While those connected with the center are aware of the fantastic staff at Xenophon, word is getting out in our industry as well. Two of Xenophon’s own were recognized for outstanding work through PATH International. PATH, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, is the governing body for equine-assisted activities in the United States. Each year, winners are selected in a number of categories from each of 11 regions. This year, Lindsay Hendricks received the Volunteer of the Year award for Region 11. Mari Parino was awarded the Professional of the Year for our region, joining Heidi Koch who received that distinction last year.
Lindsay has been with Xenophon since 2011. She began as a sidewalker, then trained to be a horse handler and long-liner. Besides her extremely devoted work in lessons, Lindsay has always jumped in to help with fundraising, events and any other job needed at the center. Her background as a Physical Therapy Aide, made her a perfect fit as an instructor, and over the last year Lindsay has been working towards her Registered Instructor certification. She currently works as a substitute instructor as the center and has helped for the last 2 years to put on Xenophon’s summer camp. Lindsay was nominated for and received Xenophon’s Jean Schaffner Spirit Award. It is no surprise that she should also be recognized by PATH for her endless devotion and work in therapeutic riding.
Mari Parino, our Executive Director, began working in the therapeutic riding field over 20 years ago as an instructor for Riding for the Disabled, Singapore. As a middle school teacher and equestrienne, therapeutic riding combined all of her passions. She worked at Xenophon in the capacity of Head Instructor and Program Director. When an overseas move took her family to Thailand, she began a program there, introducing the benefits of equine-assisted therapy to the Thais. Mari has put on workshops on a wide range of industry topics in Singapore, Thailand, Taiwan, and locally.
Lindsay and Mari will be recognized at the PATH National Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia in November. Both will be considered for the national award in their categories. We wish them luck in Virginia and send huge congratulations for this much-deserved recognition.