Maryland Horse Council Awarded Grant to Launch the Maryland Equine Transition Service Innovative Safety-Net Solution For Maryland Horses

from the Maryland Horse Council

The Maryland Horse Council (MHC) announced receipt on January 30 of a $750,000 grant to launch a first-in-the-nation project to facilitate the responsible transition of horses whose owners are no longer able to care for them. MHC was the first state horse council in the country to support a federal ban on export of horses for human consumption, and its members from every sector of the horse industry came together to develop an alternative. The program is called Maryland Equine Transition Service (METS) and was unveiled today at the Maryland Horse Industry Day in Annapolis.

METS will include a statewide network of equine facilities, farms, associations, veterinarians, trainers, and rescues that can provide safe options for horses in transition. Using a mobile assessment team, the program will provide owners with individualized equine assessment services and transition options based on the specific needs of their horse.

“Maryland has more horses per square mile than any other state, and many of those horses will end up needing new homes throughout their lifetimes,” said MHC President, Neil Agate. “We believe that all owners who need assistance in transitioning their horses should be aware of their options, and we are excited to unite and engage Maryland’s horse industry as we build this one-of-a-kind initiative.”

The launch of this cutting-edge program is made possible through a generous grant funded by the WaterShed Animal Fund via The Right Horse Initiative. The Fund’s goal is to massively increase equine adoptions and provide resources for horse owners nationwide. “Too many horses owners in the United States find themselves without humane options when it is time to transition their horse,” said Christy Counts, President of the Right Horse Initiative. “We are proud to partner with the Maryland Horse Council on this progressive and innovative approach to providing transition support to horse owners.”

To ensure the success of this program, MHC has partnered with Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) to leverage their expertise and well-developed infrastructure. As part of this partnership, the METS offices will initially be housed at DEFHR’s Lisbon, MD facility. “DEFHR is honored and thrilled to be part of this exciting new endeavor geared to help safeguard Maryland’s horses. We are looking forward to serving our equine community in a more meaningful and valuable way,” said DEFHR CEO, Erin Clemm Ochoa.

The METS program will be developed and tested on a small scale over the next six months with services offered to all Maryland horse owners by the summer of 2018. For more information about METS, send emails to Jennifer Purcell at, call 844-634-6773 ext. 707, or visit