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NEWS & VIEWS continued


within ten years. To date, the legislators have approved $100,000 of a $250,000 bond request. T e Maryland Sports Commission, under the Stadium Authority, will investigate other re- sources for funding. Meanwhile, the nonprofi t Fair Hill Foun- dation has raised, to date, $250,000 in private funding, which will go towards engineering studies, tests and design work. T e immediate needs identifi ed included a possible pedestrian tunnel under Route 273 to improve traffi c fl ow and parking for large events, improved internet access and live streaming for events, and reconfi guration of the racetrack to meet modern standards and allow for more regular use. T e proposed improvement projects primarily


aff ect the racetrack area, with minor enhance- ments to the fairgrounds area and Sawmill Field to connect visitor access with the cross- country course. According to the executive director of the


Maryland Horse Industry Board, Ross Peddi- cord, improvements and upgrades will be made without disrupting the current various uses (equestrian and otherwise) of Fair Hill. Ac- cording to an offi cial memo distributed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (which manages Fair Hill), the infrastructure improvements are designed to serve multiple uses and to ensure safe, functional facilities for the future. General recreational park users comprise the largest “user group” in the park, and they will continue to have unrestricted ac-


reporting that blue crab populations are at an all time high! And in third last month was @USEv- enting ‘s post on April 17 announcing the new $1 million Wilton Fair Fund for developing riders. If you have something


you think we should tweet about, send it to editor@ equiery.com.


Instagram (@equiery)


Spring is here and we have been loving it, and so have our Instagram


followers! Our popular on-location photos included an interview with Justin Batoff after winning a race at the My Lady’s Manor Races, a photo of Nanette Schumaker receiving her Touch of Class Award for her 2016 US Eventing Association honors, and a photo of our May front cover. For videos, our most viewed and liked video was of Caitlin Martin and


Silver Dancer at the Maryland Horse Trials Starter, but following right behind in popularity were videos of the Lead Line Trot Race at the Fair


IF YOU HAVE NEWS, VIEWS OR UPDATES TO CONTRIBUTE, PLEASE SEND THEM TO Editor at The Equiery, P.O. Box 610, Lisbon, MD 21765 • FAX: 410-489-7828 • email editor@equiery.com.


Be sure to include your full name, phone number and address. All submissions become the property of The Equiery. www.equiery.com | 800-244-9580 MAY 2017 | THE EQUIERY | 9


cess to the 5,500-acre park. Scheduled activities and events will continue to be focused within the special event area, which maximizes the use of event infrastructure and minimizes confl icts with other natural area users.


Racing Rocked Annapolis


By Tom LaMarra (originally published on tharac- ing.com, the offi cial website for the national T or- oughbred Horsemen’s Association). T e Maryland racing industry’s eff orts to


educate lawmakers and present a unifi ed front paid off during the 2017 General Assembly session that ended April 10. T e Budget Reconcili-


ation and Financing Act contained several provi- sions that, had they passed, would have shifted money from the Purse Dedication Account, which is funded by a percentage of video lottery terminal revenue at the state’s six casinos.


combined $1 million for the bonus and what is being called the Maryland International will still come from the Maryland Lottery. Representatives of the T oroughbred and


For a fi nal report on all 2017 legislation that would have


aff ected the entire horse industry, see the MHC Update on page 71.


Standardbred industries spent quite a bit of time in Annapolis during the winter and early spring to make the case that racing and breed- ing are making a comeback, and denting the purse account would be detrimental to the in- dustry and the state’s economy. “I’m happy,” said Bob Enten, who has served as a lobbyist for the MTHA for about 23 years. “I felt like the horse industry pulled together in a fashion beyond anything I’ve seen in the past. T e industry met with dozens of legislators and House and Senate leader- ship, and put together a good package of informa- tion (on racing’s impact).”


On the table was a recommendation for the


industry, not the state, to pay about $2.5 mil- lion for Maryland Racing Commission opera- tions, and another to strike a 2016 legislature- approved measure for the Maryland Lottery to pay $500,000 for a Preakness Stakes bonus for Maryland-bred or -sired runners who compete in the race, and $500,000 to revive an interna- tional turf stakes at Laurel Park. As a result of negotiations, the state will con- tinue to fund the racing commission and the


Getting social with The Equiery! continued...


Hill Races on Easter Sunday, and the video of the 2016 Maryland Hunt Cup winner Senior Senator (owned by Skip and Vicki Crawford) win- ning the 2017 Open Timber Race at the Elkridge-Harford Hunt Races. Will it be a Hunt Cup victory repeat for Senior Senator this year? We also used the repost app to share some wonderful old racing photos.


Without a doubt, everyone loves Big Red! T e winner’s circle photo of Secretariat wearing his Black Eyed Susan blanket after winning the 1973 Preakness was our hands down most popular post of the month. We love the Pimlico Old Hilltop Instagram feed and the classic photos it shares. If you have a photo you would like us to share, send it to editor@equiery.com


MTHA President Tim Keefe, who spent time at the capital, said much of the eff ort involved educating lawmakers who perhaps weren’t aware of the industry’s value to Maryland. Legislation authorizing the MRC to create the position of Equine Medical Director was scrapped earlier in the session, but there re- mains a chance the industry could jointly fund the position. Another bill to allow the Mary- land Jockey Club to use a one-time, $150,000 disbursement from the VLT-funded Racetrack Facilities Renewal Account for maintenance and upkeep at the Bowie Training Center was


continued...


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