EQUUS Foundation

Volunteerism Continues to Pay Rewards Thanks to Ariat!

WESTPORT, CT - October 13, 2014 - "Back in 2006, shortly after retiring from 27 years at the phone company, I walked in the barn door of Special Equestrians in Warrington, Pennsylvania, to donate my old riding helmet . . . and never left," said Diane Sampson, one of five EQUUS Foundation Champions to receive Ariat boots in honor of their volunteer service on behalf of horses in the third quarter of 2014. The EQUUS Foundation's Champions Equine Service Program is made possible by Ariat International.

EQUUS Foundation - Helping Horses Heal People
Diane Sampson with Zeus
Diane Sampson
Special Equestrians
Warrington, Pennsylvania

When Diane Sampson began volunteering for Special Equestrian 8+ years ago, she was awestruck by the beneficial impact of therapeutic horseback riding. So impressed with the wonderful riders and the incredibly patient and kind horses, Sampson took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator in 2010.

Sampson said, "Spending time with our horses has been a gift beyond measure, like Ebs, our 31-year young Tennessee Walker, who is at his happiest toting around riders in lessons; Sonja, Bear, and Music, who carry our hippotherapy riders with such care and calmness; Splash and Ben, who delight their riders with their big, fun gaits; and Suzie, our sweet Shetland pony, who has been bathed and painted by countless little hands. What a debt of gratitude we owe our wonderful equines. It's been an amazing privilege and joy to volunteer."
EQUUS Foundation - Helping Horses Heal People
Jane Scacciaferro with Olivia
Jane Scacciaferro
Ray of Light Farm
East Haddam, Connecticut

Scacciaferro got involved with Ray of Light Farm nine years ago when her son was two years old so that he could participate in their Tiny Trotters programs for preschool aged children. "I fell in love with the farm", said Scacciaferro. Scacciaferro volunteers with barn chorses at least two to three days a week.

For the past six years, she has also held an annual fundraiser at her store, Salem Farms Ice Cream, on Columbus Day and donates 100% of the sales that day to Ray of Light Farm. "We've raised over $15,000 from these events", said Scacciaferro.

"I wanted a horse all my life and only rode when I was about 12 or 13." Six years ago, her husband surprised her by giving her one of the six month old Premarin rescues at Ray of Light Farm. "Olivia is a gorgeous Appaloosa/ draft cross, and I absolutely adore her!"
EQUUS Foundation - Helping Horses Heal People
Joy Wood with Andy and Majik
Joy Wood
Hope in the Valley Rescue and Sanctuary
Valley Center, Kansas

Wood and her daughter Rachel were heavily involved in showing horses in Tennessee before moving to Wichita, Kanasa two and a half years ago. Their first weekend in Kansas, they attended Wichita's Riverfest, and learned about the rescue's efforts to rescue and rehabilitate abused, neglected, abandoned, unwanted and slaughter bound horses.

With her riding days over due to several back injuries, Wood helps with grooming and feeding and "just loving these these beautiful animals and helping them regain their trust in people."
EQUUS Foundation - Helping Horses Heal People
Marsha Lunsford at Hoofbeats fundraiser in costume.
Marsha Lunsford
Hoofbeats Therapeutic Riding Center
Lexington, Virginia

Marsha Lunsford lives in the mountains of Highland County, Virginia with her husband, four horses, two cats and a dog.

She loves to ride and train her horses on the ground, and is also passionate about gardening.

"I enjoy volunteering at Hoofbeats", said Lunsford, and am now pursuing my certification as a therapeutic riding instructor."
EQUUS Foundation - Helping Horses Heal People
Cindy Narvais
Cindy Narvais
Dream Catcher of L.A. Therapeutic Riding Centers
Marina Del Rey, California

In 2002, Narvais left her job as a Special Education teacher when she adopted two special needs siblings - a boy and a girl. "It was my daughter who sparked my love for horses," said Narvais.

"My daughter had always been horse crazy so I started her with lessons in 2010 when she was nine." Narvais soon followed taking lessons and began volunteering.

Narvais became an ardent believer in the power of the horse by seeing firsthand the amazing transformation in her daughter due to her riding. She not only volunteers, she is also pursuing her PATH Instructor Certificate and hopes to be certified by next summer.


CHAMPIONS is the EQUUS Foundation's incentive-based equine service volunteer program sponsored by Ariat International to recognize and reward individuals and organizations on the Equine Welfare Network.

It's easy to become a CHAMPION, an individual must log a minimum of 24 volunteer hours from January 1st to December 31st. The volunteer hours will be verified by the organization and the EQUUS Foundation.



About EQUUS Foundation: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse's unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: equusfoundation.org.

About Ariat International: Ariat International, Inc. is the leading manufacturer of innovative performance equestrian footwear, apparel and belts. Featuring a patented technology designed to deliver stability, durability and comfort, Ariat pioneered the application of advanced athletic shoe technology into English riding boots and authentic Western boots. Ariat products are sold in a network of retail outlets throughout the world. For more information about Ariat products or for the Ariat retailer nearest you, contact Ariat at 800.899.8141 or visit www.ariat.com.