by Katherine O. Rizzo, Equiery Editor-in-Chief

In December of 1990, the very first issue of The Equiery hit tack and feed stores in central Maryland. The brainchild of Crystal Pickett and Mercedes Clemens, The Equiery was initially designed to connect Maryland horse people to Maryland riding and boarding stables but quickly grew into Maryland’s source for horse information. I have always been impressed by how two ladies in their twenties started this publication from scratch, hand delivering the magazine to a growing number of distributors across the state. It took a lot of effort to get this magazine off the ground and the fact that it is still going strong 30 years later is a true testimonial to these two horsewomen!

As the magazine grew, so did the Equiery team and I was privileged to join this team in 2003 after returning from graduate school in California. I started as one of The Equiery’s many freelancers, taking photos at Maryland horse trials and writing the “Combined Training” monthly column. Under then editor Laurel Scott’s watchful eye, my writing style morphed from the scientific communication style I had a degree in, towards the news-style journalism you see today.

And then there was freelance photographer Zane Grove, who took me under his wing mentoring me on how to capture the sport of steeplechase racing in still photography. I remember one race where he said simply, “follow me” and then walked out on course, knelt down and snapped a single shot of horses landing a timber fence from a low perspective…. Too nervous to kneel that close to the action, I stood by the fence line… and did not get as dramatic of a shot as Zane did!

As Laurel shifted to another publication, I slowly worked my way up the editorial ladder to the current position of Editor-In-Chief and I have to say, that over the last sixteen years of working at The Equiery, my favorite part of this job is you, our readers. You are the reason we work so hard to produce this magazine every month, to report on what is happening in the State’s equestrian world, and share your stories. Through this job I have met so many of Maryland’s horse people and have had a chance to interview trainers, riders, owners and more. It has been and continues to be a rewarding experience and for that, I thank you!

Now, under the management of the Maryland Horse Council and heading into a new decade, The Equiery continues to grow with 2020 sure to be an exciting one! Late last fall, Equiery publisher Carrie Hull and I sat down to map out the 2020 Equiery. Over three hours later, we had an outline of editorial for the year, and without spoiling too much, I have to say, I’ve never been more excited about turning a year older! Ha!

Twenty-twenty for The Equiery will be a memorable one of both reflections on years past and unveiling new stories and features. Our readers can look forward to anniversary profiles on people and horses that have moved the State’s equestrian community forward, coverage of more of the State’s equestrian competitions and the revamping of some Equiery classics… like this month’s resurrection of the Stallion Issue.

Maryland has the most horses per acre than any other state in the U.S. and boasts such a wealth of breeding programs that have national and international recognitions. From Standardbred stallions now standing in Sweden to the top Hunter Breeding stallion in the country standing within our boarders, Maryland has so much to offer in terms of top quality breeding stock.

And so, we present to you our 2020 Stallion Line Up complete with Hanoverians, Quarter Horses, Welsh Ponies, Morgans, Mini donkeys and more! It has been a pleasure chatting with the hundreds of stallion owners within our state while putting together this issue.

So without further ado, here it is! The start of The Equiery’s 30th Anniversary year! We sure hope you enjoy reading it as much as we have enjoyed putting it together.

Thank you for your continual support and Happy New Year folks!