Ellie Phipps Price and Chris Towt:
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 the Executive Producer of AMERICAN MUSTANG, a documentary released in 2013, that shows wild horses in 3D for the first time. The movie has raised awareness about the plight of America's wild horses, and aims to inspire legislative protections for mustangs.
Santino and Nancy
Santino and Nancy keep a watchful eye over MCR. Santino is the ranch manager and Nancy helps care for the horses in the barns.
Horses name are Ernie and Rabbit.
Nancy O'Neill Lombardo
Nancy got her first horse at age 8 and has owned and ridden for others since then, working at a guest ranch for fifteen years, and as an assistant trainer and barn manager to a performance horse trainer for five years before joining MCR.
Nancy also gained invaluable animal health experience working along side several well respected veterinarians caring for herds of up to ninety horses.
She is an avid amateur naturalist and hiker and has already set up trail cameras around the ranch, keeping track of our horses and learning the rhythms of the local wildlife.
Nancy and Santino met while riding and continue to enjoy riding together at home and on pack trips in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Santino ('Tino') Lombardo
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.
Suzanne is Campaign Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign, and is a 20-year animal welfare professional. During her career, she has worked to improve the plight of elephants, chimpanzees, marine mammals and other animals both in captivity and the wild. In 2009 she turned her attention to the fight to save America's wild horses and burros. Under her leadership the campaign has grown to include over 50 coalition partners whose memberships represent over 10 million American citizens. Suzanne has facilitated the rescues that brought many of the wild horses to MCR, and continues to be an advisor and asset to the ranch.
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.
Most of our young horses in training were started by Lanny Leach. Lanny spent 16 wonderful months at MCR starting colts and gentling the yearlings who are now ready to go on to their forever homes. Lanny and his wife Kathy have returned to their home in Nebraska to be near family. Lanny and Kathy became an integral part of MCR’s story and shared their knowledge of horses and their wonderful connection to our community. We look forward to Lanny returning to MCR to help with special projects and hope to feature him in a colt starting clinic at MCR down the road. We wish the Leaches all the best, and thank them for giving our horses such a wonderful training foundation.