Local vet wins humanitarian award, benefits S.M.I.L.E.S.
Sherry Monty, left, founder of Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills, or S.M.I.L.E.S., and Rick Tully, recipient of the USEF/Equus Foundation 2012 Humanitarian Award, hold Thunder, one of the S.M.I.L.E.S. therapy horses. Photo submitted.
Richard Tully, a veterinarian with Elkhorn Vet Clinic, was named one of two recipients of the 2012 EQUUS Foundation Humanitarian Award Pegasus Award last month. The award will also benefit a local therapeutic riding center.
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, EQUUS Foundation President, who with John Long, USEF CEO, presented the award to Dr. Tully, and Dr. Mark Fitch of Colorado.
In addition to the recognition of winning this prestigious award, recipients receive a $5,000 grant from the EQUUS Foundation to be awarded to a horse-related charity of his or her choice. S.M.I.L.E.S. (Special Methods in Learning Equine Skills) in Darien, will receive a $5,000 grant in honor of Tully’s award.
S.M.I.L.E.S. founder Sherry Monty said Tully has had a lasting impact on the special needs clients of the program, and on the equine industry through his role in the development of the School of Veterinary Medicine (SVM) at the University of Wisconsin, and his work with Standard Process of Palmyra.
Monty said as a young vet, just joining his father's practice, Tully cared for her horses, and learned of her dream to partner horses with individuals with disabilities. Monty said he has donated hours of vet care and services to S.M.I.L.E.S. since it was founded in 1985.
"We have precious memories of Rick and his stethoscope, center stage in the arena, demonstrating to our special need riders the horse's breath and beating heart. How better to inspire us, and to equip us to move forward in life, than to bring us back to the message that we all share the same air," Monty said.
Monty said Tully has dedicated extensive personal time for almost three decades to the S.M.I.L.E.S. organization and the clients they serve - as a board member, and a fundraiser, and as the caregiver of their therapy horses.