groundwork, just having an enjoyable time. I found out that he is like a giant puppy! Always interested in what everyone is doing and following me around everywhere. He started to gain muscle and strength. We spend a few months rehabbing and building him up on the ground. We also had the Chiropractor out to adjust Smirk which really helped him – time for a ride!
Turns out with consistent work Smirk was able to do a lot! And he loves trail riding! This big, beautiful guy is great on the flat. He LOVES attention and he loves activity.
I am nominating Smirk because he would benefit greatly from Equine Joint Support Formula due to his age, time on the track, and previous knee injury. This high-quality product will help keep him doing the things he loves!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
My name is Kathryn Cordeiro, and I am a NEER Board member. I met Smirk when he came to NH for additional training. I was so lucky to be selected by NEER, prior to being a board member, as his person and trainer for the time he was in NH. Smirk is the reason I am on the board now. -- Kathryn Cordeiro

Official Name: Vanilla Smoothie
Birth Year: 2003 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Mixed


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MARE Riding Center
: “Vanilla Smoothie” was the first horse I became attached to at MARE just a few weeks after I started working there. Smoothie has been a career horse with a big part of his life spent at the famous Fox Field Riding School in Southern California. He was later purchased by a family for their teenager, needless to say her teenage years were tough and she took it out on Smoothie. Her parents donated Smoothie to MARE in summer of 2018 with hopes that we can give him an easier life all while still being able to bless Smoothie with a rewarding job.

Smoothie won our 2021-2022 Horse of the Year as he continues to be a Barn favorite and our go-to veteran horse. Smoothie is one of our top therapy horses at our facility, and primarily works with our veterans in our Stable Forces program. He excels with our veterans because his riders are often able to relate to him. He was overworked and didn't have the best life before coming to M.A.R.E. and has overcome so much fear and anxiety since we got him.

Smoothie can still be a little anxious when meeting new people, and it takes time for him to warm up and let his personality shine. Our veterans love him because gaining his trust and watching him show his silly personality is very rewarding, and they know they have a friend for life when they win him over. He is very good at working through new or stressful situations as long as he has the support and guidance he needs from his rider. Smoothie shows people that it’s ok to show what you're struggling with so you can get the help you need to overcome obstacles in your life.

He has been a shoulder to lean on not only for me but for his riders when they're having a tough day or week, and he's always willing to lend a horse ear for listening. He shows endless patience when his riders make mistakes, and would walk to the ends of the earth if that’s what was asked of him. He has a heart of gold, and the ability to bring a smile to anyone’s face no matter what they may be going through.

I believe Smoothie deserves this Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award nomination and grant award to pay for his joint supplements. Smoothie, like many horses at his age, has arthritis and he counts on supplements like Platinum to keep him comfortable and happy doing what he does best! Thank you for your consideration of Smoothie at MARE Riding Center.

-Staci Earl
Equine Caretaker
PATH Intl Instructor in Training

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Instructor in training and Equine Caretaker- Staci Earl -- Staci Earl

Splash (Bug Me)
Official Name: Splash
Birth Year: 2004 Gender: Mare. Breed: Paint


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Right Step, Inc.
Splash is an 18 year old registered paint mare who works at The Right Step, Inc. adaptive riding program. She came to us from a hunter/jumper lesson program because she was not suited for their program. About two months after she started with our program she coliced with a twist that required surgery. After ten days in the ICU she came home and recovered well. She trusted us to take good care of her and now we trust her to take good care of our clients. She has found her calling in adaptive riding and groundwork. She works with children and adults with disabilities five days a week. Her superpower is her ability to pick up on what the people around her need and literally lean in. She does this all the time with her regular adaptive riding clients by changing the pace of her normally big strided fast walk to a more leisurely pace. Splash is also often the first horse clients ride for their evaluation lesson because we know she’ll make sure they have a great first experience. But Splash’s best work is on the ground. One example is when we had a woman in hospice visit our program. The woman had been a lifelong horsewoman and her daughter brought her so that she could have one more experience with a horse. By the time she got to the barn, she was too weak to even get out of her car. We brought Splash over to the car to see what would happen. Splash marched up to the car and stuck her head in the window, put her head on the woman’s chest, and stayed there for a good forty-five minutes while the woman loved on her. There were tears all around. Splash knew exactly what to do.

Splash and all of the horses in our program benefit from Platinum Performance Equine daily. Our horses work hard and need good nutritional support to help them do their jobs. Splash works without complaint, but she has a hard time in the summer with insects and heat. She gets very itchy and uncomfortable. We have tried many things to help her, but haven’t found anything that makes a difference. This award would allow us to try the Platinum Skin & Allergy formula to see if it would make a difference. Splash is a one of a kind horse who deserves the best!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I am the Chair of the Board of The Right Step, Inc. Splash works for our program. I have known her since she started with our program. -- Christine D. Remy

Official Name: Estepona B
Birth Year: 2004 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Warmblood


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Special Equestrians
Steven’s gentle manner and smooth gaits make him a perfect ride for the range of individuals with disabilities he works with, from hemiplegic stroke to autism. This walk-trot-canter horse participates in most of the programs we offer at Special Equestrians – including therapeutic riding, Silver Saddles, group programs, summer camp, off-site programming, and workshops for breast cancer survivors – calibrating to individual needs and capabilities and absorbing their physical and emotional pain. Because of his sensitivity to his riders, he developed ulcers two years ago and receives two medications daily to ensure he is healthy and happy for his riders. Medication, along with attentive care has allowed him to participate in 181 lessons in the first two quarters of this year. On a hot and humid day in May, Steven was enrolled in multiple divisions of the Therapeutic Riding Division of the Devon Horse with multiple levels of assistance (on lead, off-lead, walk only and walk-trot-canter). He performed outstandingly for all of his riders, helping them bring home a number of ribbons. The judges agreed and named Steven Devon’s 2022 Therapy Horse of the Year. Steven would benefit from Platinum Performance supplements to help keep him comfortable physically and help him continue working with the 12-15 riders that count on him each week to provide a respite from their daily lives.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
The staff of Special Equestrians nominates our accommodating, versatile therapy horse Steven for an EQUUS Foundation Platinum Performance Horse Welfare Award. Steven has been a top therapy horses at our riding center for seven years and has touched the lives of those who ride and interact with him. Special Equestrians has owned this 18-year-old Belgian Warmblood since July 2015, when he was donated to us by his owner, Saly Glassman, after a hind suspensory injury ended his show jumping career. Steven quickly and easily shifted gears and became a therapy horse that our program staff trusts and relies on to support riders. -- Janice Witt

Official Name: Ultimate Style
Birth Year: 1996 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Arabian


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Ride On St. Louis, Inc.
Ultimate “Style” was donated to Ride On St. Louis in 2015, when his previous owners felt he was no longer useful to them. This is often the case with many horses at our center. Although Style has an impeccable pedigree (out of Hi-Fashion Camaar by Wayne Newton’s Ultimate Star, with his ancestry traced back to dessert bred Arabians in the 1800s) most people wouldn’t have guessed it judging by the sparse mane and tail and the dull, drab coat that hung over his underweight and under-muscled body. I could easily count his ribs bones and see every protruding angle in his fore and hind end. He displayed constant anxiety behaviors, evidenced through the self-soothing and persistent urge he had to nervously lick anything around him—gates, fencing, lead rope, his bit and even up and down my arm when I was near him. Style was rarely relaxed, especially around people. Like all of the horses at our center, Style went through an acclimation period, which we aim to make as stress-free as possible. There are no expectations or rigid agenda; all learning is dictated by the horse. When he had put some healthy weight on, adjusted to his new herd and the routine at Ride On St. Louis, it was time to help Style out with some conditioning and exercise to aid in his mental and physical health and ultimately see if he would enjoy spending time helping children and small adults with disabilities someday.

Style was a different type of challenge for me. Around the same time, I had suddenly lost my riding partner, a Morgan gelding named Johnny, with whom I had been advancing nicely. Still mourning the loss of Johnny it was hard for me to find a connection with Style and re-embrace the basics needed to help this very green, nervous horse. The first several times we lessoned together, I simply sat in the middle of the arena and just waited for him to even have the slightest bit of interest in me. Step one was building a relationship and earning his trust. I came to find that he is a very perceptive little guy and is constantly taking in information around him. So at first, when we were in the arena he would trot over to the gate and call to his friends, and there I sat patiently waiting and observing. Using behavior shaping and positive reinforcement he learned after a few days that it was rewarding and even interesting to engage with me. Soon, when we entered the arena at liberty, instead of trotting off to the gate, Style would walk the arena once making little mental notes of everything around him (water trough, ground poles, mounting block, ect.) and then return to me to see what behaviors would earn a reward (free leading, picking up objects, standing next to the mounting block, or anything he wanted to try). One behavior we had worked on shaping was coming when he was called. I’ll never forget the first time I walked to the pasture and asked for his recall. He was out grazing at the far end of a two-acre pasture, I gave him the cue we had been working on but honestly didn’t expect a response. It was an environment we never practiced in, with many distractions (including herd mates and forage), and there was a much greater distance between us. However, to my surprise his ears perked up, he lifted his head and looked toward me. He took off towards me like a scene from a movie. It was one of the most joyful and rewarding moments in my life. Here was this little gray horse, who wanted nothing to do with me at first, now flying towards me and nickering a hello while the rest of the herd went about their grazing at the other end of the pasture. It was truly one of the best feelings I’ve ever experienced.

Style and I continued to learn many things at liberty, it was something we both loved, and he gained the ability to process new situations with curiosity and the freedom to contribute to and influence his environment and our time together. He’s a very thoughtful horse and incredibly sharp. We also began more groundwork on long lines, really focusing on relaxation and rhythm. His body was changing and in three months he had nicely rounded muscles, a better topline, balance and tempo, and was fit enough to begin slow work under saddle. It was great to see how much he transformed and even better to know that he was enjoying himself through the process.

Style began serving children with disabilities in a small capacity soon after. He has an extremely large movement and was able to provide more input to advancing clients who needed to challenge their improving core muscles. He was patient with those still learning and practicing their horse handling skills and was a favorite among volunteers for this reason, and excelled in unmounted activities programs, as well. Everyone loved the little gray horse with the cute, well-defined little ears.

Now retired from service, Style remains in our care through our Always Home retirement program. Style would greatly appreciate the added nutrients offered through Platinum Performance Supplements to compliment his specific diet and needs as a senior horse. This added support would be a wonderful addition to his health management, which currently includes bodywork therapies, strengthening exercises, and of course his regular dental, veterinary and farrier visits. Everyone at Ride On St. Louis, and especially myself, would love to see how Style could improve with additional dietary supplementation. Thank you for consideration.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I have been volunteering in a variety of roles with Ride On St. Louis since its inception in 1998 and joined fulltime staff in 2011. I met Style in 2015 when he was donated to the organization. Since then I have been privileged to develop a dear and devoted relationship with Style as his primary trainer and caretaker. -- BriAnn Session

Official Name: UVM Gameboy
Birth Year: 1998 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Morgan


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High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
Teddy embodies all that is desirable in an equine partner. He is able to be partnered with an individual learning to canter or an individual who requires maximum assistance at all times. He works in the unmounted program and is able to draw even the most timid participant out with his gregarious nature. One specific participant comes to mind when thinking of just how special he is. This participant requires the maximum level of support throughout her lesson. Teddy's smooth, consistent walk provided this rider with the opportunity to build her core strength and improve her balance. Though the rider was non-verbal, she very clearly communicated when she wanted him to trot. When he trotted, Teddy would glide across the arena and immediately illicit a smile and laugh out of the rider. One day when walking around the arena with this rider, Teddy halted and would not move his feet. Three futile attempts to get the horse to walk on left me, the instructor, scratching my head. Within 10 seconds the rider had a seizure. The horse did not move a muscle but rather stood quietly and patiently until the brief seizure passed. Exhausted, the rider was struggling to maintain a central position in the saddle. Due to mobility challenges with the rider, it was decided to have the horse move closer to the arena gate before dismounting. Teddy realized what was happening before any of us and demonstrated his deep understanding of his job. He walked his rider to the rail with the utmost care and waited for her to be dismounted. Once dismounted and in her wheelchair, Teddy turned to look at the rider and walked off with his horse handler. The commitment to provide horses within the care of High Hopes with the best routine care we can is unwavering. As Teddy ages, his needs have increased. Sensitivity to bugs and other allergens as well as arthritic changes associated with the normal aging process are evident. The ability to provide him with a quality supplement like Platinum Performance is vital to maintaining his comfort, condition and ability to partner in service with so many who continue to benefit from his unique gifts.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
As the Executive Director and an Instructor at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., I have known Teddy since he arrived in 2007. -- Mary K. Stalsburg

Official Name: Toby
Birth Year: 1988 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Quarter


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Horse Feathers Equine Center Inc.
Toby came to us after wandering in the woods a long time and no owner could be found. He was full of scratches and wounds from the brush he was running through. He was emaciated and need to gain at least 200#. We worked hard to bring him back to the stunning boy he is today. Toby was aged by the dentist and is now 34 this year. Toby is a part of our Ole Timers program for the elderly who come here on Wednesday's. Toby loves animal crackers and an occasional apple slice. He follows everyone in the pasture and will stand with his head on your shoulder. He has a charming personality that wins people over in minutes.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Toby came to the facility after the Sheriff's Dept. called us to pick him up. He was surrendered after wandering the woods for many months while they attempted to catch him. -- Cheri White Owl

Official Name: Tori Fra Oddsstooum 1
Birth Year: 1993 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Icelandic


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Gaited Advocate Intervention Team, Inc. (GAIT)
Tori is one of the sweetest little horses you'll ever meet. He's the first one to the gate for attention, but never demanding. We've been able to stabilize his leaky gut syndrome, however, he has an allergy to timothy hay, his dentition is not great and he has pretty severe Sweet Itch (allergy to bugs). We believe the Platinum Performance gut health and immune boosting products will really help with his quality of life as we care for him through his golden years.

One of my favorite games to play with him is to have him follow me and I jog to his food bowl in the morning, he runs behind me in his little Icelandic gait and eagerly eats his breakfast or dinner. He's a perfect gentleman about getting his fly spray and treatment for his sweet itch. He's smart enough to hang out in the run-in during the day with his fan. He's like a little horse teddy bear with his big mane and fluffy tail. He's the ultimate "in your pocket" guy and everyone that meets him falls instantly in love with him.

As an Icelandic, he was imported to the US never to be allowed to return to his home country. With his age, it makes him very difficult to adopt and his special feeding needs makes it hard to find a foster for him. He has a safe place to live with GAIT, Inc. and Platinum Performance can help us provide dietary supplements that will help him feel better.

Tori will become an ambassador for his breed and for the rescue. He will be appearing at local fairs and expos letting people know that senior horses are a treasure, that rescue horses are worth loving and that the Icelandic breed is very special.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
Tori came to GAIT, Inc. because he was suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome. His owner couldn't stabilize him and he was not doing well -- Denise Louise Parsons

US Hero
Official Name: US Hero
Birth Year: 2016 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Thoroughbred


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Thoroughbred Athletes, Inc.
US Hero is a 2016 Bay Gelding. He came to TAI after his racing career ended. His last win was in April 2021, and his last race was in July 2021.

US Hero came to TAI in October 2021, after he appeared pained in training runs. TAI Vets have reviewed his X-rays and determined that he has Kissing Spine condition, which ended his racing career - but will also limit his post racing career. Hero, who is a beautiful horse, is a barn favorite and is looking for a new "forever" home to call his own!

This writer would love to adopt him, but he doesn't have a place to keep him. He is such a friendly guy, and will be missed at TAI once he moves on!

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
US Hero was donated to Thoroughbred Athletes Inc in October, 2021, following his successful racing career (17 starts, 2 wins). -- Charles S Tanner

Official Name: Willey
Birth Year: 1991 Gender: Gelding. Breed: Mixed


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Maine State Society for the Protection of Animals
More recently, significant numbers of horses have been adopted from the shelter, and a smaller census has facilitated our focus on “Old Timers” like Willey. In the past several months, he has received skilled handling and appropriate attention from the knowledgeable barn staff. As a result, this older gentleman has become much friendlier and more agreeable to routine handling, standing quietly for the veterinarian and farrier. Willey enjoyed a foster experience last summer and returned to the MSSPA having benefited from the intense individualized attention and affection given by the private foster home. He is one of the shelter’s horses available for adoption as a companion-only horse. Given his age and lack of conditioning, he is currently not being worked under saddle; that may be in his future. Willey - quite a handsome fellow - is both independent and a bit shy. We hope he will find a home where his ‘outdoorsy’ nature will make him a wonderful pasture-pal or companion horse. We know Willey to be somewhat of an introvert, happiest in his paddock and not the center of attention. With patience, he has grown to be a horse who is happy to be handled and groomed. Willey is currently benefiting from a daily dose of terrific Platinum Performance, Bio-Sponge. It helps tremendously in managing Willey’s intestinal dysfunctions, including “leaky gut,” and we envision Bio-Sponge will be a long-term component of Willey’s intake regimen.

Relationship of Nominator to Nominee
I joined the staff of the MSSPA in 2007, and Willey was already a barn resident, well known for his anti-social attitude. Less than optimal recordkeeping in the past has added to the myth and mystery of Willey’s pre-shelter life. Consequently, not much is known about Willey’s circumstances before his arrival at the MSSPA. I quickly learned he was skilled at observing people and would occasionally bolt on any inattentive handlers. Ear pinning, snapping his teeth, and charging at anyone approaching his stall was commonplace. Those behaviors discouraged most staff from wanting to spend a lot of quality time with Willey. When I began as CEO in 2011, Willey had become an institution. Barn staff found other horses had greater and easier-to-access potential as adoption candidates, and Willey made his way to the end of the line when it came to receiving groundwork or ring time. -- Meris J. Bickford, CEO, MSSPA