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  • Maryland Horse Foundation programs supported by Thoroughbred Education & Research Foundation grant

    (Reisterstown, MD – September 28, 2021) The Maryland Horse Foundation has received a grant from the Thoroughbred Education & Research Foundation, a fund of the Chester County Community Foundation for educational programs. “We are thrilled to receive this funding and grateful to the TERF Trustees for considering our application” said Jordyn Egan, MHF director of development. “TERF has been a great partner in the past and this support allows us to work creatively with people that are committed to a career in the Maryland Thoroughbred industry.” Details on the 2022 Maryland Horse Foundation education programs will be available in the coming months. To learn more about the Maryland Horse Foundation, visit --- The Maryland Horse Foundation (MHF) is a charitable organization that 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. The mission of the Thoroughbred Education and Research Foundation is to support Thoroughbred health and welfare by funding scholarships, educational programs, and equine research with a priority to make racing safer.
  • Maryland Horse Library and Education Center designated part of the Maryland Horse Park System

    The Maryland Horse Library and Education Center was designated by the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) as the Educational and Cultural Center of the Maryland Horse Park System. The new, multi-faceted facility will honor the history and importance of Maryland’s horse industry.  “Maryland is home to over 100,000 horses, more horses per square mile than any other state,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “With over 40 equine disciplines practiced right here in Maryland and premiere horse events held year-round, our state’s equestrian industry is world-renowned. This center will teach Marylanders and visitors from around the world about the remarkable contributions of our horse industry.” Construction of the 4,500-square-foot center is expected to begin in September and will be open to the public by spring 2022. The center will be located in the Maryland Horse Breeders Association’s (MHBA’s) building in historic Reisterstown, centrally located close to Pimlico Race Course, Sagamore Farm, and other popular equine destinations. Once completed, the facility will house over 1,000 equestrian books, a memorabilia area, versatile meeting rooms, a media center, interactive kiosks and rotating exhibits. “This one-of-a-kind facility in Maryland will serve as a central learning and research hub for horse sports in the state,” said MHIB Chair Jim Steele. “It is our intention for the center to educate the public about the breadth of Maryland’s horse industry and to motivate them to get involved. I want to thank all of the individuals who have been involved in making the center a reality, it is your hardwork and dedication that has made this all possible.”  As part of the state’s efforts to enhance and increase interest in the Maryland horse industry, the MHIB established the Maryland Horse Park System. The Maryland Horse Park System is made up of three venues: an outdoor and field equestrian competition facility; an indoor competition and exhibition arena; and an educational and cultural center. To identify these three locations, the MHIB and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) commissioned the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) to perform a study in 2011.  Upon the conclusion of the study and improvements made to each facility, the Fair Hill Special Events Zone in Elkton was designated the outdoor and field equestrian competition venue and the Prince George’s Equestrian Center was named the indoor competition and exhibition arena.  Additionally, the study found a need for an educational and cultural center. To fill this need, the Maryland Horse Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the MHBA, started planning and fundraising for the construction of the center. The foundation is responsible for the center’s development and maintenance.  “The goals of the center align perfectly with the Maryland Horse Park System’s overall mission to promote and increase interest in the state’s horse industry,” said MHBA Executive Director Cricket Goodall. “We are thrilled to be designated as part of the Maryland Horse Park System and are excited to showcase the legacy of Maryland’s iconic equine sector.”  For more information about the Maryland Horse Park System, please contact MHIB’s Executive Director Ross Peddicord at (240) 344-0000 or For additional details about the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center, please contact MHBA’s Executive Director Crickett Goodall at (410) 252-2100 or
  • Maryland Horse Foundation named a 2021 TCA Grant Recipient

    The Maryland Horse Foundation (MHF) is honored to be named a 2021 Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) Grant Recipient. This grant will be used to support the foundation’s existing educational programs such as the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program in the coming year. “After a decidedly quiet 2020, the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program was back in June 2021 and we can’t wait to engage another group of participants next summer," said Jordyn Egan, the Maryland Horse Foundation’s development director. "Grant funds are essential for us to be able to maintain quality programming that will help the state of Maryland attract and retain high quality employees in the Thoroughbred industry." In addition to the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program, the MHF is responsible for the Work Experience Program, which allows qualified applicants to design a custom internship experience that will benefit their long-term career goals. The MHF covers the participants wages throughout their internship in addition to expenses such as housing and worker’s compensation.  “There is an endless pool of talent in Maryland’s horse industry; so many horse enthusiasts that have not considered their passion as a career path. It is our mission to engage those people early on and keep providing them with opportunities to grow until they get started in the workforce, “ said Egan. “There are so many careers in the Thoroughbred industry, it’s just a matter of channeling somebody’s strengths, giving them opportunities and watching them flourish.” To learn more about the Maryland Horse Foundation, visit -- The Maryland Horse Foundation (MHF) is a charitable organization that 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 a number of 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. Thoroughbred Charities of America (TCA) is a charitable organization that provides grants to approved non-profit organizations that work toward improving the lives of Thoroughbred racehorses and the people who care for them. TCA offers the Thoroughbred industry and its supporters a way to give to one organization while helping many.
  • Goodall, Pons, Blue Discuss Maryland Horse Industry, New Library & Education Center

    Originally published online by America's Best Racing on Monday, March 22, 2021 The Maryland Horse Breeders Association’s Sara Gordon sat down with Cricket Goodall, Josh Pons, and Richard F. Blue Jr. to discuss the history of the Maryland Horse Foundation, the MHBA’s charitable arm; the MHBA’s history of working to bring the various aspects of Maryland’s horse industry together; and the recent launch of the capital campaign for the MHF’s Maryland Horse Library & Education Center. Cricket Goodall is the executive director of the MHBA, Josh Pons is a co-chair of the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center Capital Campaign and president of the MHF, and Richard F. Blue, Jr. is a co-chair of the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center Capital Campaign and vice president of the MHBA.   Cricket Goodall Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association Why was the Maryland Horse Foundation created? Rich Wilcke, when he was executive director, started the foundation in 1988. He realized then that the Maryland Horse Breeders Association needed a 501(c)3, it needed a charitable arm, and it was at that point geared more towards education, to a certain extent, by helping industry issues, addressing them, and collecting donations that would help with that. It was probably then, in the 1980s, that Rich started thinking about a vehicle for people to donate books and memorabilia [to the library]. We’d had people donate stuff before, but back in the 1980s there wasn’t a focus on the incentive of a charitable donation — it was more because they had been on the board here and they’d leave us something — but then it became a focus with the foundation. However, the foundation sort of took time to find its way and really appeal to people, so I don’t think people really knew about it to donate stuff and I don’t think we got as much stuff as I had hoped. I really hoped people would do that, and there were some big breeders and industry people who died and we don’t know what happened to their stuff, and that’s a shame. But at the time, we just weren’t focused on or ready to say, ‘give us your trophies or your artwork.’ Now, I think the foundation’s ready to do that. When did the MHF get more involved with educating the next generation? About six years ago, I talked to Jordyn [Egan] and we decided to focus on the education part of the foundation. There were already rescues, aftercare, groups addressing substance abuse, so I thought we ought to work on education and encouraging people to look for careers in this business so that we could repopulate the business with good, smart people, so that’s when the Maryland Thoroughbred Career Program came to be. That led to where we are today, because if the MHBA or groups like us don’t educate, you know we advocate, but you need to educate as well, it’s probably just as important. Educating and advocating in Annapolis are virtually the same thing. Educating in other ways is trying to encourage new people, younger people, to get involved and love what we do and want to get in in some way, whether it’s racehorses or any kind of horses, so I think that’s definitely paid off. The MTCP has been just what we hoped, Jordyn’s experience really helped that come to fruition, she had enough experience to pull something like that together, and when she first started, I sort of really gave her the foundation to think about because it hadn’t been doing enough and we hadn’t had enough support. We were focused on the magazine and other things we do, but now the foundation is front and center. How long has the idea of the Maryland Horse library been passed around? We did have a library and we did have people come in and research — that was in the late 1980s, early 1990s, when people would actually go to a library and sit down with books — but it was before a lot of the stats were online, so we had chart books and we had Cindy [Deubler] to answer questions. We didn’t have a fancy place for it, in fact it was in the boardroom at the Padonia Road [location] where we had the library around the boardroom table. Once the foundation started, the library had always fallen under that, to take donations and encourage funding. So, not that we didn’t have a library before 1988, but after that any expenses sort of were funneled through the foundation for books and other support materials. So, there’s always been a sense that we wanted to grow and, you know, have a good resource for people in Maryland, whether they were looking to write something or just look up horse records, so that was part of what our mission was, to help people get information. Then, over time, when we were at the second Padonia [road] office, where the library and the boardroom were the same thing, we found it was sometimes a conflict because people would want to be in the library and we’d be having meetings, so we always had in our mind to have a special area for a library or a building. The building part of it, Rich Wilcke was the executive director when we started realizing that we needed a better home. Being in an office building on Padonia Road was not ideal, though it was convenient, but it had no character. So again, it probably wasn’t until the mid-1990s that there was a real sense of looking and trying to do something permanent. Instead, we moved a couple times. We knew we wanted to do the library, so then we did have conversations with Middleburg, Va., the National Sporting Library & Museum down there, and sort of picked their brain, picked the head librarian’s brain, and looked at their site because it’s a really nice building. Understanding their financing and how they raised the money sort of got me more enthused, because they were happy to be partners with us on a lot of things. We discussed digitizing files, how best to coordinate as a reference library long term, so that gave us even more possibilities for our library. Why did the MHBA decide to purchase the building in historic Reisterstown? What makes it such a great fit? The boards, we visited the idea, we had been looking at buildings, but they seemed hesitant to make that final commitment. But it had to be the right building, too. We looked and looked and we were just not coming up with the right situation. The building we’re in now, I ended up finding because it’s in an area that I frequent and it had character, and the board embraced it, so it would allow us to really showcase the library; I mean, that’s sort of always been the plan. It’s now morphed into — because it’s a good idea — an education center, meeting area, memorabilia [area], even more so than a museum. I mean it’s not going to be everybody’s idea of a museum, we’re not going to have art collections and that sort of thing, just because we’re not big enough, but also I don’t know that we want to go to a museum yet, that’s just a whole other level. Let’s focus on a library and a meeting space and educating people. Meeting spaces are really important. I learned that with the Baltimore County Ag Center, actually, because when the county built their building there, they didn’t know how many people would use it for meetings and, until COVID-19 hit, it was in use all the time. I think that this is appealing to people and people are going to say, in this day and age, since people can do a lot of research online, maybe they don’t need to go to a library, but if you have that and have a meeting room and you have seminars, or offer a reason for people to come to the building, it’s worth it. Plus, this Reisterstown building actually is in a good location for just the general public driving by. It’s easily accessible, and that’s a huge appeal, because the other sites we’ve looked at would have taken more of an effort to get to. They were still accessible, on the campus of Goucher College or on the [Baltimore County] Ag Center, but I think this area, this situation we’re in now, is better because we’ll get people just driving by that say, ‘Hey, I saw that Maryland Horse sign,” and I don’t know if we would have gotten that before. As the MHF proceeds with this project, what’s your vision? I want this facility to host 4-H meetings, it could be any horse clubs, or the Maryland Horse Industry Board, the Maryland Horse Council, and it doesn’t have to be just horse-related – [it can be for] anybody that needs a place to meet, as far as I’m concerned. The AV that we’re putting in here will allow people to show a film if they have it, and with the media room I’m hoping that turns into a place where people can digitize what they have or sit down and leave audio memories of their time growing up. I’d always wished we’d had a place to record oral history because it’s really important, and then we’ll have something where people could push a button and hear about some famous Marylanders we’ve got on the record. We’ve lost a lot of old-time trainers. I’ve heard stories, but I can’t tell them like they did, and I can’t tell them in the voice that they had, and now they’re gone. Like the King Leatherburys and the Bill Bonifaces, you need to hear them tell the stories. I think part of the plan is to capture that, so you’ve got history that now may be in these photo files or our archives in mini storage in our building, and you can hear it, see it, anybody can. So, the library is basically, at this point, a collection of whatever we have had and anything that people would like to give us. Why is the development of the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center so important to Maryland’s horse industry and the state in general? There’s nothing else like this in Maryland, which is a shame, and shame on Maryland. They had a little sort of room at Pimlico, and if you went up in the press box, I don’t know what’s at Pimlico now, but they had a lot of really interesting stuff that was stacked on tables and in file cabinets, all the old photos and negatives. I don’t know what’s left up there but it’s a shame — there was just nobody at the time that was willing to take that on and say, ‘we’ve got to save this.’ There’s been talk, but there’s been nothing, and Maryland, I believe, has the strongest historic record of the horse industry, I mean it’s got an older history than Kentucky and Florida and everywhere else, and to have no place to acknowledge that is disturbing to say the least. And we can’t be that, we’re not going to be a Preakness museum, but we’ll be a little something, acknowledging what we have done, what the MHBA has done, and hopefully that’s going to spur whoever does the Preakness museum or does a bigger national-focus museum. Going back to the focus of the foundation, it’s all about education and getting more people more interested in loving horses and the horse industry. Josh Pons Co-Chair of the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center Capital Campaign and President of the Maryland Horse Foundation What is so worthwhile about providing a combined library and education center? We’ve been the beneficiaries of some remarkable donations that need to be open to the public. We have the Selima Room, the best of the books of William Woodward Sr., who had Bel Air Stud, and those books primarily, well most of them, are in the public storage warehouse in Timonium and they need to be shown and available to people as a resource. But the most important thing this effort will do will be to give us a place to teach young people about a way to live, with animals, on farms, that go to racetracks in cities. Without some feeder program, without a JV program for an athlete to get started in, which is similar to what we’re doing here, there’s no cultivating for the future of horse racing or breeding, which is really where we’re in peril, in a state that doesn’t have a lot of land in it and it doesn’t have a lot of people that want to take the trouble to raise Thoroughbred horses. It’s hard work. But if you could tap into the rich history of it and the rewarding lives it’s provided for a lot of breeders, just growing up and living on a farm in itself is a privilege. I’m hoping that we focus on the educational aspects of it, since there’s a great history of Marylanders doing that. If you were to look back in the late 1930s, I think Chester Hockley and Humphrey Finney, they produced a movie called “Maryland Horse,” and Finney went around and he had an educational film that he took to classrooms around the state. So, it’s kind of like a legacy thing that people have paid attention to, and we have this opportunity with the new building. You couldn’t do this without a building. You could talk about it, which is what we’ve done for the entire existence of the MHBA, but it has never had its own building. It has always rented or lived in somebody’s house, like 1 Dixie Dr., where Finney kept his offices. But Cricket and the board, right before COVID-19 hit, made a very brave and long-lasting decision to put together a plan to buy a building, and the building is perfect. How will this benefit Maryland and its residents? If you’re interested in the horse business in Virginia, you go to Middleburg, you go to the National Sporting Library & Museum. If you’re interested in the horse business in Kentucky, you go to the Keeneland Library. If you’re interested in New York, you go to the Racing Museum and Hall of Fame in Saratoga, but if you’re interested in Maryland, you can’t go to a 12-foot room that’s closed off on the second floor of Pimlico and come away with much. I mean, I worked at the BloodHorse off and on for seven years, and it had a great library and access to the Keeneland Library, and I mean people sat in there at the big conference table in the library all the time, famous people, like John Gaines would come in there and study how Federico Tesio did stuff. I mean, you have to have a place where you can learn, that’s really important. That’s the goal, I think, of this blended library and education center push, and I think it’s going to strike a very popular chord with a lot of Marylanders. I expect that most people will think hard and give what they can and then take advantage of it once it’s locked in place and filled out. It’s important for the state to have an agriculture center that focuses just on the importance of horses, and it’s a really rich history. All you have to do is look back through Maryland Horse [magazines] and look at what we’re doing today. Farms are hanging on despite the shrinking foal crop and the national fear over whether trainers are playing by the rules — the whole WHOA (Water, Hay, Oats Alliance) movement — all that stuff is negative publicity for the most part and this is a positive story for the horse business, and the MHBA has taken the lead. It’s a great opportunity to maintain a position of leadership in the industry and have people say, ‘look what they’re doing in Maryland.’ We’re well-respected in the country in a different way than everybody else is. Why is the MHBA owning its own building, providing a rightful home for the library and now education center, so momentous? When I was president, we looked and looked and looked and we looked at farmhouses, and we thought Goucher College might work, then they changed presidents and the new guy didn’t have the emphasis on the equine stuff. We would have been a partner with somebody else, but with this building we’re our own boss, and that allows us to make the changes we think we can make without a whole bunch of bureaucracy or temporariness to it. Without a building, there’s no learning center. It’s a blank slate. It’s a building that feels chapel-like. It has the presence of a place that is conducive to contemplation and reflection, that then helps you look forward, and the building being an [old church], right on the street with beautiful columns, I mean it looks like an educational building. If it could talk, it would tell you about all of the horse-drawn carriages that went in front of it for 50 years until the cars came, and then it’d tell you about who drove past on their way to the Maryland Hunt Cup, you know, on the way to the Preakness. And it’s located 15 minutes from a lot of farmland, so you could leave the building and go for a drive and really get a flavor for Maryland’s horse industry. Richard F. Blue Jr. Co-Chair of the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center Capital Campaign and Vice President of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association What does this project mean to you, as someone who has been a longtime member of Maryland’s horse industry? The horse business, and racing business, it basically saved my life. I was not headed in the right direction and I got involved in the horse business through my grandparents, they lived on a horse farm. Well, maybe not saved my life, but got me headed in the right direction because I’m dyslexic and I also have ADD, and school work sucked. So, I went and worked on the horse farm and went to college and that’s how I got into it. I realized at that point, I said, ‘I’m not going to be a trainer, I want to be an owner,’ so I went out and started making money so I could own horses. So, this project, to me, is a way of showing the youth and kids who may have learning differences, that this is a way they can vent in a different direction. It’s really something they’d have fun with. And also, it’s a way of honoring my grandparents, because they had a horse farm, bred their own horses, and they even had their own stallion.
  • Maryland Horse Foundation Launches $1 Million Capital Campaign to Establish the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center

    The Maryland Horse Foundation is pleased to announce the launch of the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center Capital Campaign. Located in the heart of historic Reisterstown in the Maryland Horse Breeders Association's building at 321 Main Street, the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center will honor the history of horses in Maryland and serve as a hub for learning and collaboration. The breadth and depth of the Maryland horse industry will be represented by a robust collection of reference books in a warm and welcoming venue available for public use. While this facility will include an expansive collection of books and reference materials, it will be more than a library, as the unique space is intended to foster and promote education, community ties and passion to ensure the longevity of the Maryland horse industry. “The Maryland Horse Library and Education Center will allow us to honor the past, educate in the present and promote the future [of Maryland’s horse industry],” said Capital Campaign co-chair and Maryland Horse Breeders Association Vice President, Richard F. Blue, Jr. In addition to the reference library, the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center will include a memorabilia area, versatile meeting space, interactive kiosks and rotating exhibits. Visitors will learn about Maryland’s champion horses and riders and engage with all facets of the state’s diverse equine industry, while educational programs will engage a wide audience of equine-inclined youth, the general public and lifelong industry participants. “The way [into the horse industry] is through learning, so that’s the most exciting aspect of this project,” said Josh Pons, co-chair of the Capital Campaign and president of the Maryland Horse Foundation. “There’s someone out there who has a passion for the game but just doesn’t know how to get started, and we could be that gateway for people, the portal where people come through the door in Reisterstown and go ‘wow, I met someone really interesting doing research in that library.’” While paying tribute to and preserving the rich history of Maryland’s horse industry, the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center will also serve as a center for visitors to document history by providing technology to record oral stories, scan photos and digitize historic footage. “We’re including all aspects of the industry - horse sports, horse activities - in what we do here and offering that to people who want to come learn,” said Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. “That’s the full circle from the founding of Maryland Horse Breeders Association in 1929, and the Maryland Horse Foundation has allowed us to amplify the focus on education.” The goal of the capital campaign is to raise $1 million that will be used to update 3,500 square feet of space in the historic building, purchase furnishings, integrate current audio/visual technologies and support ongoing operational costs. Support has been robust to date, with $100,000 in commitments already confirmed. The completion of this project relies on broad support from the Maryland horse community. 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 Maryland Horse Foundation supports a number of programs and is responsible for the development and maintenance of the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center. Since 1929, the Maryland Horse Breeders Association has been the leading horse industry advocate within the state of Maryland. The main purposes of the MHBA have always been to encourage, educate, promote, protect, and improve the horse breeding industry in Maryland. While emphasis traditionally has been placed on the production of Thoroughbred racehorses, the MHBA encourages all interests that include horses. Learn more about the various ways you can support the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center Capital Campaign here Contact: Cricket Goodall at (410) 252-2100 ext. 111
  • Maryland Horse Industry Day 2021

    Though we could not be in-person in Annapolis for Maryland Horse Industry Day this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are proud that Marylanders are able to benefit from the diverse community that horses provide. Horses offer access to a healthy lifestyle, with lots of fresh air and exercise, and for many much needed emotional and therapeutic support. Thanks to your ongoing support, significant horse industry projects are well underway such as: Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill New MD Horse Library & Education Center Rebirth of Laurel/Pimlico racetracks Notable increase in licensed riding facilities  Please enjoy these photos from the Maryland Horse Industry! THANK YOU! Maryland Horse Breeders Association - Maryland Horse Council Maryland Horse Industry Board - Maryland Jockey Club - Maryland Million Ltd. - Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association - Maryland State Fair - Maryland 5 Star - Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation - Maryland Equine Transition Service - Fair Hill Foundation - Maryland Steeplechase Association - Ocean Downs Racetrack - Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association - Rosecroft Raceway - Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners’ Association - Fasig-Tipton Co. *Maryland Horse Industry Day 2021 photo credit and descriptions: Identified from left to right, row by row Fasig-Tipton at the Maryland State Fair - ©Lydia Williams Rendering of Maryland Horse Library and Educational Center Onearmedbandit with a colt by Northview's Golden Lad at No Guts No Glory Farm - ©Gina Robb  Fair Hill in Elkton, Md. - Home of the Maryland 5 Star Knicks Go wins the Pegasus World Cup Invitational Stakes-G1 - ©Derbe Glass Hope's Legacy - a feature film by DBM Films, filming in Maryland at farms such as GreenMount Farm, Full Moon Farm and Fairwinds Farm and Stable with local talent Moscato, The Eclipse Award Champion Steeplechaser - ©Tod Marks Coexist Stables - A Horse Discovery Center, two students having fun in a lesson - ©James Hillman Greenwell Foundation - A Horse Discovery Center, a trail ride from Greenwell - ©Jolanda Campbell Nick Jackson - 2020 Junior World Finals Bull Riding Championship - ©William Olfus Rendering of future Pimlico -  Maryland Stadium Authority  Rosecoft Raceway - Yall Beneath Me - ©Best Bets Full Moon Farm - Young rider wins all the blues - ©Marisa Evans Maryland State Vet Dr. Odian's Team of Percheron Mares - ©Anne Litz The Maryland Horse Trials at Loch May Farm - ©Carolyn Mackintosh Swiss Skydiver wins the 2020 Preakness-G1 - ©Lydia Williams Fox Hunting Club in Maryland- ©Karen Kandra Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding - A Horse Discovery Center, Parts of the Horse - ©Cathy Schmidt Windy Way Horses - A Horse Discovery Center with a student competing in Western Dressage - ©Annie Trice Sara Hassler, Touch of Class award winner - ©Susan Stickle
  • Governor Hogan proclaims October ‘Maryland Horse Month’

    Watch the official announcement HERE ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 29, 2020) – Today Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed October as Maryland Horse Month, recognizing the abundant historic, recreational, therapeutic, and economic contributions made by the state’s horse industry. Additionally, 2020 will be the first year that all of Maryland’s premiere equestrian sporting events, including the Preakness Stakes, are held in the same month due to scheduling changes in response to COVID-19. “Maryland has historically led the nation in creating and growing innovative equestrian-related programs, from forming the first sporting organization in the colonies, the Maryland Jockey Club in 1743, to hosting the Maryland 5 Star, one of only seven events of this kind in the world,” said Governor Hogan. “Maryland Horse Month will showcase the depth and breadth of the industry’s impact on our history, heritage, and culture.” In support of the Governor’s proclamation, the Maryland Horse Industry Board will lead a targeted marketing strategy to highlight state-wide attractions, events, activities, trails, exhibits, and experiences with an equestrian connection. The Maryland Horse Foundation’s website,, has been enhanced to host live streaming broadcasts, educational content, career exploration series, and behind the scenes videos with plans to expand the selection of activities and experiences in the future. “Like many of Maryland’s other businesses in 2020, our industry has had to be nimble in unprecedented ways, including rescheduling major equestrian events,” said Ross Peddicord, executive director of Horse Industry Board, a part of the Maryland Department of Agriculture. “Preakness Stakes will be run for the first time in its 145-year history in October instead of May, joining other key equestrian events to be held during the month including the Jim McKay Maryland Million race at Laurel and the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill.” These events will be held without spectators, and individual event organizers will present robust virtual experiences to whet the appetite for the 2021 competitions. 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. “These major equestrian events typically bring in thousands of tourists, as do our world-class destinations such as Assateague Island National Seashore, home to several bands of wild horses,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. “Expanding the general public’s knowledge of Maryland’s idyllic horse country, whether it be through driving the Horses & Hounds Scenic Byway, exploring regional historic trails, learning about an historic breeding farm established in the 1740s, or engaging in outdoor activities such as horseback riding, is what we do best. During this inaugural Maryland Horse Month, we will unveil three Maryland Equestrian Travel Collections on our VisitMaryland website.” The American Horse Council has ranked Maryland as #1 in the nation in horses per square mile. In addition to tourism attractions, there are 38 friendly and knowledgeable Maryland Horse Discovery Centers located in 18 counties that include licensed stables, therapeutic riding program providers, and state-of-the-art equestrian centers. All provide the perfect introduction to various segments of the industry. 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, #VirtualMD5Star, #MDMillion, #Preakness, #Preakness145, #BlackEyedSusan, and #JewelToRemember. For additional travel information go to 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 $18.6 billion on travel-related expenses in 2019. The Maryland tourism industry also generated $2.6 billion in state and local taxes essentially saving Maryland households $1,175 in annual taxes. The industry provided Marylanders with 150,000 jobs. For more information, go to
  • 2020 Maryland Horse Industry Day – Annapolis

    Presented by the Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association, Fair Hill Foundation, Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation, Maryland Equine Transition Services (METS), Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Maryland Horse Council, Maryland Horse Industry Board, Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Million Ltd., Maryland State Fair, Maryland Standardbred Breeders, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Ocean Downs, Rosecroft Raceway and The Equiery. All equine-interested individuals are invited to attend. No advocacy experience required! We'll convene in the morning to prep for legislative meetings, then meet in small groups with legislators. When legislators are in session, we'll hear presentations and engage in discussions and Q&A with industry members, legislative staffers and special guests. We'll then enjoy boxed lunches with legislators. LOCATION MILLER SENATE OFFICE 11 BLADEN STREET ANNAPOLIS, MD 21401 Tentative Schedule 7:30-8am: Registration, coffee & snacks 8-10am: Meetings with legislators (pre-scheduled, and drop-ins) 10-11: 30 am: Advocacy 101; panel discussions and award presentations 11:30-1pm: Lunch with legislators & salutations We will help you know how to navigate Annapolis and you will make an impact! Once you RSVP you'll be invited to a preview calls TBA Please note: you can register even if you can't be there for the entire schedule, but please indicate your availability as we will be booking legislator meetings around RSVPs. Please RSVP Here!  
  • Horse Industry Day Brings Hundreds of Marylanders to Annapolis

      ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 23, 2016) – Today, the Maryland horse industry partners announced that they have commissioned an economic impact study on the industry’s fiscal contributions to Maryland, the first of this scale since 2005. The study will be conducted by Sage Policy Group, and the results will be unveiled in conjunction with the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day in October of this year. “As a $1.6 billion dollar industry, the Maryland horse industry is a vital part of our state’s economy and way of life, and all of its participants, from veterinarians and horse owners to racetracks and hospitality vendors, appreciate the Administration and Legislature’s efforts to revitalize the industry, particularly in the past several years,” said Dr. Kathleen Anderson, President of the American Association of Equine Practitioners and Owner of Equine Veterinary Care at Fair Hill Training Center. “We are uniquely fortunate to have so many supporters in our state government and throughout Maryland, and that is what sets Maryland’s horse industry apart from other states,” she continued. Fair Hill Training Center in Cecil County, one of the premier Thoroughbred training facilities in the United States, is a 5,656 acre Natural Resources Management Area owned by the State of Maryland. For the second year in a row, the Governor proclaimed the day as Maryland Horse Industry Day. The proclamation states, “The Maryland Horse Industry employs nearly 28,000 Marylanders, accounts for $512 million in sales annually, $72 million in taxes collected and includes 587,000 acres of our beautiful State…Maryland is pleased to commend the Maryland Equine Industry for its contributions to the economic health of our great State.” The Lieutenant Governor attended the day’s Kick-Off to present the proclamation to James B. Steele, Chairman of the Maryland Horse Industry Board and to Cricket Goodall, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. In appreciation of Maryland’s commitment to the prosperity of the equine industry, Maryland-based artist Sam Robinson presented a gift of art to the State of Maryland, accepted by Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford at the Kick-Off. The framed art was a painting titled “Autumn Afternoon,” a beautiful horse farm scene. Senator J.B. Jennings (R-7), Senator Joan Carter Conway (D-43), and Secretary Mark Belton of the Department of Natural Resources spoke to the importance of the horse industry to Maryland’s economy, culture, and environmental preservation. Delegate Seth Howard (R-30B), sponsor of HB660 to establish an annual Equestrian Day, described how the legislation would recognize Maryland’s time-honored equestrian and horse racing traditions. HB660 would designate the final race of the Triple Crown as Equestrian Day in Maryland. The day also included a kick-off and issue briefing, reception, and constituent meetings with over 25 legislators. Hundreds of Marylanders from around the state came to the State’s Capitol to advocate for the industry. Earlier in the day, Ross Peddicord, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, commented, “We need to continually remind legislators and our fellow citizens of the strength of our industry and its positive impact on our state, from the wild ponies at Assateague to trail riding stables in Garrett County to events like the Preakness, Maryland Million, Maryland Hunt Cup, Fair Hill International, and Capital Challenge Horse Show.” “Although we all have our special disciplines, we are united in promoting the major benefits that horses provide to improve people's lives and to enrich our state's cultural and economic landscape," he added.   About the Maryland Horse Industry Partners The Maryland horse industry partners are a coordinated voice of individuals and businesses throughout the state involved in Thoroughbred and Standardbred horse racing and breeding, trail riding, steeplechase, sport horse competitions, rodeo, carriage driving, therapy programs, recreation and other equestrian industries. They represent over 200 equine organizations and 35 different equestrian disciplines. Their mission is to educate public officials as well as citizens about the importance of the horse industry – in jobs, economic impact, open space, animal welfare and preservation of long-standing cultural traditions. The 14 Horse Industry Day sponsors include: Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners' Association, Fasig-Tipton Co., Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation, Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Maryland Horse Council, Maryland Horse Industry Board, Maryland Jockey Club, Maryland Million Ltd., Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association, Maryland State Fair, Maryland Steeplechase Association, Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Ocean Downs Racetrack, and Rosecroft Raceway. For more information visit
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