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2009 Van Ness Award Presented to Sally Blount of Iowa

The American Horse Council’s 2009 Van Ness award, named for the late Marjorie Van Ness, and sponsored by New Jersey Horse Council was presented to Ms. Sally Blount of Iowa at the AHC’s National Issues Forum on Tuesday June 16, 2009 in Washington, D.C.

In presenting the award, AHC President said, “Sally has worked tirelessly to maintain a thriving horse industry in her state and her community. She has been an Iowa Horse Council board member for nearly thirty years and the representative to the State Horse Council Advisory Committee for much of that time.”

Ms. Blount has worked on projects with various youth groups, including 4-H, Future Farmers of America, and Ag in the Classroom. Her nominating materials note that she has answered questions about horses from all over the country for forty years.

The Iowa Horse Fair is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year; Ms. Blount was involved in organizing the first horse fair and chaired or co-chaired the fair for several years thereafter.

The 2009 Van Ness Award winner is no stranger to the Iowa statehouse. She wrote, lobbied for, and succeeded in passing Iowa’s Equine Liability legislation. She also lobbied for passage of the Iowa pari-mutuel horse racing legislation. After it passed, she served as a timer at the Iowa State Fair racetrack.

She helped to publish the Iowa Horse Industry Facts which includes data about the horse industry, shows, attendance, and more, and formulated the idea of an exhibition of the horse in Iowa history, sold the Iowa Historical Society on the idea with Carolyn Hasbrook, and it resulted in “Hay Days: The Horse in Iowa History” exhibit which opened in 1998.

In the material nominating Ms. Blount for this award it says: “It is important to note that Sally’s opinions are not always the popular opinion or met with favor by others, but no one can question that she has the best intentions and the interest of the horse, the club, and horse activities uppermost.” AHC President Jay Hickey agreed by saying “That is a wonderful compliment and having been on the receiving line of some of those opinions, I agree with it. She has those interests at the center of her core,”

The American Horse Council congratulates Ms. Blount on receiving the 2009 Van Ness Award.


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