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  • Department Launches Conservation Education Outreach Program for Small Horse Farms

    ANNAPOLIS, MD (April 1, 2024) – The Maryland Department of Agriculture has launched an educational outreach program aimed at small horse farms to encourage conservation practices that benefit local water quality and create a healthier environment for horses. Included in the outreach messaging that will run through the month of April is a 30-second public service announcement appearing on Maryland Public Television’s Chesapeake Bay Week, Maryland Farm and Harvest, Outdoors Maryland, and other PBS programming. Additionally, social media messaging will be featured on the department’s social media channels and other digital platforms. “With more than 94,000 horses, Maryland has more horses per acre than any other state,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “While horses are an important part of our state’s heritage and contribute to its economy and natural beauty, they can impact the health of local waterways and the Chesapeake Bay if not properly managed. This public education campaign aims to connect horse owners with free conservation services provided by local soil conservation districts to protect natural resources and improve the health of their horses.” The public service announcements will direct visitors to the department’s conservation page for horse owners at mda.maryland.gov/HOW. The site provides tips on best management practices for greener pastures, cleaner streams, and healthier horses. It also includes links to educational videos, publications, resources, and local soil conservation districts. Across the United States, nearly 3,000 soil conservation districts have been helping landowners conserve land, water, forests, wildlife, and natural resources on their properties for more than 75 years. Here in Maryland, 23 districts—one in every county—work with landowners across the state, and their work impacts almost two million acres of land. The department provides staffing support for many district positions, including equine experts who provide free technical and planning services to help horse owners address natural resource concerns such as mud and manure, over-grazed pastures, stream fencing, and soil health. They also help landowners apply for grants that could help pay for improvements. Maryland law requires farms with 8,000 pounds or more of live animal weight or at least $2,500 in gross income to manage their farms using a nutrient management plan prepared by an MDA-certified plan writer. These regulated operations must also exclude horses and other livestock from streams. For more information about this outreach campaign, please contact the Resource Conservation Public Affairs Coordinator, Rona Flagle, at rona.flagle@maryland.gov.
  • Economic Impact of Maryland Horse Industry Grows to $2.9 Billion

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Reisterstown, MD – February 1, 2024) Maryland was one of the breakout states in the American Horse Council's report on the economic impact of the national horse industry, released on Jan. 31. The total economic impact of the industry grew 38% between 2017 and 2022, from $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion. In addition, the industry's direct contribution to Maryland's GDP grew by 40.5% between 2017 and 2022. The industry is responsible for 28,434 jobs, and horse industry wages total more than $1.24 billion. The survey, conducted in 2023 by the American Horse Council, determined that Maryland contains over 717,000 horse enthusiast households, or about 30% of the population, with a total horse population estimate of over 94,000. More than 37,000 Thoroughbreds live in Maryland, making them the most populous breed in the state. “The horse industry is a vital part of Maryland’s economy and Maryland’s landscape,” says  Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. “Horses provide both job opportunities and the environmentally beneficial green space that are essential to Maryland’s productive future. We are proud that Maryland has more horses per square mile than any other state in the country.” The industry directly employs 21,841 people, with a direct economic impact of $1.05 billion. This direct impact induces a further $713 million in added value to the economy and nearly 6,600 jobs, along with $841 million in direct labor income and $407 million in indirect and induced income. The Thoroughbred remains the largest segment of Maryland’s horse industry. There are more than 37,000 Thoroughbreds in the state that produce a total economic impact of $664 million and support over 8,000 jobs. In 2003, the Thoroughbred was recognized as the State Horse of Maryland. Maryland is also home to 29 animal welfare organizations, 58 licensed stables that report offering rescue or sanctuary services, and 12 equine-related associations with a total economic output of more than $24.8 million.
  • Sheila Curry, Dr. Amy Burk Elected To Lead Maryland Horse Industry Board

    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.
  • Maryland Horse Industry Board Awards $30,000 In Grants For 2024

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE ANNAPOLIS, MD (January 4, 2024)—The Maryland Horse Industry Board, a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture, has awarded $30,000 in grants to 35 organizations and equestrian operations that represent a variety of equine groups and disciplines across the state. The committee selected projects from a pool of 60 applicants. Funding for these grants and the Maryland Horse Industry Board is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in the state. Since the fund was established in 2002, the board has awarded over $650,000 in grants to more than 400 projects. “I am delighted that the Maryland Horse Industry Board is able to continue to make these grants year after year,” said Maryland Department of Agriculture Secretary Kevin Atticks. “Reaching out to a cross section of as many groups as possible that represent different disciplines and geographic areas of the state, the board continues to promote our thriving horse industry.” This year’s recipients included funds for equine education, leadership, history and equine welfare projects, rodeo and Western riding programs, youth activities, therapeutic riding centers and other equestrian disciplines based in 15 of Maryland’s 23 counties. A full list of recipients including a synopsis of each project is available on the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s website www.mda.maryland.gov/horseboard. “Horses are a critical component of Maryland’s agricultural industry. The Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Feed Fund help stimulate growth and opportunity in Maryland’s equestrian community without relying on major government funding,” continued Atticks. Projects are evaluated based on their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits and overall quality of the written presentation. Grants are capped at $3,000 in order to award funds to as many groups as possible. Eligible projects should have a completion date no later than June 30, 2024 although exceptions can be granted. Grant recipients are required to file a project report with the board detailing how the money was used. The Maryland Horse Industry Board was established in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland. For more information about the grants program and the board, please visit our website. You can also contact executive director Ross Peddicord at (240)344-0000 or ross.peddicord@maryland.gov.
  • 2024 Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program Dates Announced

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Reisterstown, MD – January 9, 2024) The Maryland Horse Foundation is excited to announce that the 2024 Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program (MTCP) will run from June 3-7, 2024. The online application is now open and must be completed by April 19, 2024. Interviews will take place in the two weeks after the application deadline and selected participants will be notified in early May. “The Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program offers a great opportunity to see behind the scenes in the various components of the industry from reproduction to racetrack operations,” says Cricket Goodall, Executive Director, “we hope to show these young people that love horses that you know you can make a career out of that passion.” Learn more about the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program HERE. Interested individuals are encouraged to email Jeanne Schnell – jeanne@marylandthoroughbred.com – with questions. About the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program Launched in 2017, the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program is an educational program presented by the Maryland Horse Foundation (MHF) that aims to: • Increase awareness of the diverse career options in the Thoroughbred industry • Give participants access to leaders of the Maryland Thoroughbred community • Highlight various paths for pursuing a career in the Thoroughbred industry • Address a critical need to attract and retain experienced and devoted employees Over the course of a week, participants are encouraged to fully engage in the Maryland Thoroughbred industry and explore a multitude of career options. Graduates of the MTCP are eligible to apply for Career Development Funds, one-time funding that can be used to further career pursuits within two years after the program ends. About the Maryland Horse Foundation The Maryland Horse Foundation was chartered in 1988 by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to serve various educational and charitable needs of the Maryland horse industry. The MHF has developed and supports several educational programs and is responsible for the maintenance and expansion of the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center. In addition to our programs and projects, we are proud to work directly with several industry partners to promote the entire Maryland Horse industry.
  • Maryland Horse Foundation Launches Winter Clothing Drive to Benefit Young Equestrians

    For immediate release                                                                                                                  January 2, 2024 Reisterstown, Md. The Maryland Horse Foundation will kick off the new year with a clothing drive to collect warm winter clothing and riding attire that will be distributed to young equestrians in need this winter season. The clothing drive will run from January 2nd until the end of March 2024. Recommended items are new or gently used hats, gloves, scarves, pants, sweatshirts, long-sleeve shirts, tights, socks, breeches, jodhpurs, and boots. All sizes are accepted and appreciated. Items will be donated to Baltimore-county based programs that offer riding instruction to low-income students. “Buying warm riding attire can be very costly, especially among young riders going through a growth spurt," reflected Jeanne Schnell, Director of Development for the Maryland Horse Foundation. "This initiative is a great way for people to donate items that can be used to keep riders safe and warm this winter.” Beginning January 2nd, unwrapped items may be dropped off inside the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center located at 321 Main Street in Reisterstown, Maryland. The Library and Education Center is open from 9 AM – 5 PM Monday through Friday. Revamp your closet, reorganize your tack room, and repurpose your riding clothes for a good cause! Inquiries about donations or clothing distribution can be directed to Jeanne Schnell via email jeanne@marylandthoroughbred.com or (410) 252 – 2100 extension 113. The Maryland Horse Foundation (MHF) was chartered in 1988 by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to serve various education and charitable needs of the Maryland Horse Industry. The MHF supports several educational programs and lectures and oversees the maintenance of MarylandHorse.com. Additionally, the MHF is responsible for the operation of the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center, one of the anchor sites of the Maryland Horse Park System. We are proud to work directly with several industry partners in our endeavors to promote the Maryland Horse Industry. #MHF#
  • Additional Stallion Season added to 2024 Maryland Stallion Season Auction

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Reisterstown, MD – December 18, 2023) An additional stallion season has been added to the online stallion season auction which runs from January 3-7, with all proceeds benefiting the Maryland Horse Foundation. Northview Stallion Station's Irish War Cry is the latest addition. This year’s auction now features no-guarantee seasons from seventeen Maryland-based stallions: *Barbados *Blofeld *Bourbon Courage *Cupid *Divining Rod *Friesan Fire *Galawi (IRE) *Golden Lad *Holy Boss *Hoppertunity *Irish War Cry *Kobe's Back *Long On Value *Long River *Madefromlucky *Mosler *Uncle Lino The auction preview can be viewed HERE. The Maryland Horse Foundation (MHF) was chartered in 1988 by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to serve various education and charitable needs of the Maryland Horse Industry. The MHF supports several educational programs and lectures and oversees the maintenance of MarylandHorse.com. Additionally, the MHF is responsible for the operation of the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center, one of the anchor sites of the Maryland Horse Park System. We are proud to work directly with several industry partners in our endeavors to promote the Maryland Horse Industry. The Foundation’s Maryland Horse Library & Education Center is located at 321 Main St. in Reisterstown. For more information, visit marylandhorse.com or contact Jeanne Schnell at jeanne@marylandthoroughbred.com or (410) 252 – 2100 ext. 113.
  • Buy a calendar, support the Maryland Horse Foundation!

    Looking for holiday gift inspiration and a great cause to donate to this holiday season? Look no further than the 2024 "This is Horse Racing" calendar! This year's calendar roster includes fan favorites such as Cody’s Wish, Arcangelo, Mage and others with photography by Eclipse Award winners Tod Marks, Eclipse Sportswire and others. Purchase your calendar between Dec. 13 and Dec. 15, and $10 of your purchase will go towards supporting the programs and initiatives of the Maryland Horse Foundation! Don't want to have to wait for shipping? Stop by the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center's Christmas Open House on Friday, Dec. 15 and purchase your calendar there at a discounted rate! Purchase your calendar HERE
  • Maryland Horse Foundation Announces “12 Days of Giving” Campaign

    The Maryland Horse Foundation is thrilled to announce our 12 Days of Giving campaign, as we bring our impact to life! Over the next few days, we will share video testimonials and quotes from program graduates, volunteers, board members, authors, and equestrian enthusiasts; all of whom have been impacted by the educational mission of the Maryland Horse Foundation. The Foundation's initiatives include the new Maryland Horse Library & Education Center in Reisterstown, the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, the Work Experience Program, and the Howard and Sondra Bender Educational Series. Programs and experiences such as these would not be possible without contributions from people like you. Please donate this giving season to the Maryland Horse Foundation. Stay tuned to the Maryland Thoroughbred social media channels and YouTube page starting tomorrow, Dec. 7, and continuing through Dec. 18, and see the Maryland Horse Foundation's impact first-hand! To donate to the Maryland Horse Foundation, visit MarylandHorse.com/Donate. Facebook: Maryland Thoroughbred Twitter: @MarylandTB Instagram: @MarylandTB YouTube: Maryland Thoroughbred
  • Maryland Stallion Season Online Auction Set for 2024

    For immediate release                                                                      Wednesday, November 22, 2023, Reisterstown, MD With the 2024 breeding season fast approaching, the Maryland Horse Foundation is pleased to announce it will once again host an online stallion season auction from January 3-7. The 2024 auction features seasons from some of the top Maryland-based stallions. This year’s auction will feature no-guarantee seasons from sixteen Maryland-based stallions: Barbados Blofeld Bourbon Courage Cupid Divining Rod Friesan Fire Galawi (IRE) Golden Lad Holy Boss Hoppertunity Kobe's Back Long On Value Long River Madefromlucky Mosler Uncle Lino The Maryland Horse Foundation (MHF) was chartered in 1988 by the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to serve various education and charitable needs of the Maryland Horse Industry. The MHF supports several educational programs and lectures and oversees the maintenance of MarylandHorse.com. Additionally, the MHF is responsible for the operation of the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center, one of the anchor sites of the Maryland Horse Park System. We are proud to work directly with several industry partners in our endeavors to promote the Maryland Horse Industry. The Foundation’s Maryland Horse Library & Education Center is located at 321 Main St. in Reisterstown. For more information, visit marylandhorse.com or contact Jeanne Schnell at jeanne@marylandthoroughbred.com or (410)252-2100 ext. 113. Click HERE to preview the auction.
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