American Pharoah’s Clean Win!

IJKcas_0651American Pharaoh down the stretch for clean win at yesterday’s 140th running of The Preakness Stakes!

Photo by Equiery contributing photographer Isabel Kurek.

Preakness Post Positions Drawn; Count Down Begins to “Riders Up!”

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American Pharoah breezing this morning at Pimlico after arriving yesterday afternoon. (Photo by Maryland Jockey Club

While it may be white knuckles for all on Saturday, the Wednesday before Preakness is the white knuckle day for the trainers, as that is the day of the draw for the post positions, all hoping to draw the statistically most favorable post. And unfortunately for trainer Bobby Baffert, the Preakness if off to a tough start for his Kentucky Derby winner American Pahroah, as it was his horse that drew the “dreaded” number 1 slot in the gate. The stats aren’t good for the inside slot, as it has been 21 years since a horse won from the #1 spot: Tabasco Cat in 1994.

Nevertheless, American wants a Triple Crown winner, and so in just two days most everyone (sometimes even the competition) will be cheering for American Pharoah as the three-year-old colt by Pioneer of The Nile leaves the gate in the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Racecourse in Baltimore. Will he best a field of eight and get one step closer to a Triple Crown victory? The odd makers say yes, but there are seven other horses standing in his way that would like to take home the Woodlawn Vase (the most expensive trophy is the sporting world, if we need to remind you).

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Divining Rod training at the Fair Hill Training Center (photo provided by Woody Offut)

Even though Marylanders will be cheering for a Triple Crown horse, we will also be cheering for the Maryland-based Divining Rod, who has been under the training of Armaud Delacour. The 39-year-old native of Normandy, France operates a training stable at the Fair Hill Training Center in Cecil County with his wife Leigh (a former Pony Clubber and foxhunter from Annapolis). Mr. and Mrs. Roy Jackson’s Lael Stables of Pennsylvania owns the Kentucky-bred Divining Rod (by Tapit out of Princess Kitten). The Jacksons owned the 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who was also trained out of FHTC. Divining Rod will break from post position seven and is ridden by Javier Castellano, who won the Preakness Stakes in 2006 aboard Bernadini.

Another entry with Maryland connections is
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Strawberry-munching Mini Shot & Killed by Owner

On May 4, 2015, John Nelson Price (Westover, MD) was arrested by Maryland State Police in Somerset County on two counts of two counts of animal cruelty and two counts of reckless endangerment.

According to Eastern Shore news services, Price shot and killed his own miniature horse on  the evening of Saturday May 2 after the mini returned to his own yard after being shooed out of a neighbor’s strawberry patch by the neighbor. The incident was recorded on a home video surveillance system.

The case will be heard on June 12, at which time Price will also be tried on separated charges stemming from an incident on April 6; these charges – which are not animal related – include second degree assault, trespassing and reckless endangerment.

According to Maryland court records, in 2001 Price faced animal cruelty and malicious destruction of property charges, pleading out on the property destruction charges.

For more information:   WBOC Channel 13   Delmarva Now

Equine Health Crisis Averted

(The following is a reprint from the May print edition of The Equiery.)

It has been a scary spring for Maryland horse people…
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Mezza Luna Farm in Montgomery County

The owners of Mezza Luna Farm in Montgomery County, which has been coping with an EHV-1 scare, has asked The Equiery to share with the community the following letter:
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Maryland-bred Raven’s Choice Wins Maryland Hunt Cup

Twill Do (blue/white) in front at the second fence with Raven's Choice (pink) and Almarmooq (green/yellow) right on his heels.

Twill Do (blue/white) in front at the second fence with the winner Raven’s Choice (pink/blue), Almarmooq (green/yellow) and Guts for Garters (green/white) right on his heels.


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New Maryland State Vet

IMG_1622-292x300On Thursday, Aprl 23, 2015, The Maryland Department of Agriculture announced that Secretary Joe Bartenfelder has promoted Maryland Department of Agriculture Field Veterinarian Michael Radebaugh, VMD to State Veterinarian, a position that was left vacant after the retirement of Dr. Guy Hohenhaus about a year ago.
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A Second Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1)

According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, a horse that was at the same breeding facility as a Montgomery County horse that was recently diagnosed with the mutant neurotropic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) has tested positive for EHV-1. This second horse, which is still at the breeding facility, had no symptoms and was diagnosed as the result of lab tests. Both EHV-1 positive horses are under care by private veterinarians and are in strict isolation, according to protocol.
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Montgomery County Horse Tests Positive for Equine Herpes Virus

 According to the Maryland Department of Agriculture, a horse stabled in Montgomery County has tested positive for the mutant neurotropic form of Equine Herpes Virus (EHV-1) and is being treated by a private veterinarian.

The horse had been outside Montgomery County for breeding for more than two weeks before returning home on Monday. The horse began showing mild respiratory and neurological signs on Tuesday
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Curry Found Guilty of 12 Counts of Animal Cruelty & Neglect

Last summer, Robert Curry Sr. was charged in Montgomery County with 17 charges of animal cruelty after authorities seized seven horses from his Dickerson stable.  Curry pled not guilty to all 17 counts, but on Tuesday, April 7, Montgomery County District Court Judge Patricia Mitchell found him guilty of 12 counts of criminal animal neglect and cruelty. He was sentenced to three years of supervised probation and is prohibited from owning animals. A restitution hearing will be held later this year to reimburse the county for the cost of care of the animals seized.

For more on this case:

WJLA Channel 7 

In 2008, Curry’s son, Robert Curry, Jr. faced similar charges, pleading guilty to three misdemeanor counts  in the summer of 2009 (click here for Equiery article).