Bobby Valdez won NARHA Volunteer Recognition Award

Walk into Equest and ask for the President and CEO of Stooges Construction, and Bobby Valdez will be the one greeting the guest with a warm smile on his face. Valdez was awarded the Region 8 Volunteer of the Year Award by NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) for 2006.

Valdez's wife, Karen, stated she knew his reputation before she met him. "It was Bobby built this, Bobby fixed or is going to fix this, ask Bobby - he will know what to do," Karen said.

It was this attitude and reputation of being able to conquer all tasks appointed to Valdez that helped him to earn his title in Stooges Construction. While Valdez is the go to handyman at Equest, it's not the only way his talents are put to use.

Valdez came to the program 15 years ago.

Karen and Bobby Valdez at the 2013 Equest Volunteer Banquet 

Karen and Bobby Valdez at the 2013 Equest Volunteer Banquet 

"He brought calm and confidence with horses and equipment. He brought with him his bottomless well of kindness and energy," says Ellie Grant, director of volunteer services at Equest.

As a volunteer, Valdez spends between 40 and 50 hours per week working with Equest. Whether being a leader, sidewalker, Groom & Tack Trainer, working on special events, traveling with the Equest riders, fundraising, or talking about Equest to potential volunteers, he embodies what Equest represents. 

Valdez is a special volunteer to the many riders that he has helped over the years. Riders and volunteer alike look to and respect Valdez's opinion. Never meeting a stranger, aids Valdez in his quest for donations to improve the riding facilities, and he continues to find new ways that horses can help people.

When describing Valdez's presence at Equest, Former Equest Employee Peggy Nolan used the old saying, "With six you get an eggroll." The center is proud to say, "With Equest, you get Bobby."

This article appeared in Equest's 2006 Annual Report

CJ Bankhead