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2012 Purpose Prize fellow

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SpiritHorse Founder, Charles Fletcher

“I am the world’s richest man because I get paid in hugs and smiles, the most valuable currency that exists. I love my children and I love my job.”
     --- Charles

In 2001, Charles I. Fletcher at the retired age of 63, combined his passion for horses and his love for children to start SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center.

Charles has over fifty years of experience in training and successfully showing all types of horses in almost every discipline. He has trained and shown American Saddle (five gaited) horses, fine harness horses, Standardbred horses to sulkies, thoroughbred hunters and jumpers, and currently competes successfully in combined driving events.

“I am leaving my ranch to SpiritHorse with the proviso that no child with a disability ever be charged a fee.”

He and his jumper, Houdini, were reserve champion for the State of Texas in the Jumper Division in 1980. Charles was Master of Foxhounds for the Hickory Creek Hunt (Dallas’ foxhunt) for ten years and recognized nationally for the success of this hunt, the quality of his hunt horses, and for his hounds’ success at shows all over the country. He is a well-known author who has published many stories on foxhunting. Charles has instructed riders for over forty years. He is a certified Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH) instructor in both riding and carriage driving. He is a NARHA Driving Clinician and had conducted free carriage driving clinics for over 175 riding instructors from around the world. He is nationally recognized for his contributions to therapeutic driving.

In addition to teaching horseback riding to children with disabilities and horse carriage driving, he is well known for training abused horses and his success in the jumper division. Mr. Charles currently competes in combined driving competitions.

“When I wrote Charles’ story, I realized that the founder of SpiritHorse is in effect an essence of a philanthropist. A kindred spirit if I may.”
----Jacqueline Beretta, President of Texas Non Profits
Click here to read Jacqueline Beretta's featured article about Charles

Charles FletcherWe at SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center are pleased to announce that Charles Fletcher, our founder and CEO, has been named a 2012 Purpose Prize Fellow – a national honor.

The Purpose Prize fellows are chosen according to their creative problem-solving skills and their entrepreneurial spirit for social change, in the latter half of life. Charles was named a fellow due to his innovative and philanthropic work in Equine Therapy. SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center in Corinth, along with our SpiritHorse representatives around the nation and the world, are proud to be the realization of this man’s vision. And we are proud and gratified for this vision to be recognized and honored through the Purpose Prize. Congratulations Charles!

To read more about Charles’ award please check out or click on the badge above! To learn more about the Purpose Prize and Encore’s work, visit their main page at