Equestrian Canada (EC) has named Jan Simmonds of Edmonton, AB the Dressage Volunteer of the Month for June 2017 in recognition of her continued commitment to advancing the sport of dressage.

Simmonds is well-known for always being willing to give her time to support the sport in Alberta, and is best described as a visionary with great organizational skills and the gift of inspiring others. She was instrumental in shifting the previous provincial structure for dressage sport into the Alberta Dressage Association (ADA) with much success.

Upon formation of the ADA, Simmonds guided the development of the mission and vision statements for the association, which are still in place today. She is a past president of the ADA, a past president of the Edmonton Area Alberta Dressage Association (EAADA), and a past chairperson of the ADA annual casino fundraiser, which is the primary source of funding for the association.

In addition to the many hours spent in these positions, Simmonds has taken it upon herself to collect and collate the history of dressage in Alberta from the early days to the present. For many years, in addition to her duties in various executive positions, she could also be found doing multiple volunteer tasks at Edmonton dressage shows, often scribing and later, booking and training the scribes and preparing gift baskets for the judges.

Simmonds is still very active in the EAADA, contributing to the group newsletter by writing and sourcing interesting articles, and proofreading all of the newsletters before they are sent out. Always there to answer a question or lend support, she was awarded an EAADA Lifetime Membership for her dedication to the sport of dressage, as well as to the association, and they are proud to list her as one of their valued members.

Simmonds embodies the true spirit of volunteerism. Her hard work and dedication to the sport of dressage over the years has helped the ADA grow into its present-day success. A dedicated horsewoman, Simmonds lost her beloved equine partner of 36 years, Sky, in December 2016, giving this thoughtful goodbye:
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“Somewhere, somewhere in time’s own space, there must be some sweet pastured place where creeks sing on and tall trees grow. Some paradise where horses go.” – Stanley Harrison

For her passion and drive in bettering the sport of dressage in Alberta, and across the country, EC is pleased to honour Simmonds as the Dressage Volunteer of the Month.

If you know of a volunteer who deserves recognition, nominations are quick and easy through the EC website. Nominations for the award are accepted until the 20th day of each month, making June 20, 2017 the next deadline to submit the name of a volunteer who has made a difference to the sport of dressage. Questions and comments on the Dressage Volunteer of the Month Award can be directed to Christine Peters at cpeters@equestrian.ca.