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.

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.

Talisman Derby Day

Join Talisman Therapeutic Riding for their 12th Annual Derby Day Benefit!

The Derby Day benefit is critical to Talisman’s ability to provide equine assisted activities designed to enrich lives and maximize potential of all.

Talisman’s traditional mint julep and bourbon tasting. Meet and greet the herd and special riders.  Delicious appetizers, dinner and dessert. Beer and wine.  Live and silent auctions.  Top local artists creating live during the event.  Exclusive art sale.  Prize wheel & Derby Hat contests. Live viewing of the Kentucky Derby on large TV screens.

Lillies for the Fillies

Talisman Therapeutic Riding has been celebrating legacy of horses through its annual Derby Day Event. An evening of fun-filled festivities honoring the fillies is planned at Talisman! Join us for cocktails, Caribbean music, caricature drawings, hippity hop races, and the feature event… LILY PLOP BINGO! A horses plopping could earn you money!

Author Talk with Patricia McQueen: Author of “Secretariat’s Legacy”

While many books have already been written about Secretariat’s racing accomplishments, Secretariat’s Legacy offers a new angle on his career.

Award-winning journalist and photographer Patricia McQueen will be at the Maryland Horse Library and Education Center in Reisterstown, Md., the afternoon of Thursday, May 18 to discuss her first book,
Secretariat’s Legacy.

It is a true labor of love, as McQueen spent decades tracking Secretariat’s offspring and their descendants. Secretariat’s Legacy features stories and hundreds of photographs of those Secretariat connections and offers a one-of-a-kind look at the legend’s impact on Thoroughbred racing and breeding.

Kate Tweedy, daughter of Penny Chenery, and Leeanne Meadows Ladin – co-authors of the book Secretariat’s Meadow: The Land, The Family, The Legend – note in the foreword in Secretariat’s Legacy: “That Ms. McQueen has taken on the daunting task of documenting his progeny is a huge contribution to his legacy. . . this book opens a new chapter.”

For more than 20 years McQueen’s photos were regularly featured in the pages of Thoroughbred Times, and her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred. Copies of Secretariat’s Legacy, a coffee-table book with nearly 300 photos, mostly in color, will be available for purchase and signed by the author. 

The talk will take place Thursday, May 18, at 4 p.m., in the library of Maryland Horse Library and Education Center, 321 Main Street, Reisterstown, Md.

Attendance is free.

Preakness Week Book Sale & Book Signing

The Maryland Horse Library & Education Center will offer for the first time a duplicate book sale to be held during Preakness week on Wednesday, May 17 and Thursday, May 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Reisterstown, Md.

A large collection of classics, many out-of-print, as well as newer offerings will be available for purchase.

The MHLEC is also pleased to announce local authors John Eisenberg, Jack Gilden, Josh Pons and Alvin Stone will be on hand at select times to sign their books, with new copies available for sale.

On Thursday, May 18 at 4 p.m. photographer Patricia McQueen will do an author talk with about her recently published “Secretariat’s Legacy,” an exquisite collection of photographs and stories about Secretariat and his descendants. McQueen will do a book signing after her talk.

“The MHLEC has accumulated a great collection of duplicate books currently in storage, all of which would be a wonderful addition to someone’s personal library,” said library manager Cindy Deubler. “It’s a horse-lover and book-lover’s dream.”

Titles of used books offered for sale include:

• Numerous copies of the Thoroughbred Legends series, including those about Preakness winners Man O’ War, Nashua, Native Dancer, Sunday Silence and War Admiral
• A collection of books on Secretariat and Citation, this year celebrating anniversaries of their Triple Crowns seasons
• Racing history books, including William H.P. Robertson’s “The History of Thoroughbred Racing in America” and David Woods’ “Fireside Book of Horse Racing”
• Select years of the annual American Race Horses (published from 1936 to 1963), Daily Racing Form American Racing Manuals (including the years after Secretariat and Citation’s 3-year-old seasons) and Steeplechasing in America yearbooks

Visiting authors:

Wednesday, May 17 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Josh Pons, Eclipse Award-winning writer of “Country Life Diary” and “Merryland” about the Pons family’s farms in Harford and Baltimore Counties

Wednesday, May 17 – 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Baltimore native Alvin Stone, who gave MHLEC’s first author talk in February, has written “Stoney: The Story of My Dad’s Life, An African American Groom of Horse Racing”

Wednesday, May 17 – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Baltimore author and sportswriter John Eisenberg, author of “Native Dancer: The Grey Ghost: Hero of a Golden Age”; “The Longest Shot: Lil E. Tee and the Kentucky Derby”; “The Great Match Race: When North Met South in America’s First Sports Spectacle”; and (with jockey Edgar Prado) “My Guy Barbaro: A Jockey’s Journey Through Love, Triumph, and Heartbreak”

Wednesday, May 17 -1 p.m. to 3 p.m.: Baltimore journalist Jack Gilden, the author of the recently published “The Fast Ride: Spectacular Bid and the Undoing of a Sure Thing”

Thursday, May 18 – 4 p.m.: Author Talk with photographer Patricia McQueen about “Secretariat’s Legacy”

2023 Legacy Chase

The Legacy Chase is a family fun-filled day of steeplechase racing, picnicking, tailgating, or get your own tent to entertain friends or clients. All safely outdoors at the beautiful Shawan Downs.

Gates open at 10am, post time 12:30pm.


Cattail Chase Races

Catch the action at this year’s Cattail Chase Races! The 2023 event will include pony races, leadline races and timber races on top of plenty of tailgating opportunities. Gates open at 10am, first post 1pm.


Tickets available Summer 2023!