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Behind T e Scenes Once the lights have gone down and the audience has


left, Medieval Times is a horse business, just like any other Maryland 20-horse operation. T e horses have to be fed, hayed and watered; the stalls have to be done; vets and farriers scheduled; bedding and supplies ordered.


T e Horses T e show features jousting, gymkhana-esque games, sword fi ghts, and even fal-


conry - but the horses are the main attraction. Quarter Horses, Andalusians and occasionally other breeds are used, but the Andalusians are the stars, and Medieval Times is the largest breeder of Andalusians in the country. T e Maryland show currently has 20 horses, using usually 17 per performance. Each Medieval Times employee seems


to agree that the organization takes on a “zen” style of horse management. T ere are minimal problems and accidents be- cause the trainer and knights take their time getting to know each horse, and fi guring out the best method for training for that specifi c horse. With each horse, “you learn something new,” according to Maryland head trainer Georgiy Gibizov. Georgiy creates a specifi c schedule for each horse, balancing that horse’s indi- vidual needs for rest at the ranch, school- ing and performance. For example, some of the horses have a harder time when Maryland’s heat and humidity climb, so those horses usually get to stay in the stalls in the castle, whose thick concrete walls and air handling system keep heat and humidity at bay. Other horses may need more trips back to the ranch for R&R.


• Feed: Purina from the Gambrills General Store • Bedding: Shavings from American Wood Fibers (Columbia) • Tack & Supplies: Outback Leather (Laurel) • Hay: Standlee Forage Company (purchased directly from company in Idaho, but sold through over two dozen Maryland locations) • Farrier: Arthur Lisi (Fort Washington) • Veterinarian: Dr. George Harmening of Equine Ser- vices, Inc. (Westmister)


Castle Footing Whether it is the Washington International Horse


Show, Cavalia, T e Royal Canadian Mounted Police or the Royal Lipizzan Stallions, every equestrian show has its own “secret sauce” for its footing. In the Maryland Castle, Medieval Times features the following footing recipe:


Base: 4” layer of Clay on top of the existing soils, pur- chased thru local quarries • Mid: 3” layer of compacted Limestone dust, compacted, total 140 tons • Top: 3” layer of typical utility #3 White Sand from UNIMIN Corporation in Virginia; total 140 tons


T e Castle footing is maintained by Larry Chesnick; with a drag rake and watering to control dust. Interesting tidbit from Castle Maintenance Manager Larry Chesnick: “We use Delta product NC-10 thru our fog system and tractor sprayer for odor control.”


A Few of the Stars Here are a few of the equine stars of Medieval Times Maryland that we met at the Ranch!


• Picaso: 13yo Friesian gelding, Specialties: MC’s horse in our show • Santana: 11yo Azteca gelding, Specialties: games, pa- rade, jousting • Figaro: 10yo Andalusian gelding, Specialties: parade, hind-leg walk • Goloso: 9yo Andalusian stallion, Specialties: long lines, parade, high school • Walker Texas Ranger: 11yo Quarter Horse gelding, Specialties: mounted combat, jousting, fall stunts • Dusty: 6 yo Quarter Horse gelding, Specialties: games, new to the show


Most of the horses undergo training in the Castle’s arena, however the younger horses begin learning at the ranch. T ese horses are started around age two with lunging in the paddock ring, and trailer loading practice. T e head trainer even watches them as they play in order to view their unique movements and make preliminary judgments about where they would fi t best into the show. T e Medie- val Times community insists that “these horses are part of the family,” and, as T e Equiery saw, they are treated as such.


www.equiery.com | 800-244-9580


MT Maryland general manager Nate T ompson, Equiery intern Avery Smith, Equiery managing editor Katherine Rizzo and MT Maryland head trainer Georgiy Gibizov


SEPTEMBER 2017 | THE EQUIERY | 17


Katherine O. Rizzo


Katherine O. Rizzo


Katherine O. Rizzo


Crystal Pickett


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