Five Equine Charities Honor Their Volunteers with the Help of Ariat!

Ariat International has sponsored the EQUUS Foundation Champions program for over 10 years to stimulate and reward volunteerism on behalf of horses. Equine welfare organizations depend on the help of dedicated volunteers for the success of their work — and are so appreciated by the groups they work with — and by the EQUUS Foundation.

In an EQUUS Foundation study released this year, researcher, Dr. Karin Bump, reported, “A major area of concern impacting the current and future sustainability of the charities is their reliance on volunteer staffing. Loss of volunteer staffing (in part or in whole) would likely be devastating to the majority of the operations in this dataset. Given this, volunteer recruitment, training, oversight, scheduling, support and recognition is critical.”

Thanks to Ariat International, five equine charities received an Ariat gift card for a pair of boots, valued up to $270, to award to one of their volunteers and a $100 grant to underwrite refreshments for their volunteer gatherings in May.

South Florida SPCA

Homestead, FL

Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, May 5, 2024

Lew Askew, Ariat Gift Card Recipient

South Florida SPCA’s Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon on May 5, 2024, had extra meaning this year. In honor of the immense impact of volunteer, Lee Askew, the Volunteer Pavilion was dedicated to Lee in celebration of the positive influence she brings to every aspect of the South Florida SPCA.

“Lee Askew has been an indispensable part of the South Florida SPCA since she began volunteering in 2018,” said Chris Septer, Executive Director. “Lee’s dedication and hands-on approach have not only enhanced the lives of countless rescue animals but have also uplifted and inspired her fellow volunteers. We were delighted to honor her and also give Lee the Ariat gift card.”

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue (LOHR)

Dover Plains, NY

Volunteer Gathering, May 24, 2024

Alessandra Bologna, Ariat Gift Card Recipient

Lucky Orphans held its Volunteer Fire Side Chat gathering on May 24 and presented the Ariat Gift card to Alessandra Bologna as a token of its appreciation for all she does for LOHR, pictured above with Deanna Mancuso, LOHR Executive Director.

The barn event featured learning and line dancing!! “Without our volunteers, LOHR could not continue all of the programming that we offer,” said Mancuso.

 Riding To The Top Therapeutic Riding Center (RTT)

Windham, ME

Lunch and Learn, May 20, 2024

Susan Layton, Ariat Gift Card Recipient

On May 20. 2024, RTT hosted a “Lunch and Learn and Ariat Giveaway” for their volunteers. Susan Layton was thrilled to be the lucky winner of the Ariat Gift Card. Susan has volunteered at RTT for over five years and is pictured with Lucky, an 18 year-old Quarter Horse. Perhaps Lucky brought her good luck!

“We are always looking for ways to keep our hard-working horses happy and healthy through regular body work,” ” said Executive Director, Sarah Bronson. “Twenty-three of our volunteers learned about Accupressure points to help our herd members. Being able to teach our volunteers some very simple acupressure techniques that they can use with our horses was a win for everyone.”

All About Equine Animal Rescue (AAE)

Pilot Hill, CA

Volunteer BBQ, May 18, 2024

Tiffany Mendonsa, Ariat Gift Card Recipient

“Our Volunteer Appreciation BBQ was a huge success. Well attended and so much fun! So Much Food — and a wonderful opportunity to gift Tiffany Mendonsa a new pair of Ariat boots,” said Wendy Digiorno, AAE Executive Director.

Tiffany came to a new volunteer orientation with her husband and teenage son, Evan, back in January 2019 wanting to support Evan’s interest in horses. Fast forward to today — Tiffany is a valued member of our hard-working volunteer force! When she’s not volunteering, she’s spending time with Shelton, pictured above, who she adopted from All About Equine in May of 2021.

Granite State Adaptive (GSA)

Mirror Lake, NH

Spring Cleanup on May 3, 2024

Janice Shannon, Ariat Gift Card Recipient

Janice Shannon was chosen to receive the Ariat Gift Card at the GSA Spring Cleanup on May 3, 2024. She was initially drawn to GSA nine years ago after reading an article in the local paper calling for volunteers. She had just retired after 31 years in special education.

“Working with the wonderful people, participants and horses at GSA has been a highlight of my life!,” said Shannon, pictured above cleaning buckets. “I look forward to many more years of this incredible opportunity.”

 ABOUT EQUUS FOUNDATION: The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America’s horses from peril and strengthening the bond between people and horses. 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:, Website:

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

View release and photos online here

Contact: Lynn Coakley