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Pioneer Award

The Minnesota Horse Council honors worthy individuals posthumously with the Pioneer Award, and places his or her photo on a special wall in the Coliseum on the Minnesota State Fairgrounds for that year.

The person to be nominated should be special, someone who has contributed in the past to the horse industry in Minnesota, and who was a model for others.

Of course, the Minnesota Horse Council directors do not know all the horse people from the past, so the person who is selected for the Pioneer Award is usually nominated by one or more people who did know them and recognized the nominee as worthy of this honor.

Some Selection Criteria:

  1. Long term, serious commitment to equine activity in Minnesota.

  2. May be either professional or amateur horseperson.

  3. Should have contributed in many areas, for example, western shows, English show, 4-H, Little Britches or High-school rodeo, trails, carriage driving, equestrian legislation, clinics, or other equine related activities. (This should be not just within a single breed or discipline, but many areas.)

  4. Usually the individual will have been a horse owner for many years, although it certainly is not a requirement. (They could have worked "behind the lines" to great achievement.)

  5. The individual is deceased.

  6. The nominee had excellent character.

  7. The individual will likely be remembered by members of many horse-related groups, and perhaps even by the general population.

Application Procedures

  1. Write a letter nominating that special individual. Clearly indicate reasons why the person meets the above requirements. Be accurate; facts will be checked. Include only information that you personally know about, don't repeat "stories" about this person unless you were there when it happened.

  2. Ask others who knew the individual to also send letters telling why they think the person should be given the Pioneer Award. But don't flood the committee with similar letters. Try to get letters from people who can give other examples of why the person should be selected. Ask people from other breeds or equine disciplines to send in letters.

  3. Board Resolutions from equine organizations are also acceptable, but it's often more impressive to the committee if instead each member takes a minute to write down one personal example that shows why they think the individual should be selected.

  4. Include in the letter contact info for the family member(s) who will be available to accept the award (their name, current address and phone number (including area code), and email (if they have one).)

  5. Send your letter to this address (postmarked by July 1st):

Pioneer Horseman Award Committee
Minnesota Horse Council
P.O. Box 96

Monticello, MN 55362-0096

or email

Past Pioneer Award  Recipients

The Minnesota Horse council is honored to recognizes the Pioneer Award recipients for their legacy and lasting impact their lives have had on the individuals as well as the horse industry

2022- Melvin (Bud) Dorsey

2021- Bill Villella

2021-  Nancy Elizabeth (Eastman) Duggan

2019- Gloria Enger

2018- Vic Myers

2016- Lloyd Landkamer

2015- Barb Ahrens

2015- Reed Kettlewell

2015- Irv Parker

2013- Louise “WeeZee” Miner

2012- Larry Oatman

2011- Walt Westman

2011- Richard F Bol

2011- Selmer Jacobson

2010- Lyle Anderson

2009- Norm Strohfus

2008- Stanley D. Sahlstrom

2007- Earle Dickinson

2006- Bill Robbins

2005- Max Bon Bluecher

2004- Ronald Charles Davis

2002- Paul John Riley

2001- Daniel Gainey

2001- Wade Page

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