Maryland Will Miss... Joshua Congdon Miller of

Gerrardstown, WV died on March 23 at the age of 35. Mill- er was a member of the National Reining Horse Association and a self-taught horse trainer with clients in Maryland, Pennsylva- nia and West Virginia. T omas W. B. Hoff ecker,

formerly of Monkton, died on March 19 in Tampa, Florida. He was 90 years old. He was the fa- ther of Margaret Almond, Mary Gordon, Louise Gill and Alma Rooney. Jeannie Dianne Sears of Lothian died on April

Joshua Miller

Samuel Edward Smith, pictured here with his father Ward and brother Benjamin, was born to Karen and Ward Smith on March 31.

ON THE MEND A speedy recovery to… …Barrie Reightler, who recently had surgery to repair a torn bicep; …junior jump jockey Tatiana Sushko who broke her ankle; …Mike Magrogan of Leonardtown, who is recovering from a stroke; …fl at track jockey Julian Pimentel, who was injured during a race at Laurel Park on April 15; ...Equiery

photographer Louisa

Emerick, who is recovering from knee replacement surgery.


Steeplechase jockey and Maryland Hunt Cup winner Jody Petty has retired from racing as of the Fair Hill Races on April 16.

Former Fair Hill International Press Secretary Ann Haller has been hired by FHI as their new Competition Manager.


2. She was very active in the Maryland Quarter Horse Association and the Maryland Delaware Barrel Horse Association. Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steel- ers and former owner of Shamrock Farm, died on April 13 at the age of 84. T e late Art Rooney, a longtime racing enthusiast and supporter of Maryland tracks, established Shamrock Farm in 1948. Timothy Rooney currently owns the breed- ing farm, which is run by Jim Steele.

On Friday, March 24, 2017 the owner of the Potomac Horse Center, Paul Novograd, died at 73; the cause has not yet been announced. T e native New Yorker, Ful-

bright scholar studying Zen gardens in Asia, and speaker of 8 languages was certainly a seemingly unlikely candi- date to own a riding school in the Maryland suburbs, and he came to it through an unlikely route as well: his father. While not a horseman, Paul’s father was the bookkeeper when the Cla- remont Riding Academy on New York’s Upper West Side was established in 1927, and became its sole owner after city attempts to turn it into a parking garage failed. Although Paul Novo- grad initially fought his destiny, he eventually succumbed, and in the process managed to save the historic building. City dwellers could board horses there, take lessons on school horses, or rent mounts for leisurely rides on Central Park’s four- mile bridle path. Paul parlayed his experience at Claremont

Center in Gaithersburg. Paul and his wife Nancy owned the PHC business operation, leasing the land and facilities from Maryland National Capital Park & Plan- ning. T ese more rural settings were also intended to house their vacationing NYC horses. Despite investing 37 years and $2 million, Paul regretfully closed Claremont in 2007. T e fi nal straw? T e degradation of the

bridle trails in Central Park: “T e magnifi cent bridle paths, whose deep cinder surface was once lovingly tended, were allowed to erode down to its bedrock substrata, making it impossible to canter or keep horses sound,” explained Paul in an radio interview that year: “Even if the Parks Depart- ment wanted to make it horses only, it’s just too inviting to pedestrians and dirt bikers and people throwing Frisbees and people pushing strollers, and it’s a zoo out there. And our horses are, thank you, just too polite for zoos.” Although Claremont closed, Paul and Nancy,

Paul Novograd and horses backstage for the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Aida.

dedicated New Yorkers, remained in Manhat- tan, where Nancy had a thriving animal talent agency. And Paul remained passionate about intro- ducing newcomers, particularly city-people, to horses. As a cli- ent, my conversations with him centered around his ever-perco- lating brain with ways to entice nonriders to the Potomac Horse Center, so he could convert them into regular riders. Singles night, with lessons followed by wine-and-cheese.

Moms-Only lessons, with daycare provided.

Road trips and fi eld trips. Christmas caroling on horseback. Always positive and full of energy, he wanted horses to be fun for everyone. And when an out-of-state horse person visited

into two other boarding/lesson stable businesses, Overpeck in New Jersey, and Potomac Horse

78 | THE EQUIERY | MAY 2017

New York? He wanted it to be fun for you! For years, Paul had nattered at your publisher to visit NYC and ride through Central Park. After fi nally getting up there in 2007, Paul off ered not only the opportunity to ride in Central Park, but also the opportunity to go backstage at T e Met, as he and his wife were (and still are) the exclusive providers of animals for their operas. Pressed for time, and assuming there would be numerous future opportu- nities to ride in Central Park, I chose the Met. Cla- continued...

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