Governor announces budget, restores funding for land preservation

What O’Malley did, Hogan moves to undo

In 2013, via his Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act, Governor Martin O’Malley authorized the transfer into the General Fund of $82.7 million in FY 2017 and $86.0 million in FY 2018, taking the funds away from land preservation and recreation programs.

Governor Larry Hogan intends to fix that and to restore the funds to these important land programs.
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Happy New Year! $30,000 for horse industry projects!

What do the following organizations have in common?

They are all recipients of the $30,000 grant fund from the Maryland Horse Industry Board for 2016.

49 organizations applied for the current round of funding.

Funding for these grants and the Maryland Horse Industry Board is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in the state. Since the fund was established in 2002, the Board has awarded nearly $400,000 in grants to nearly 300 projects.

Projects are evaluated based on their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits and overall quality of the written presentation. Grants are capped at $3,000 in order to award funds to as many groups as possible. Eligible projects should have a completion date no later than June 30, 2016. Grant recipients are required to file a project report with the Board detailing how the money was used.

The Maryland Horse Industry Board was established in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland. A full list of recipients including detailed descriptions of each project is available on the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s website.


Thoroughbred Makeover Winners Earn Touch of Class

MHIB chairman Jim Steele with December Touch of Class winners Rebecca Walters, Michelle Warro and Neil Agate © JHA Photography

MHIB chairman Jim Steele with December Touch of Class winners Rebecca Walters, Michelle Warro and Neil Agate © JHA Photography

On December 5, during the Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series awards banquet, trainers Michelle Warro (Davidsonville), Rebecca Walters (Fallston) and Neil Agate (Germantown) were presented with the December Touch of Class award from the Maryland Horse Industry Board for their top placings at the 2015 RRP Thoroughbred Makeover and Symposium (Lexington, KY). Warro road the 4-year-old gelding Best Things In Life to win the Eventing division and place third in the Dressage division. Walters and finished second in the Show Jumping division with Feet Included (a 6-year-old gelding) and was the top placing amateur trainer in the division. Agate and the six-year-old mare Demon were fourth overall in the Polo division with Agate earning the top amateur trainer award.

For interviews with these trainers and more about the RRP Thoroughbred Makeover and Symposium, pick up the December issue of The Equiery at one of these locations, or click here to read the digital version (article starts on page 39).

For more information about MHIB and the Touch of Class awards, click here.

The Equiery turns 25!


Do you remember 1990 and 1991?

To celebrate our 25th anniversary, for the entire month of December, The Equiery will be using social media to stroll down memory lane, exploring the pages of our first 13 issues, from December 1990 through December 1991.

It might include you! Make sure you and your friends are following all of our social media outlets, as we visit with old friends and clients throughout the month. If you have been involved with horses for 25 or more years, this will bring back memories for sure. If you don’t go back quite that far, well, you will have fun learning about “it used to be” and “back in the day.”

And we want to hear your memories too!  Post them to our Facebook page, and share them on Instagram and Twitter tagging us @equiery and using #Equiery25


Maryland will miss…Austin Kiplinger


Austin Kiplinger toasting a Master during a recent Potomac Hunt Ball; photo by Bob Keller

On November 20, 2015, prominent publisher, philanthropist, civic leader and foxhunter Austin H. Kiplinger died at a hospice in Montgomery County. He was 97.

According to published reports, his death was the result of cancer that had metastasized to his brain.

Although nationally known as the publisher of the well-regarded Kiplinger Letters and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine, locally, Austin Kiplinger was revered as a member of the Potomac and Poolesville equestrian community, which affectionately referred to him as “Mr. Kip.”

A native Washingtonian, Mr. Kip and his wife “Gogo” made Montgomery County their home in the late 1950s with their acquisition and restoration of Montevideo. Montevideo has since hosted numerous Thanksgiving Hunts for the Potomac Hounds, while a section of the farm known as Bittersweet Field has served as the home of the Seneca Valley Pony Club and the Potomac Hunt Races for decades.

In addition to his more public leadership roles (such as on the board of directors for the National Symphony Orchestra and Cornell University), Mr. Kip took active roles in the horse industry.

During the Potomac Horse Fever epidemic of the 1980s, Mr. Kip hosted critical community information and fundraising meetings at Montevideo. Horse farms along the Potomac River were ground zero for the mysterious disease killing horses. In 1982, 113 Montgomery County horses had been officially afflicted, with 28 dying. In 1983, 116 horses in Maryland and 32 in Virginia were officially known to have contracted the disease, with more than 50 dying.

With the leadership of Mr. Kip,
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Horsey Guilty of Misdemeanor Animal Cruelty in Botched Euthanasia

Yesterday, Ceba Horse was found guilty on three of four counts of animal cruelty in the District Court for Wicomico County.

As The Equiery reported last summer, the Wicomico County, Maryland State’s Attorney charged Delaware resident Ceba Horsey with one felony count of aggravated animal cruelty and three counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty for botching the euthanasia of his horse, which had suffered a broken leg.

According to a press release issued by the Wicomico County Sheriff’s office, on 9 July 2015 a deputy responded to a call regarding an injured horse lying in the grass at boarding stable on Waller Road in Delmar, Maryland (which is on the Maryland-Delaware line).

According to the Sheriff’s office, the horse had broken its leg the previous day, and the owner had apparently told others on the property that he would euthanize the horse himself with an injection.
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This fall, Governor Larry Hogan announced $14.9 million in grants for bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use trails across the state.  The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a total of 63 grants, including $2.77 million in Bikeways Program grants, $1.03 million in Recreational Trails Program grants, and $11.1 million in Transportation Alternatives Program grants.  MDOT awarded the grants to counties, municipalities and non-profit organizations.

Bridal trails and multi-use trails that include equestrian are eligible for many of these programs – and many horse groups have used them with great success. This year, The Equiery did not find any specific equestrian projects on this list, however, we did find numerous multi-user trail projects, even under the Bikeways Program, so scroll down for the detailed list of programs funded. And if any of these programs do have equestrian applications, do let us know at

The largest of the grants includes $6.5 million in funding from
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Marylanders Sweep all Races at Callaway

Over the weekend, a large Maryland contingent of steeplechase horses, trainers and jockeys headed down to Pine Mountain, Georgia for the Steeplechase at Callaway Gardens on November 7 and brought back wins in all five races!

Forrest Kelly and Black and Blue Stables’ Monstaleur took home the first win of the day with the $15,000 W.C. Bradley Maiden Timber for trainer Blythe Miller Davies. Kelly and Monstaleur won by a margin of nine!

In the second race, the $25,000 Open Timber, it was Connor Hankin aboard Ballylifen, owned by Bruton Street-US and trained by Jack Fisher, who raced to the finish first, winning by two and half lengths over Mark Beecher on the Maryland-owned and trained Brother Sy (Armata Stables, Todd Wyatt).

Annie Yeager narrowly won the $30,000 Sport of Kinfs Maiden Hurdle riding Keystone Thoroughbreds’ The Duck for trainer Todd McKenna by 3/4 of a length.

Jack Fisher was in the winners’ circle again after the $75,000 Aflac Supreme Hurdle, Novice Hurdle Stakes. He trained the winner Overwhelming for Woodslane Farm with Sean McDermott in the irons.

Annie Yeager scored her second win of the day in the final race, the $25,000 Allowance Flat. She rode Tobias for trainer/owner Rafael Fernandez.

For the full results, visit the National Steeplechase Association.

In other steeplechase racing news, Irv Naylor, Jack Fisher and Paddy Young have clinched this year’s National Steeplechase Association championship titles for owner, trainer and jockey. To read more, click here.


ACTION ALERT: Action needed now to support H-2B Program

From the American Horse Council

Does your equine business rely on foreign workers? If so, you probably rely on the H-2B visa program.

The H-2B program is used by members of the horse industry, principally horse trainers and owners who cannot find American workers to fill semi-skilled jobs as grooms, exercise riders, and stable attendants at racetracks, horse shows, fairs and in similar non-agricultural activities.

Congress will need to take action on all fiscal year 2016 appropriations bills before current funding expires December 11, 2015.   The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Department of Labor (DOL) appropriations bills, include important and helpful language that will make the H-2B program easier for employers to use.  However, there is no guarantee this language will be included in the 2016 appropriations package or “Omnibus bill” that is being negotiated now and action is need immediately.

If you, your business or your segment of the horse industry rely on H-2B workers, please contact your Senators to express support for the H-2B appropriations language that is included in the DOL and DHS appropriations bills.  Urge them to sign the H-2B letter being circulated by Senators Tillis (R-NC) and Warner (D-VA) and Rep. Boustany (R-LA) that asks the leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to include all of the beneficial H-2B provisions from both the House and Senate DHS and DOL bills in any final appropriations bill.

United States Senators for Maryland

Click here to contact Ben Cardin.

Click here to contact Barbara Mikulski.


ACTION ALERT: Support for the Recreational Trails Program is Needed Now

From the American Horse Council

The House of Representatives will begin to debate its version of a multi-year national highway bill, called the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR Act) (H.R. 3763) this week.  The bill would reauthorize the Federal Highway Administration’s Recreational Trails Program (RTP). The horse industry benefits greatly from this program.

However, two amendments have been introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter
(R-GA) and by Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) to eliminate the RTP program. The House could vote on these amendments this week.  

Since its inception RTP has provided money for thousands of state and local trail projects across the country, including many that benefit equestrians.  RTP provides funding directly to the states for recreational trails and trail-related facilities for all recreational trail users.   It is funded with a portion of the gas taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund by recreational off-highway vehicle users.

The American Horse Council urges all recreational riders and trail users to call their Representative and ask them to oppose the Carter Amendment #69 and the Yoho amendment # 158 or any amendment to the STRR Act that would eliminate the Recreational Trails Program.

Contract Elijah Cummings, United States House of Representatives, Maryland’s 7th District