You’re Never Too Young to Volunteer

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.

The EQUUS Foundation would like to congratulate the winners for the fourth quarter of 2023: Ida Mae Astute, Jeanne Burns-Coleman, Savannah Cregger, Elisa Robles, and Kortney Webb. 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.

Elisa Robles
All About Equine Animal Rescue (AAE)
El Dorado Hills, California

Having always loved horses and wanting to make a difference, in July 2014, Elisa Robles attended the new volunteer orientation at All About Equine Animal Rescue. Since then, Robles said, “I’ve been blessed to be one of many who get to care for these amazing animals. In the past nine years, I’ve seen countless horses come through our gates needing our help. With each new horse, our volunteer force always comes through to give each one the specialized care they need, and the love they deserve.”

“We all have the same goal – to find each horse a home with people who will love them for the rest of their lives,” said Robles. “I now have the great pleasure of leading our new volunteer orientations and introducing new folks to our organization’s mission.” Her favorite new “volunteer” is her two and half year old grandson, who often comes with her to AAE to help in his own way.

Jeanne Burns-Coleman
Gerda’s Equine Rescue, Inc.
West Townshend, Vermont

Burns-Coleman works for a company that provides staffing to hospitals that are short-staffed as a Computed Tomography (C.T.) Technologist. She has been volunteering for Gerda’s Equine Rescue for eight years and in 2016 adopted a Morgan-Percheron Cross she named Blossom.

“He was my pathway back to owning horses after many years away”, said Burns- Coleman. She also now owns a quarter horse and tries to ride at least once a week in the winter and 3-4 days in the summer. She also loves hiking, swimming, kayaking and dogs.

“The work Gerda and her staff do has changed the lives of hundreds of animals and the people who have been privileged to be involved with the rescue,” said Burns-Coleman.

Ida Mae Astute
Bergen County Horse Rescue (BCHR)
Mahwah, New Jersey

Ida Mae Astute, now semi-retired, regards herself as fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for 38 years at ABC-TV and The Walt Disney Company as a picture editor and photographer. “It was a wonderful experience, but quite demanding and offered very little free time,” said Astute. Driving past the Bergen County Horse Rescue (BCHR), she was drawn to the idea of volunteering to care for abused, abandoned, and elderly horses. Now, several days a week, Astute helps feed them.

“I enjoy the company of these majestic animals,” said Astute. “All the horses are lovable and have unique personalities. Although I cannot take them home with me, it is reassuring to know that they will always be cared for by the dedicated volunteers at BCHR.”

Savannah Cregger
Sprout Therapeutic Riding & Education Center
Aldie, Virginia

Savannah Cregger is a sophomore and has been volunteering at Sprout for two years. She helps around the barn, gets the horses ready for lessons, untacks them and turns them out.

“I also get to ride,” said Cregger. “I have been riding for 10 years now and want to learn how to be a therapeutic riding instructor.”

Kortney Webb
Thoroughbred Athletes, Inc.
Guthrie, Oklahoma

Fifteen-year-old Kortney Webb has always loved horses and wants to become a vet when she graduates. She began volunteering at Thoroughbred Athletes in the summer of 2023.

At the barn, her responsibilities include cleaning out stalls, grooming, and feeding the horses. In her spare time, she enjoys reading and hanging out with friends.

Learn more about the Champions program at


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

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Contact: Lynn Coakley