Ellie Phipps Price and Chris Towt, Founders & Directors
Ellie and Chris bought Montgomery Creek Ranch (MCR) in Northern California in 2012 after rescuing a herd of 173 wild mustangs from Nevada. They have been developing MCR into a facility to train their young prospect horses to be adopted out, and respectfully give back freedom to the rest of the herd.
Ellie and Chris met while horseback riding in Colorado. They share a love for wildlife, wine and horses. Ellie's first mustang Dunstan is named for their winery in Sonoma, CA.
Ellie is on the board president of the American Wild Horse Campaign, the nation’s largest wild horse and burro advocacy organization.
Santino ('Tino') Lombardo, Ranch Manager
Santino was born and raised in rural Northwest Pennsylvania where at a young age he worked for a cattle ranch and dog training facility. There he developed his passion and deep respect for the land, livestock, and wildlife.
Immediately following high school he joined the US Army where he served as a Military Police Officer during Operation Desert Storm. He spent much of he is service in the Republic of Panama.
Upon relocating to California, Santino managed both large and small horse and cattle ranches and gained the practical and technical knowledge that he will use to improve and maintain the safety and health of the Montgomery Creek horses.
Nancy O'Neill Lombardo, Director of Horse Training
Nancy is the director of horse training and responsible for the medical care of the Montgomery Creek Ranch horses.
She got her first horse at age 8 and has owned horses and ridden for others since then, including working at a guest ranch for fifteen years, exercising high goal polo ponies, and working as an assistant trainer and barn manager for a performance horse trainer before coming to Montgomery Creek Ranch.
Nancy gained invaluable animal health care experience working as a veterinary assistant for seven years and caring for herds of up to ninety horses at her places of employment. She is an avid naturalist and enjoys hiking and spending as much time as possible exploring and learning the rhythms of Montgomery Creek Ranch and its herds of horses.
Cameron Buckingham, Horse Trainer
Cameron grew up on a ranch near Kaycee Wyoming. He started riding at a young age helping his father with ranch work and starting colts. After high school he moved to California to apprentice for John Holman starting performance horses for many disciplines. Starting colts is his main focus. He takes his time starting colts and believes that a solid foundation is the best thing to insure a horse has a long productive life.
Seth Kirby, Senior Ranch Hand
Seth is originally from Yuba City, is now happily settled in Stonyford where he and his wife Chandra are enjoying raising their children in a small town. Seth came to MCR with some experience in construction and landscape maintenance, which makes him an invaluable member of the MCR team. While primarily responsible for the care of the horses, Seth can be found wherever the action is at MCR. As one of our original team members, Seth now knows the names of many of the 200 wild horses in the main herd, and knows the quirks and antics of the young horses in training as well as anyone. For fun Seth enjoys riding dirt bikes more than horses.
Shane Rudolph, Ranch Hand
Shane was born and raised on a ranch in Stonyford, CA where he tended horses, cattle, and fowl including chickens, ducks and pheasants. Graduating from Elk Creek High School in 2018, Shane was awarded the FFA chapter star award in Agribusiness two years in a row and also earned the State FFA degree. An avid outdoorsman, Shane also has his own taxidermy business and lives for the days in the outdoors.
Tara (Arrowood) Pynn, Photographer
Tara joined the team in 2012 and has been the key source of the fantastic photography of our wild herds. Tara is a professional photographer, specializing in fine art equine photography and wedding and lifestyle photography. You can view her work at Arrowood Photography and on her blog. She frequently visits MCR, and beautifully documents the ranch and the horses.