After a seven-month hiring process, a new Stable Inspector for the Maryland Horse Industry Board is finally in place. The Maryland Department of Agriculture received well over 100 applications for the entry-level job; at least 60 of those applicants met the minimum qualification standards.

Keziah Richard joins longtime veteran Pegeen Morgan as one of the two Stable inspectors, assuming the position vacated by Beverly Raymond, who retired last year after 30 years in the job.

Keziah, who goes by her nickname “Kezie” (pronounced “KeeZee”), today lives on a cattle farm in Union Bridge (Carroll County), but she grew up riding horses in the Middletown, DE area. She was a member of the Middletown Pony Club and the New Beginnings 4-H Club and was President and Junior Advisor of the Middletown High School chapter of FFA (Future Farmers of America). She competed in local hunter/jumper horse shows and low level three-Day eventing.

After graduating from Middletown High School, she attended Delaware State University for two years, majoring in General Agriculture. While there, she was a member of the Delaware State Intercollegiate Riding Team, competing in Western Horsemanship and Reining.

After two years at Delaware State, she transferred to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Animal and Poultry Science in 2010.

Her duties at the Maryland Department of Agriculture will include inspecting both licensed riding stables and veterinary hospitals.

Her work experience reflects knowledge in both areas. For four and a half years, she served as a veterinarian technician at the Companion Animal Practice at Smyrna, DE and at Lums Pond veterinarian practice in Bear, DE.

In addition, she has worked with all kinds of horses. She groomed and cared for Thoroughbred breeding stock at Herb Moelis’ CandyLand Farm in Middletown, DE, prepped and handles sales yearlings for CandyLand at the Keeneland (KY) Yearling Sales, and groomed at a Morgan show facility and at the Cabot Stables Standardbred Horse Racing Farm in Dover, DE.

Kezie currently owns two horses: Jack, a 20-year-old Arabian and Sudden Opportunity, or “Opie”, who is a 23year-old retired Thoroughbred racehorse. She still rides her “old boys” for pleasure and for herding cattle, but is looking for a younger Quarter Horse to handle cattle and to possibly compete in barrel racing.

Kezie’s geographic area is in the northern and western parts of Maryland, where she will inspect vet hospitals and licensed stables. Before inspecting stables on her own, however, she will be mentored by her coworker, Pegeen Morgan, as well as Beverly Raymond, who has kindly agreed to come out of retirement to show Kezie around and introduce her to her new home inspection territory.

“I am thrilled to be offered this opportunity and to work with Maryland horsemen and veterinarians,” Kezie said. “It has always been my dream to work for a Department of Agriculture.”