Your participation! Your ideas, thoughts, opinions, analysis, conclusions and brainstorming creativity.

Maryland Horse Industry Forum
August 6, 2009
Show Place Arena
Prince George’s Equestrian Center
Upper Marlboro, Maryland
9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m

Guest of Honor: Governor Martin O’Malley

Registration Fee: FREE
Only your time, attention and critical thinking skills are needed.

The Equiery is pleased to sponsor the 2009 Maryland Horse Industry Forum If you have a stake in the Maryland equine industry, then you need to be at the Show Place Arena on August 6.

From racing and slots to trails and greenways, from education to zoning and land preservation, Maryland’s equestrian community faces a myriad of challenges. What should be done? Where should we focus our efforts? Horse Park? Import/Export facility? Should Maryland focus resources on acquiring more public lands? Or should the State instead offer incentives for conservation and trail access easements on private land?  Should the Maryland Office of Tourism help to better promote equine-related tourist activities, such as guided trail rides and attending the races? How can the Department of Economic Development help the average horse business? Should the Maryland Insurance Commission do more about equine insurance?

Governor O’Malley wants to know your thoughts!

Over 300 industry, state and local leaders attended the 2004 Forum, including the Governor. That Forum provided the raw ideas for scores of initiatives, many of which have been accomplished or are in the process of being accomplished (click here for a 2004 Forum report)

Don’t miss you opportunity to voice your thoughts! Register today.

(You can pick and choose those topics which most appeal to you; for an actual schedule, please visit Maryland Horse Forum

Infrastructure, and Competition Venues
How can we increase the number of facilities available for small and large competitions, support and improve the facilities we already have, and attract new business from outside the state? Should the State continue to pursue the concept of a State Horse Park?  Should the State pursue other infrastructure projects, such as an international import/export and quarantine facility, new University research facilities or labs?

Who should attend? Show and event managers and organizers, leadership from local horse show associations, trainers, competitors, breeders, dealers, veterinarians, scientists, researchers,  government and university officials, and operators of support businesses (feed suppliers, tack, equipment).

Labor Issues
How can we recruit and hire for positions, make workers compensation insurance coverage more affordable, educate the workforce we have, and those attending equine management programs at local colleges and universities?  How do we utilize foreign labor sources? Discuss how to cope with HB2 Visa labor restrictions and determining if O-1 and O-2 Visas are options for your labor force.

Who should attend this session? Farm owners and managers; show owners and organizers; immigration specialists; representatives from the Farm Bureau; federal lawmakers working on immigration issues; insurance agents; directors of college and university equine management programs.

Zoning, Land Use and Land Preservation
How can the equestrian community ensure that the policies created by local planning and zoning authorities are compatible with horse keeping and horse businesses?  Which “conservation” definitions support horse operations and which do not? Do agricultural enterprise zones work for horse businesses? Which zoning terms are best suited for lesson and boarding stables? Do land preservation programs work for maintaining horse farms? What is the role of the equestrian community in preserving agricultural land and greenspace? Participants are encouraged to bring their own community’s planning and zoning definitions.

Who should attend this session? Farm owners concerned about their current or future zoning; any horse person working – or thinking about working in a horse related enterprise- or wishing their planning and zoning were different in their county; developers seeking to incorporate horses into their communities; local government planners; members of conservation and preservation boards.

Legal Matters, Liability and Insurance
Can anything be done to reduce farm/stable operations liability and the cost of insurance? Discuss equine limited liability laws and Maryland’s contributory negligence laws and their affect on insurance rates and availability. Is it time for an equine limited liability law in Maryland? Are there other legal mine fields we need to be wary of?

Who should attend this session? Stable owners and operators, show/ event organizers and managers, hunt clubs, and horse club or organization that hosts events or activities with horses; insurance agents; lawyers and attorneys who specialize in liability and negligence; members of the State insurance commission; State lawmakers.

The Future of Maryland Racing
What can we do to secure the future of MD’s racetracks, horsemen and racehorse breeders? Will slots be enough to ensure the future of horse racing in Maryland? What can we do to regain national/international prominence? Leaders in Maryland racing, including track owners, are being offered the chance to present their visions for the future of their businesses specifically and Maryland racing in general.  The floor will also be open for members of the audience to present their thoughts, concerns, hopes and visions.

Who should attend? All stakeholders in racing, including but not limited to, race horse owners, trainers, breeders, owners of supporting businesses (such as tack or farrier services), members of the Racing Commission, State lawmakers, track owners and potential track owners, spectators and the betting public, lovers of the racing breeds, owners and trainers of former race horses.

Trails and Public Lands
How can we grow and preserve Maryland’s equine friendly trails and camping facilities? Discuss linking trail systems and integrating State/locally owned public trails; needs for bridle and carriage trails; funding; ensuring that lands donated to State or local government for horses are used for the purpose intended; acquiring public easements on private land for access to park trails; ensuring that the equestrian community is represented on planning and zoning boards.

Who should attend? Leaders in local trail clubs and organizations, officials from the Department of Natural Resources and from Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission, officials from county and local park systems; officials from the State Highway Administration; local and state lawmakers.

Promoting and Marketing Maryland Horse Businesses
If horses and horse people are going to thrive in Maryland, we need more members of the general population to be interested in our existence and invested in our success.  How can the industry work with the State of Maryland to:
– help members of the general public appreciate horses and horse people and what they contribute to MD life,
– help more MD citizens to feel that their own interests align with the interests of the equestrian community,
– promote Maryland as an equine tourist destination, and
– attract more horse businesses to start up or to locate to Maryland?

Who should attend this session? Anyone operating an equine-related business dependent upon attracting “non-horse people,” including (but not limited to) spectator events, guided trail rides, horse  rental operations, carriage operations, pony ride businesses, bed & breakfasts, beginner lessons stables; managers of equine camping facilities, members of local Chambers of Commerce; representatives from State and local offices of business enterprise and tourism.

Unwanted Horses
How do we measure the problem of unwanted horses, can we solve the issue in MD, and what can be done regarding the lack of options for euthanasia and disposal of equine? How do zoning and landfill regulations affect disposal? Are large animal composting businesses a foreseeable disposal alternative?

Who should attend? Breeders, dealers, operators of large equine programs, managers of equine rescues, animal welfare officials, animal control, owners and managers of abattoirs and rendering companies, owners of large animal cremation businesses, land planners, State vets, representatives from Maryland Department of Agriculture.

Going Green
How can we encourage best management practices (water, soil, nutrient, manure, waste, runoff, etc.) on all equine operations? Are the federal, state, and local programs in place equipped to help operators go “green”? Are organic practices compatible with modern equine husbandry practices? How can we better promote horses as environmentally friendly?

Who should attend? Public and private horse farm owners and/or managers, product manufacturers, owners or managers of tractor and equipment companies, builders and excavators, land planners, animal health care providers, pasture managers, educators.

The 2009 Maryland Forum is being organized by the Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Maryland Horse Council.

Who’s Who on the 2009 Maryland Horse Forum Strategic Planning Committee:
James B. Steele – Chairman, Manager – MD Horse Industry Board, Shamrock Farm
Jane Seigler, JD – President – Reddemeade Farm
Sharon Roberts – Exec. Vice President – Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Assoc.
Steuart Pittman – President, Operator – MD Horse Council, Dodon Farm
Ron MacNab – President – Trail Riders of Today
Crystal B. Kimball – Publisher – The Equiery
Oliver Kennedy – Judge/Jumper, Manager/Owner, Manager, Chairman – — USEF “R” and FEI “I”, Capital Challenge, Columbia Benefit Grand Prix, USHJA Zone III Jumper Committee
Kathleen S. Howe – President – Days End Farm Horse Rescue
Terry Hasseltine – Director – MD Office of Sports Marketing
Eddie Franceschi – Equine Soil Conservationist – MG. County Soil Conservation District
Richard Forfa, DVM, Dip. ABVP – Founder – Monocacy Equine Veterinary Associates
Shannon Potter Dill – Co-Director/Agent – Univ. of MD Extension/Talbot County
Tom Chuckas – President – MD Jockey Club
J. Robert Burk – Executive Director – MD Horse Industry Board