Jul 1, 2021

Recognizing Greatness - Horse Stars Hall of Fame

2021 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees
2021 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees

The Horse Stars Hall of Fame honors the contributions of amazing horses by sharing the stories of their athletic and humanitarian feats. It was established by the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people.

The USEF inducts the horses recognized annually as "Horses of Honor" for their stellar athletic performances. The EQUUS Foundation inducts horses who have had an inspirational impact on the public as companions, teachers and healers.

The 2021 Horse Stars Hall of Fame inductees are Dolton, FWF Undercover, Gazelle, Kiss Me Quick, Pritchard Hill, Sir Gus, Tango and Vivaldi De Besilu.

EQUUS Foundation Inductees:

FWF Undercover
(1998 - 2020)
Taya Workum-Byers
FWF Undercover, known fondly as Sherman, a Georgian Grande born in 1998 and passing in 2020, was a 'once in a lifetime horse' for Officer Taya Workum-Byers and the thousands upon thousands of people he impacted during his life of public service. When Officer Taya Workum-Byers purchased him as a mounted police prospect, she had no idea what she had really found. READ MORE . . .

Kiss Me Quick
(1995 - )
Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
Kiss Me Quick, known as Gnomeo, is good at everything he does. A seasoned horse show veteran with literally a million miles under his girth, Gnomeo joined the therapy horse herd at Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Inc., at 14 years young in 2011. Gnomeo's quiet demeanor is the perfect introduction to the wonderful world of horses for even the most timid participant. READ MORE . . .

Sir Gus
(1995 - )
Brook Hill Farm
When Gus arrived at Brook Hill farm he was skin and bones. He had been left on a farm to fend for himself and after being alerted by local law enforcement, Gus arrived at Brook Hill as a neglect case at the age of 17 in 2012. So began a long physical and mental rehabilitation. READ MORE . . .

(2006 - )
The Equus Effect
Jane Strong, Founder of The Equus Effect, met Tango for the first time in a pasture where he had been retired by his young owner. Tango had been at the top of his game as an eventing horse but his life, as he knew it, came to an abrupt halt in 2013 when he had a severe accident that injured his shoulder. That is when both of their fortunes changed. READ MORE . . .

United States Equestrian Foundation Inductees:

(2012 - )
Flintwoode Farms LLC and Karin Flint
The partnership between Dolton, a Hanoverian Gelding born in 2012, and Para Dressage Rider, Roxanne Trunnell, clicked from the start. Their bond and Dolton's incredible temperament carried them to success at the 2018 FEI Longines World Equestrian Games, including becoming the first U.S. horse-and-athlete pair to medal at a para dressage world championship. READ MORE . . .

(2006 - )
Robin Parsky & Kent Farrington
Gazelle’s many triumphs come as a result of her incredible partnership with Kent Farrington Developing together over the years, they share a desire to win and a competitive spirit that instills confidence in everyone around them, including co-owner Robin Parsky. "She has proven to us time and time again that she wants to win it all," said Parsky. "All my life I have dreamed about having a horse as amazing as her."  READ MORE . . .

Pritchard Hill
(2012 - )
Known familiarly as "Quinn" around the barn, Pritchard Hill, a 2012 Oldenburg gelding, was named after Pritchard Hill -- the best hill in the Napa Valley to grow wine grapes. Like many of the great ones, the incredibly talented gelding required some extra time to develop and truly shine. "He's really intelligent, so you have to let him learn his lessons and leave him alone until he digests it, " said Carleton Brooks, known throughout the hunter/jumper industry as CB.  READ MORE . . .

Vivaldi De Besilu
(2010 - )
The Besilu Connection, Ltd - Benjamin Leon
Vivaldi de Besilu (Bribon de San Isidro x La Ley de Cuatro G, Mandato de La Luisa) is regarded as one of the most exciting stallion prospects of the modern Paso Fino era. Born with a gait unique to the breed and considered among the smoothest riding horses in the world, the origin of “Los Caballos de Paso Fino” — the horses with the fine step - goes back to the Spanish conquistadors. READ MORE . . .

* * *

"The Horse Stars Hall of Fame is a wonderful way to demonstrate the staying power of horses -- as athletes, companions, teachers and healers -- and their unique abilities to move us through a spectrum of experiences from thrill and exhilaration to pure joy. By sharing the stories of these amazing horses, we hope to build a more informed and compassionate America that values the impact of horses in our lives," said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.


Mar 8, 2021

Honoring Institutions of Higher Learning for their dedication to equine welfare

Samantha Calzone (1996-2019)
Samantha Calzone (1996-2019)

On Sept. 16, 2019, Samantha Marie Pritchard Calzone passed away doing what she loved most in this life - riding horses. Equipped with passion, the knowledge arising from her BS in equine studies from the University of Connecticut (UConn) and her Masters from Hartpury University in England, and the leadership skills she gained from serving as Captain of the UConn Equestrian Team, Samantha hoped to dedicate her life to improve the lives of horses.

The EQUUS Foundation is honored to announce the inaugural recipients of the Samantha "Sam" Calzone Memorial Award established in tribute to the life of Samantha Calzone and her everlasting passion for horses. The two 2020 recipients are the University of Connecticut and West Virginia University.

The award recognizes an institution of higher learning offering equine studies and/or equine athletics programs that ensures that the quality of life of its equine partners is paramount.

"While the loss of Samantha will always be unimaginable to Samantha's family and those who deeply loved her, we hope that Samantha's legacy will be to inspire others to seek the knowledge that is needed to elevate the equine profession and to create a reality to ensure that safe solutions exist for both horses and people," said Lynn Coakley, President, EQUUS Foundation.

University of Connecticut (UConn)
The University of Connecticut (UConn) Department of Animal Science's Equine Program is dedicated to educating the next generation of equine professionals and enthusiasts with coursework and experiential learning opportunities covering the entirety of the lifespan of the horse - from responsible breeding to training to end of life decisions. The University of Connecticut offers multiple opportunities for students interested competition -- for those in their first years of riding as well as students with previous show experience, including the disciplines of Dressage, Hunt Seat, Western, and Polo.

UConn's 85 horse herd is primarily comprised of Morgan Horses descended from the US Calvary, but also Thoroughbreds, Quarter Horses and Warmblood crosses. UConn raises horses for its teaching and riding programs and retires them usually to the alumni who have helped to raise and train them. Other horses, such as the polo ponies are donated by alumni and supporters of our programs.

West Virginia University
The West Virginia University Equine Studies (WVUES) program offers a well-rounded equine studies curriculum with diverse student opportunities in and out of the traditional classroom. This includes hands-on laboratory courses in equine handling & training lab, riding theory & techniques, and advanced horse management as well as English and Western Equestrian Teams affiliated with the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).

WVUES maintains a herd of 8-10 horses for its hands-on courses and working student program. The teaching horses are generally retired show horses in their teens that are both owned and leased by WVU. WVUES ensures that all the horses receive outstanding veterinary, dental, and farrier care and also veterinary acupuncturists/chiropractors and massage therapists as needed.In appreciation of the physiological demands that teaching students with varying skillsets places on our herd, the horses participate in only one riding lab and one handling exercise per day for no more than four days per week.

When the time comes to retire a teaching horse, WVUES places the horse on a lifetime lease with an alumni or friend of the program - retaining lifetime ownership of the horse. The lease agreement can be terminated at any time and the horse can be returned to our care if the circumstances change. A returned horse remains in the care of WVUES until another proper retirement option is found. When the time comes, at the recommendation of the WVUES clinical veterinarian, WVUES horses are humanely euthanized.

University of Connecticut
University of Connecticut
West Virginia University
West Virginia University


Nov 4, 2020

A Flip-Flops Kind of Guy Speaks Out About Horses!

Honey Jaks (right) with Bailey and Lynn Grismore
Honey Jaks (right) with Bailey and Lynn Grismore

Thanks to Ariat International, sponsor of the EQUUS Foundation Champions program, five volunteers from equine charities across the United States receive a free pair of boots each quarter from Ariat in recognition of their volunteer service.

We are proud to announce that the five volunteers selected by random draw for the third quarter of 2020 are: Richard Hickey, Honey Jaks, Sarah Miller, John Snyder, and Ruth Tietz. These five volunteers represent the tens of thousands of individuals who contribute their time to keep horses safe and healthy at equine charities across the United States. We admire their dedication and as Honey Jaks wisely stated, " It really is Horses Healing People Healing Horses".

Honey Jaks
Hope for Horses, Inc.
Galt, CA

Honey was raised with horses until he was around 12, when Baseball became his primary interest. However, when he decided he wanted to volunteer; he gravitated back towards the horses. "Volunteering at Hope For Horses allows me to show up when I can, and leave the ranch feeling good about doing something I enjoy for others and their horses. I gain great pleasure seeing the results of my efforts. While I'm no rider, I do enjoy the company of horse folks."

Honey tends to take on the jobs around the ranch that others are not too fond of with his biggest contribution being when he takes care of the weeds in the Winter & Spring. He is even referred to as 'The Whacker of Weeds' and considers himself a good 'extra pair of hands' when it comes to ranch projects. As a flip-flops kind of guy, Honey is looking forward to trading in his flip flops for his new Ariat boots. He said, "These boots will serve me well in my volunteer efforts! Thank you Ariat!"

Read the stories of Richard Hickey, Sarah Miller, John Snyder, and Ruth Tietz here.  Learn more about the EQUUS Foundation Champions program here.

The EQUUS Foundation is the only animal welfare charity in the United States that is 100% dedicated to protecting America's horses and strengthening the bond between horses and people.  

Sadly, many of these beautiful and magical creatures who empower us and heal us are faced with an uncertain future -- with many thousands the victims of cruelty, neglect and slaughter each year.

Just $25 a day will not only care for a horse who has been the victim of abuse and neglect – and prevent that horse from being shipped off to slaughter, it will also care for a horse at an equine therapeutic center who is enriching and improving the lives of people, especially children, who are facing hardships.

In 2020, we have been able to help provide care for nearly 5,000 horses at 160 charities nationwide. We’d like to double that number and provide a lifeline to 10,000 horses in 2021.

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