Author Talk with Patrick Smithwick

Marylander Patrick Smithwick has been working with horses all of his life, getting life lessons at a very young age from his father, the legendary steeplechase jockey A.P. Smithwick, who became a trainer after retiring from riding. The younger Smithwick worked his way through school and college by exercising Thoroughbreds at major East Coast racetracks and riding steeplechase races at such venues as Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, and hunt meets such as the Maryland Hunt Club and the Grand National.

Smithwick has since developed another passion, writing, and writes about what he knows, growing up with a racing legend in “Racing My Father” to a memoir about a year with his family in “Flying Change”, his first two published works. His most recent book, “War’s Over, Come Home” is another chapter in the life of his family.

​Smithwick will give a talk about his books and his life at the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center on Monday, November 6 at 4 p.m.

Attendance is free. For more information and upcoming events, visit

Fourth Monday Talk – The Washington D.C. International

International racing at its best didn’t begin with the Breeders’ Cup. The first major event in the U.S. was the brainchild of Marylander John D. Schapiro, who took over the reins as Laurel’s president in 1950 and decided to create a race designed to bring together the world’s best horses at a mile and a half on the grass. He named it the Washington, D.C., International. The race had its first running in 1952 and was an immediate hit, as *Wilwyn carried the banner for England. Parties in D.C. were a mainstay on the social calendar and everyone from dignitaries to royalty to movie stars were in attendance. Horses came from around the world, including Russia, for the next half-century until the Breeders’ Cup drew competitors away.

Learn more about the history of the Washington, D.C., International and racing visionary John Schapiro when his step-son, nationally recognized steeplechase trainer Joseph Davies, comes for a talk at the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center on Monday, October 23 at 4 p.m.

Fourth Monday Talk – The Maryland Horse Park System

Ross Peddicord, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board, was instrumental in the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s creation of the Maryland Horse Park System, an alliance of three cornerstone equestrian destinations – Prince George’s Equestrian Center, Fair Hill Special Events Zone, and the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center. In partnership with qualifying Affiliate Members, the unified mission is to promote Maryland as a world class equine industry and destination.

Peddicord will discuss how the Maryland Horse Park System came to be, and take a look at the upcoming world-class events to be held in October: the Maryland 5-Star at Fair Hill, and the Washington International Horse Show at The Show Place Arena at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center.

Learn more about the Maryland Horse Park System on Monday, September 25 at 4 p.m. at the third destination, the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center in Reisterstown.

Attendance is free. To learn more about the Maryland Horse Library and its events, visit

Pasture Management Seminar

Join UMD Extension for a pasture walk at Berkley Farms in Darlington on August 9 starting at 5:30 p.m. Livestock owners of all types that utilize pasture are encouraged to attend. We will discuss fall pasture management, fertility, stand evaluation, and pasture seeding/ renovation. This will be an informal program, so bring your questions!

Equine Sports Turfgrass Management Seminar

As the third installment of the newly-launched Howard & Sondra Bender Educational Series (HSBES), a partnership with University of Maryland Extension, the Maryland Horse Foundation will host a seminar on equine sports turfgrass management on August 30th at the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center.

Geoffrey Rinehart (UMD Turfgrass Management) will speak about the five primary cultural practices of turfgrass as they pertain to equestrian surfaces. The five primary cultural practices include mowing, fertilizing, irrigation, cultivation (aerating and de-thatching), and pest management. Species and variety selection will also be covered.

Logan Freeman, Senior Sports Turf Consultant for Maryland Jockey Club, will speak about how he utilizes the five primary cultural practices within the turfgrass track maintenance programs at both Laurel Park and Pimlico, including some new science-based tools being implemented to help in the process.

Following the presentations there will be open discussion about turfgrass management in equine sports.

Attendance is free and light refreshments will be served. The seminar will be recorded and available at

For questions, contact Becky Remsberg at


Geoff Rinehart has 22 years’ experience in the turfgrass and landscape industry working in various parts of the country. He earned Bachelor’s degrees in Turfgrass Management and Landscape Contracting from Virginia Tech and a Master’s of Science in Turfgrass Science at Michigan State University. After graduating from Michigan State, Geoff spent 5 ½ years as a research technician conducting turfgrass science research at Washington State University and spent 4 years’ coordinating the Tacoma-Pierce County Natural Yard Care program conducting outreach and education for homeowners and professionals in Pierce County, WA. From 2013- 2018 Geoff served as coordinator of the Arboretum’s ‘Grass Roots’ Initiative, which includes a 1.3- acre interactive turfgrass exhibit, a website, and ongoing homeowner lawn maintenance workshops in the spring and fall. His experience has also included working on golf courses and in the landscape industry in Maryland, Colorado, Washington state, and Hawaii. Geoff joined the University of Maryland as a Lecturer in the Institute of Applied Agriculture in July, 2017 teaching courses in landscape and turfgrass management.

Logan Freeman has been the golf course superintendent at Mountain Branch Golf Club in Joppa, Maryland for the past thirteen years, and in turfgrass management for 23 years. Originally from Idaho, Logan received an undergraduate degree in Environmental and Occupational Safety and Health from Boise State University and once moving to Maryland, received a Master’s in Applied Turfgrass Management from Penn State University. Logan has taken his passion for all things turfgrass into the equine world, where he is the current Senior Sports Turf Consultant for the Maryland Jockey Club, helping oversee the turf tracks at Laurel Park and Pimlico.


The Equine Sports Turfgrass Alliance, (ESTA) is a recently formed group of university and industry turfgrass experts. ESTA as an organization is dedicated to conducting research and providing education about turfgrass surfaces for racetrack, eventing, polo and other-use equine surfaces. ESTA looks to take advantage of any educational opportunities available to communicate with horse owners, trainers and equine facility managers in order to provide information on how to better manage turfgrass systems. It is the goal of ESTA to bring science-backed maintenance practices to the forefront of equine turfgrass management.

Agricultural & Social Media Marketing Seminar

Visit the Maryland Horse Library for an evening of learning on August 1 at 5:30pm!

The Maryland Horse Foundation will be joined by University of Maryland’s Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) for an agricultural marketing seminar as the second installment of the Howard & Sondra Bender Educational Series.

Meredith Epstein, IAA senior lecturer in Sustainable Agriculture, will provide an overview of marketing for agricultural businesses. Molly Balint, business coach of Farmhouse Creative, will speak about the ins and outs of marketing through social media.

Attendance is free and light refreshments will be served. The seminar will be recorded and available at

About the Institute of Applied Agriculture:

The Institute of Applied Agriculture (IAA) is a 60-credit, two-year academic certificate program in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources (AGNR) at the University of Maryland, College Park. The IAA provides students with the entrepreneurial, technical, and leadership skills needed to manage profitable agricultural enterprises, including golf courses, sports fields, landscaping companies, and agricultural operations. The IAA motivates students to start, enhance, or redirect their careers. Our students include recent high school graduates, people who have been out of school for years, lifelong learners, and career changers. Our program also provides a gateway for students who want to continue their education and to earn a baccalaureate degree.

About the Howard & Sondra Bender Educational Series

The Howard & Sondra Bender Educational Series is the newest addition to the slate of existing educational programs produced by the Maryland Horse Foundation. The series, hosted at the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center, utilizes the facility’s resources to offer an educational series of in-person gatherings covering a wide range of topics for people involved in and/or interested in learning more about the Maryland horse and/or agricultural industries. These sessions will be recorded and available for public viewing as an on-demand resource.

The Maryland Horse Foundation has partnered with University of Maryland Extension to deliver a set of 4 seminars over the course of 2023, following a general theme of sustainability.

For more information about the Howard & Sondra Bender Educational Series, visit or email

Scout Horsemanship Badge Day

Horsemanship Badge Days are designed with your Scout in mind, but all groups and individuals ages 5-15 are welcome! This program covers a tour of the farm, safety, basic horse care, grooming, horse leading, and a riding demonstration or experience. This program aims to meet for the GS Daisy Journey badge, GS Brownie Pets badge, GS Junior Horseback Riding Badge, GS Cadette Animal Helpers Badge, Boy Scouts Animal Science Badge and Horsemanship Badge, and GS Seniors Voice or Animals Badge.

To sign up for this program, you must email to be given the program’s access code.

Howard & Sondra Bender Educational Series Pasture Management Seminar

The Maryland Horse Library & Education Center is excited to kick off the new Howard & Sondra Bender Educational Series with a sustainable pasture management seminar in partnership with University of Maryland Extension.

Talks will include Nutrition & Health of the Pastured Horse, given by equine Extension specialist Dr. Amy Burk, as well as a talk on pasture management, given by forage specialist Dr. Amanda Grev.

Attendance is free. For questions, call 410-252-2100 or email

Author Talk on “Self Destruction: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of U.S. Senator Daniel B. Brewster”

“Hollywood handsome Danny Brewster had it all: inherited wealth, stellar education, decorated combat Marine, prestigious horse farm, and even a seat in the United States Senate. He helped pass some of the most important civil rights legislation in our history, and provided the first political jobs to future House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. Then, debilitated by alcoholism, he self-destructed and lost it all.”

A new biography about the Baltimore-born senator has recently been released. Self Destruction: The Rise, Fall and Redemption of U.S. Senator Daniel B. Brewster will be the topic of discussion for the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center’s Fourth Monday series, to be held June 26 at 4 p.m. in the library.

Author John W. Frece, a longtime legislative reporter with the Baltimore Sun and United Press International, will discuss the book and Brewster’s life, along with members of the Brewster family.

“Reexamining the life and legacy of Senator Brewster is particularly timely at this pivotal moment in our nation’s history, in light of our renewed struggle for racial justice,” writes Pelosi in the foreword. “Danny showed notable political courage in helping pave the way for progress on civil rights. He was the only Senator from south of the Mason-Dixon Line to co-sponsor both the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act.”

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signed by the author.