Our mission is to care for the physical, mental, and emotional needs of children, adults, Veterans, first responders, and their families through the healing power of horses.

Victory Therapy Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that provides services to improve the quality of life of individuals through equine assisted services.


Founded by Doug and Vivian Newton as Rocky Top Therapy Center in 1992, Victory offers the benefits of equine-assisted services and hippotherapy for individuals with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities and challenges. For many years the operation was located on a working ranch in Keller, Texas. In 2013, an opportunity was identified to relocate to the town of Roanoke and build a new facility to expand its service offerings and have an even greater impact on the lives of its clients and their families.

Victory Therapy Center Board of Directors 2022-2023

The board of directors is responsible for general oversight of our operations and is responsible to the stakeholders and the communities we serve.  Our directors are a diverse and talented group of individuals from various backgrounds that show passion and commitment to the success of Victory Therapy. They are responsible for setting policies, monitoring operations, and serving as a public figure for the organization.You can contact the Board of Directors by emailing victorytherapycenterboard@gmail.com.

  • Frank Tabone, Chairman | Retired Sales Executive, AT&T, SITA

  • Michael Nacarato, Vice Chairman |  Sr. Director of Vendor Management & Procurement, Transamerica

  • Claire Pinocci, Treasurer |  MHead of Quality Assurance Fidelity

  • Doug Tonne, Secretary |  President/COO, Debt Education and Certificate Foundation

  • Larry Anfin, Past Chairman |  Retired Owner/President/CEO, Coors Distributing

  • Linda Engle, Director |  Retired

  • Tanner Haydin, Director |  Assistant Vice President, Lending First State Bank

  • Tina Coleman, Director |  President Lean Business Solutions, LLC

  • Kenneth Walsh, HR Director |  Human Resource Business Partner CAE

  • Katie Heflin, Director |  Associate Attorney Varghese Summersett

  • Jim Hanophy, Director |  President & CEO of Ability Connection


Staff members consist of highly trained PATH, Intl. certified therapeutic riding instructors and physical therapists. The team is committed to providing customized care and is supported by a strong and talented volunteer base. The most critical part of the team are 24 gentle, sensitive horses whose gifts include caring attention and nurturing of individuals in need.

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 Limousin 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 has a background in Fundraising, Volunteer Management and Community Engagement.

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 and served as Managing Director from March 2019 to February 2022. 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.

Gretchen Laffoon serves as our Community Engagement Manger and would love to visit with you to see how you can get your business or organization involved with Victory. Gretchen became acquainted with Equine Therapy when her oldest son, now in high school, started utilizing its healing power when he was in first grade. Originally from Lawrence, Kansas, Gretchen attended the University of Kansas and is still an avid Jayhawk Basketball fan. Gretchen loves to entertain, and her happy place is at home with her beloved family – husband Gary and sons Jackson and Austin.

Sarah began volunteering with Equine Assisted Services in 2017 when her Stepdad joined a Therapeutic Riding Program for Veterans. Having always been enamored by horses, and coming from a military and special needs family, she knew that she had found her new passion. This passion went from volunteering 3+ days a week, to wanting to become an instructor herself, where she could care for others through horses. Sarah completed her certification process in June of 2021, which led to her leaving her 8-year long career in Aviation to be able to work for Victory full-time. She enjoys weekly lessons where she can take time for herself to continue to grow and learn about horses, as well as further her knowledge in riding and the world of showing.


Kirsten was born and raised in North Texas, began riding at an early 2 years old. Riding any chance she could growing up which led to her early apprenticeship and career in training, equine care, and herd management. Kirsten trained and showed pleasure/all around and ranch riding for several years before recently changing to reining. While having a heart for training, specifically starting young colts, Kirsten is now happily married with 3 kids, 3 dogs, and 1 horse. Being an avid animal lover her experience in horsemanship, and extensive knowledge in equine medicine has led her to Victory Therapy Center as the Equine and Facilities Manager.


Rebecca started as a volunteer at Victory Therapy Center in 2018 and became a PATH Intl Certified Riding Instructor in 2019. Previous to that time, she worked as a pharmaceutical and diagnostic representative for 26 years. As a young girl living on a ranch in Oklahoma, she frequently rode her horses in the pasture for hours and would help round-up cattle with her brothers and dad. She also barrel raced in the local rodeos. She has always had a love of horses but found a new passion when she started working as a volunteer and decided to become a riding instructor.

Emily was born and raised on a farm in Kansas. Giving her a love for all animals but a special place for horses. Having 4 horses at the time really started her love and passion for them. Riding at 3yrs old, learning all she could growing up and began having a big interest in training. But at the age of 14 moved to Fort Worth TX which led to getting a job at a local barn starting lesson assisting and then becoming riding instructor. At that time Emily started barrel racing but also continued to learn training as well. After high school Emily moved to West Texas to complete an internship in Liberty training, Roman riding, and trick riding, which she is still in pursuit of.