Each year during the American Horse Council’s Annual Meeting, the Rolapp Award is presented to a member of Congress who has been a great supporter of the horse industry. The award is presented in honor of the late Rich Rolapp, the president of the AHC from 1974 to 1993.
Previous award winners include Senators Mitch McConnell, Jim Bunning, and Blanche Lincoln, and Congressmen Hal Rogers, Bob Goodlatte, Larry Combest, Jim McCrery, Bart Gordon, and most recently John Yarmuth.
However, this year the AHC Board of Trustees elected to give the 2016 Rolapp Award to retiring AHC president, Jay Hickey at a Congressional reception June 14.
“Jay Hickey has been a true champion of the horse industry and is most deserving of this prestigious honor,” said Jerry Black, DVM, chairman of the AHC Board of Trustees. “He closely observed every issue that could have had an impact on the American Horse Council’s members and provided everyone with astute guidance for the past 23 years. It was wonderful to see Jay receive an award that held so much personal and professional meaning for him. He has been a trusted colleague and good friend to countless people in the horse industry.”
During Hickey’s time as president, the AHC has been involved in the passage or defeat of every federal law and regulation that has, or could have, affected the horse industry. This includes all legislation or regulations that dealt with taxes, gaming, breeding, racing, showing, health and welfare, and recreation.
“It is a great honor to receive this award, knowing and respecting Rich as I do,” said Hickey. “He brought me