Senator Brinkley stands up for “Due Process”

The Equiery applauds Senator David Brinkley for standing up for our constitutional right to due process of law by requesting a hearing for DLS Control No. 14-217 Submission of COMAR as “Emergency Regulation.” The Equiery likewise applauds the Maryland Horse Council for alerting the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive & Legislative Review (AELR) and for alerting Senator Brinkley (as well as other members of the committee) to this potential circumvention of due process. It is too easy in today’s society to become complacent about the government and about the regulatory process. Too easy to shrug one’s shoulders and say, “Well, that’s just the way they do things.” To paraphrase Edmund Burke, who looked with jaundiced eye upon bureaucracy, tyranny will prevail when good people stand by and do nothing.
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Marylander Barabara Smith conquering the Mongolian Empire!

Maryland Barbara Smith conquers Mongolia! (Photo courtesy of The Adventurists)

Maryland Barbara Smith conquers Mongolia! (Photo courtesy of Richard Dunwoody and The Adventurists)

The results are final and official! Marylander Barbara Smith finished 9th in the Mongolian Derby.

The race officially finished at 8:30 pm on Friday, Aug. 15, a few riders did need to be carried forward on Thursday to ensure they would cross the line in time – but not Barbara! The first nine positions were confirmed by sundown on Thursday, Aug. 14 with no changes to finishing order needed for those first nine (a number of penalties were accrued by the following pack so not all of them were placed in the order they finished, and The Equiery waited for the results to be official before posting).

For most of the race, home-state girl Barbara Smith sat
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$$$ for Grants & Great Ideas!

The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) is now accepting grant applications for research, educational and promotional projects that support horses or the equestrian community, or develop new opportunities for the Maryland horse industry.

Organizations eligible for MHIB grants include (but are not limited to) non-profit organizations, clubs and associations, businesses, farms and licensed stables, government entities, schools and educational institutions. Projects of interest to the Board include (but are not limited to) those that develop new opportunities and coincide with the board’s mission to increase awareness and growth of the Maryland horse industry. Projects are evaluated for their value to the industry, degree of industry promotion, size and scope of activity, financial need, potential for matching funds, benefits, and quality of the written presentation. Individual requests should not exceed $3,000. The average grant amount is approximately $1,200. In 2014, 28 projects received $30,000 in grant allocations.
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Maryland will miss Brice Ridgely

Thoroughbred breeder, auctioneer, farmer and well-known Howard County horseman Brice Ridgely (Spring Meadow Farm, Cooksville) passed away in the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 5 from complications related to cancer.

Born June 8, 1947, in Olney, MD he was the son of the late William Brice “Worthington” Ridgely and Carolyn Pickett Ridgely. He was the husband of Mary Anne Ridgely (nee Welsh) of Cooksville.

Brice was a charter member of the Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club, had served on the boards of the Howard County Fair and Maryland Horse Breeders Association.

Brice bred Declan’s Moon, the leading American Two-Year Old Thoroughbred of 2004.

The Equiery extends its sincerest condolences to his wife and to his entire family: sons Chip and Courtney Ridgely (Libertytown, Rockin R Western Productions), Randy Ridgely of Wyoming, DE and Wilson R., Jr. and Gwen Bounds of Taneytown; daughters and sons-in-law; Melissa and David Covolesky of Mt. Airy and Rachel and Mike Price of Mt. Airy; brother, H. Wayne Ridgely of Libertytown and sister Carol Ann Wheatley of Cambridge. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren.

The family will receive friends on Thursday from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 PM at the Haight Funeral Home & Chapel, 6416 Sykesville Road, Sykesville, where a funeral service will be held on Friday at 10 AM. Interment will be in Oak Grove Cemetery, Glenwood.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club, Inc., P.O. Box 335 West Friendship, MD, 21794.

Assateague Pony Population Finally Ecologically Sustainable

According to Delmarva Now, twenty years into its horse-control program on the Maryland side of Assateague Island, the National Park Service can claim victory. This year, the agency reached its goal of reducing the size of the herd to no more than 100 horses. Read more:  Delmarva Now


Vets relieved of bureaucratic handcuffs; clients relieved their horses will get the drugs needed

Vets will soon breathe a collective sigh of relief that they will be able to carry and use controlled substances to provide complete care to their animal patients beyond their clinics and across state lines due to the U.S. House’s passage in July of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act, thanks to the efforts of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Horse Council.

It is an extremely important piece of legislation, not only for equine practices, but for house call practices as well. Essentially, without passage, it would have been illegal for a veterinarian to carry any controlled drug( euthanasia solution, anesthetics)  beyond the registered facility .  The facility could not be a mobile unit.  So as an equine veterinarian, I could not treat animals with controlled substances anywhere but at my business address. That makes it impossible to provide many important services to my patients.  Supporting this bill was the ethical and humane thing to do.  I am very glad that Congress did the right thing.

-Elizabeth D. Callahan DVM, DACT, DABVP (Easton Maryland)

“The AVMA was established more than 150 years ago by veterinarians who cared for the animals that provided food and transportation for Americans,” said Dr. Clark Fobian, president of the AVMA. “Although times have changed since 1865, veterinarians’ need to travel to their patients has not. Today, Congress made it clear that veterinarians are responsible public servants who must be able to use vital medications to treat their patients—no matter the location—so that they receive the best quality care. We applaud our elected officials for clarifying federal statute, which has left veterinarians confused and concerned over the past year. We look forward to seeing President Obama sign this important legislation into law in the near future.”

Sponsored by Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.) and Ted Yoho (R-Fla.), both veterinarians, in the House, and Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) and Angus King (I-Maine) in the Senate, this legislation makes it legal for veterinarians to transport and use controlled substances beyond their registered places of business. It also allows licensed veterinarians to register in multiple states, regardless of where their principal place of business is located. The Senate unanimously passed its version of the bill on Jan. 8.

With all of the dysfunction in Washington, it’s encouraging that both parties could come together to pass common sense legislation that allows large animal veterinarians to use controlled substances such as euthanasia solution without being in violation of the law.  The veterinary community appreciates the support of our clients in persuading congress to pass this law.

- Peter Radue, D.V.M. (Damascus, Maryland)

“Today is a victory for veterinarians across this country, but more importantly, it’s a victory for the health and well-being of the animals they are entrusted to care for,” said Rep. Schrader. “Ridiculous bureaucratic interference from the DEA would have seriously impeded veterinarians’ ability to properly treat their patients. The Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act will provide veterinarians with the certainty they need to continue to providing mobile or ambulatory services for their animal patients.”
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National Parks mean $212.7 Million for Maryland

A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that 6,615,155 visitors to national parks in Maryland spent $212.7 million dollars and supported 2,689 jobs in the state in 2013.

“The national parks in Maryland attract visitors from across the country and around the world,” Lisa Mendelson-Ielmini, acting regional director, said. “Whether they are out for an afternoon, a school field trip, or a month-long family vacation, visitors come to have a great experience, and end up spending a little money along the way.  This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy – returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service – and a big factor in our state’s economy as well, a result we can all support.”
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Who has that Touch of Class?

Spellbound and his connections

Spellbound and his connections © Teresa Ramsay

On May 31, the 13-year-old pony from Glenwillow Farm in Jefferson (Frederick County), Spellbound (pictured left), was honored with a Maryland Touch of Class award from the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB). Trained by Kim Stewart, Spellbound holds the title as the nation’s Large Pony Hunter Champion by the U.S. Equestrian Federation and won the Grand Pony Hunter Championship at the May 2014 Devon Horse Show (PA).


Don Prinicpe’s connections © Val D’Ambrosio

Don Principe (his connections are pictured below), a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion standing at Hilltop Farm in Cecil County, received the Maryland Touch of Class award on June 23 in the Tea Barn at Fair Hill. This is the third time a Hilltop stallion has been honored with a Touch of Class award, previous winners being Royal Prince (2012) and Qredit (2013). Don Principe is owned by Maryanna Haymon (Columbus, NC). He is currently ranked as the nation’s leading sire of dressage horses by the U.S. Equestrian Federation.

The award is named after the Maryland-bred Thoroughbred mare Touch of Class (registered with the Jockey Club as Stillaspill), who won two gold medals in the 1984 Olympics; it is given in recognition of the national or international achievements of Maryland horses, horsemen and horse businesses.

Gubernatorial Candidate Anthony Brown Vows to Protect Racing Revenue

Anthony Brown and Ken Ulman dominated the Maryland’s Democratic gubernatorial primary on June 24, defeating Attorney General Doug Gansler and Del. Heather Mizeur.

Both Brown and Ulman are known to the Maryland racing industry.

According to the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, “Brown worked as a hot-walker
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Walk on Washington

 On Wednesday, June 18th, six flat-shod Tennessee Walking Horses gaited their way to Capitol Hill in Washington, DC to show support for the PAST Act.

Denise Parsons, Benny, Megan Blanco, a staffer for Senator Mary Landrieu's Animal Welfare team, and an intern, also from Sen. Landrieu’s office (photo courtesy Ken Siems Pro Shots)

Denise Parsons, Benny, Megan Blanco, a staffer for Senator Mary Landrieu’s Animal Welfare team, and an intern, also from Sen. Landrieu’s office (photo courtesy Ken Siems Pro Shots)

Prevent All Soring Tactics  Act, or (PAST Act H.R. 1518/S. 1406) will end “soring” among the small sector of the Tennessee Walking Horse, Spotted Saddle Horse and Racking Horse groups who use the tactic to produce the “big lick” gaits. Practices include dressing the front legs of the horses with caustic chemicals to make them sensitive so they will lift their legs higher.  This legislation will also eliminate heavy shoes and stacks (tall wooden “pads”) and other “action devices,” and it will eliminate the failed self-regulation programs that currently exist and put that regulation into the hands of the USDA for better enforcement.

Included among the selected six supporters were Marylander Denise Parsons and her Walker, I’m Royal Flash, a.k.a. Benny, a multiple year-end award winner who participates in versatility events such as gaited dressage and trail obstacle classes in addition to the traditional English and Western rail classes. Benny is a registered Tennessee Walking Horse and is one of Denise’s favorite trail companions.

Another prominent Maryland horseman was among the demonstrators: former U.S. Senator Joe Tidings (D). Senator Tydings was the author of the original Horse Protection Act, which passed in 1970. Additional speakers included Congressman Ed Whitfield, Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and Congressman Steve Cohen.  According to Denise, the day was “flawless; all six horses were amazing, they never took a wrong step, even in the middle of downtown DC, not a single spook or even a twitch despite all the commotion including a motorcade with sirens blaring.”

U.S. Senator Joe Tydings (D-MD) with American Horse Council Executive Director (and Marylander) Jay Hickey (photo courtesy AHC)

U.S. Senator Joe Tydings (D-MD) with American Horse Council Executive Director (and Marylander) Jay Hickey (photo courtesy of AHC)


The selected six were joined by about 60 dedicated volunteers from all over the country.  Local and national news organizations picked up the story, including an ABC affiliate, USA Today photographers, and a PBS team.

The legislation is endorsed by virtually every major horse association in the country, including but not limited to the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association of Equine Practitioners, and the American Horse Council.  The passing of this bill is also supported by the majority of TWH owners and is cosponsored by the majority of the house and senate, but has not been brought to the floor for a vote, despite its bipartisan support.

The Maryland Horse Council was one of the first state horse councils to formally join the effort to support PAST. However, according to Denise, “Congressman Andy Harris is the last holdout in Maryland, as he has not yet cosponsored the bill.  We really need his support, as he is a Republican.  We need eight more republican cosponsors to get the majority of the Majority and force it to a vote.  Any pressure anyone can put on him would be great.”