Colorado equestrian Jill Montgomery has received the 2017 Van Ness Award, presented by the American Horse Council for service and leadership to her local equine community.
The Van Ness Award is made in memory of Marjorie Van Ness, one of the founders of the New Jersey Horse Council, and one of the organizers of the AHC’s Coalition of State Horse Councils.
AHC President Julie Broadway said Montgomery had devoted more than 31 years of her professional life to the horse industry, and “has an incredible influence on keeping equine activities accessible and enjoyable for everyone”.
Montgomery has been a Colorado Horse Council member for over 20 years, and has served on several boards. She currently owns and operates a small riding stable and teaches horsemanship to both youth and adults, including servicemen and women in the US Airforce. Her leadership and authorship of “Colorado’s Unwanted Horse Environmental Assessment” has been widely used by many state horse councils and universities. This assessment also benefited all Coloradoans by lightening the law enforcement and tax payer’s burden for caring for impounded horses.
Montgomery said the award was a wonderful surprise. “I am humbled to be listed in the company of past recipients and with whom this recognition is named. I want to thank the AHC and all of those that thought of me enough to put my name forward for this honor. I have been blessed to work with many outstanding individuals in the horse industry, and my accomplishments are a reflection of the inspiration I gain from them”.
The AHC has also recognised Senator Mike Enzi of Wyoming with its Rolapp Award, presented to a Member of Congress who has been a great supporter of the horse industry.
He received the award on June 14 at a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill during the AHC’s annual meeting in Washington, DC.
AHC President Julie Broadway said the senator understood how important national forests and trails are to the horse industry. “His involvement in the National Forest Service Trail Stewardship Act was critical to ensuring that this important piece of legislation would be passed,” she said.
Senator Enzi was sworn in as Wyoming’s 20th United States Senator on January 7, 1997. He has made a name on Capitol Hill for his unique way of breaking down party lines and working across the aisle and has had more than 100 bills signed into law. Senator Enzi is the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee and a member of the Finance Committee, Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee and the Small Business Committee.
“America and especially Wyoming, is home to a wealth of scenic beauty and natural treasures that just can’t be found anywhere else,” Enzi said. “The National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act will make the most of our resources, maximize the use of volunteers and improve access to our National Forests for generations to come. I appreciate receiving the Rolapp Award in recognition of my work to pass this law in order to help expand access for those willing to explore the natural wonder of our National Forests.”
Enzi also recognizes the importance of the cowboy in American history and culture, and every year is the primary sponsor of the Senate Resolution which declares the fourth Saturday in July “National Day of the American Cowboy.”
The Rolapp Award is presented in honor of the late Rich Rolapp who was president of the AHC from 1974 to 1993. Previous award winners include Senators Mitch McConnell, Jim Bunning, and Blanche Lincoln, and Congressmen Hal Rogers, Bob Goodlatte, Larry Combest, Jim McCrery, and Bart Gordon.