Madelyn Millard, who manages the equine division at Waterwild Farm near Lexington, has been awarded this year's Van Ness Award for leadership and service to the horse community in Kentucky.
The American Horse Council presents the Van Ness Award, which is named for Marjorie Van Ness, one of the founders of the New Jersey Horse Council and the AHC Coalition of State Horse Councils.
"As president of the Kentucky Horse Council, Ms. Millard has made her state council effective and critical to the industry's health and involved at the state and national level," AHC president Jay Hickey said. "During her tenure as president, Madelyn guided the KHC board and staff to develop novel programs in such diverse areas as horse welfare, equine professional education, youth support and recognition, trail protection, and legislative involvement and communications."
Millard helped create programs that emphasized that horse farms, whether commercial or recreational, play a large part in the agricultural life of Kentucky. She helped form "Save Our Horses," which funds programs helping unwanted horses; gelding and euthanasia clinics, which supplemented funding for horse owners' whose incomes did not allow them to pay for the services; and an equine disaster relief fund to assist horse owners nationwide if they are victims of floods, tornadoes, or other natural disasters.
Millard also helped make the KHC more than a state organization. She has been active in the Coalition of State Horse Councils, first serving as vice chair in 2010-11, and then being elected chair in 2012 at the AHC annual meeting in late June in Washington, D.C.
"I am honored to have been chosen as the recipient of the Van Ness award," Millard said. "However, without the support of a great Kentucky board of directors and a truly outstanding executive director, I would not be accepting this award today. They shared my vision and supported the creation of so many new programs, and I share this award with them."
Millard is responsible for 40 to 50 client horses, as well as 12 Waterwild-owned horses, most of which are sport/pleasure horses involved in disciplines from dressage to eventing.