FTBOA’s Lonny Powell Selected For American Horse Council's Van Ness Award - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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FTBOA’s Lonny Powell Selected For American Horse Council’s Van Ness Award

Lonny Powell

The American Horse Council will honor the equine industry's brightest leaders at its annual meeting and national issues forum on June 7 at the AHC Conference in Washington D.C. with the presentation of the Van Ness award to Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association CEO Lonny Powell, the Hickey award to Dr. Josie Traub-Dargatz, and the Rolapp Award to Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas).

Powell, the 2022 Van Ness Award winner, is the son of a jockey, a lifelong member of the thoroughbred industry, and long-time executive. He oversees the political, regulatory, legal, public relations, and promotional activities of the Florida Breeders' and Owners' Association. He has served as a registered lobbyist in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona, and Florida promoting the thoroughbred industry specifically, and overall, the equine industry.

AHC President Julie Broadway said, “Lonny is a true champion of the equine industry whether working to successfully pass legislation or fighting against detrimental legislation. He knows the halls of the state house and cultivates industry partners.”

Powell said, “I would like to thank the trustees and staff of the American Horse Council for honoring me and my lifelong and ongoing involvement and leadership in the horse industry in such a meaningful way and in the name of iconic horse enthusiast Marjorie Van Ness. It is particularly meaningful in that this award is about all horse breeds, disciplines, and states.”

The late Marjorie Van Ness of New Jersey was a long-time leader and friend to the horse industry. The award named in her honor is presented to an individual that best emulates the dedication and commitment of Marjorie Van Ness to the improvement of the horse industry at the state level.

Powell continued, “Since my arrival in 2012 to Ocala, Fla., the Horse Capital of the World®, the pace, intensity, and elbow throwing have been significant and nearly nonstop in the worlds of Florida and industry politics in an incredibly competitive and complicated gaming space. Without the understanding and contributions of our member breeders and owners, as well as significant engagement by our officers and board and collaboration from incredible staff and advisors, neither myself nor this 'Top 3' thoroughbred industry would be able to share in this very special award today. It must also be said that our fast Florida-breds and incredible farms, rich thoroughbred history, and significant annual economic impact are what makes our brand so respected and credible.”

“I also appreciate and am quite humbled by the AHC recognizing my positive contributions to the respective state horse and national industries during my pre-Florida days where I nurtured strong industry, community, and political relationships as I worked side-by-side with some fantastic horse people particularly in places like California, Washington, California, Arizona and Kentucky, or by my serving them through organizations like Racing Commissioners International, the University of Arizona, America Quarter Horse Racing Council, Race Track Chaplaincies of America, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association. The fondest of memories and pride in team achievements and friendships will always be with me from those exciting, formidable days.”

The 2022 Hickey award winner, Dr. Josie Traub-Dargatz, has one of the most impressive service records within the horse industry and provided significant support to the American Horse Council on behalf of the industry. She is a crucial presence at equine health conversations, and her years of service at Colorado State University made sure that the next generation of industry leaders have the knowledge and skill to contribute in the same way.

Dr. Traub-Dargatz was a pivotal component to the success and continuation of the National Animal Health Monitoring Service's five-year equine study, the most significant USDA report for the industry. She also continues to serve the nation's horse herd in her retirement, most recently agreeing to support the AHC's support of the USDA's development of a foreign animal disease diagnostician's drill for African horse sickness, the first horse specific drill of its kind.

AHC Director of Health & Regulatory Affairs Cliff Williamson said, “Traub-Dargatz has shown again and again that persistence and service has lasting impacts, and because of her, our horse industry is stronger, healthier, and better prepared.”

The Hickey award is named in honor of past AHC president James J. Hickey Jr., who served AHC from 1993 to 2016. This award is presented to an individual who has been a great supporter of the horse industry and the AHC.

The 2022 Rolapp award winner Representative Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) is serving his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives. Congressman Cuellar proudly represents the Texas 28th congressional district, which includes Laredo, Mission, Rio Grande City, and San Antonio. As a member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies, which oversees all federal funding for agricultural programs, Congressman Cuellar has taken pro-active stances on agricultural issues of critical importance to rural communities in the 28th district.

AHC Government Affairs Liaison Mark Risso said, “Rep. Cuellar is a major supporter of the agriculture and equine industry ranking as one of our top partners on AHC's congressional scorecard.”

The Rolapp Award is presented in honor of the late Rich Rolapp, who was president of the AHC from 1974 to 1993. This award is presented to a member of Congress who has been a great supporter of the horse industry.

AHC will also honor award recipients from 2020 and 2021 including Hickey award honorees Dr. Peter Timoney (2021) and Dr. G. Marvin Beeman (2020); Rolapp award recipients the Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine (2020) and Democratic Representative Kurt Schrader of Oregon (2021); and the Van Ness award recipient Fred Sarver (2020).

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