NEWS & VIEWS continued

with one rail dropping in show jumping to fi n- ish on a fi nal score of 35.2. T e Area II CIC2* team dominated the com- petition from start to fi nish never giving up the lead and won by nearly 20 points.

Hale Named VP of Racing Develop- ment; Merz New MD Racing Secretary

T e Maryland Jockey Club announced on

July 2 that the longtime Vice President of Rac- ing and Racing Secretary, Georganne Hale, has been named Vice President of Racing Devel- opment, while Chris Merz, Assistant Racing Secretary at Los Alamitos, has been named as Maryland’s new Racing Secretary. In 2000, Hale became

the fi rst woman to serve as racing secretary at a major North American racetrack. Hale fi rst started working at the Maryland Jockey Club in 1984 as assistant racing secretary. In 1986 she was named racing secretary at Timonium, and was pro- moted to the position of Maryland Racing Secretary in 2000. In her new position, Hale will oversee and

the racing offi ce and all the horsemen,” Merz said. “It’s a wonderful opportunity. T ey’re doing such great things in Maryland. I’m really looking for- ward to working at Laurel and Pimlico.”

Funds Available from MHIB T e Maryland Horse Industry Board 2019

grant program offi cially begins accepting ap- plications on August 1 for research, educational and promotional projects that support horses or the equestrian community, or develop new op- portunities for the Maryland horse industry. Ap- plications must be in hand by October 5, 2018. Funding for these grants is

provided by T e Maryland Feed Fund,

which collects Georganne Hale of MJC

$6 on every ton of horse feed sold in Maryland. Since T e Maryland Feed Fund was es- tablished in 2002, MHIB has awarded over $450,000 in grant monies to over 320 proj- ects throughout Maryland. “Horses are a critical compo- nent to Maryland’s agricultural industry. T e Maryland Horse

coordinate the revitalization of the D.C. In- ternational. She will also assist with the Mid- Atlantic T oroughbred Championship Series (MATCH), and lead philanthropic initiatives with T oroughbred Aftercare Alliance (TAA), Beyond the Wire, and Canter for the Cause, as well as serving as a liaison for backstretch programs. “I’m very excited about this new position with the Maryland Jockey Club,” Hale said. “I look forward to the great opportunities it presents to continue to build the T oroughbred racing pro- gram and help with philanthropic programs.” “We’re thrilled that Georganne will be lead- ing these important initiatives for the Mary- land Jockey Club,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club. “As we continue to build and revitalize T oroughbred racing in the Mid-Atlantic, we believe strongly that Georganne is the person to help lead us and accomplish these goals. Her knowledge of the industry and local communi- ties is invaluable.” T e new Maryland Racing Secretary, Chris

Merz, was the stakes coordinator at Santa Anita and Del Mar and assistant racing secretary at Los Alamitos since 2015. He is a graduate of the Animal Science/Race Track Industry Pro- gram at the University of Arizona. Merz is also a former stakes coordinator and placing judge at Golden Gate Fields and was previously a placing judge, entry clerk and assistant clerk of scales. “I’m really excited about coming to Maryland and working with Georganne, Sal Sinatra, everyone in | 800-244-9580

Industry Board and T e Feed Fund do a terrifi c job in helping to stimulate growth and oppor- tunity in Maryland’s equestrian community— without using any government funding,” explains Joseph Bartenfelder, Maryland Secretary of Ag- riculture. “As a completely self-funded commod- ity marketing entity, consisting of private citizens who are stakeholders in the industry, MHIB is a model for how industry groups can help them- selves, without relying on taxpayer dollars.” Organizations eligible for MHIB grants include (but are not limited to) non-profi t organizations, clubs and associations, businesses, licensed farms and stables, government entities, schools and ed- ucational institutions. Projects will be evaluated for their value to the industry, degree of indus- try promotion, size and scope of activity, fi nan- cial need, potential for matching funds, benefi ts and quality of the written presentation. Grant requests should not exceed $3,000. T e average grant amount is approximately $1,000. In 2018, 20 projects received $30,000 in grant allocations. T e Maryland Horse Industry Board was estab- lished in 1998 to promote and develop the equine industry in Maryland. For grant guidelines, grant applications or more information on MHIB or the Feed Fund, please visit www.mda.maryland. gov/horseboard or call Ross Peddicord, Executive Director at 410-841-5798 or email ross.peddi-

Bear Kills Two Ponies According to various news outlets, a bear

killed two ponies near Clear Spring in Wash- ington County sometime between July 7 and July 9. T e Maryland Department of Natural Resources was contacted by a resident of the

area on Monday (July 9) afternoon saying that two of their neighbor’s ponies had been killed by a bear near Mummert Road. Authorities were called in and according to Clarissa Harris of the Wildlife & Heritage Service, a 204-lb

continued... What is EIA?

Equine Infectious Anemia (EIA) is a blood borne virus, typically transferred by biting fl ies or infected needles, that aff ects horses, don- keys and mules. EIA is closely related to the human immunodefi ciency virus (HIV), but is not known to aff ect human health. T e disease is characterized by fever, anemia, jaundice, de- pression, edema and chronic weight loss. How- ever, EIA is often diffi cult to diff erentiate from other fever-producing diseases. Categorized as a retrovirus, “EIA contains

genetic RNA material which it uses to produce DNA. T is DNA is then incorporated into the genetic makeup of the infected cells,” ac- cording to the United States Department of Agriculture. T e clinical symptoms are a re- sult of infl ammatory and immune responses to the virus, as the horse’s system continuously produces antibodies that attack any cells with viral particles attached. T ese antibody attacks never successfully eliminate the virus, but in- stead cause damage to the kidneys, liver, spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and brain. According to MDA, the virus can take on

three stages. In the “carrier” phase, the horse has low levels of the virus in its system but can still transmit the virus. T ese carrier horses, as in the Montgomery County case, may not show any symptoms. A horse in the “chronic” phase will look thin and unhealthy, and will spike a fever. T e “acute” phase is fatal. Unfor- tunately, there is no successful way to treat EIA and there is no vaccination against it. For the horses that are infected and survive the symp- toms, the only options are a lifetime of quaran- tine or euthanasia. According to USDA, only one horse fl y out of six million is likely to pick up and transmit EIA from carrier horses. Insect transmission of EIA is dependent on the number of in- sects, the density of the horse population, the number of times the insect bites the same and other horses, the amount of blood transferred between horses and the level of virus obtained in the blood meal. T e Coggins test is a blood test that detects antibodies to EIA showing either a negative or positive test result. While there is a misconcep- tion that the purpose of a Coggins is simply to ensure your horse is free to travel, it is most im- portant to ensure your horse’s health status and avoid the spread of EIA if your horse contracts the virus. Coggins testing has been extremely important in preventing the spread of EIA.


Jim McCue/Maryland Jockey Club

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