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A Message from the President (Jane Seigler)

As we at long last emerge from the interminable snow, ice and mud of the last few months, this is the time when horse people in Maryland rejoice at the return of warmth, sunshine, long days that make after work hacks possible, and an abundance of opportunities for things to do with our horses, competitively and just for fun. While the long, harsh winter we have just experienced understandably made many of us want to hibernate (or head south), the Horse Council has taken no winter break. As you will read elsewhere

in this report, we fought a long and valiant battle to preserve Safe Sundays for riders and others to enjoy time in the outdoors on Sundays during hunting season without fear of accidental adverse encounters with hunters. We testified against a number of Sunday hunting bills, but testified in support of a bill that would train hunters in several south counties. We also testified in support of bills to extend the life of the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB), in support of harness racing organization funding, and in support of a bill that could potentially increase opportunities for composting horse manure. We submitted testimony in opposition to several bills relating to liability for dog bites. We also submitted comments on MD Department of the Environment’s proposal regarding erosion and sediment control plans and stormwater management plans, and their proposed regulations governing composting facilities. And we opposed the diversion of funds from land conservation programs such as state or local Program Open Space (POS), Rural Legacy or MALPF to unrelated uses such as State Highway Watershed Implementation Plans.

Outside of the legislative and regulatory arenas, over the

winter we continued to expand recognition for horse farms that are shining examples of great stewardship of the land, by facilitating their enrollment in the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP). We have begun our work as co-host of the 2014 Maryland Horse Forum, the once-every-five-years opportunity for people from all walks of Maryland horse life to get together and brainstorm on our problems, our achievements and our future. We began planning for our ever popular September BBQ, to be held this year at Capital Polo Club. We planned two really fun events in support

of our racing members: April 12th at Rosecroft Raceway, and June 1st at Pimlico.

Tis winter, the Horse Council was awarded grants from

 Tuesday, May 13, 2014

7 pm (refreshments provided)

Maryland Department of Agriculture 50 Harry S. Truman Pkwy.; Annapolis, MD 21401 6 pm

MHIB to partially fund a feasibility study of options for increasing manure composting facilities and opportunities, and to improve our network of county on-line forums. As I think back over the past few months, my mind crowds with the faces of the fantastic people who have worked tirelessly to ensure MHC’s success in having so many fingers in so many pies. Tere is, of course, our Executive Committee, who - together with our part time Administrator, Mythic Landing Enterprises - work year round to keep the Horse Council running as a well oiled machine. But we also have many other true volunteers, who offer their time, talent and energy in service to MHC and its goals. First up is Christy Clagett, who worked miracles in rustling up scores of folks to tread the halls of Annapolis, and Joe Michael, who made the long wintry drive from western Maryland on several occasions to add his voice and credibility to oppose Sunday hunting. Tat fight had many warriors, including Royce Herman, Crystal Kimball, Jennifer Sponseller-Webster,

our Legislative

:      


Committee Chair: Steuart Pittman and of course our incomparable and indefatigable professional lobbyist Frank Boston and his associate Andrew Nicklas. Christy also has honchoed the “Day” and “Evening at the Races” events that are so popular and so much fun. Our Farm Stewardship Committee Chair, Jane Tery has been working very hard on expanding horse farm participation in FSCAP and on getting our manure composting study (partially funded by MHIB) off the ground with input from Dr. Amy Burk. Vicki Carson represents us with the Coalition of State Horse Councils,

and continues to develop the exciting work of MHC’s spinoff the Maryland Fund for Horses (more about that elsewhere in this report). Ron MacNab is a great interface with all the regulatory agencies and user groups that are involved with trail development and maintenance. Erica Lancaster makes sure we all have food and drink at the Quarterly meetings, and is the overall honcho for the county forums. Crystal Kimball works hard at coming up with fascinating topics and venues for the Business Network. Win Hayward and Steuart Pittman oversee our PAC. Tis is a long list, and it should be longer, because I have undoubtably left someone out! But I hope it underscores how much even though the Horse Council is all about the horses, it’s all about the people, too.

Happy Spring!

Maryland Horse Council membership is open to all associations, farms, businesses and individuals. To join, please visit, contact, or call 301-502-8929. The Maryland Horse Council is sponsored by B & D Builders, The Equiery, and Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit. | 800-244-9580 MAY 2014 | THE EQUIERY | 79


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