Cutting Baltimore’s Mounted Unit

On June 15, the Baltimore City Council voted to eliminate around $22 million of the police spend- ing budget for the upcoming fi scal year. Included in the budget cuts is the historic Mounted Unit, which is the longest continuously oper- ated mounted unit in the country. According to the Baltimore Sun, eliminating the mounted unit will free up around $554,000. How- ever, there is concern that disband- ing the mounted unit could cause penalty provisions in the lease of the new stables being built at the B&O Railroad Museum. T e $2.5 million project broke ground two years ago and is nearly complete. At this time, the offi cers assigned to the mounted unit have already been shifted to pa- trol duties. However, there is no public plan on what will happen to the horses. A source close to the unit did tell T e Equiery that a transition plan is in the works and the unit has enough funds in its budget to continue to care for the horses for two to three months. T e City budget cuts go into eff ect July 1.

As of press time, Mayor Young had not signed the budget but has indicated that he intends to do so.

MD 5* Postponed to 2021 Late on June 3, Jeff Newman,

President of the Fair Hill Or- ganizing Committee (FHOC), informed T e Equiery that after much deliberation, FHOC has decided to postpone the inaugural Maryland 5 Star to October 2021. “Postponing the event is what is necessary to present the type of event that everyone is expecting,” Newman stated. “We must put health and safety fi rst and we can not present the fi ve star we intend to during this pandemic.” Newman went on to explain that everyone in the sports and entertainment industry across the world has been following the COVID-19 pandemic closely to fi gure out what can be presented to fans and spectators. “We are all evaluating the current situation and we recog-

stand ready to host the Maryland 5 Star next year at our beautiful, world-class facility and Special Event Zone at Fair Hill should it be safe to do so.” T e new date for the Maryland 5

Baltimore City Police Mounted Unit offi cers and their horses, pic- tured here at the 2019 Maryland Horse Council BBQ at Sagamore Farm, are not only law enforcement offi cers but also act as ambas- sadors for the City.

nize that people will be disappointed with this announcement but it really is what is best for the health and welfare of all those involved,” he added. T e Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill is the new-

est CCI5*-L T ree-Day competition added to the international eventing circuit. T e event is one of only seven fi ve-star competitions in the world, and the second in the United States. At the time of the announcement, six out of the seven fi ve-star international events had been cancelled in 2020 due to similar implications related to the pandemic. Maryland Governor Larry

Hogan said, “T e great State of Maryland remains a beacon for world-class events. We’re looking forward to hosting this interna- tional equestrian event in 2021 at Fair Hill’s newly designed Special Event Zone, while keeping public health and safety at the forefront of our planning. Maryland has deep roots in the equine industry and

the Maryland 5 Star will mark a new era for the sport of Eventing in our state.” Maryland’s Secretary of Natural Resources, Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio also supported the decision to postpone the event. She stated, “T e Maryland Department of Natural Resources understands that this was a hard decision for T e Fair Hill Organizing Committee and we fully support putting the health and well-being of participants, organizers, and staff fi rst. We

Star will be October 14-17, 2021, with the silver lining being that FHOC now has even more time to put together a world-class in- ternational event. “T e extra year certainly helps us in a lot of ways,” Newman said. “It will be a much better time to gain support from people than asking for that support now in terms of sponsorships and ticket sales when they are focusing on their own businesses and fami- lies. As they should be.”

Newman added that the 2021 event could be a celebration for many going through the hardships of the pandemic. For those events throughout the world that will press on in 2020, Newman said, “We wish them the best of luck and look forward to the full rebound of the sport. We are here ready to help in any way we can!” Bill Moroney, Chief Executive Offi cer of US Equestrian, stated in a FHOC press release, “T e 2020 USEF CCI3*-L National Champi- onship will be relocated to a new venue and de- tails will be announced in the coming weeks.” Rob Burk, Chief Executive Offi cer at United

States Eventing Association, confi rmed on June 4 that the Young Event Horse committee will be meeting within the next week to discuss the next steps for the East Coast YEH cham- pionships that would have been held during the fi ve-star. In addition, Mary Coldren of Fair Hill In-

ternational also confi rmed on June 4 that the USEA-recognized horse trials at Fair Hill scheduled for August and September of this year will go on as scheduled as long as compe- tition restrictions in the state of Maryland have been lifted by then.

Letter to the Editor

On June 11, in response to the Maryland Horse Council and T e Equiery’s post endorsing the USEF’s stance against racism in the horse world, Mary Reid reached out to T e Equiery on behalf


The Equiery, P.O. Box 610, Lisbon, MD 21765 • FAX: 410-489-7828 • email Be sure to include your full name, phone number and address. All submissions become the property of The Equiery. | 800-244-9580 THE EQUIERY A MARYLAND HORSE COUNCIL PUBLICATION | JULY 2020 | 9

Katherine O. Rizzo

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