Staff

Allison Watson | managing director | Email: accounting@victorytherapy.org

Allison started as a volunteer at Victory Therapy Center in 2012. She has worked in the accounting departments for both commercial development companies and construction companies since 1984. She has owned and shown hunter-jumpers since she was a young girl so when the opportunity arose to join the staff she didn’t hesitate. She has been in the position of Finance Manager since January 2015. She is a PATH Int’l certified therapeutic riding instructor and a CHA certified Instructor for Riders with Disabilities with a Level 2 Physical and Level 3 Cognitive.

Suzanne Sessums | Physical Therapist & TherapeutIc Riding Instructor | Email: suzanne@victorytherapy.org

Suzanne has been a Physical Therapist with Victory Therapy Center since 2005. She received her physical therapy license in 1999 from UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She works as a physical therapist in the Fort Worth School District, Pediatric Home Health, and PRN with Wise Community Hospital in Decatur, TX. Suzanne is a registered AHA, Level II PATH Int’l Certified  Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a PATH Int’l Registered Therapist.

Robin Buchanan | TR Program director | Email: robin@victorytherapy.org

Robin has a BA in Zoology and has previously worked in a zoo and was the Director of an animal shelter while living in New Jersey.  Animals have been her passion her entire life.  While growing up, her family had numerous foster children that she helped to care for.  Robin began volunteering for Victory (Rocky Top Therapy Center) in 2006.  She is a PATH Int’l Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a CHA Certified Instructor for Riders with Disabilities with a Level 2 Physical and Level 2 Cognitive.

Becca Rakow | PART-TIME THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR | Email: becca@victorytherapy.org

Becca started working at Victory Therapy Center in September 2018. Becca graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science: emphasis in Equine Assisted Therapy, a certificate in Equine Science: emphasis in Equine Assisted Therapy, and a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor certification. Becca was diagnosed with mild spastic cerebral palsy around age two. She has grown up in the therapeutic riding community since age six. She began competing in Equestrians with Disabilities (EWD) show events in January 2007 and has been competing in various shows and classes ever since. That first show was Chisholm Challenge, were she won a belt buckle and sparked the thrill of competition and desire to learn more about all the horse world has to offer. Competing with horses has allowed her to feel able bodied and each show since has allowed her to expand her horse world knowledge and improve personal skills in order to share what she learns with those around her. Working with horses has shown her that we really aren’t that different from one another. Horses are silent teachers and building bonds with them takes time and trust, but if we take that time, there’s nothing they can’t teach us or we could teach them. That unspeakable and unexplainable bond that someone has with their horse is the key to freedom, it’s everything. It’s for these reasons, amongst others, that Becca has wanted to be a therapeutic riding instructor since age 12 and help others the way she’s been helped over the years.

Becky Rasbeary | manager of development | Email: becky@victorytherapy.org

Becky was born and raised in the non-profit sector as her parents were house-parents for a Children’s Home.  She began raising and showing Limousine and Angus cattle at a very young age and showed until she graduated high school. Horses were always in her life as well. Her love for horses began when her parents bought her a little white pony named Whitey and continued to grow throughout the years as she began barrel racing and competing through Texas High School Rodeo Association. While living at the children’s home, Becky noticed a difference in the kids that lived at the home while at the barn with the animals. It didn’t matter if it was cows, sheep, pigs, horses… there was a difference. Seeing the bond and trust that was built between the child and the animal is indescribable. Becky is joining Victory Therapy Center with a background in Volunteer Management and Community Engagement.

Annadee Calvey | equine and facilities director | Email: annadee@victorytherapy.org

Annadee started volunteering at Victory (Rocky Top Therapy Center) in 2008. She quickly began to grow a passion for the therapeutic riding industry. She started by teaching beginner lessons in summer camp and then proceeded to work under the supervision of a licensed Equine Specialist in the Mental Health and Learning Department.  It was there that she began to grow her knowledge and love of horse behavior and herd dynamics.  Throughout the years she has studied under PATH Instructors, CHA clinicians, ESMHL,  Equine Directors, and Equine Veterinarians.  She has assisted on numerous accounts in facility and pasture maintenance, herd management, equine health and equine nutrition. She became a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2018.

Gretchen Laffoon | volunteer coordinator | Email: gretchen@victorytherapy.org

Gretchen Laffoon serves as the volunteer coordinator and would love to visit with you on how you can become part of the volunteer family! Gretchen became acquainted with Equine Therapy when her oldest son, now a middle schooler, started utilizing its healing power when he was in first grade. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Gretchen attended the University of Kansas and it still an avid Jayhawk Basketball fan. Gretchen has a true passion for volunteering both in her professional and personal life. She has served on numerous non-profit boards of directors and is very involved in Scouting. When not camping, you can find Gretchen at home with her beloved family – husband Gary and sons Jackson and Austin.

Ashley Elms | admin assistant/office manager | Email: office@victorytherapy.org

Dallas native, Ashley Elms, fell in love with Victory the first time she brought her son to the center for therapy in November 2018. After seeing the transformative power Equine Therapy had on her autistic son, she was hooked and soon started volunteering. Before joining the Victory family, Ashley taught special needs from the ages of 5 to 17 years old for 10 years. She is a graduate from Texas Tech University and currently resides in Roanoke, TX with her husband of 13 years and her 5-year-old son. Ashley is the friendly voice that answers the phone and can be found in the Administrative building to answer any question you might have. Ashley is currently studying to get her Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification through PATH so she can be even more beneficial to the Victory family.

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