August 2005

The decision by the governor’s office to involve the Maryland Stadium Authority in the questions of whether Maryland should have a horse park, as well as what features and location it should have, is an excellent one. Of course, the equestrian community can expect the MSA to be objective.

The MSA is planning a feasibility study on a facility designed for use by both Maryland citizens and out-of-state visitors. A tourist destination, it would be capable of hosting major national and international events and shows, also offering campgrounds, offices, shops, a museum, and space for conferences and educational programs, as well as an amphitheater.

Working with the Maryland Horse Industry Board, a site selection committee has been established. It includes several state representatives, as well as members of the equestrian community with extensive background in event organization and facilities management: Alison Asti (a horse person) and Gary McGuigan of the Maryland Sta-dium Authority; Sue Kenney and Dennis Castleman of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development; Rob Burk of the Maryland Horse Industry Board; Greg Gingery of Gingery Development Group, and the former chairman of the Washington International Horse Show; Jim Steele of Shamrock Farm breeding station; and
Charlie Fenwick of Valley Motors, founder and chairman of Shawan Downs. Architectural, engineering and economic impact consultants will be retained for the feasibility studies.

The project began with a request for site nominations. The site needs to be at least 500 acres, with easy access to major highways, restaurants and lodging. The committee will be exploring public and privately owned sites, both undeveloped and developed, to determine potential.

The MSA also seeks the input of local horse people and prospective users. The Equiery is cooperating by handling a mailing. In addition, you can fill out the survey form that appears elsewhere in this issue. For more information, please visit www. and click on “Maryland Horse Park.”