MHC Needs You! (first published in the May 2021 Equiery)
By Neil Agate, MHC President
The last twelve plus months have been very far from normal, but hopefully we are making our way back to some sort of normalcy. It is great to see many local events come back after being disrupted last year due to the pandemic. This is especially true of Maryland’s largest equestrian event, the Preakness, which is back to its normal date on the third Saturday in May. The State and Maryland Jockey Club have also announced that they will be allowing a limited number of fans to attend in person. Be sure to check out our Preakness Guide as well as the other Thoroughbred racing focused items in this our “Preakness Issue” of the Equiery.
Your Maryland Horse Council has been working hard for its members during the pandemic, as well as for the horse community at large. One area where we have seen a drop off has been in our new members and membership renewals. Believe me, I understand this as we have all had other things to focus on and renewing our memberships may not have been on top of that list. As an incentive to renew your MHC membership, or better yet, encourage your friends and colleagues to join, I’d like to highlight some new things that we are working on for members and some of the great benefits of joining.
Although the biggest benefit to you as a member of the MHC is the work we do on your behalf in Annapolis, there are many other benefits to membership. Through our affiliations with organizations like the American Horse Council, members are able to get discounts from over 20 partner organizations such as John Deere, New Holland, Toro, UPS and Office Depot. One of the newest additions to this list (Tickets at Work) provides discounts on hotels, movie tickets and even Broadway shows.
In addition, our Membership Committee, under the leadership of incoming co-president Corinne Pouliquen, is hard at work on a number of new membership benefits, including some new discount programs from some of our local Maryland based member organizations. These would be a double benefit, as not only would the individual members benefit but so would the member businesses. The Membership Committee is also working on some exciting educational events which will be either members-only or offered at a reduced rate for members. Finally, we are also looking at offering members VIP access to events around the state around the state, so keep an eye out on your email and MHC website for details. If you’re an MHC member and would like to help work on these new benefits or are involved with a business that might want to offer programs to MHC members please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Government Relations Committee worked tirelessly during the Maryland General Assembly session to review any bills that might effect the Maryland Horse community. For those that do, the committee talks to legislators and provides testimony to enlighten the legislators on the facts around how their bills might affect their Maryland Horse Community. During the recently completed session, the Government Relations Committee worked on important issues relating to Sunday Hunting, the definition of “therapy horses,” the cost of care for seized animals, the prohibition of snare traps, among many others. If you have any interest in learning more about how Annapolis works, I would strongly suggest you join the Government Relations Committee.
We are always looking for ways to increase our membership reach and are working on developing programs that will encourage our members who are themselves membership organizations to encourage/incentivize their members to join MHC. For more information on the Maryland Horse Council, visit: https://www.mdhorsecouncil.org/