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Category: State Agencies

Hogan appoints Horsemen

Not surprisingly, Governor-elect Larry Hogan has been doing quite a bit of reorganizing, appointing all new cabinet secretaries. The appointments include two longtime horsemen: David Brinkley and Ken Holt. Hogan selected soon-to-be-former Senator David Brinkley (R – District 4) to serve as his Secretary of the Department Budget and Management. Equiery readers know David as a former B Pony Clubber who competed in 1973 and 1974 on the first and second Prince Philip Cup Games Teams representing the United States – winning the Cup the second time. In addition to being a member of the Frederick Pony Club, David grew up whipping-in for New Market Hounds Hunt Club, which was founded by his parents. In his adult life, in addition to maintaining a small horse farm, Brinkley has spent the last 20+ years in the General Assembly and was most recently the senate minority leader. He has served on both the budget and tax committee and the finance committee. According to the Washington Post, the Secretary of Budget and Management has been “one of Hogan’s most anticipated appointments, setting the budget and addressing a $750 million shortage will be among the most challenging hurdles of his first few months in office. Hogan has warned that cuts are coming and that he hopes to quickly offer Maryland residents some tax relief.” Meanwhile, Thoroughbred owner and breeder Ken Holt has been appointed Secretary...

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$30,000 awarded in grants to Maryland horse programs and projects

The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) is awarding $30,000 in grants to 26 organizations that represent a cross section of equine groups and disciplines from various geographic areas of the state. The committee of five MHIB members selected projects from a pool of 47 applications. Funding for these grants and MHIB is provided by the Maryland Feed Fund, which collects $6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland (or about 15¢ per bag). Since the fund was established in 2002, MHIB has awarded more than $350,000 in grants to more than 275 projects. The following organizations will be receiving grants: Fair Hill International, Inc. The Retreat at Beckleysville, Inc. Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival LEAD Maryland League of Maryland Horsemen The University of Maryland Chesapeake Therapeutic Riding, Inc. Freestate Riding Club Great & Small Happy Horse Healthy Planet, Inc. Greenwell Foundation Days End Farm Horse Rescue Brave HEART Program, Inc. Freedome Hills Therapeutic Riding Program Maryland Council for Equestrian Therapies The Big Purple Barn, Inc. Maryland Therapeutic Riding Frederick County $-H Therapeutic Riding Program Circle of HOpe Therapeutic Riding Maryland Equine Education Center Talbot Run Equestrian Center Maryland Equestrian Club Kiddy-Up, LLC Star Community, Inc. Glen Hollow Pony Club A full description of the projects receiving funding is available here.  “Horses are a critical component of Maryland’s agricultural industry. The Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Feed Fund do a...

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WSSC Holiday Gifts!

submitted by Barbara Sollner-Webb New Multi-Use Trail & New Parking Lot The Washington Suburban Sanitation Commission (WSSC) has opened a new year-round trail for horseback riding, hiking and birdwatching – but NOT for biking.  This new trail is located on the Montgomery County side of WSSC’s Tridelphia Reservoir, on their Access Road (a.k.a. “Firebreak” or “perimeter road”), and extends from Tridelphia Lake Road (near Georgia Avenue/Rt 97) to Green Bridge Road (near Brighton Dam Road). WSSC has also constructed a new parking lot on Triadelphia Lake Road (access from Georgia Avenue/Rt 97, just north of New Hampshire Ave/Rt 650), suitable for six to eight horse trailers.  From there to the Green Bridge Road end of the trail and back makes about a 9 mile trail ride.  Once the reservoir reopens for public access on March 15, the upper parking lot at Green Bridge Road (access from New Hampshire Ave/Rt 650, just west of Brighton Dam Road) will be open to horse trailers as well, providing access to the riding trail from both ends. Please note that this is a pilot program, and WSSC will reassess it next fall.  We have to be sure to NOT abuse the riding privilege — to NOT ride there when the ground is wet, to NOT bushwhack off the approved trail (including NOT riding WSSC’s land to Georgia Avenue/Rt 97, which could encourage bikers to...

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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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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.” Some (not all) of the national parks in Maryland allow horses, such as Antietam National Battlefield, Catoctin Mountain Park, and Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park. Of course, there is also the Assateague Island National Seashore with the ponies. The report shows $14.6 billion of direct spending by 273.6 million park visitors in communities within 60 miles of a national park. This spending supported more than 237,000 jobs nationally, with more than 197,000 jobs found in these gateway communities, and had a cumulative benefit to the U.S. economy of $26.5 billion. According to the 2013 economic analysis, most visitor spending was...

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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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