The 2021 Pioneer Horseman Award Recipient is Bill Villella

                                              Bill Villella
                                  July 27, 1927 - May 15, 2019

William Frank Villella most commonly known as Bill was an outstanding horseman who dedicated a large amount of his life to helping riders and their horses have their dreams come true. Bill owned Hi Circle Vee Ranch which is located in Isanti Minnesota. Bill founded Hi Circle Vee in 2002. After that, Bill held many events for equestrians including cattle events, as well as WSCA (Western Saddle Clubs Association) horse shows, barrel races, fun shows and clinics. Bill also spent part of his life serving in the United States Military. Bill had a true heart for helping others. Bill passed away in spring of 2019 and is missed greatly by what is called his Hi Circle Vee family (all who actively rode or helped at Hi Circle Vee).

Bill was an active member in the equine industry, had a long term and serious commitment to the equine industry, and Bill was of excellent character. He accomplished this from running Hi Circle Vee for 17 years, hosting a variety of equine related events, which helped many riders and their horses learn and grow with each other. Bill bred American Quarter horses for 20 years, he even received an award from American Quarter Horse Association for doing so! Bill also promoted the Minnesota Horse Council by having a large sign placed in the arena supporting them.

Bill had a sense of humour, he was pleasant to be around, and many learned and grew from being in Bill’s company; Bill was not afraid to share his opinion or wisdom. Bill spent a large portion of his life riding, breeding and working with horses, making them broke all around competition horses. Bill also spent a part of his life in the military, while doing so, receiving a Purple Heart. Bill devoted his life to serving those around him from locals across the state and a portion of it to America. Bill donated some of the ranch rodeos to be benefits for different causes, helping families who had lost loved ones or those who were struggling from sickness. He also frequently would host a show to benefit the food shelf each year.

Bill’s faith and both his Hi Circle Vee horse family and his biological family were important to Bill. Bill and his wife Ethel adopted several kids, some of them having disabilities. Ethel passed away several years before Bill, which was hard on Bill. He, however, kept on being who he was and was still as active in his families as ever.

Bill was a huge blessing to all those around him! He is missed greatly by all who knew him, but his life which was meaningful and made such an impact on so many people is celebrated. Bill was selfless in helping others; he devoted time and money to helping them and giving them opportunities. He built an indoor riding arena for his use, but then opened it up for all to come and use to get amazing opportunities to ride their horses in all varieties of weather. People learned a great deal through all the events Bill hosted to help others become better horsemen. Bill truly deserved this award. He was a kind, helpful, and loving man who devoted his life to helping others become better and making his and others dreams come true

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