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TROT mount named Horse of the Year

TRYON — The American Morgan Horse Association has named a TROT (Therapeutic Riding of Tryon) horse 2017 Therapy Horse of the Year.

Coco Latte Man, owned by Jean Wright, is a 23-year-old chestnut Morgan gelding that has volunteered at TROT for the last five years.

TROT Program Director Allison Rhyne said Coco enjoys the attention from his riders and volunteer team, and does his job as if he knows how very important it is.

“He’s kind and patient,” Rhyne said, adding that the gelding responds to voice commands and quickly adapts to his rider’s skill level.

The AMHA announced the award at their annual convention awards banquet Feb. 17 in Lexington, Kentucky.

The nonprofit association, which was founded in 1909, awards the Therapy Horse of the Year title to a Morgan horse that is part of a recognized therapeutic riding program or is ridden by a handicapped individual on a regular basis. The horse must be active in order to win the title.

Wright said Coco has that “unflappable Morgan mind,” and wonderful way of going that has kept him safe on the trails for 12 years. According to Rhyne, Wright believes Coco understands that he is a part of an exceptional experience at TROT, and hopes they will be able to continue volunteering for many more years.

Unlike many therapeutic riding programs, TROT uses horses owned by individuals who trailer the horses to Foothills Equestrian Nature Center for 10 weeks of lessons in the spring and the fall. Their program provides equine assisted activities to adults and children with physical, developmental and cognitive disabilities. 

TROT is a premier accredited center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. The program is open to residents of Polk, Henderson and Rutherford counties in North Carolina, and Spartanburg and Greenville counties in South Carolina.

For more information about TROT, visit www.fence.org/trot.