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2008 Van Ness Award Presented to Eldon Reyer of New Mexico

The American Horse Council’s 2008 Van Ness award, named for the late Marjorie Van Ness, and sponsored by Middlesex Horse Show, New Jersey Horse Council, and Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association of New Jersey was presented to Mr. Eldon Reyer of New Mexico at the AHC’s National Issues Forum on Tuesday June 17in Washington, D.C.

A retired Park Ranger, Mr. Reyer has worked in some of the country’s most remarkable parks, including: Yellowstone National Park, Big Bend National Park, Mount McKinley National Park, and Custer Battlefield National Monument. He went on to be Supervisory Legislative Affairs Specialist of the SW Region with the National Park Service, and later retired as the Associate Regional Director for the SW region of the country.

His long time involvement in planning and management of park units led him to become active as a trail advocate. In accepting the award, Mr. Reyer said, “I have built my life around the Park Service and horses. I advocate for the horse. I want to see and preserve more trials so horses can enjoy the trails that I enjoy.” After retiring from the Park Service, he was instrumental in passing the legislation that created the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. While preserving our equine heritage, this year’s winner was also organizing The Santa Fe Chapter of the Backcountry Horsemen, and the Santa Fe County Happy Horse Coalition. Mr. Reyer and his wife Karen have also been of great service to the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch, having recently retired from helping there for 14 years. He became the president of the Northern New Mexico Horsemen’s Association in 1992, where he continues to do great things for the horse industry.


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