by Kimberly K. Egan and Corinne M. Pouliquen (first published in the February 2022 Equiery)
January turned out to be a subdued month for us here at the Maryland Horse Council. Between the rain, the snow, and the Omicron variant, most of us stayed close to home and snuggled with our animals, large and small. Nonetheless, we did manage to get some regular business done.
Sport Horse Committee
We launched our new Sport Horse Committee on January 12. This committee will focus on the whole life of our world-class equine athletes by celebrating Maryland breeders, trainers, competition venues, show organizers, and, of course, Maryland-bred horses. The committee is comprised of a diverse group of trainers, breeders, owners, and competitors from several disciplines around the state.
One of the first projects underway is creating our Maryland-Bred Sport Horse Registry. The Registry will contain pedigrees and competition results for any Maryland-bred horse that is competing in any equestrian discipline anywhere in the country, not just in Maryland. The Registry will be on-line and people will be able to enter their breed information directly into the system.
DNR Office of Outdoor Recreation
On January 13, we had an introductory meeting with Daryl Anthony, the Executive Director of the newly created Office of Outdoor Recreation, which is within the Department of Natural Resources. Mr. Anthony has decades of experience with equestrian trails on DNR land, including at Patapsco Valley State Park and at the Fair Hill Natural Resource Management Area. His office will be an excellent resource as we work to improve maintenance and access to multi-use trail systems.
It bears noting that Mr. Anthony’s jurisdiction extends to any outdoor recreation–not just recreation on public land. As such, we anticipate that MHC will be interacting with his office on a regular basis.
Trails & Greenways Town Hall
On January 17, we held our monthly Trails & Greenways Town Hall. These meetings are virtual and open to the public. The purpose of these meetings is to provide an open forum for anyone to bring comments, questions, or concerns about Maryland’s extensive system of equestrian trails to the table. We have been holding these town halls since October, and the information sharing among the participants has been superb. Meeting announcements and participation information can be found in each issue of The Equiery and across all of our social media platforms.
On January 25, we held a webinar for our Industry Professional (IP) members on bookkeeping and accounting practices specific to equine and equine-related businesses. These IP webinars are open to our IP members only. If you would like to participate in these webinars and are not already an IP member, please join or upgrade your membership at www.mdhorsecouncil.org/join.
Moving forward into the New Year, we are using the February issue to celebrate the success of our Maryland equestrians over the past year. We should be so proud of our equestrian athletes. Maryland has such diversity of talent, in such a broad array of disciplines, across all age groups and levels of skill, that we can truly say that we are the epicenter of equestrian competition!