first published in the April 2022 Equiery

By Crystal B. Pickett, Chair of MHC’s Business Networking Committee

Business Networking Seminars
If you missed the March 8 Business Networking Seminar, you missed a crash course in third party payment apps for your business, with a review of the pros, cons and challenges – plus the new IRS paperwork rules. Many thanks to MHC member and CPA Jennifer Allen and to Shane O’Brien with First National Bank. You also missed a fascinating introduction to bookkeeping and digital payment services, designed by the horse people at Strider for horse businesses. We hope to hear more this summer, so stay tuned! Read more about Strider in the Industry Professional column in our March issue, available on

Our next MHC Business Networking Seminar will be on Tuesday, April 12th at 11 a.m. We will hear advice from MHC Sponsor and Industry Professional member Farm Credit about Building a Better Business Plan. Capital is key to launching and growing a business, and without it you cannot purchase a farm or a farrier truck, a store or a stallion, or whatever it is you need to fulfill your business vision. Most of us need a capital loan to cover such start-up expenses, and you need a business plan to qualify for a capital loan.

Farm Credit can help you. It is a federally-established, mission-driven lending cooperative that funds all manner of horse businesses (including equestrian publications), not just farms. As you flip through the pages of the April 2022 Equiery, and consider all the “Farm Fix-Up” ideas and options, chances are, you are going to need funding. Farm Credit wants to lend money to grow your business, but they need you to have a strong business plan in order to do it.

MHC Business Networking Seminars are available to MHC Industry Professional members only. Make sure your membership is up-to-date! Not sure? Call Tracy McKenna in the MHC/Equiery office; she will let you know and will help you update your membership if need be: 410-489-7826. While you are chatting with her, ask her about advertising benefits available only to MHC members.

Member Tuckahoe Equestrian Center is launching a scholarship program to support students in the equestrian, vet and vet tech programs, and agricultural pursuits. For an application, please visit

Member Valerie Ormond’s latest book, Believing In Horses Out West, is a finalist in the international Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Children from primary and secondary schools in the United Kingdom read and judge the children’s and young adult book submissions; this year there were over 221 submissions.

Beginning in March 2022, State employees can now choose member Safe Haven Equine Warriors in the Maryland Charity Campaign (MCC).

Member and sponsor Paradise Energy Solutions just keeps on growing! Alex Nissley was recently hired to be a systems analyst.

MHC applauds member Meadowbrook Stables for confirming that the Montgomery County EHV-1 cases were at its facilities, and for taking pro-active measures to close the property to public and to conduct contact tracing for anyone who may have been exposed to the sick horses. Several other Montgomery County facilities followed Meadowbrook’s lead in adopting enhanced biosecurity procedures, including MHC members Potomac Horse Center and Wheaton Park Stables. Thank you to everyone for everything you do to keep our horses safe and well.

The Marion DuPont Scott Equine Medical Center was one of the first university veterinary hospitals in the eastern U.S. to concentrate exclusively on equine medicine and research. It was established in 1984 with a gift from Marion DuPont Scott and a donation of 200 acres from the Westmoreland Davis Memorial Foundation. The center quickly established a reputation for excellence in emergency care, surgery, and diagnostic imaging, most notably at the forefront of discovery and scholarship in the area of colic. EMC is a premier, full-service equine hospital that offers comprehensive specialty care, 24-hour emergency medical and surgical treatment, and diagnostic services for all ages and breeds of horses. Dr. Mike Erskine is the Director of the Equine Medical Center. Dr. Erskine is a former President of the Maryland Horse Council and a long-time Board member. He begins his next term on the MHC Board of Directors in July 2022.

Born out of the legacy of the Chesterland Three-Day Event, Fair Hill International was founded in the late 1980s with the specific purpose of bringing international level eventing to the rolling hills of Fair Hill in Cecil County. “Fair Hill” itself was the vision of William duPont, Jr., who began collecting farms in that area along the Maryland-Pennsylvania border with the intent to develop one of the finest steeplechase race courses and foxhunting fixtures in the world. After his death, the 5,633 acres in Maryland eventually came into the State’s possession, while the PA portions transferred into private hands. You can read more about the history of Fair Hill through several past Equiery articles, available at Just search for “Fair Hill”!

Fair Hill International holds almost 20 events annually on the grounds, including starter and recognized horse trials, combined driving, dressage, show jumping, and the Foxcatcher endurance ride. Fair Hill International also works closely with the The Fair Hill Organizing Committee to support the the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill in October.

Most Marylanders know about the equestrian facilities at Frying Pan Park in Fairfax County, Virginia. Not everyone knows, however, that Frying Pan also has eco-trails, a 1920s carousel, and a farmstead that preserves and interprets farm life of the 1920s to 1950s. The farmstead has a country store, a pre-school, rentable picnic areas, and historic buildings. In the barnyard, visitors can watch lambing, foaling, calving and more. The animals are owned by the Friends of Frying Pan Park, which is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that raises money for feed and veterinary care. The Friends of Frying Pan Park hold fundraisers at the park including horse shows, Spring Farm Days, a 4-H Fair, and the Fall Harvest. They also raise money for equipment, facilities upkeep like pasture fence repair, a summer music series, a bluegrass series, staff training, as well as scholarships for children.

Coming Up In the Next Issue, Profiles on New Members…
Authentic Dressage (Greta Boylston) • Thornfield LLC (Abigail Connell) • Bay Area Polocrosse (Abigail Connell) • Equine Rescue Ambulance (JoAnne Bashore)

If you are an Industry Professional member and have news to share, please email us at