HETI photo of horse and child


Norma Pearce, former Executive Director of HETI, has been awarded the Order of Australia Award (Medal) in the Australia Day honours list on 26 January 2014.

Former HETI President wins Canadian Award
Gillian Lawrence, a former president of HETI (formerly FRDI) was presented with the Caring Canadian Award. The contribution Dr. Lawrence has made to the therapeutic riding movement in Canada and internationally is both long-standing and vast. Without doubt she is more than deserving of this prestigious award and such recognition is long overdue. While this article focuses on her national and international accomplishments, she has also been a prime builder of therapeutic riding in her home province of Nova Scotia, as well as the Maritimes region of Canada.

Gillian was a founding board member of CanTRA and later served two terms as president.

The first program developed by CanTRA was Instructor Certification, for which a training manual was needed where none previously existed in Canada. At that time, when few local programs were in operation and almost no one knew where the others were, a great learning process was occurring across the country. Gillian chaired the CanTRA Medical Committee that wrote the Instructor Certification Manual. Today, all trainees and graduates use this manual as their main study and reference guide.

Gillian served as president of the Federation of Riding for the Disabled International [now HETI] from 1997 to 1999. Her budding interest in elite para-equestrian sport led to her becoming an International Classifier, serving as an official at the debut of Paralympic Dressage competition during the Paralympic Games in Atlanta (1996), and again in Sydney (2000).

Photo: MCpl Vincent Carbonneau, Rideau Hall, 2014
Dr. Lawrence receives her award from Governor General David Johnston İHer Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada represented by the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General (2014)