Close to her heart

21-year-old Buddy was therapy horse at TRI

By Angela Shepherd -

Buddy is pictured with Jennifer, just one of the many at TRI that loved him.

Hillsboro resident Cindy Dixson is a longtime supporter of the Therapeutic Riding Institute (TRI) in Springboro, and she’s raising money for a very personal scholarship offered by the school.

Dixson last year donated her Tennessee Walking Horse, GI’s Silver Streak (but known as Buddy), to the non-profit therapy riding school. She couldn’t ride anymore, she said, and felt like Buddy was “just kind of stagnating” without something to do. And bringing him to the school was the best thing for him, she said.

“He loved people, especially kids,” Dixson said. His personality and disposition was perfect for the institute.

While the 21-year-old Buddy was not a youngster anymore, Dixson said he remained vibrant and happy at the institute. “I’m just glad he never knew what it was like to get old and feeble,” Dixson said this week. “It was such a blessing to share him with other people.”

But this fall after competing at the Scioto County Fair with Dixon’s niece, Buddy suffered a break in his humorous and elbow of his left, front leg. That injury meant he had to be euthanized, Dixson said.

So Dixon, in conjunction with TRI, has started the Buddy’s Memorial Triple Crown Scholarship to continue Buddy’s legacy.

TRI is largely supported by donations and community support, and a student is never turned away because they can’t pay. One way money is raised is through the annual TRI Triple Crown.

Dixson said each spring three TRI horse and rider teams are chosen to raise money for the institute. Whichever team raises the most money during each of the three races that take place around the time of the annual Thoroughbred Triple Crown race is declared the winner of that race. Earlier this year, Buddy and his rider won all three races and became the first TRI Triple Crown winners.

The scholarship program, Dixson said, is to provide an eight-week session of classes for each of the three riders chosen to participate in the TRI Triple Crown. The next event is slated for March 2016.

The goal is to raise a minimum of $960 by Feb. 1, 2016. To reach that goal, Dixson is raffling off the following: grand prize — a 5-gallon bucket full of “horse goodies” (a new halter and lead, horse treats, brushes, shampoo, conditioner, detangler, salt block, grooming block, and bath squeegee; first prize — a $50 gift certificate for hair service at Details Salon & Day Spa in Hillsboro; second prize — a $25 Kroger gift card; and third prize — a $20 gift certificate for Town & Country Department Store in Hillsboro.

The drawing will take place on Dec. 19, “just in time for Christmas,” Dixson said. Winners will be contacted by phone.

Raffle tickets can be purchased from Dixson on Friday throughout the day at Details Salon & Day Spa, 125 S. High St., Hillsboro; on Saturday during the HUBA Christmas Parade where Dixson will have a table set up; or by calling her at 937-371-9021.

For those wishing to make a donation, there are a couple ways to do so. To receive a tax receipt for a donation, you must give directly to TRI on its website, Indicate that you want to give specifically to Buddy’s Memorial Triple Crown Scholarship. Donations can also be sent to Dixson, 7024 Haggerty Rd., Hillsboro, Ohio 45133. Checks sent to Dixon should be made out to Buddy’s Memorial Triple Crown Scholarship, and “for deposit only” written on the back.

TRI was started in 1973 and its mission is “to improve the lives and health of children and adults in southwest Ohio with special physical, cognitive, social, and psychological needs through Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).”

This is accomplished through a number of programs offered at TRI for disabled children and adults, at-risk youth, adult daycare programs, and veterans.

For more information about TRI, go to

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

Buddy is pictured with Jennifer, just one of the many at TRI that loved him. is pictured with Jennifer, just one of the many at TRI that loved him.
21-year-old Buddy was therapy horse at TRI

By Angela Shepherd