by Katherine O. Rizzo & Kimberly K. Egan (first published in the October 2023 Equiery)
October is Horse Month in Maryland and the month is packed with a tremendous number of activities for both riders and spectators. Maryland Horse Council members are also offering a plethora of events in a variety of disciplines. We have listed them below.
Don’t forget to send your October Horse Month photos to firstname.lastname@example.org for future Out & About columns!
Burning Benjamins LLC
Burning Bejnamins LLC is an eventing and dressage barn that offers training board, instruction, showing, coaching at shows, sales, clinics, rehab, and bodywork. Head trainer Chiantel Beaumont is a licensed equissage and body work practitioner, and she also has a Maryland Jockey Club license to exercise race horses. This month, Burning Benjamins is hosting a jumper clinic with five-star event rider Leah Lang-Gluscic at the farm’s 63-acre property in Glenwood on October 23.
By Chance Farm
By Chance Farm in Union Bridge offers year-round training and boarding as well as hosting many dressage schooling and licensed shows.Head trainer Michele Wellman also offers cavaletti clinics that are great for all disciplines of riders and horses. This month, By Chance has a cavaletti clinic on October 22 and a Frederick Area Dressage Show schooling show on October 29. To learn more about Wellman, listen to MHC’s interview with her on the MHC Podcast, available on your favorite podcast platform.
Cattail Chase Races
The Cattail Chase Races will hold its annual steeplechase on October 15 at Pleasant Prospect Farm in Brookeville. The meet offers $25,000 in purse money and a variety of spectator packages, including tailgating, field party packages, and VIP arena packages. Proceeds go to benefit Respite Retreats, which is a holistic self-care charity for cancer patients; Bridges to Housing Stability, which advocates for affordable housing solutions; and the Lisbon Volunteer Fire Department, which has been rescuing hikers, bikers, and horse people in the rural west of Howard County since 1944. For more information, see https://cattailchase.org/
City Ranch, Inc.
City Ranch is a non-profit founded by MHC Vice President Ahesahmahk Dahn to provide accessible and affordable horseback riding in urban areas of Baltimore City, with an eye to developing positive character and horsemanship. City Ranch offers lessons and partners with Baltimore City Recreation and Parks for off-property equine activities. City Ranch is hosting an Evening at the Farm fundraiser on October 21. For more information, see https://www.thecityranch.org/.
Days End Farm Horse Rescue
Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Lisbon is known nation-wide for its best-in-class work to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome horses who have been the victims of criminal animal cruelty. Days End hosts an array of educational programs throughout the year, including training for those investigating and prosecuting animal cruelty cases in the courts. On October 31, Days End is holding a Scout Day for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, which includes a short riding lesson, a tour of the farm and stories about how the horses came to be here; as well as education about horse care (hoof, dental, nutrition) and hands-on horse grooming and horse leading experience.
The Equi-Learn Institute is a group of licensed professionals who offer equine and canine healthcare classes. The multi-day equine courses range from anatomy to massage and bodywork to spinal mobilization, as well as other therapeutic techniques. Equi-Learn offers courses both geared towards horse owners and other for professional massage therapists, bodyworkers, and equine chiropractors. Equi-Learn is hosting an Equinology Body Worker certification course from October 1-9, a Level 1 workshop for Equine Acupressure on October 13-16, and the Level 2 Equine Acupressure workshop on October 18-21.
Full Moon Farm
Full Moon Farm is a family-owned and operated full-service equine facility in Finksburg. Co-owner Stephen Fulton is a farrier and MHC Board member and co-owner Karen Fulton sits on the Maryland Horse Industry Board. The farm offers boarding, lessons, training, sales, competitions and much more for riders of all levels and ages. In October, Full Moon Farm is hosting an IEA show on October 1 as well as NCSSEL show on October 29 and a Sunday Funday on October 15. Full Moon Farm’s Stirrup a Good Time Adult Series runs October 7-8. The weekend starts with an evening jumper show followed by a wine tasting and food pairing party. Sunday includes an equitation show, yoga class, and mounted games competition. For more information see https://fullmoonfarm.com/
Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue
Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, based in Mt. Airy, was founded in 2005 by Christine Hajek as a rescue rehabilitation and re-homing center specifically focused on draft horses. The 501(c)(3) non-profit organization has grown to include a new 105-acre sanctuary in Woodbine. Gentle Giants’ annual Fall Festival will take place on October 28 at its Mt. Airy location.
Graham Equestrian Center
The Graham Equestrian Center is located within the Central Area of the Gunpowder Falls State Park. The Center is a non-profit organization committed to educating the minds, improving the bodies and lifting the spirits of local children and adults, regardless of income or (dis)ability, through the joy of horses. On October 7, the Center will host a Horse Discovery day open to the public.
Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds
The Howard County-Iron Bridge Hounds (HCIBH) is one of the many Maryland fox chasing clubs that offer more than just fox chasing. HCIBH hosts a summer hunter show and hunter paces in the spring and the fall. Their fall hunter pace is the first one in the Maryland Hunter Pace series, and takes place on October 1 in Windsor Forest.
Loch Moy Farm
Loch Moy Farm in Adamstown is one of the premier competition venues in Frederick County. The facility hosts almost 50 days of Dressage, Eventing, and Cross Derby competitions a year and several additional days of jump chute and mounted clinics. Loch Moy is hosting the U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) Area II Championships on October 6-8, in conjunction with its Maryland Horse Trials (MDHT) III USEA competition. Later in the month, on October 14-15, Loch Moy will hold the second event of its fall MDHT Starter series. The week after that event, October 16-22, Loch Moy’s competition cross-country courses will be open for schooling by appointment. Lastly, October 28 is last Pick Your Own Time/Pick Your Own Test and Blue Ribbon Jumpers show. For more information, see https://themarylandhorsetrials.com/
Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill
One of the biggest activities on the October calendar is the MARS Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, depicted on the cover of this issue. This is one of only seven Eventing competitions of its kind in the world and it the highest level of international competition – higher even than the Olympics. Olympic and national team riders come from all over the world to compete at this event. Competition kicks off on October 19 with the first of two veterinary examinations. The dressage phase runs from October 20-21, the action-paced cross-country day is Saturday, October 22, and the final veterinary examination and the show jumping phase are on Sunday October 23. Fair Hill will also host The Dutta Corp. Young Event Horse East Coast Championships that weekend, in which at least three Maryland-bred horses are competing. For more information see https://www.maryland5star.us/
Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation
The Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation (MAWC) was formed in 1976 to promote and protect all hunters’ rights in general, and those who purse game with hounds or dogs in particular. MAWC is active in the legislative and regulatory arenas and also strives to educate the country sport community. On October 19, MAWC is holding a fundraiser dinner with guest speaker, author Rita Mae Brown. In addition, dinner guests can enjoy shopping from Grey Horse Saddlery and Sam Robinson Fine Art.
Maryland Horse Breeders Association & The Maryland Horse Foundation
The Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) and the Maryland Horse Foundation are now housed in the new Maryland Horse Library and Education Center (MHLEC) in Reisterstown. The library is part of the Maryland Horse Park system and is open to the public most days of the week. MHBA hosts a Sip & Win Live Auction every year just before Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park. This year’s auction will be on October 13. On October 23, the library will be hosting a talk about the Washington International Horse Show. MHLEC has also started a Book Club, which meets every three weeks. The October date is yet to be announced as of press. For more information, see https://marylandhorse.com/
Maryland Horse Industry Board
The Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) is the agency in the Maryland Department of Agriculture that licenses boarding stables, lesson stables, equine-assisted services programs, horse rescues, and horse sanctuaries. Its members are appointed by the Governor and it holds a public meeting every month. MHIB’s October meeting will on October 4 at To Win Again Farm & Rehabilitation Center in Woodbine on October 4 and is open to the public. For more information see https://mda.maryland.gov/horseboard/Pages/horse_board.aspx
Maryland Jockey Club
The Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) hosts two of its most high-profile events in the month of October. The marquee event is the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day on October 14, which is dedicated to promoting and celebrating Maryland-bred and Maryland-sired Thoroughbreds. The racing card includes all levels of racing on both dirt and turf, including races specifically for juniors. A few weekends later, on October 29, MJC is hosting its annual Canter for a Cause at Pimlico Race Course. This event is open to the public and proceeds will go to the Thoroughbred Charities Alliance. The event allows riders of all ages and disciplines a chance to ride on the same track as the Preakness Stakes. For more information on Maryland Million go to https://www.marylandmillion.com/
Morningside Stables, LLC, is comprised of three, full-service equine facilities in Maryland located in Baltimore, Annapolis, and Columbia. It offers riding lessons, summer camps, horses for lease, boarding, and show teams. They also host competitions throughout the year. Morningside Stables will host a hunter/jumper schooling show on October 15 at the Columbia Horse Center location. For more information, see https://morningsidestables.horse/
New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds
The New Market-Middletown Valley Hounds (NMMVH) chases hounds in Frederick and Washington counties in Maryland and in portions of Berkeley and Jefferson counties in West Virginia. Their beautiful territory includes the slopes of Sugarloaf Mountain, as well as the Braddock and South Mountains. NMMVH’s first hounds were purchased from the duPont family in Fair Hill. Their hunter pace is the third pace on the Maryland Hunter Pace circuit, and will be held on October 28.
Potomac Valley Dressage Association
The Potomac Valley Dressage Association (PVDA) is one of the oldest organized dressage club in the United States – it predates the creation the United States Dressage Federation – and it hosts schooling and licensed dressage shows throughout Maryland and northern Virginia. PVDA will host a schooling show on October 21 at Schooley Mill Park in Highland. The following day, on October 22, it will host another schooling show at Blue Horse Farm in Jefferson. For more information, see https://pvda.org/
Tuckahoe Equestrian Center
The Tuckahoe Equestrian Center in Queen Anne on the Eastern Shore is a charity that promotes all equestrian activities such as 4-H, youth activities; games days; trail riding; driving; jousting; parades; and horse shows that include jumping, dressage, and English or Western equitation. The Center will hold its annual Celebration of the Horse on October 7. The event welcomes the public to learn about horses and offers multi-discipline demonstration rides as well as great foot vendors and plenty of shopping opportunities. Also in October, the Center is hosting a Joe London clinic for Gaited horses on October 14-15.
Valley Meadow Farms
Valley Meadow Farms in Hancock is a family-owned, bed and breakfast. Valley Meadows also allows you to bring your own horse for a camping getaway. The trails on the 400-acre farm offers views of forests, hayfields, ridgelines, and valleys. Valley Meadows is hosting its annual Trails & Treats Day Ride on October 28.
Waredaca Farm in Gaithersburg is a competition venue, boarding facility, and licensed Unites States Pony Club Riding Center that is dedicated educating riders of all ages and levels to the sport of eventing. Waredaca’s October calendar is packed with the farm’s marquee event being the Waredaca Classic 3-Day Event, in which riders compete in the traditional long-format event. This year’s event is October 26-29 in conjunction with the Waredaca Fall USEA horse trials. Waredaca also brings in several five-star level clinicians this month, including U.S. Olympian Stephen Bradley on October 3 and October 17 and Ireland National Team rider Tim Bourke on October 17. Lastly, the Waredaca Pony Club holds its fall festival and silent auction fundraiser on October 13 at Smokey Glen Farm in Gaithersburg. For more information see https://waredaca.com/
Washington International Horse Show
On October 23-29, the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) returns to Maryland this year at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center for its 65th anniversary. WIHS is an official USEF Heritage Competition and has been recognized as a Top 25 Horse Show by the North American Riders Group since the designation was established. WIHS holds the prestigious five-star rating from the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI), the world governing body for equestrian sport. The competition offers Show Jumping, Show Hunters, Equitation, and Pony divisions. This year, there is no admission fee for entry to the daytime competition. During the day, spectators can watch competition in arena, explore warm-up rings and grounds, shop the boutiques on the concourse, view historical displays, enjoy a variety of food truck and… parking is free too! The show starts early on October 23 with High Performance and Green Conformation classes. High Performance and Green Hunter classes take place on October 24 as well with Amateur-Owner classes starting out the day on October 25. Thursday, October 25 marks the start of the international jumper competitions in the evening during WIHS Barn Night with the Small and Large Junior Hunter classes taking place during the day. October 26 is more Junior Hunter classes with the international riders taking center stage in the evening during Military Night. October 27 is dedicated to ponies during the day and the big Longines FEI Jumping World Cup Washington in the evening as well as the WIHS Equitation Finals. The show wraps up on October 28 with more pony classes and the WIHS Halloween Hunt Teams event. For more information see https://wihs.org/
Wyndham Oaks is a state-of-the-art dressage and boarding stable in Boyds. It was the first equestrian facility in Montgomery County to be named to the state’s Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP), a program that recognizes those farms that excel at land stewardship. The farm is part of the Equine Partners in Conservation (EPIC) trail system, and is next to the Potomac Pony Club fields. Wyndham Oaks hosts a Frederick Area Dressage Society schooling show on October 21.