Jeff Reiland of rural Spring Valley has been named the Southeast Minnesota Saddle Club Association (SEMSCA) Horseperson of the year.

Each year SEMSCA honors an individual who best represents and supports the horse industry in southeast Minnesota. "This year's Horseperson of the Year is an individual who has not only given much of his time and energy to support SEMSCA, 4-H and youth horse programs in southeast Minnesota, but has spent most of his life promoting and improving the horse industry in our area," according to SEMSCA.

Reiland has been "instrumental in raising funds for SEMSCA by working with local businesses to gain financial support."

For many years he has co-chaired the SEMSCA Benefit Show, which provides further support and opportunities for horse owners and exhibitors. The money he helped raise goes to support awards for showing, trail riding programs, and scholarships.

It was noted that Reiland has also been the driving force behind the start of the stallion auction, which began in 2011, that "aims to promote our local stallions and provide the possibility of expanding SEMSCA's many offerings to include a futurity," according to the association. Reiland is always willing to help out where needed and "does so with a sense of humor and a smile." It was stated he is one to go out of his way to help others, along with helping horses in need.

The association added, "He has worked tirelessly to promote the addition of youth classes at shows and is quick to offer encouraging words and support - he is the epitome of an excellent horse show dad."

The association's vice president, Jody Rinn, noted, "Jeff is a very humble person and just seems to be always willing to help and does so with a smile on his face."