ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 30, 2022)—Governor Larry Hogan has proclaimed October as Maryland Horse Month, recognizing the abundant economic, historic, recreational, and therapeutic contributions made by the state’s horse industry.
“As the only state to host both a Triple Crown Race and two international 5-Star events, Maryland is proud to be a leader in the horse industry,” said Governor Hogan. “With more horses per square mile than any other state, the equine community is a critical part of our heritage and our economy. I encourage all Marylanders to join in celebrating Maryland Horse Month.”
The proclamation follows a very successful trade mission that the Governor and equine industry officials made to Ireland and France in June, where agreements were signed with equestrian organizations recognizing the international stature of Maryland’s horse industry and offering beneficial cooperative strategies.
A special feature this year is the Grand Opening in mid October of the new Maryland Horse Library and Education Center on Historic Main Street in Reisterstown, The center serves as an information hub for the industry and includes a fine collection of sporting books, a memorabilia area, meeting space, interactive kiosks and rotating exhibits.
In celebration of Maryland Horse Month, the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) and its industry partners are conducting a digital marketing strategy to highlight the many statewide attractions, events, activities, trails, exhibits, and experiences with an equestrian connection.
These events include the Maryland 5-Star at Fair Hill, a major international equestrian event that will draw competitors from across the U.S. and abroad. The Maryland 5-Star Event takes place Oct. 13-16 at Fair Hill International in Elkton.
Other major Maryland horse events include the Capital Challenge Horse Show, one of the largest horse shows in the country with nearly 1,400 entries, at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro Sept. 29-Oct. 9; the Jim McKay Maryland Million horse race at Laurel Park Racetrack in Laurel Oct.22; and the Washington International Horse Show, also at Prince George’s Equestrian Center Oct. 24-30.
In between these major events are championship finals in jousting – the official state sport since 1962 – rodeo and hunter/jumper disciplines, as well as All Breed exhibitions, carriage driving displays and numerous events hosted by the state’s 42 Horse Discovery Centers, individual farm owners and equine organizations.
“Never before has Maryland hosted so many international caliber equestrian events in such a short time frame,” said Ross Peddicord, executive director of MHIB. “Maryland Horse Month is a great way to showcase our state’s equine industry.”
The Maryland Department of Commerce’s Office of Tourism has joined the Horse Industry Board and the Board’s many private-sector equestrian organizations to promote Maryland Horse Month.
“Maryland is home to world-class destinations such as Assateague Island National Seashore and Assateague State Park among major equestrian events that draw thousands of visitors to the state,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, Managing Director of the Maryland Department of Commerce Office of Tourism and Film. “Drive along the Horses & Hounds Scenic Byway to explore our beautiful countryside also famous for producing Thoroughbreds that have raced on major tracks across America.”
Follow Maryland Horse Month on social media and use #MDHorse, #MDHorseMonth, #VisitMaryland, and #MDinFocus when posting about your tour of Maryland’s Equestrian Travel Collection. For the individual events, add #Maryland5Star, #Makeit5Star, #CapitalChallenge, #MDMillion and #WIHS2022 #FEIWorldCup #TimeTo Beat.
To view a copy of the Maryland Horse Month proclamation, please click here.
About the Maryland Horse Industry Board
The Maryland Horse industry Board (MHIB) is a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture. Established in 1998, the MHIB helps develop and promote the state’s horse industry. The MHIB also advises the Secretary of Agriculture on matters affecting the industry and serves as the licensing body for Maryland stables and horse facilities.
About Maryland Tourism
The Maryland Office of Tourism is an agency within the Maryland Department of Commerce. Visitors to the state spent $11.6 billion on travel-related expenses in 2020. The Maryland tourism industry also generated $1.7 billion in state and local taxes, essentially saving each Maryland household $775 in annual taxes, and directly supported Marylanders with 104,328 jobs. For more information, go to visitmaryland.org.