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  • Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation Newsletter

    Sign up for the Temple Gwathmey Steeplechase Foundation e-newsletter to get the latest steeplechasing news and more! Learn more→
  • The Big Purple Barn Volunteer Program

    The Big Purple Barn provides a permanent home with a lifetime of compassionate care for special needs horses, ponies, minis, as well as sheep, goats, and pigs. Our residents, in turn, provide opportunities in our community for people to make meaningful connections with our animals. Providing attention and care for 15 equines, many of which have special needs, as well as pigs, goats, sheep and cats every day, is a critical task at the farm. That is why we developed a volunteer program. Our volunteers are an invaluable part of our programs. Volunteers typically sign up to perform evening feed shifts which include feeding the horses, mucking of stalls and fields and weather appropriate tasks such as blanketing, bathing and trough scrubbing. Shifts typically occur in the late afternoon/early evening and last from 1 to 3 hours depending on the amount of volunteers assigned to a shift. Many volunteers like to spend extra time with a special horse they connect with. The horses enjoy the additional treats, grooming and extra attention. We accept volunteers as young as 10 to work under supervision in the barn. No horse experience is required and we provide continual training. Learn more about becoming a volunteer→
  • The Buzz

    “The Buzz” is the Maryland Agricultural Foundation’s monthly e-newsletter packed with information and opportunities for educators, including agricultural education programs, grant opportunities, events, workshops, and more! Learn more→
  • The Equiery

    The Equiery is an information and advertising publication for the Maryland equestrian community published by the Maryland Horse Council 12 times a year (monthly). The publication is distributed, free, in tack shops and feed shops in & around Maryland. Each issue is also available in digital format on equiery.com. For more information on equestrian services in Maryland, please contact us at 1-800-244-9580 or 410-489-7826 or info@equiery.com. Read the latest issue→
  • The Fast Ride: Spectacular Bid and the Undoing of a Sure Thing, by Jack Gilden

    Even though his name is in the title, and his picture is on the cover, the great Spectacular Bid is a background character in Jack Gilden's spellbinding book. After all, racing fans know all about "the Bid": he was the 1979 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes champion, Horse of the Year in 1980, and an Eclipse champion at ages 2, 3, and 4. The story racing fans knew for decades went like this: the Bid, owned and trained by Marylanders Harry and Tom Meyerhoff and Buddy Delp, respectively, was undone in his bid for the Triple Crown by Ronnie Franklin, a local Maryland jockey who gave his mount a terrible ride in the Belmont Stakes. After that ride, Franklin was replaced by the great Bill Shoemaker, and Bid went on to further glory he could never have achieved under Franklin. That's that, right? Not quite. Gilden's 300-page tome takes a deep dive into the players. He provides plenty of background information on every character, taking time to explain their significance in the story. He goes into detail on Franklin's upbringing in the gritty Dundalk suburb of Baltimore, and how he found his way to the Pimlico backstretch. He tells of Delp's meteoric rise in the Maryland training ranks and the cold way he treated many of the people and horsemen in his life, referring to him as "a bully, a brawler, and an admitted (drug user)." Other figures not always associated with Spectacular Bid become main characters, including Angel Cordero Jr., the rough-riding leading jockey of his day who caused Franklin problems both on and off the track, and racing writer Andy Beyer, whose scathing columns during Triple Crown season did Franklin no favors in the court of public opinion. The safety pin story also receives a treatment. The story went that Spectacular Bid stepped on a pin in his stall the night before the Belmont, and the subsequent pain cost him a Triple Crown. It had been brushed aside in recent years as an excuse for Franklin's poor riding, but Gilden reviews the incident in detail. His telling casts Delp as someone caught up in a pursuit of glory, and a subsequent financial windfall, rather than the welfare of the horse. Gilden also weaves the cultural climate of the late 1970s into his story. With such a large Latino presence in the sport nowadays, it can be easy to forget, but the ascension of riders such as Cordero, Ruben Hernandez (who rode Coastal, the upset winner of the Belmont), and Jorge Velazquez was met with, at best, unease, and at worst, outright hostility from the racing community, including Spectacular Bid's people. The emergence of recreational drugs such as cocaine also infiltrated their way into Franklin and Delp's lives, with both of them avid users. The drug ultimately led to Franklin's downfall, while Delp did little to discourage him. It's a darker and more complex story than anyone might've given it credit, but Gilden tells it in spellbinding fashion. It's unlikely one will end the book with the same opinions on Franklin and Delp as when they started. For anyone who wants to know the real story behind the people with one of racing's brightest stars, it's a must-read.  
  • The Foxes of Belair: Gallant Fox, Omaha, and the Quest for the Triple Crown, by Jennifer Kelly

    In the decades since the formation of the Triple Crown, only one father-son combination has won the Triple Crown: Gallant Fox in 1930 and Omaha in 1935. While astute racing fans might know that piece of trivia, they might not know that both were bred by Belair Stud, a legendary breeding farm founded in 1747 and brought to prominence by the Woodward family in the early 20th century. Jennifer Kelly takes a dive into Gallant Fox and Omaha's careers and Belair's influence on the breed in her new book. She tells the story of William Woodward Sr., who inherited the farm and, with some partners, imported the stallion *Sir Gallahad III. The son of *Teddy went on to become a four-time leading sire, with Gallant Fox his most notable offspring. Both Triple Crown champions were trained by "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, who became Belair's trainer in the 1920s and went on to a Hall of Fame career conditioning Belair horses. During his career, Gallant Fox was considered the best horse since Man o' War and attracted a considerable following. In fact, the phrase "Triple Crown" was coined following his Belmont Stakes win. Kelly takes a close look at each of his major wins, including his Belmont triumph over arch-rival Whichone and his shocking defeat in the Travers Stakes at the hands of Jim Dandy. Omaha was a member of Gallant Fox's first crop, and ascended to Triple Crown glory of his own. He carved his unique place in American racing history as a 4-year-old, when he shipped to England to contest the Ascot Gold Cup in 1936. Omaha gave a great account of himself in the 2 1/2-mile race, engaging in a stirring stretch duel with Quashed and just missing to finish second, giving American racing overseas credibility. Though Gallant Fox and Omaha were tremendous horses, they tend to be overshadowed by latter-day Triple Crown winners, and the dominance of Belair Stud often goes overlooked. Kelly ensures their legacy is not forgotten with this book. It flows neatly, providing everything the reader needs to know about each of Gallant Fox and Omaha's races without overwhelming them. Someone can go in knowing little about either one and come away with thorough knowledge. Towards the end of the book, Kelly mentions the importance of the Foxes of Belair in the history of racing: "Gallant Fox's record-breaking season and Omaha's status as the lone Triple Crown victor to race in England not only helped make the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, and the Belmont Stakes the heart of the American racing calendar but also set a standard for future generations to aspire to: one horse with the right balance of speed, stamina, and heart to outrun and outlast every challenger."
  • The Grill at Harryman House

    340 Main Street in Historic Reisterstown, Maryland 21136. Looking for a place to meet friends for a casual dinner, celebrate a special occasion, impress a business client, or just “hang out” drink a beer and watch the game? The Grill at Harryman House in Reisterstown, MD is just that place. Visit Site→
  • The Maryland State Fair: the History & the Spectacle with Fran Burns

    Fran Burns, now president of the Maryland State Fair, visited the Maryland Horse Library & Education Center on Monday, Aug. 28, 2023 to discuss the history of the Fair and her family's connections to the Fair. View the talk below: [embed]https://youtu.be/55kf7tQwYek[/embed]  
  • The Mill

    The Mill's seven locations strive to provide quality products with great service, at affordable prices. You will find your favorite lawn and garden supplies, farm supplies, pet supplies, work apparel, livestock feed, and more. If you don’t know what to buy, just ask any one of our experienced and friendly staff!  There are three convenient ways to shop at The Mill. Visit us at one of our locations, check out our Online Store, or have any in-store items delivered with your feed order of 10 bags or more.  Visit Site→
  • The Retreat at Beckleysville Volunteer Opportunities

    The Retreat at Beckleysville offers recreational, competitive, and therapeutic riding for people of all ages and abilities in a safe environment with minimal cost. Riders come from all over Maryland and Pennsylvania to enjoy the warm and inviting atmosphere and the enriching approach of trained volunteers.  Learn more about volunteering→
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