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In Memory of Jane Toal

October 2017 …Jane Nicolet Toal, who passed away on August 14, at 96. In May 2011, The Equiery and the Maryland Jockey Club honored a unique sorority of Maryland horsewomen who broke through gender barriers, whether in the horse world or the “real world,” as “Lady Legends.” The following is condensed from the full version, which can be found on our archives on For a woman born in 1921, a 30-year career as a research scientist at the National Institutes of Health was highly unusual – but Jane was unusual, growing up surrounded by male and female doctors, scientists, and athletes. Jane’s father, Benjamin H. Nicolet, received his PhD from Yale at age 21, served on the faculty for the Chemistry Department at the University of Chicago, ultimately settling in Maryland working for the United Stated Department of Agriculture’s Dairy Research Facility in Beltsville. Jane was an active Girl Scout, earning her Golden Eaglet in 1938, the last year it was offered and the highest award a Girl Scout could earn. According to Jane, the award, which was modeled after the Boy Scouts’ award, was discontinued precisely because it was too much like the boy’s program (with a high level of camping and outdoor skill requirements) and organizers thought that the girls’ program should not be quite as rugged. Two friends of her parents, Wilton and Emogene Earl,...

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In Memory of Marion Scullin

April 2017 …Marion Lee Crosson Scullin of Damascus died on March 5 after a brief struggle with brain cancer. She was 74. Born March 3, 1943 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, to a family of huntsmen (father, grandfather, uncles and cousins), Marion’s future could be said to have been predetermined.  At the time she was born, Marion’s father, Albert “Pud” Crosson, was the huntsman for Rose Tree Foxhunting Club, moving to Huntington Valley Hounds, then Whitelands Hunt and concluding his career with Pickering Hunt where, in 1976, he “died in the hunting field of a heart attack after his hounds completed a splendid run, marking their fox to ground.” Now in the Huntsman Hall of Fame, Marion’s father was known for breeding a hard-running pack of deep-throated Penn-Marydels. Marion received an undergraduate degree from West Chester University and a masters degree in education from Villanova University.  While her husband, Roger Scullin, attended veterinary school, Marion taught high school physical education, coaching numerous school sports teams. Marion and Roger settled in Maryland in the early 1970s, where their daughters, Carter Lee and Carrie Lee, were born. They established a veterinary practice together, and began hunting with the Howard County Hunt Club. Soon they were both whipping-in, and by the late 1970s, as Roger began his career as a Master of Fox Hounds, Marion began hers as the backbone of the hunt...

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In Memory of Tater Pruitt

March 2017 …farrier and race horse owner, Tater Pruitt, who passed away from complications related to esophageal cancer on January 15. He was 74. Remembers Equiery publisher, Crystal Brumme Pickett: “He always arrived with a smile. And he always left with a smile. “That was Tater. “He made you happy. He made you happy to know him. He made your day brighter.  Even if he wasn’t a good farrier (he was), you would still hire him to do your horses, just because he made you feel good. “And nothing ever rattled him. Ever. “Don’t worry about it, Baby. I gotcha taken care of.”  And he did. “Some magical cross between a guardian angel, big brother and the legendary uncle-who-could-do-anything…that was Tater. “Just seeing that fanciful farrier truck labeled ‘Horseshoeing By Tater’ made you happy. And you knew when he was holding court at the Town Grille here in Lisbon. “He loved being a farrier. He loved horses. He loved his dogs. He loved his home, Arden Acres in Marriottsville. “Oh–and he loved his 1955 Chevy ‘Baby Doll.’ Loved Baby Doll. “But…above all, he loved his bride Peggy. “And we know heaven is a happier place now…because Tater is there, holding court. Still smiling–on Peggy and on us all. “Thank you, Tater; we are better for having known...

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In Memory of Paul Novograd

May 2017 On Friday, March 24, 2017 the owner of the Potomac Horse Center, Paul Novograd, died at 73; the cause has not yet been announced. The native New Yorker, Fulbright scholar studying Zen gardens in Asia, and speaker of 8 languages was certainly a seemingly unlikely candidate to own a riding school in the Maryland suburbs, and he came to it through an unlikely route as well: his father. While not a horseman, Paul’s father was the bookkeeper when the Claremont Riding Academy on New York’s Upper West Side was established in 1927, and  became its sole owner after city attempts to turn it into a parking garage failed. Although Paul Novograd initially fought his destiny, he eventually succumbed, and in the process managed to save the historic building. City dwellers could board horses there, take lessons on school horses, or rent mounts for leisurely rides on Central Park’s four-mile bridle path. Paul parlayed his experience at Claremont into two other boarding/lesson stable businesses, Overpeck in New Jersey, and Potomac Horse Center in Gaithersburg. Paul and his wife Nancy owned the PHC business operation, leasing the land and facilities from Maryland National Capital Park & Planning. These more rural settings were also intended to house their vacationing NYC horses. Despite investing 37 years and $2 million, Paul regretfully closed Claremont in 2007. The final straw? The degradation of...

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In Memory of Solomon Goldstein

May 2017 On March 18, the Baltimore Sun ran a wonderful article by Frederick N. Rasmussen on Solomon Goldstein, a prominent Baltimore businessman and leader in the Jewish community, who had died a few days earlier. Rasmussen described Sol, who was one day shy of his 94th birthday, as “a lifelong advocate for racial equality and justice who participated in the liberation of the Buchenwald concentration camp during World War II.” Quoted in the article is a roster of boldface names, including former Undersecretary of State Wendy R. Sherman, who served in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, and was a longtime family friend: “Sol was an extraordinary public servant and a businessman who believed what Judaism teaches about social justice.” Sol grew up in Baltimore, enlisted in the Army in 1941, participated in the Normandy D-Day invasion, fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and helped to liberate the Buchenwald concentration camp with Gen. George S. Patton Jr.’s 3rd Army. He received the Bronze Star for valor, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Combat Infantry Badge with two battle stars, for Normandy and the Battle of the Bulge, and in 2013 was awarded the Legion d’Honneur by the French government. He returned to civilian life, earned a General Educational Development certificate, purchased a bar and then married Jean Turk (an activist involved in civil rights, anti-war...

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In Memory of Tim Capps

June 2017 Loquacious. Learned. Analytical, Sardonic. Esoteric. Academic. Scholastic. Encyclopedic. Professorial. Wry. Finding the words to capture the personality of Tim Capps has a certain irony, as he was the Master Wordsmith (capitalization intentional and equally ironic). He certainly would get a chuckle out of this list, but better yet, he would have been able to expand upon it–without resorting to a Google search for synonyms! This word caught our attention: recondite. How apt. Tim Capps’ knowledge of the Maryland horse industry was recondite. Merriam-Webster definition of recondite: 1:  difficult or impossible for one of ordinary understanding or knowledge to comprehend : deep. a recondite subject 2:  of, relating to, or dealing with something little known or obscure. recondite fact about the origin of the holiday — Floyd Dell Yes, Tim would agree that “recondite” is the appropriate word! On April 22, 2017, the Maryland horse industry lost one of its most erudite champions, Tim Capps.  Tim had been hospitalized since suffering a stroke in February. Tim was a mentor to many, including this publisher. It was rather startling to learn that he was 71. When did that happen? He still had the same incredible dark head of hair (just with more salt), that youthful frame, always shod in gorgeous loafers like a young law associate. An intellectual equi-bon vivant. Here at The Equiery, when Tim called, your publisher...

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