by Katherine O. Rizzo (first published in the February 2023 Equiery)

Peter Gray is the inaugural USEA Packy Prize winner.

Peter Gray Wins First Packy Award
Peter Gray, who is based out of Canada and Florida, won the inaugural U.S. Eventing Association’s Packy Prize, named in memory of Maryland trainer and 1987 Pan American Games Team Gold medalist Packy McGaughan, who died in March of 2020. Gray is an active supporter of the sport of eventing through coaching and mentoring, as was Packy.

The award was a bronze statue commissioned by Packy’s parents, Judy and Mack McGaughan, who wanted to honor their late son with an annual award for those who give back to the sport.

Hasseltine & MD 5 Star Earn Tourism Awards
Maryland’s Sports Commission (MSC) Executive Director Terry Hasseltine was named Tourism Person of the Year at the 2022 Maryland Tourism and Travel Summit, hosted by the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC) on November 15. MSC was also presented with the 2022 Best Product/Event Award in the “Large” category for organizing the MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, presented by Brown Advisory.

According to a press release from MTC, Hasseltine’s selection was based on a number of major accomplishments in the sport tourism space over the past year, as well as his history as a leader in the industry, spearheading various “bid-development and event-support opportunities for the State.”

During the awards ceremony, Hasseltine also accepted the award for Best Product/ Event in the Large Category for the MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill presented by Brown Advisory. That award was presented to MSC which oversees the Sport and Entertainment Corporation of Maryland – the event’s parent organization.

“This award is a testament to the work being done by the staff of the Sport and Entertainment Corporation who’ve delivered a truly world-class event two years in a row,” said Hasseltine. “It is our honest opinion that we’re just getting started with the Maryland 5 Star and that that event will continue to grow to new heights in the years to come.”

Gonzalez & Toledo Win MJC Titles
It was a repeat of 2021 with Trainer Claudio Gonzalez and jockey Jevian Toledo finishing the 2022 season as Maryland’s Leading Trainer and Leading Jockey, respectively, again.

This is the sixth year in a row Gonzalez has led the trainer standings. He finished the season with 74 wins at Laurel Park and Pimlico, edging out Brittany Russell and Jamie Ness, who tied with 73 wins apiece.

Toledo won 145 races as a jockey in 2022 at Laurel Park and Pimlico. This is his fourth overall Maryland jockey title. He previously won in 2015, 2017 and 2021. Coming in second this year was Eclipse Award finalist Jeiron Barbosa with 107 wins.

Dr. Megan Snyder earned two Top 5 NRHA rankings. photo by BS Photography

Dr. Snyder Makes Top 5 NRHA Lists
Megan Snyder, VMD, finished the 2022 season with two top five world National Reining Horse Association rankings! Riding Shes Sompen On Line, Dr. Snyder was ranked third on NRHA’s Novice Horse Non Pro Level 2 World Standings and fourth on NRHA’s Novice Horse Non Pro Level 3 World Standings. Dr. Snyder has owned the eight-year-old American Quarter Horse since the mare was just three years old.

Eclipse Award Finalist
Teenage jockey Jeiron Barbosa, who is based in Maryland year-round, was nominated for a 2022 Eclipse Award in the Champion Apprentice Rider category. Barbosa, who turned 19 on December 18, 2022, logged 182 wins ($5,685,182 in purse earnings) in 2022 to be ranked second in wins nationally. Barbosa is a native of Puerto Rico.

Also nominated for an Eclipse Award is Pennsylvania-bred Caravel, who was bred by Maryland native Elizabeth Merryman. Caravel is up for Champion Female Sprinter. Merryman owned and trained the 2017 filly until June 2021 when celebrity chef Bobby Flay purchased the majority ownership in her. Maryland-based trainer Graham Motion trained Caravel for the rest of her 2021 season before she was sold to her current owners, Qatar Racing, Marc Detampel and Madaket Stables LLC. The filly currently has $1,331,152 in career earnings including winning the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint (G1) in 2022. She is currently trained by Brad Cox.

Maryland’s Bruton Street-US owns Snap Decision, one of this year’s Champion Steeplechase finalists. The 2014 Kentucky-bred is trained by Jack Fisher and mainly ridden by jockey Graham Watters. In 2022, Snap Decision won the Jonathan Sheppard Handicap (G1) at Saratoga in August as well as the Calvin Houghland Iroquois Hurdle Stakes (G1) in Tennessee in May. Snap Decision also finished second twice and third once in 2022, bringing his career earnings to $849,334. Snap Decision’s stellar season earned him the Lonesome Glory award for National Steeplechase Association Horse of the Year (see other NSA winners below).

The Eclipse Awards were held on January 26 after The Equiery went to press. Unfortunately, none of the above Maryland connections won Eclipse awards this year.

National Steeplechase Winners
While Snap Decision earned the Lonesome Glory award from the National Steeplechase Association (NSA), his owner Bruton Street-US earned NSA’s Leading Owner title for 2022. Bruton Street-US is a partnership between Mike Hankin, Charlie Fenwick and Charlie Noell. As a team, their first Eclipse winner was in 2017 with Scorpiancer. They earned their second Eclipse Award in 2020 with Moscato. That year, Bruton Street-US was also NSA’s Leading Owner. This year, the group had 34 starters to earn $450,750. Their biggest earner this year is Eclipse Award finalist Snap Decision.

Bruton Street-US’s Proven Innocent won the Novice Championship title for 2022. The four-year-old Kentucky-bred started racing on the flat track with Shug McGaughey in April 2022 and then moved to Jack Fisher’s barn where he broke his maiden at Iroquois in May. Proven Innocent won three out of six starts in 2022.

Leslie Young earned her first NSA Leading Trainer title after winning $994,100 in earnings for 2022. In 153 starters, Young was in the winner’s circle 37 times. She also had horses finish second 25 times and third 19 times. Young’s top horses for 2022 include multiple stakes winner Andi’amu (owned by Ballybristol Farm), Bodeswell (owned by Silverton Hill) and Redicean (owned by Sharon Sheppard).

UK-based jockey Freddie Procter, who rode Andi’amu to four stakes victories, earned this year’s NSA Leading Apprentice Jockey title. Overall, in just 50 rides, Procter finished the season with 18 wins, 10 seconds and four thirds.

Andi’amu earned the Timber Champion title after winning four out of six starts. The 2010 French import finished second twice. Andi’amu earned the Timber Champion title in 2019 as well. This was his first season back after having nearly two-years off due to an injury.

Nineteen-year-old Parker Hendriks earned NSA’s Leading Jockey title with 25 wins out of 96 starts. Hendriks, who comes from a long line of steeplechase greats, also finished second 15 times and third seven times… all in just his third year on the NSA circuit. His rides totaled $730,850 in earnings. Hendriks piloted stakes winners Historic Heart, Iranistan, French Light, Ljay and Molly Fantasy in 2022.

NSA’s 2022 Filly & Mare Champion Down Royal, owned by Joseph Fowler and trained by Kate Dalton, ran four times in 2022 and won three of them. The eight-year-old mare started out the season winning the Margaret Currey Henley Hurdle Stakes and finished out the year with winning the David Ferguson Memorial Hurdle Handicap at Great Meadow. In between, she earned her first G1 victory in the A.P. Smithwick Memorial Steeplechase Stakes at Saratoga in July.

NSA’s Leading Three-Year-Old Champion title went to Topic Changer, owned by Jordan Wycoff and Frank Mullins and trained by Keri Brion. The New York-bred started his 2022 season on the flat track before breaking his maiden at Aiken in the Maiden Special Weight in October. He won again in November in the Alston Cup Stakes at Charlestown.

Bob and Peggy Miller are the 2022 CCEC Hall of Fame Volunteer inductees.

The Millers Win Volunteer Award
The Carroll County Equestrian Council (CCEC) named Peggy and Bob Miller as its 2022 Hall of Fame Volunteer inductees. The Millers have been part of CCEC for 35 years. They joined CCEC when the Council created the Carroll County Equestrian Center near their home.

Peggy Miller has held several positions within the CCEC board including as vice president for two years. She also was the Equestrian Center manager from 1999 to 2011 and was the Gillis Falls Equestrian Center Trail Maintenance Coordinator from 1999 to 2018. Peggy served as CCEC treasurer for the past eight years and remains in this role.

Bob Miller built and maintained several of the cross-country jumps at the Equestrian Center. He also designed the portable Hunter/Jumper Judges’ Stand. His construction and design expertise also helped the club determine the best ways to maintain various aspects of the Equestrian Center.

Isaebl Worthy rode Maggie to win the National Novice Championship in jousting. photo by Dawn Enfield

Marylanders Sweep National Jousting Titles
Once again, it was the Maryland contingent that swept the National Jousting Association titles for 2022. Isabel Worthy rode Viviane Fisher-Flaherty’s Maggie to win the National Novice Championship. Michaella Patrick rode her own Sally to win the National Amateur Class Championship while Ian Flaherty and Sunny, owned by Viviane Fisher-Flaherty, won the National Semi-Professional Class Championship. Brad Enfield took the National Professional Class Championship riding his own Chex.

Overseas, Mikayla Miller won the Garleton Lodge International Tilting and Jousting Tournament, hosted by the Scottish Tilting Riding Club. Miller rode Rista Kalamidas’ Chino to overall champion of the event.

All of these riders also won local championships titles in 2022. See this month’s Yearbook for photos and results.

Just a few of the many MDHT volunteers at Loch Moy Farm.

MDHT Honors Its Volunteers
Carolyn Mackintosh of the Maryland Horse Trials honors her team of volunteers who racked up over 2,446 volunteering hours in 2022. In addition, longtime MDHT supporters Leah Fleming, Mike Smallwood and Dale Clabaugh each logged over 1,000 volunteer hours in 2022. Additional top volunteers for 2022 include: Bonnie Vaden, Jan Solovey, Lynn Nelson, Ingrid Asmundsson, Alan Gross, Mary Margaret Drake, Lee Schipper, Cassidy Webb, MarySue Mood, Fancy Butler, Sarah Chapin, Jackie Braybrooke, Angie Leihy, Angela Bailey, Sandria Lherisse, Daniel Mick and Susanne Brammerts.

Smith Wins WIHS Honor & Service Award
The Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) presented its 2022 WIHS Honor and Service award, presented by EQUUS Foundation, to 14-year-old Allison Smith of Sandy Spring. This award is presented to a horse, individual or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger, the famed ambassador for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon.

As a child growing up in a military family, Smith has moved four times already and has had both parents deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Through these experiences she has learned to be resilient and value honor.

Smith volunteers at Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) in Woodbine as well as at local U.S. Eventing Association competitions, and told WIHS, “It’s awesome to receive this award. I am grateful to be a military child and would like to show my gratitude to those who have served.” Smith has been volunteering at DEFHR since 2017 and has completed 178 volunteer hours in the last three years.

Her Girl Scout Silver Award Project, titled “Equestrian Helmet Safety Awareness,” led to more than 60 hours of teaching riders the importance of wearing appropriate helmets while riding.

Smith is also a member of the Talbot Run Pony Club Riding Center, which is part of the Capital Region of U.S. Pony Club. She rides on the farm’s Interscholastic Equestrian Association Dressage team as well.
Smith was presented with this award during WIHS’s Military Night this past October. She designated DEFHR to receive a $1,500 grant from the EQUUS Foundation.