Mark Fitch, DVM, and Richard Tully, DVM, were named the 2012 recipients of the EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award at the U.S. Equestrian Federation Pegasus Awards Dinner on Saturday, Jan. 19, during the USEF Annual Meeting in Louisville, Ky.
The USEF/EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award is a celebration of the humanitarian achievements made by a member of the equestrian world. From improving the health and welfare of the horse to promoting and expanding the general public's appreciation and respect of the diverse roles of horses, the recipient of this award has devoted considerable personal time to making the lives and quality of life of our equine partners paramount.
"A record number of nominations were received this year, but two rose to the top," said Lynn Coakley, president of the EQUUS Foundation.
In addition to the recognition of winning this prestigious award, Fitch and Tully received a $5,000 grant from the EQUUS Foundation to be awarded to a horse-related charity of his or her choice.
Fitch, of Boulder, Colo., chose to donate the grant to the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center in Longmont. He has volunteered with CTRC for years, helping the center develop into the largest therapeutic riding center in the state.
Tully donated the grant to SMILES, or Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills, in Darien, Wis. The therapeutic riding center pairs special needs riders with horses, as well as provides training and rehabilitation for horses ready for a second career. Tully, of Elkhorn, Wis., provides veterinary care to the SMILES horses and actively helps the program develop.