2014 HORSE PERSON OF THE YEAR
When Teresa Paradis was 12, she started
volunteering at a horse farm in Goffstown, owned by a man named Maurice
Valley. Having struggled with a troubled home life for some time,
the farm became her solace and refuge. She worked with Maurice for
four years, learning horse care under his tutelage, until he was
suddenly and tragically killed in a car crash while transporting horses
from Rockingham race track. Devastated and lost, all Teresa knew
was that she desperately wanted to keep up her work with horses.
In 1973, at age 16, Teresa quit school and took a position working with the horses at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, Massachusetts. Daily she made the drive down to the track, passing the crash site where her friend and mentor met his untimely death. It was there, behind the scenes at Suffolk Downs, that Teresa was first introduced to the hidden, dark underbelly of the horse racing world. It’s also where she decided to dedicate her life to rescuing horses. She left Suffolk Downs at the end of the racing season, with valuable experience, fond memories… and a vision that would drive her relentlessly for the rest of her life.
Living with her grandmother in Manchester, Teresa earned her General Equivalency Diploma, and continued her volunteer work by volunteering with Manchester Humane Officer, a man by the name of Gerald Dionne. Rescuing dogs, cats, and other companion animals, she was exposed to the terrible fate of so many abandoned and stray animals, but her thirst for rescuing horses was never quenched. By her mid-20’s, she had attended secretarial school, was working in private security, was married, and had two daughters.
Years rolled by, with marriage, divorce, two daughters, consistently working multiple jobs, and the tireless work of rescuing animals, many of them horses, into her family and home. She eventually moved to Chichester, and in 1997 met Jerry Paradis, who at the time owned and operated his own concrete foundation company. It was an ideal match, and they eventually married in 2000. With their house situated on a large parcel of land in Chichester, they began clearing land in 1997 for a paddock and a barn for the five horses Teresa had at the time. They started taking in horses in need of rescue, then more land clearing, more paddocks, and more out buildings. It’s been an ever increasing whirlwind cycle ever since.
Today, Teresa, Jerry, her daughter Heather & boyfriend Jahsun, granddaughter Tianna, along with hundreds of volunteers and thousands of supporters across the nation, Live and Let Live Farm has become the largest volunteer rehabilitation rescue/sanctuary in NH and the greater New England area, recently gaining certification with the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. Her home is sanctuary to about 70 rescued horses, as well as an ever-changing array of domestic and farm animals including dogs, cats, exotic birds, pigs, rabbits, sheep, goats, and guinea pigs. Her name is on the speed dial of Animal Control Officers across the state, as Live and Let Live Farm is one of the only bona fide, licensed, and state certified horse rescue sanctuaries in the northeast United States.
From rescuing PMU mares in Manitoba Canada, to rescuing abandoned pregnant dogs on Tennessee highways, to saving Navajo Mustang foals orphaned in “round ups” in New Mexico, the work is as relentless as her determination and drive. She’s been rescuing horses and other animals for more than forty years, with no sign of slowing down.
Past Horsepersons of the Year
2013 Patricia Morris, Esq.
2012 Kim DiPietro of New Boston NH
2011 Karen Dodge
2010 Julia Webb, Chester, NH
2009 Joan Ganotis, N. Hampton, NH
2008 Debbie Briscoe, Brentwood, NH
2007 Grant Myhre, DVM, Rochester, NH
2006 Clifford McGinnis, DVM, Pembroke, NH
2005 Cher Griffin, Candia, NH
2004 Ron Levesque, Epping, NH
2003 Isabel McDaniel, Temple NH
2001 Hannah Howard, Epping, NH
2000 Joanne Gelinas, Goffstown, NH
1999 Mary Ann Davis, Somersworth, NH
1998 Ruth Ferland, Cornish, NH
Nominations to be submitted by November 1st
Each year the NHHC asks the public for help in identifying and recommending those very special unrecognized individuals dedicated to helping, promoting and unifying New Hampshire’s horse community; a person that made a difference to New Hampshire’s horses during the past year!
Nominees must fulfill the following requirements:
1. NH resident for minimum of three years.
2. Nominee does not have to be a NHHC member. The “Horse Person of the Year” program began in 1998, and Ruth Ferland (Cornish, NH) was our first winner. This program came about as a way to give recognition to the many individuals in New Hampshire who have given unselfishly to making our horse industry better.
As you know, the horse industry is a diverse one. It is made up of many different breeds with many different performance disciplines. It encompasses all the age groups and economic sectors. It spans agricultural, social, business, recreational, horse welfare and therapeutic areas. You may know a deserving individual, who has made a difference by reaching across many disciplines to help bring unity to our horse industry. This person has gone beyond expectations in his/her achievements with 4-H or Pony Club, high school teams, horse organizations, therapeutic riding, and horse shelters, trails ambassador/maintenance or helping other horse owners. It may be a professional person who is active in one of the various breeds, disciplines, fundraising, preserving open space or involved in horse education. We’re looking for the individual whose stable operation exemplifies high standards in both horse health management and farm management. This person is a leader, a teacher, a role model for the NH horse industry you would be proud to recommend. If you have someone in mind that meets some or all of the criteria shown below, we invite you to submit a nomination.
Be sure to tell us why you feel your nominee should be selected. Our panel of judges may need to rely solely on this portion of the nomination form in the event other criteria for the candidates are evenly matched.
After considering all the nominees the NHHC Board of Directors will present a beautiful engraved hardwood plaque to the nominee they feel best fulfills the suggested criteria.
Selection Criteria Guidelines:
In what way has this person made my involvement (or others) with horses more meaningful?
Farm/stable owner with excellent horse health management & farm management practices.
Leader or active participant in a horse-related organization
Active in local community horse-related activities
Active on a state level in the horse community
Active on a national level in the horse community
Is a professional horse person volunteering in other disciplines. (i.e., a farrier or maybe a trainer who is active with fundraising, animal shelters, trail conservation, agriculture awareness or education.)
A person that exemplifies and promotes the true meaning of sportsmanship in every sense of the word
Feel free to expand your explanation (see last question on Nomination Form) in areas not mentioned when considering someone for this nomination.
Remember: “The Horse Person of the Year ” winner and the person who submitted the nomination will receive a free one-year membership to the NHHC. The continued success of this program depends on YOU! If you nominated someone in the past who was not selected, please try again.
All mailed nominations must be returned to the
NHHC no later than March 14th.
Download Nomination form >>>>
Please mail nominations to:
NHHC HPOTY, 249 Holden Hill Road, Langdon, NH 03602