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Horse Forum A Success

They came. They saw. And they talked. And they talked and they talked and they are still talking! On Thursday, August 6, 2009, close to 300 leaders in the Maryland equestrian community gathered to discuss the state of the industry. They were joined by Governor Martin O’Malley, who likewise talked and talked, talking well beyond the time slot into which his “people” had scheduled him, but delighting the crowd, with whom he engaged in an extended Q&A session. Watch for final reports on and in The Equiery! Governor O’Malley’s speech: 090806horseforum Photos from the Governor’s office THE BEST ARTICLE SO FAR ON THE FORUM: O’Malley slams Anne Arundel County for slots inaction – LIZ FARMER OTHER RECOMMENDED READING The Gazette – story 1 The Gazette – story 2 News 8 The Baltimore Sun The Washington Post Hometown Annapolis...

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Court Declares: Maryland Has No Laws Regulating Animal Massage Therapists

It is now official. On July 30, 2009, Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge David A. Boynton declared that there are no laws in Maryland which either regulate animal massage practitioners or require that animal massage practitioners be licensed. It took one year and forty-five days for the Courts to decide that the Maryland State Board of Chiropractic Examiners held no authority over whether or not an individual could practice massage on animals, but they finally arrived at the same conclusion that several of The Equiery’s readers had already reached months ago: that although the Chiropractic Board may regulate and license human massage therapist, they have absolutely no jurisdiction over animal massage practitioners. In late winter of 2008, using what could be considered an internal memo from the Maryland State Board of Veterinary Examiners as support for their position, the Chiropractic Board sent Mercedes Clemens several letters to cease and desist her animal massage practice, threatening fines and to revoke her license to practice on humans if she did not cease and desist her animal practice. “The Maryland Constitution protects my right to earn an honest living free from unreasonable regulations,” Mercedes explained at the time. With representation provided by the Institute for Justice, a national public interest law firm, Mercedes filed suit against both Boards on June 10, 2008 for violating her constitutional rights. The Vet Board quickly (well,...

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Your Opinion Is Needed: Maryland Horse Industry Today & Tomorrow

WANTED Your participation! Your ideas, thoughts, opinions, analysis, conclusions and brainstorming creativity. Maryland Horse Industry Forum August 6, 2009 Show Place Arena Prince George’s Equestrian Center Upper Marlboro, Maryland 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m Guest of Honor: Governor Martin O’Malley Registration Fee: FREE Only your time, attention and critical thinking skills are needed. The Equiery is pleased to sponsor the 2009 Maryland Horse Industry Forum If you have a stake in the Maryland equine industry, then you need to be at the Show Place Arena on August 6. From racing and slots to trails and greenways, from education to zoning and land preservation, Maryland’s equestrian community faces a myriad of challenges. What should be done? Where should we focus our efforts? Horse Park? Import/Export facility? Should Maryland focus resources on acquiring more public lands? Or should the State instead offer incentives for conservation and trail access easements on private land?  Should the Maryland Office of Tourism help to better promote equine-related tourist activities, such as guided trail rides and attending the races? How can the Department of Economic Development help the average horse business? Should the Maryland Insurance Commission do more about equine insurance? Governor O’Malley wants to know your thoughts! Over 300 industry, state and local leaders attended the 2004 Forum, including the Governor. That Forum provided the raw ideas for scores of initiatives, many of which have...

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Slots Update

Remember how, back in the waning days of winter, the Laurel Racing Association (a division under track owner Magna) literally filed its bid for slots at the 11th hour, sans the $28.5 million dollar filing fee? And remember when the Video Lottery Facility Location Commission spun the bid because Laurel didn’t follow the filing rules? And remember how Laurel argued that, because the law was not clear as to whether or not they would get their fee returned if they lost their bid, it was acceptable that they did not file the fee? And remember how the commission essentially said, “malarkey?” So Laurel sued? And the Anne Arundel Circuit Court rejected their argument? So, Laurel appealed? Well, today, according to Daily Record, the Court of Appeals essentially said that both Laurel and the Anne Arundel Circuit Court jumped the gun, and that the case should have first gone to the State Board of Contract Appeals before it went to any other court, and that Laurel has to wait until the Commission makes its final ruling before they can challenge the bidding process. Recommended Reading Link: The Daily Record July 7: Cecil County Going For Slots According to the, Perryville’s mayor and town commissioners have approved the preliminary site plan for a slots casino on a 30-acre parcel off Route 222 in Cecil County near Interstate 95. Town planners...

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Rosecroft Sold, TBs Win Lawsuit

Vogel Buys Back Rosecroft On July 8, the stockholders of Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc. unanimously voted to approve the sale of Rosecroft Raceway in Price George’s County to former owner Mark Vogel. Vogel told The Baltimore Sun that the purchase is costing him more than 10 million dollars. Since Cloverleaf filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June, a bankruptcy judge must approve the sale. Also, the Maryland Racing Commission must approve transfer of Rosecroft’s racing license to Vogel before live harness racing can resume. Vogel hopes to have live racing back at the track by January 2010 and is also looking into the possibility of adding a restaurant on the grounds and hosting concerts and other events. Cloverleaf Loses Lawsuit A federal judge on July 15 denied Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc.’s request to reinstate Thoroughbred simulcast signals at Rosecroft Raceway. According to The Baltimore Sun, Cloverleaf had also asked for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to order the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association to stop interfering with Rosecroft’s simulcast agreement and order out-of-state racetracks to restore Rosecroft’s signal. The judge denied this request as well. To read background information on these two issues, click...

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Latest Lawsuit: Standardbreds Sue Thoroughbreds

On July 6, Cloverleaf Enterprises, Inc., which owns Rosecroft Raceway and filed for bankruptcy protection in June, has filed a $20,000,000 (yes, that is right, twenty million dollar) lawsuit against 17 different organizations, most of which represent the Thoroughbred industry, including the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (the organization for owners and trainers, a.k.a. “the Horsemen”), and the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (an organization for Thoroughbred breeders, a.k.a. “the Breeders”), and 15 other defendants, mostly out of state race tracks.The lawsuit alleges breach of contract regarding the simulcast agreements, and specifically accuses the Horsemen and the Breeders of interfering with Rosecroft’s simulcast agreements with out-of-state racetracks, which allegedly led to the track’s disastrous drop in revenue, which then allegedly led to Cloverleaf filing for bankruptcy. Interestingly, despite news reports to the contrary, this lawsuit does NOT list the Maryland Jockey Club as a defendant, although Rosecroft has complained in the press about the Jockey Club’s interference with its signal. Recommended Reading: The Daily Record The Washington Post Background Information (first printed in the July 2009 issue of The Equiery): • June 4 : Cloverleaf Enterprises Inc, which owns Rosecroft Raceway, filed for bankruptcy. The 60-year-old track, which is located on 130 acres in Ft. Washington, has estimated assets of $10-50 million and debts of $1-10 million. Kelley Rogers, president of Cloverleaf, told The Washington Post that it was the 15-year...

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