2022 Platinum Performance
Horse Welfare Award Recipients

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2022 Honorable Mention

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