Saddle Up Celebrates 20 Year Volunteer

Saddle Up! honored veteran volunteer Rachel Brenner for 20 consecutive years of service during the annual awards ceremony at the farm last Saturday.

“We’ve never had a volunteer that long,” said Lynne Evans, a co-founder of Saddle Up! and a current Instructor for therapeutic riding lessons. “I knew I could always count on Rachel. If she says she’ll be there, she will. She loves the children and horses. I just can’t say enough about her. We’re really lucky to have her.”

Also singing Brenner’s praises was long-time Instructor and Development Coordinator Tina Carpenter. “I can’t think of a single SUPER Show that Rachel hasn’t been there. Not just for one or two classes but for the whole day.”

Carpenter also noted that Brenner is a skilled equestrian.

“She’s tirelessly helpful,” said Volunteer Services Director Kim Kline. “She’s a fixture on Wednesdays during the school year and helps out with every special event as far back as we could count.”

The staff trio presented Brenner with the first Saddle Up! 20-year volunteer service jacket and a specially created photo book of Brenner volunteering over the past 20 years.

Brenner said, “Deciding to volunteer there is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to be there with so many wonderful people – and horses – for 20 years!”

Saddle Up

The 20-year volunteer award was one of 11 presented during the annual awards ceremony. Also honored for their roles in 2015 were:
Fantastic Fundraiser — Bob Jenner of HCA and community volunteer Lisa Foote for their work on the silent auction of the Music Country Grand Prix, the biggest fundraiser for Saddle Up!.
Sportsmanship Award – rider Brian C. given for kindness and consideration to his fellow riders
Companionship Award – rider Haileigh T. for her care, concern and companionship of horses she rides at Saddle Up!
Pony Pal – Jackie Kiner, given in recognition of her volunteer work with Saddle Up! equines
Parent of the Year – Kristen Kindoll, who regularly volunteers and frequently fills in as a substitute when other volunteers can’t be in riding lessons
Volunteer Family of the Year – Dee Claunch and Carol Dickinson, a dynamic duo who has played multiple roles at Saddle Up! in both programs and helping on the farm
Volunteer of the Year – Daryn Edwards, who began volunteering in 2008 and who has been volunteering two to three times a week after retiring a couple of years ago
Junior Volunteer of the Year – Lillie Yalowitz, who started volunteering in lessons in January
Rookie Volunteer of the Year – Alex Tuttle, who started volunteering in November 2014 and gave almost 200 hours since then, volunteering several times a week when he’s not busy with his crop dusting business
Executive Director’s Award – Steve White, architect of BSP, was recognized for his donated services for doing all architectural work on the new therapy services room that was dedicated earlier this year for the physical and occupational therapy program at Saddle Up!. White was also the architect on the main facility of Saddle Up!.

Also recognized by Board President Jeff Wagner were the following:
Anna Greer of Honeycut + Greer law firm, retiring Board member.
Corinne Bergeron of Jackson National Life, retiring Advisory Board member
Amy Jamison, CPA, Lattimore Black Morgan and Cain, PC, retiring Advisory Board member

Saddle Up! is the oldest and largest program in Middle Tennessee providing children and youth to grow and develop through therapeutic, educational and recreational activities with horses. The nonprofit organization serves about 250 children/youth annually and will mark its 25th anniversary in 2016. For more information, please visit

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