By Neil Agate, MHC President (first published in the November 2020 Equiery)
As the days start getting shorter and the leaves begin to change, we all try to get those last trips to horse shows or trail rides with friends in before the weather makes them less pleasant. At the Maryland Horse Council and The Equiery, we also start to think about the holidays and what they mean to us individually.
As part of the Maryland horse community we all have many things to be thankful for, as our community has such a strong foundation. That foundation is further strengthened throughout the state by a large number of non-profits and charities that support aspects of our community that wouldn’t otherwise be sustainable. This year is probably not the best year for any of us to make donations, but that in and of itself is a reason to dig a little deeper. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more critical to support the Maryland non-profits that support our horses, as they are dealing with shortfalls in their donations. So please take a look at the non-profits in this edition and consider them for your support.
Since we started the Maryland Equine Transition Service (METS) in 2018, we have been working on setting up the Maryland Horse Council Foundation (MHCF) as a 501(c)3 non-profit that could run the METS program after our initial grant ends. I am happy to say that not only is the new foundation officially set up and registered, but we have also recently received our letter from the IRS that allows donations to the Foundation and METS to be tax deductible.
Now the hard work begins! We have been working with the METS team and the MHC Executive Committee to get everything set up correctly and now we need to get the word out about both MHCF and METS as well as solicit people’s help, both time and financial. We are currently in the process of building out our Board of Directors and if you have expertise in the non-profit world and would like to be a part of a unique organization whose sole purpose is the protection of our Maryland horses, please reach out to me via email@example.com.
Finally, you’ll see a new section in The Equiery (on page 44 of the November Equiery) that is the result of a consolidation in membership categories that has occurred over the last few months. Ever since I became involved with MHC over a decade ago, I have been asked about our membership categories. People were often confused about what category they fell into and many individuals who earned their living in the horse business felt they wanted to participate in ways that weren’t available to Individual members.
We have consolidated the Farm, Business and Non-Profit memberships into one single category, the Industry Professional member. In addition to an enhanced list of membership benefits, we will also focus on our Industry Professionals in a dedicated section of The Equiery each month. Like all of our membership categories, the Industry Professional membership is open to all qualified individuals and organizations, and anyone can join MHC. Just visit https://join.mdhorsecouncil.org or contact our Membership Coordinator Emily Nessel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 443-717-0120.