There and Back Again: Announcing the 2020 Horse Stars Hall of Fame Inductees
May 7th, 2020
The Horse Stars Hall of Fame was established by the EQUUS Foundation and the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) in 2013 to celebrate the extraordinary talent of horses and their magical and powerful bond with people. The USEF inducts the horses recognized annually as "Horses of Honor" for their stellar athletic performances. The EQUUS Foundation inducts horses who have had an inspirational impact on the public as companions, teachers and healers.
We are proud to announce that the 2020 inductees are Apollo, Cameo, Darry Lou, Disruption, El Primero, First Apple, Guns N Gold, Lucky Strike, Shezaffirecracker+//, Tsetserleg TSF and Zander fan Camelot Ster.
(1987 – )
Owned by Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program
At the Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program (MTRP), Cameo is considered a founding member of the program. The chestnut Morgan mare began her therapy career 21 years ago as the first horse at MTRP, establishing herself as a pillar of the organization. As the first horse in the program, Cameo paved the way for the organization as she had to do it all!
Cameo's role at MTRP has been instrumental in helping numerous disabled children participate in hippotherapy programs and adaptive recreational riding. Cameo has had a positive impact on children with a wide range of disabilities and challenges including multiple sclerosis, developmental delay, traumatic brain injury, autism spectrum disorders, down syndrome, spina bifida, and learning or language disabilities.
MTRP carefully matches each horse and rider to ensure the best partnership and outcome. Cameo has extremely smooth gaits, therefore her movement compliments a child who has difficulty with trunk and/or head control. Cameo is not fearful or spooky, making for the perfect partner to comfort the hundreds of children she has helped. Cameo was MTRP's go-to horse for all of the program's field trips including visits to schools, the Midwest Horse Fair, and Tempel Lipizzan Farm. Known as MTRP's "Hollywood Princess" Cameo also made a cameo on the TV show, "Miracle Babies", which was filmed in front of a live studio audience in Hollywood, California!
Cameo has touched the lives of hundreds of children and their families. From hearing some speak their first words to seeing others walk for the first time after riding her. Many have shared stories of their experience with Cameo, including one woman whose life was changed by the mare. "I was diagnosed with a brain tumor the size of a baseball. It sat on my brain stem, causing me to deteriorate before my parents’ eyes. The only option was brain surgery. Afterwards, it was fairly certain I was never going to feed myself, talk, walk or even lift my arms above by head. But now I have a wonderful husband and a 4-year-old daughter and am completely functional. I am certain that a large part of my success is because of this wonderful horse Cameo. Cameo helped me rediscover joy in life. I recently introduced my daughter to Cameo. She hugged Cameo and said, 'Thank you for healing my Mom.' She concluded her touching testimonial to Cameo by saying, 'Thank you, dear horse, thank you.'"
Recognized for her accomplishments by PATH International as the 2019 Equine of the Year, Cameo is most deserving of induction into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame.