The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International and Zoetis Equine Announce Winner of the 2023 Equine Caretaker of the Year Award

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The award recognizes devotion to outstanding equine care

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is pleased to announce Linda Parsons as the winner of the 2023 PATH Intl. Equine Caretaker of the Year Award, sponsored by Zoetis Equine. The award, which was started in 2022, recognizes an exceptional equine caretaker who serves at a PATH Intl. Member Center for their dedication to ensuring a high quality of life for the horses that support humans through equine-assisted services (EAS). Congratulations to Linda for her outstanding, life-supporting work.

Linda was nominated for her work as a barn manager by Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Orinda, California. Long-time Xenophon volunteers remark, “The center’s horses and facilities have never been better, and a culture of continuous improvement is attributable to Linda’s focus on constant review and implementation of new practices and procedures to benefit the horses, as individuals or as a group. Customized exercise, feeding and treatment plans are developed as needed, and the volunteer barn staff are always made aware of each animal’s change in status to provide the best possible support.” Linda teaches center volunteers the art of reading horses to understand their behaviors, educates volunteers in important first-aid care and makes sure they know how to handle any emergencies that arise. Always staying up to date with PATH Intl. Standards, she promotes safety in all areas of the center.

PATH Intl. recognized Linda at the association’s International Conference Awards Luncheon held on October 27, 2023, in Charlotte, N.C. “Caring for horses can be extremely challenging, and the job requires a high degree of care, dedication, patience and expertise,” said Kathy Alm, PATH Intl. CEO. “We created the Equine Caretaker of the Year Award to recognize those qualities because we know how big of a difference the right care can make in a horse’s life and, by extension, in the lives of those who benefit from equine-assisted services. I was moved by the nomination we received for Linda and am incredibly happy to recognize her work through this award.”

Zoetis offers equine caretakers and veterinarians the products, education and support needed to make the right decisions for herds in EAS and beyond, said Alm. “We couldn’t be prouder to partner with such a fine company that truly wants horses to live happier and healthier lives!”

Alongside the Equine Caretaker of the Year Award winner, PATH Intl. recognized several other regional awardees. Congratulations to the following equine caretakers:

Region 1: Micah Pinard, UpReach Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.; Goffstown, N.H.

Region 2: Nicole Hauseman, Maryland Therapeutic Riding; Crownsville, Md.

Region 3: Sarah Dorsey, A Broken Spur Riding Academy; Beaver, W.Va.

Region 4: Holly Prestileo, Dreams on Horseback; Blacklick, Ohio

Region 5: Alicia Lartigue, Southern Reins Center for Equine Therapy; Collierville, Tenn.

Region 6: Scott Clover, River Valley Riders; Woodbury, Minn.

Region 7: Shelby Schult, Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy; Gretna, Neb.

Region 8: Susan Kilpatrick, Compadres Therapy, Inc.; El Paso, Texas

Region 9: Julia Bozzo, NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center; Bellingham, Wash.

Region 10: Gina Marchese, CHAPS Equine Assisted Services; Sheridan, Wyo.

Region 11: Linda Parsons, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center; Orinda, Calif.

For a full list of the states and countries in each PATH Intl. region, please visit

Zoetis Equine is a generous platinum-level sponsor and the official equine health and wellness partner of PATH Intl. As a company that cares deeply about equine health and wellness, Zoetis Equine proudly sponsors the PATH Intl. Equine Caretaker of the Year Award, recognizing PATH Intl. Member Center volunteers and staff who go above and beyond to care for their center’s equines.

“As a company with many horse enthusiasts, it’s incredible to have a partner in PATH Intl., which shares our values and respect for these animals that have such a positive impact on us,” said Jen Grant, Head of Marketing at Zoetis U.S. Equine division. “We’re thrilled to sponsor this award. It’s a great way to recognize those who go above and beyond in their care for horses. Congratulations to Linda and this year’s regional winners!”

 To learn more about PATH Intl. and EAS, visit For more on Zoetis Equine visit

 About PATH Intl.
The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted services (EAS) for individuals with special needs and others. At 813 Member Centers, more than 53,339 children and adults, including 5,900 veterans, have found improved health, wellness, a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. Member Centers offer therapeutic horsemanship including riding, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, groundwork and stable management; physical and occupational therapies; speech language pathology and mental health services incorporating horses; and coaching and learning programs, among other services. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAS programs. Nearly 50,000 volunteers, 5,424 certified professionals, 76,781 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world help people at PATH Intl. Member Centers achieve their health, wellness and learning goals.

About Zoetis
As the world’s leading animal health company, Zoetis is driven by a singular purpose: to nurture our world and humankind by advancing care for animals. After innovating ways to predict, prevent, detect and treat animal illness for more than 70 years, Zoetis continues to stand by those raising and caring for animals worldwide—from veterinarians and pet owners to livestock farmers and ranchers. The company’s leading portfolio and pipeline of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and technologies make a difference in over 100 countries. A Fortune 500 company, Zoetis generated revenue of $8.5 billion in 2023 with approximately 14,100 employees. For more information, visit

The Zoetis Equine division is committed to providing horse care you can count on. Our team includes numerous equine veterinarians and other experts who are inspired daily by the opportunity and profound responsibility to support horses, the owners who love them, and the equine veterinarians and other care team members who safeguard their well-being. Whether at the clinic or in the field, Zoetis is always by your side with a comprehensive, innovative portfolio of equine products and services at every step of a horse’s care and throughout the journey of a horse’s life. Visit to learn more.

Contact: Sara Conant, Communications and Marketing Coordinator, PATH Intl., 800-369-7433, ext. 123