Michael Hopkins Honored with the Touch of Class Award
by Stacey Wells

The Maryland Horse Industry Board presented the Touch of Class Award to Michael Hopkins, the executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission, at the 2018 Jim McKay Maryland Million Day on Saturday, October 20. Hopkins received the award for being the first Marylander named Chair of the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI).

Hopkins has been the executive director of the Maryland Racing Commission for 18 years, where he oversees and regulates the Maryland Harness and Thoroughbred racing industries. He has also served on ARCI’s Board of Directors for the last five years, in addition to serving on five ARCI committees.

“The equine community is an important part of Maryland’s rural heritage and the same is true for the horse racing industry,” said Maryland Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “This is due in large part to the continued commitment and passion of people like Mike Hopkins. He has done an excellent job in his role as executive director of the Racing Commission, and we are proud to see him representing our state in the ARCI. This award is well deserved.”

The Touch of Class Award is presently monthly by MHIB to honor Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations or events that demonstrate national or international excellence. The award is named after the Maryland Thoroughbred mare, Touch of Class, who is a member of the U.S Show Jumping Hall of Fame. Recipients of this award must achieve excellence in the equine industry.

More than 200 Marylanders and 100 of their horses have received the Touch of Class Award, spanning over 28 different equestrian disciplines. To learn more about the Maryland Horse Industry board, please visit https://mda.maryland.gov/horseboard/Pages/horse_board.aspx.