First printed in the November 2020 Equiery

In 2019, The Equiery launched a new annual feature to celebrate those people and horses that contribute greatly to the non-profit community. Anyone can nominate a non-profit staffer, volunteer or horse for this annual award. The award committee reviews nomination essays and picks three to print in the November Charity issue with all nomination essays being posted on throughout the month. This year we received nominations for six people and three horses. Read all of their stories on this month!

Special Olympics Coach Ashley Whitlock
submitted by Dr. Helen Tuel, founding director of TRRC

It may seem impossible but Head Coach Ashley Whitlock accomplished the Herculean task of yearlong, weekly training, committed attendance lessons for an oversized and growing Special Olympics team of 23 members!
Please know it takes the entire TRRC instructional staff, a core of volunteers and dozens of family members to prepare each year for the Special Olympics State Summer Games. Everyone involved is thrilled to be able to assist in outfitting each rider with appropriate show clothing, often gently used, or donated tack, spotlessly cleaned and conditioned and, of course, inspected! It takes an army to make this event happen and to make it successful.

Of course, every equine is meticulously bathed and groomed to perfection, as all prepare for a razz-ma-tazz Opening Ceremony with the Mounted Police, singing of the National Anthem and blessing of the riders and equines!

The riders are so proud of their Center, and every Olympian appreciates the generosity of spirit and resources. The work here is immensely gratifying and endless. Coach Ashley keeps the magic and allure of the equestrian world alive and well. TRRC cannot make this journey without community. Coach Ashley ensures that TRRC continues to succeed and meets the challenges of a changing world, and we are grateful.

Warmest wishes, first and foremost, to Head Coach Ashley Whitlock and to all who participated, for a year of health and happiness from your TRRC family. Thank you for believing in us and for loving the children and adults in our care to provide them with bright futures filled with promise and endless possibilities and opportunities and brimming with much success. Thank you, most importantly, for helping them heal and grow.