Five Volunteers Dedicated to Restoring People and Horses to Health

Thanks to Ariat International, five deserving volunteers at equine charities across the United States receive a $270 Gift Card for Ariat Boots each quarter. Ariat International sponsors the EQUUS Foundation Champions program, which aims to stimulate and reward volunteerism on behalf of horses.

We would like to congratulate the winners for the fourth quarter of 2022: Tiffany Berard, Teresa Casada, Stephanie Dunavan, Meghan Oliver, and Carol Stoeker. The EQUUS Foundation is grateful for volunteers like these who dedicate their time to keeping horses safe and healthy and aiding the charities and horses that serve people in need.

Teresa Casada

Equine Rescue and Adoption Foundation (ERAF)

Palm City, Florida

Although always a horse lover, Teresa Casada’s journey with horses had been on hold for many years due to relocations and life circumstances, but that all changed three years ago. Casada moved to Florida and heard about ERAF from a neighbor.

“It has been an amazing experience working with the horses and the dedicated volunteers and staff who love them so,” said Casada. “Witnessing the horses when they arrive, watching them progress over weeks and months, and then helping them to find their forever homes is so uplifting and fulfilling.” Casada’s journey will continue as she strives to learn all that she can and to give these horses the love and caring that they deserve.

Tiffany Berard

Asheville Equine Therapy, Inc.

Asheville, North Carolina

Tiffany Berard knew the impact of equine therapy first-hand when she started volunteering at Asheville Equine Therapy in 2020. A retired Air Force combat disabled veteran, she suffers from a mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“Being around horses saved my life, and I want to give back to help others,” said Berard. “It’s amazing to see the initial bonding between the client and the horse — and the start of the healing process.”

Berard especially enjoys working with Autistic children and their families — and her fellow veterans. “I feel like a part of the herd,” said Berard, “and have learned so much.”

Carol Stoeker

Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding

Abingdon, Maryland

Twenty-seven years ago, Carol Stoeker fulfilled a lifelong dream of having her own horses and continues to feel blessed to share her life with her husband, two cats and three horses.

“I’ve had a passion for horses for as long back as I can remember,” said Stoeker. “Volunteering gives me a unique opportunity to share that passion with others who may not otherwise be able to take advantage of the majesty and healing powers of these incredible animals.”

Meghan Oliver

CANTER Michigan

Commerce Twp., Michigan

Meghan Oliver joined the CANTER Michigan herd in March 2022 as an Adoption Applications Specialist – and promptly jumped right in and joined the board as Secretary!

Introduced to horses at a young age by her mother, Oliver started taking lessons at age six and was instantly enamored. Life happened and she had to take a lengthy hiatus, but she started working with a wonderful dressage trainer in 2022 and hopes to finally achieve her lifelong dream of horse ownership this year.

“I rode with CANTER Michigan’s trainer, Jennifer Blades, as a teen, and she introduced me to CANTER and off-track Thoroughbreds,” said Oliver. “Volunteering with CANTER is like coming full circle, and I have both met and reconnected with some really great horse people. Plus, I get to snuggle with Thoroughbreds!”

Stephanie Dunavan

Rainbow Meadows Equine Rescue and Retirement, Inc.

Junction City, Kansas

Rainbow Meadows offered Stephanie Dunavan and her 16-year-old daughter Breanna the opportunity to reconnect with horses and to bond with each other.

Rainbow Meadows’ Train the Trainer multi-week orientation program not only helped Dunavan build her skill and confidence, but it also enhances the socialization of the rescued equines, which helps to match them with the right adopter and find them a forever home.

“I have been humbled by my experience in volunteering,” said Dunavan. Flair, a beautiful, registered Arabian, who served as a broodmare before being dumped at auction and tagged for slaughter, is just one of the many horses Dunavan has had the opportunity to help restore to health.

Learn more about Champions here

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:

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Contact: Lynn Coakley