Tribute to Dr. Peter Spiers

Dr Paul Spiers was an amazing man who served as a national advocate for compassionate, patient-directed care, disability rights, and therapeutic riding.

Paul was born in Montreal born in 1953, and was happily raised there, with a younger sister.

Paul's passion for horses was awakened at seventeen, when he worked as a ranch hand at a farm in Quebec. A couple years later, as an undergraduate at McGill in Montreal, Paul started working with children with behavior, cognitive, and learning disabilities, his second passion. He completed his doctorate of Clinical Neuropsychology at Clark University in 1989 to become a Clinical and Forensic Neuropsychologist and Assistant Professor of Behavioral Neurosciences at Boston University School of Medicine and Visiting Scientist at the MIT General Clinical Research. Once out of school, he became accomplished horseman and a polo enthusiast.

Paul and Roland
Paul playing polo on Roland.

Paul, months after his injury, riding Roland,
in therapy with Mandy Hogan and Marj Kittredge.

Paul became involved with Windrush Farm in 1992 as an advisor and supporter, donating two of his polo ponies, Fox and Roland. During a foxhunt in 1994, Paul received injuries that tragically left him a paraplegic. Marj Kittredge encouraged him to get back on the horse. He started to ride his former polo pony, the now therapeutic horse, Roland.

In 2001, with Paul riding him, Roland became Region One Horse of the Year, and was chosen as the national, Cosequin Exemplary Equine Service Award, Horse of the Year.

Paul’s introduction to the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA, renamed PATH Intl) was in 1998, when he addressed the national meeting hosted by Windrush. He served as a Board of Trustees member since 2001 and Board President from 2005 to 2007.

Paul and Roland at the Cosequin Horse of the Year nomination.
Horses for Heroes

In 2007, Paul became the President of the Board at Windrush. With the help of the Windrush Executive Director Mandy Hogan and several others, he formed the NARHA Horses for Heroes Task Force for veterans and wounded service personnel.

Windrush 50th Birthday Slide Show

More Windrush Tributes

Marjorie Kittredge

Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding