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ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 26, 2024) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture today announced Sheila Curry has been elected chair of the Maryland Horse Industry Board while Dr. Amy Burk has been chosen as vice chair. The board, which comprises 12 members appointed by the governor, is charged with licensing and inspecting more than 800 public lesson and boarding stables as well as serving as an economic incubator to help sustain and grow the industry.

“Sheila and Amy are true leaders, they both know the ins and outs of the Maryland horse industry from the ground up,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “Together they will create a tremendous leadership team for the Horse Industry Board. I thank them for their service.”

Curry’s election marks two milestones in the board’s 26 year history-the first woman and the first African American to chair the board.  Appointed by Governor Wes Moore in late 2023, she is an enthusiastic promoter of equestrian sports in Prince George’s County and was instrumental in bringing the prestigious Washington International Horse Show to Maryland through her position with the Strategic Partnerships Office of Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks.

“I have been working with the Maryland Horse Industry Board for the last several years to help secure improvements to the Prince George’s County Equestrian Center,” Curry said. “These improvements included world class footing, new indoor and outdoor sound systems, and landscaping to name a few.  We were delighted to welcome the Washington International Horse Show to our very own Prince George’s County Equestrian Center in October 2022. There are so many amazing projects ahead that I’m excited to work on to advance every aspect of Maryland’s Horse Industry. I am so excited to be a part of the board’s efforts to spread the awareness and joy associated with our equine friends!”

Dr. Amy Burk was re-appointed by Gov. Moore to serve her third term, representing the equine academic community. Dr. Burk currently serves as director of the undergraduate program in the Department of Animal and Avian Sciences at the University of Maryland, has won numerous teaching awards and provides statewide educational leadership and training in the areas of equine nutrition and pasture management.

“I am truly honored to assume the role of vice-chair alongside our new chair, Sheila Curry, “ said Burk.  “I look forward to working with board staff and board members, and our wonderful horse industry  to ensure its vitality for many years to come!”

For more information about the Maryland Horse Industry Board, please contact Executive Director Ross Peddicord at ross.peddicord@maryland.gov or 240-344-0000.