Michael Richardson is an exceptional horseman. I first saw him ride at a Ray Hunt clinic in Fort Worth. The event was to commemorate Ray’s induction into the Western Horseman’s Hall of Fame — and the riders included people like Tom Curtin, Buck Brannaman and Pat Parelli. Michael blended easily into this group of outstanding horsemen — the only thing different I noticed about him at first was that he rode with two sticks (almost like dressage whips).
As the event drew to a close, Ray Hunt commented on Michael’s riding skill — and then pointed out to the crowd that Michael was a paraplegic. Michael’s physical challenges haven’t kept him from doing what he loves to do — work with horses (and their people, too). He is a very successful trainer, teacher and inspirational speaker. And he has always appreciated ex-racehorses and has helped many of them transition to new careers after the track.
This year, Michael found out that he had been bitten by a brown recluse spider, which has created ongoing problems for him. He has had to have multiple surgeries this fall to counteract these effects — and as a result, has been unable to ride or train or teach as usual.
A group of clinicians is putting on a benefit in January — it is an incredible group of horsemen, including Tom Curtin, Curt and Tammy Pate, Craig Cameron, Chris Cox, Pat and Linda Parelli, Buster McLaury, and Lee Smith. And the emcees will be Rick Lamb and Peter Campbell. The event is Sunday, January 9 at the Fort Worth Stockyards. If you would like to attend (or donate to his benefit fund), please email Tiffany Richardson (tnmrichardson at yahoo.com).