MHC Update


By Incoming Vice President Steuart Pittman When Neil Agate agreed to become the next President of MHC,

I saw an opportunity, and agreed to back him up as Vice Presi- dent. When Ross Peddicord proposed engaging Kevin Atticks and Grow & Fortify to manage a major expansion of MHC, I got inspired. When Jane Seigler asked me to lead a campaign to raise the funds needed to launch the eff ort I HAD to say yes. We’ve just gotten the Go Pro campaign underway. We need all of

your commitments in hand before the May 9 Quarterly meeting. Join us that evening at Prince George’s Equestrian Center to plan the next steps. Here is the pitch I’ve been emailing to my friends. What’s yours?

I am writing to enlist you in what I think is the most important mobiliza-

tion of horse people the state of Maryland has ever seen. It’s not about one issue. It’s about a lot of issues, and about having a voice. Maryland Horse Council is raising $150,000 to Go Pro. We are hiring

an executive director, engaging the most eff ective association management operation in the state, and reaching into the local level where the decisions get made that make or break horse farms every day. Here is why Erin and I chose to contribute $1,000 on behalf of Dodon

Farm Training Center, less than one month of training revenue from one horse. • In Anne Arundel County where we live they issue citations for turning horses out in paddocks that don’t have sheds, tried requiring bum bags on all horses on county-owned trails, won’t let us place two run-in sheds or any other structures within sixty feet of each other, want us to get grading per- mits to push back growth on the edges of our fi elds, and have threatened to shut down horse shows, meetings, and club gatherings on farms. We orga- nized eff ectively for a brief period and won the exemption from building permits for ag structures, but we must mobilize again and need a strong Maryland Horse Council to win. Your county may have similar issues, and county level advocacy is what Grow & Fortify is known for.

• We think the Maryland horse industry is on the verge of explosive growth, and that horses are good for people, for land, and for clean waterways. We don’t want to ever again risk losing our racing industry because we were too weak to get slots passed when surrounding states were doing it (or have slots revenue taken away), or fail to win on a project like the Maryland Horse Park and Agricultural Education Center at the Navy Dairy Farm because we got out-organized by a small group of misinformed neighbors. We want the Breeders’ Cup at Laurel, the Fair Hill CCI****, the revitalized Prince George’s Eques-trian Center and the rest of the network of facility improve- ments proposed by the Mary-land Horse Industry Board. • We know what Maryland Horse Council could be. We know Kevin Atticks and his company Grow & Fortify. We are convinced that the people, the players, and the resources are poised to do something incredible by partner- ing with the other growing sectors of agriculture that engage local com- munities. Maryland Horse Industry Board, T e Equiery, and the major horse in-

dustry associations in Maryland are lined up and ready to fi re on this. We need full participation to raise the funds that allow us to take this step. We understand that this is a leap of faith. You have to believe that our new

President Neil Agate, our current President Jane Siegler, your incoming Vice President (me), and the rest of the MHC Board of Directors and Executive Committee will make the right investments with these funds, and that the strategic plan we develop with Grow & Fortify will succeed. MHC has never asked much of us fi nancially. We do not expect to ever ask

again. But now we are asking. T e list of donors for this campaign is people like us. We don’t have extra

money. We are trying to make it in the horse business. But we have a lot at stake. Are you in for $1,000? Can you do more? Less? Would you like to raise the

funds through your clients with mandatory or voluntary check–off ? We’re happy to include membership dues from new members in your total, and if you’re not a member now, we’ll include this year’s membership dues with your pledge. You can use this pledge form or you can pay online at the Go Pro link at

Maryland Horse Council “Go Pro” Pledge Form

Yes! I/we want to be part of the Maryland Horse Council’s push to “Go Pro.” Your Name _________________________________________________________

Associations & Business members: Can you support MHC with at least $1,000? T at is just $83.33/month to allow all your members to have personal access to assistance with local and state level zoning and regulatory problems, as well as state legislation!

 $1,000  $2,500  $5,000  Other _____

Farm members. T ink of having your own personal advocate with your local permitting/zoning authorities! Isn’t that worth your investment?

 $1,000  Other _____

Please make checks payable to: “Maryland Horse Council” and mail to: PO Box 141, Damascus, MD 20872

Or visit to donate online!

72 | THE EQUIERY | MAY 2017 800-244-9580 |

Individuals and Charities/Rescues. Please contribute what you can to help MHC continue to exert maximum eff ort to help you and the issues that matter to you.

 $100  Other _____

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