From the President
By Neil Agate, MHC President
I think I probably speak for most people both within and outside of the Maryland horse community when I say that I will be glad to be done with 2020 and look forward to 2021. While 2020 has not generally been positive, there have been some positive things to come out of it both for the horse community in general and specifically for the Maryland Horse Council.
Throughout the year we have been celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Maryland Horse Council and in this issue, we continue the look back with a celebration of 30 years of The Equiery with this being the 350th edition. This is a huge accomplishment and and one that I know everyone involved with The Equiery, especially Tracy, Katherine, Emily & Carolyn (the current staff) is proud of. All of us at MHC are looking forward to being part of the next 30 years.
For the horse community in general, the first half of the year was pretty tough for everyone as the whole industry was essentially put on hold due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, right as we came out of winter. Pretty much everything was cancelled in the spring and early summer. From the Horse Council’s point of view, this was a very busy time as we worked with many others in the community and with the State and local governments to help make plans on how to come out of the COVID-19 shutdown and safely get all of our businesses back up and running.
While we may have to deal with this again over the next few months, we have a strong foundation in how to function safely during the pandemic and have built good relationships with all parts of the State and local governments. This foundation hopefully will make any future shutdown as short as possible and allow us all to get back up and running again soon.
During the course of 2020, the Horse Council has seen equestrian interest grow in the general community. There has also been increased participation in the Horse Council itself, and while this has mostly been virtually, through Zoom, the numbers and level of participation has been great. We just held our Annual Meeting via Zoom and I was very pleased that we had over 50 people “attend.” The level of participation was as good, if not better, than we would expect for an in-person meeting.
In addition, we have seen interest in the Horse Council, The Equiery and METS increase over the past six months or so, which is also very exciting and hopefully a sign of things to come as we put this pandemic in the rear view mirror (hopefully) over the next six months.
Rest assured that all parts of the Maryland Horse Council will continue to work diligently to help Maryland’s horse community thrive by making sure we are part of the way forward and by communicating relevant information to the community, to help ensure a healthier and more prosperous 2021.
On behalf of all of us at MHC, The Equiery and METS, I want to wish you all happy holidays and a great 2021.