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MHC joins MORE, TROT and others in PEPCO/Exelon Merger Petition

The Maryland Horse Council has joined Mid-Atlantic Off-Road Enthusiasts, Inc., Trail Riders of Today, Inc., Potomac Bridle and Hiking Trail Association, Inc., Equestrian Partners in Conservation, Inc.; Potomac Appalachian Trail Club, Inc., Montgomery County Road Runners Association, Inc., The American Hiking Society and the International Mountain Bicycling Association, Inc. in a Petition to Intervene in the PEPCO/Exelon merger proceeding currently before the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC case # 9361). The purpose of the intervention by these outdoor user groups to seek to have Exelon, should the merger be approved, grant more public access to its rights of way for recreational...

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MHC Endorses Political Candidates

The following candidates for seats in the Maryland General Assembly were endorsed by vote of the Maryland Horse Council Board of Directors at its Quarterly Meeting on August 26th in New Market, Maryland. This is the first time that MHC has endorsed candidates for office. The endorsement decisions were based on the candidates’ proven track record of support for MHC and our issues and concerns, including support for: equestrian training and competition facilities and equestrian sports; farmland preservation; the Thoroughbred industry, breeders and racing; opposition to Sunday hunting; and attendance at MHC events. Senator Thomas V. (Mike) Miller – Senate Delegate Michael (Mike) Busch – House Senator Thomas (Mac) Middleton – Senate Delegate Maggie Macintosh – House Delegate Sheila Hixson – House Senator Joan Carter Conway – Senate Senator Roy Dyson – Senate Delegate Susan Aumann – House Senator J.B. Jennings – Senate Delegate Stephen Lafferty – House Delegate Eric Luedtke – House Delegate Geraldine Valentino-Smith – House Delegate David Rudolph – House Guy Guzzone – Senate Steve Arentz –...

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September means…

September means back to school, back to lesson programs, the start of the fall show and competition schedules, cubbing AND the start of hunting season.  Soon, the White Tail Deer hunting season will be underway, and the Maryland Farm Bureau and Maryland Horse Council encourage their members and the public to be conscious of their surroundings and respectful of others during this traditional and recreational season. Landowners, sportsmen, equestrians, farmers, and others commonly spend more time outdoors during this time of year. Respecting landowners’ private property rights and preventing trespassing while hunting or riding will avoid possible negative interaction among participants. “Maryland farmers continue to face a growing problem of crop damage inflicted by wildlife, especially deer,” said Maryland Farm Bureau President Chuck Fry. “We encourage Maryland sportsmen to take full advantage of this year’s hunting season.  We also encourage the community to respect the rights of landowners and be considerate of other outdoor recreation while hunting.” Maryland Horse Council President, Jane Seigler, said: “Maryland horse farmers, like all Maryland farmers, struggle with the effects of deer damage on our farms. We applaud all truly effective methods to control the deer population. We encourage all Maryland equestrians to: Be informed – learn the dates and details of the hunting seasons in the areas where you ride, so equestrians and hunters can avoid interfering with each other; Stay in touch...

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Marylander Barabara Smith conquering the Mongolian Empire!

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 comfortably in the third tier of riders in the grueling Mongolian Derby, being held…that’s right, in Mongolia! 620+ miles across the steppes, in less than 10 days, duplicating the world’s first long distance postal route established, by Genghis Khan in 1224. Using a massive network of horse stations (morin urtuus in Mongolian) messengers could gallop from Kharkhorin to the Caspian sea in a number of days. This communication network was instrumental in the expansion of the Mongolian Empire. For ten days each August, the Mongol Derby recreates this legendary system, building a network of urtuus at 40km intervals, for a thousand kilometers. 47 riders are competing in this year’s desert dash. According to the...

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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. Funding for these grants and for the MHIB is provided by “The Maryland Feed Fund,” which was established by the General Assembly in 2002. The refundable $6 per ton assessment on equine feed costs about $3 per horse to the horse owner and supports this grant program as well as other promotional, research and outreach activities undertaken by the MHIB. Since the grants program started, the board has awarded more than 250 grants totaling nearly $325,000. “Horses are a critical component to Maryland’s agricultural industry....

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