HOPE announces award winners

Child Rider of the Year Amira Jackson, one of several recipients of HOPE awards. - Photo courtesy of HOPE Executive Director Karen S. Newman
Child Rider of the Year Amira Jackson, one of several recipients of HOPE awards.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of HOPE Executive Director Karen S. Newman

HOPE is wrapping up its 24th year of offering equine-assisted activities and therapy to children and adults facing physical, cognitive or emotional challenges.

HOPE (Horsemanship Opportunities for Potential Equestrians) wanted to show their appreciation to all the volunteers and donors who helped make 2010 another special year for students. Recently, certificates of participation and appreciation were mailed to students and volunteers. While it is always difficult to choose horses, students and volunteers for extra recognition, following are the year-end awards for those who gave just a little more this year.

Horse of the Year goes to Bandit. Bandit has the patience of a saint. HOPE can put any rider on him and he will do whatever is asked of him. He does at times challenge us and make goofy faces but with humor.

The North Whidbey Volunteer of the Year is Andy Cummings. Cummings has been an asset to HOPE. The riders he helps enjoy having him as a volunteer. He has learned how to handle the horses well and is always eager to learn more. He has also taken his time away from lessons to help with various tasks for HOPE.

South Whidbey Volunteer of the Year is Tina Belle Isle. Isle always comes to lessons with a smile on her face. She enjoys helping the riders as well as developing her own riding skills in our volunteer lessons. She has a huge amount of patience when asked to try new things.

Adult Rider of the Year is Jerry Jordan. Jordan has grown over the past year. He always comes to lessons eager to learn and has taken it upon himself to learn more about horses outside of HOPE.

Youth Rider of the Year is Jake Shirey. Shirey has shown great strides. The first time he was asked to get on a horse he was timid, but now he is able to get on any horse when asked, even a trial horse. Shirey has also become a volunteer with HOPE.

Child Rider of the Year is Amira Jackson. Jackson is a delight to have in class. Her bright smile lifts up everyone she sees. She is a quick learner and has become quite the horsewoman.

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