by Kimberly K. Egan (first published in the September 2022 Equiery)
Twice a year we publish a full calendar of events for the Maryland horse industry, and this month is the second installment for 2022.
We are lucky to have so many horse activities to choose from in Maryland. Indeed, there is no equestrian discipline that is not represented in our state, and we have competitors and enthusiasts from beginning riders all the way up to international and Olympic competitors. We boast one of the most prestigious Thoroughbred races in the world, one of the most prestigious Three-Day Events in the world, the most difficult steeplechase race in the country, and two of the most prestigious hunter and jumper shows in the country. We are home to three of the 46 American polocrosse teams and a half dozen polo clubs. We have rodeos every year at more than one venue, numerous Western show circuits, ranch riding, driving competitions, dressage festivals, competitive trail riding, vaulting, and, of course, Maryland’s state sport, jousting.
While horse industries in some parts of the country are starting to wind down their seasons, we in Maryland are heading into some of our busiest months of the year. September is fair season around the state, and the Maryland Draft Horse and Mule Association sponsors pulling contests as well as halter, hitch, and under saddle shows at the state fair at Timonium and at the Frederick, St. Mary’s, and Anne Arundel county fairs.
We have seven jousting tournaments and two polo tournaments in September alone, along with our full complement of western shows, hunter/jumper shows, dressage shows, horse trials, and combined tests. September also kicks off the fall hunter pace circuit and cubbing season for our area fox chasing clubs.
In October, Maryland puts its international horse industry on display with the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill, the Maryland Million at Laurel Park, the Capitol Challenge Show and the Washington International Horse Show, the latter two at the Showplace Arena in Prince George’s County. These high wattage events run concurrently with our already full calendar of local competitions, schooling shows, and clinics. If history is any guide, we expect Governor Hogan to once again declare October Maryland Horse Month.
November boasts the MHSA Regional Championship Show, the MDHT Starter Horse Trial Championships, and the BEST Undercover Show. Our seven fox chasing clubs have their formal opening meets in early November, and the Pennsylvania Junior Hunt Cup takes place just across the state line from Fair Hill, in Unionville, PA.
We finally start winding down for colder weather in December. The Maryland industry calendar goes out with a bang with the Mounted Games Across America at the Show Place Arena on December 10 and 11. Even so, clinics and schooling opportunities continue throughout the winter.
Maryland truly has an activity for everyone, regardless of discipline, geographic region, or experience level, year round.
COMMITTEE NAME CHANGE!
The Trails & Greenways committee has a new name — the Trails Stewardship Committee. The new name more accurately reflects our mission to ensure that Maryland equestrians continue to be there for our extensive system of trails, and that our extensive system of trails continues to be there for Maryland equestrians. To that end, many hands make light work! Please consider signing up with your local park to help with trail clearing and trail maintenance. Everyone will thank you for it.
Corinne M. Pouliquen and Kimberly K. Egan are the Co-Presidents of the Maryland Horse Council. You can reach Corinne at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can reach Kim at email@example.com.