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Heresy or common sense? MJC President proposes new Triple Crown schedule

We know the routine without even thinking about it. Since 1931, the Kentucky Derby has come first, then Preakness and then The Belmont Stakes. Prior to 1931, there were eleven occasions in which the Preakness was run prior to the Derby, and twice in which both were run on the same day. The Belmont has been contested before the Preakness eleven times. But, since 1931 it has been Derby, Preakness, Belmont. Since 1969, the Derby has been the first Saturday in May, The Preakness is run two weeks later, and the Belmont Stakes three weeks after that. It’s written in stone, isn’t it? Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas is looking to bust that stone tablet. Is this heresy…or common sense and about darn time? At his annual post-Preakness media session on Monday, May 19th, Chuckas discussed his proposal to change the date of the Preakness Stakes and the date of the The Belmont in order to allow more time between each meet–for the welfare of the horses. Chuckas is proposing that the Derby retain its first Saturday in May position, but that the Preakness would run the first Saturday in June, and the Belmont the first Saturday in July, giving the horses a full month to recover between races. Will this increase the odds for creating Triple Crown horses? In 60 years, from 1919 to 1979, there were...

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Miller and Busch receive Horse Council Awards; Governor signs Western MD Sunday Hunting Bills

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, Maryland Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch were presented with the Maryland Horse Council’s 2014 Leadership Awards in Annapolis at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. MHC President Jane Seigler and Legislative Committee Chair Steuart Pittman presented the awards in front of over 50 horse people during the Horse Council’s quarterly meeting. The awards were given in appreciation of President Miller’s and Speaker Busch’s leadership in the Maryland General Assembly, and their willingness to give a thoughtful ear and respectful consideration to all of the issues presented to them by Horse Council, most notably in this session the issue of expanded Sunday deer hunting. With the help of senate and house leadership and lobbyist Frank Boston, MHC was successful in defeating efforts that would have increased the number of Sundays for deer hunting in Southern Maryland.  Unfortunately, efforts failed to stop the expansion elsewhere, and yesterday Governor Martin O’Malley signed the two bills authorizing expanded Sunday hunting in Frederick, Washington, Allegany and Garrett Counties. While there has been a steady march of additional Sunday deer hunting on private land hither and thither throughout Maryland since 2003, this is the first time Sunday hunting has been expanded to include public lands. Meanwhile, representatives from the Department of Natural Resources continue to insist that these laws will help them control excessive numbers of white-tailed deer, and...

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Derby Winner California Chrome Heading to Maryland for Preakness Stakes

Kentucky Derby winning trainer Art Sherman confirmed on Sunday, May 4 that California Chrome, owned by Steven Coburn and Perry Martin, will be entered in the 139th running of the Preakness Stakes. California Chrome is California-bred by Lucky Pulpit and out of the Maryland-bred mare Love the Chase, by Not for Love (standing at Northview Stallion Station). Love the Chase was bred by the Bowman-Higgins Stables. California Chrome won the 140th running of the Kentucky Derby by 1 3/4 lengths with jockey Victor Espinoza on board. Commanding Curve finished second. To read more about the People Behind the Preakness Stakes, click here. And for The Equiery’s Preakness and Black-Eyed Susan Day preview, click here. More Preakness news and updates will be shared via The Equiery’s Facebook...

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What a Weekend! Maryland Hunt Cup & Rolex Three-Day Recaps

Last weekend showcased some of the country’s top equine athletes at both the Maryland Hunt Cup here in Baltimore County and at the Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, KY with Maryland well represented at both venues. At the 118th running of the Maryland Hunt Cup (April 26), 15 entries tackled the four-mile course of 22 fences with Jody Petty piloting Guts for Garters to win by a nose for owner Stewart Strawbridge and trainer Sanna Neilson. In Kentucky, seven entries with Maryland connections (either Maryland riders or horses) began the only CCI**** event in the U.S. on April 23 with the first horse inspection. At the end of the competition on April 27, it was Marilyn Little of Raylyn Farms in Frederick that finished with two horses in the top ten: RF Smoke on the Water in fifth and RF Demeter in sixth.   To read more on both the Hunt Cup and Rolex, click on the links below. Also, check out photos (and add your own!) on The Equiery’s Facebook page. Photo Finish Shows Guts for Garters Winning Maryland Hunt Cup (equiery.com/sporting – April 28) All Six Horses Accepted at Rolex 4-Star (equiery.com/sporting – April 23) Little Rides to Fourth on Day 1 of Rolex (equiery.com/sporting – April 25) Stormy Weather in Kentucky (equiery.com/sporting – April 25) Maryland Riders Eat Up Rolex Cross-Country (equiery.com/sporting – April 27) Marilyn Little Finishes with Two in the Top...

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May 5th Deadline for USA Equestrian Trust’s 2014 Grant Program

There is still time to submit proposals for USA Equestrian Trust’s 2014 grants program. IRS-registered equine non-profit organizations are invited to apply by filling out the online grant application. The deadline is 11:59 p.m. Pacific Time on Monday, May 5. In 2013, the Trust awarded nearly $265,000 to help fund more than a dozen projects. The Trust’s financial support has been dedicated largely but not exclusively for initiatives that are productive across several national-level discipline and/or breed boundaries. The Trust welcomes applications for need-based projects and encourages applicants to detail those in their applications. Among the past recipients of Trust funding are: THE UNITED STATES PONY CLUBS: $9,855 was awarded in 2012 to help create a traveling display that serves as an interactive, educational experience for children. “The United States Pony Clubs develops character, leadership, confidence and a sense of community in youth through a program that teaches the care of horses and ponies,” said Shelley Mann, director of marketing and communications. “Through the grant received from USA Equestrian Trust, The United States Pony Clubs is now able to reach out at a grassroots level to bring the magic of horses to youth through interactive fun and a hands-on approach that will hopefully lead participants to a future with horses.” AMERICAN YOUTH HORSE COUNCIL: $5,000 was awarded in 2013 to support the group’s annual symposium that educates youth on all facets of the...

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Wanted: more attorneys for the new MSBA Ag Law Committee

If you are a Maryland lawyer and you own horses, you need to read this. If you know of a Maryland lawyer who owns horses, please make sure they read this! We need all Maryland attorneys who are horse-owners (or livestock owners) to join the Maryland State Bar Association and to join the new Special Committee on Agriculture Law. This new Ag Law committee needs 100 members to become a full-fledged “Section” of the MDBA, and a Section has more influence than just a committee. Currently the Ag Law Committee has 95 members – so only five more are needed!  New Maryland State Bar Special Committee for Agriculture Law  It is hard to believe that the Maryland State Bar Association did not already have an ag committee. After all, there is an entire section for animal law, but not for ag law. As regular readers of The Equiery and equiery.com are aware, the Maryland State Bar Association Animal Law section tends to lean heavily towards animal rights – and towards the idea of horses as pets rather than horses as livestock and farm animals. Yet, there was no ag law committee. So two Maryland attorneys, who also happen to be horsewomen, decided to do something about the situation. In November, Kathleen Tabor and Kim (Pardoe) Manuelides established the Maryland State Bar Association Special Committee for Agriculture Law. By mid-December,...

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