An environmental study to research manure composting practices, programs to support and expand equine youth activities, projects that will develop and improve public access horseback riding trails, and other initiatives to help therapeutic, rescue and retired racehorse rehabilitation programs are among the 28 recipients receiving $30,000 in grants from the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB), a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture. The annual grants program helps to strengthen the industry by building awareness in the horse industry through research, education and promotional activities.

The MHIB grants are funding through the Maryland Feed Fund, which was established during the 2002 legislative session and provides an ongoing source of revenue to promote the horse industry. The refundable $6 per ton assessment on equine feed costs about $3 per horse per year to the horse owner and supports this grant program as well as other promotional, research and outreach activities. MHIB was able to increase grants allotments 15 percent this year due to a robust feed assessment program.

“The equine industry is an integral part of Maryland’s cultural and economic heritage,” said Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. “The scope and value of projects that the board evaluated illustrates the demand for these grants. The Feed Fund continues to make it possible to support more of these requests.”

Each year, the Board receives more requests for grants than it can, of course, fund. Roughly half of the requests receive funding, and of those, most receive only partial funding. Projects are evaluated for value to the industry, the degree of industry promotion, size and scope of the activity, financial need and quality of the written presentation. Since 2001, the board has awarded 239 grants totaling more than $266,000. This year’s recipients are as follows:

  • Maryland 4-H Foundation: $3,000
  • Maryland Horse Council: $3,000
  • The Great Frederick Fair: $2,000
  • The Howard County Antique Farm Machinery Club, Inc.: $2,000
  • Maryland Agricultural Resource Council: $2,000
  • Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program: $1,500
  • Kiddy-Up, LLC: $1,500
  • Maryland Combined Training Association/MCTA Horse Trials, Inc.: $1,500
  • Stable Options, LLC: $1,500
  • The Maryland-National Capital Park & Planning Commission: $1,000
  • Retired Racehorse Training Project, LLC: $1,000
  • University of Maryland’s Equine Science Program: $1,000
  • University of Maryland/Cooperative Extension Services: $1,000
  • Star Community, Inc.’s Horses for Heroes: $859
  • Maryland Therapeutic Riding, Inc.: $825
  • Howard Soil Conservation District: $800
  • Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding, Inc.: $600
  • Mid-Atlantic Equitation Festival: $600
  • Desire Ministries, Inc. $516
  • Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc.: $500
  • Freedom Hills Horse Rescue: $500
  • Great & Small Therapeutic Riding: $500
  • MHC County Online Forums: $500
  • Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series: $500
  • Mount Airy Saddle Pals: $450
  • Tuckahoe Pony Club: $400
  • Enchanted Haven Horse Rescue: $250
  • Maryland Equestrian Club: $200

Click here to read description summaries of the projects.

The Maryland Horse Industry Board was established in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland. The year 2014 marks the board’s 16th anniversary. Click here for more information about MHIB or the Feed Fund, or contact MHIB Executive Director Ross Peddicord at 410-841-5798 or