NEWS & VIEWS continued...

T is bill also mandates, in accordance with ex- isting law that mandates Bowie be used for train- ing purposes, that Bowie submit a request for funding for capital improvements. Interesting. T e bill also amends existing law, which cur-

rently requires that 80% of the Racetrack Facil- ity Renewal Account be used for Pimlico, Lau- rel and Timonium; if passed, the new law would mandate that Bowie be included in that list. We will see where this bill ends up at the end of session, then we will ask our friends in the racing industry to comment on it for us!


SB 57/HB 646 - Extending Tax Credits for Class F Vehicles T is would apply to trucks and trailers; the Senate version has crossed over.

HB 1296 One time, Permanent Registration for Trailers Towed By Passenger Vehicles or Trucks Well, the legislators did not like this bill! T ey killed it! No, slow lingering death by ignoring it.

HB 216/SB 269 – Emergency Veterinary Care – Immunity from Liability T e House version of this bill, which was

approved with amendments and has crossed over, provides immunity from civil liability for specifi ed people providing emergency veteri- nary aid, care, or assistance to an animal where the owner or custodian is not available to grant permission under specifi ed circumstances. T e amended version is expanded to include animal control offi cers in the exemption.

HB 16 - Maryland Equestrian Day Stalled out again for the second year in a row, this bill would have required the Governor to proclaim annually the day designated for the

fi nal race of the Triple Crown of T oroughbred Racing as Equestrian Day. T is is not a horse industry bill, but a goodwill bill put in by the sponsor.


HB 310, a bill that would increase the num- ber of Sundays for hunting deer with fi rearms was actually supported by the Maryland Horse Council (click here for background on this is- sue) because the bill restricts the hunting to mornings, which would allow others to share the land in the afternoon. T e amended version of the bill, which has passed and crossed over, restricts this to private lands only. As you can read in this background, MHC supports this as a compromise position. T e following bills which would allow more

Sundays for deer hunting with fi rearms have passed and crossed over: HB 894 for Wicom- ico, and HB 788, which applies specifi cally to Crop Damage Permits (and MHC is on record supporting crop damage permits as an eff ective, if underused, method of reducing the size of deer herds).

A set of bills which would have legally rede-

fi ned the sport of following hounds as hunt- ing, and would have required all participants to have a hunting license, have stalled out. However, a bill for St. Mary’s County that

would repeal a ban on shooting or interfering with hounds in pursuit of a fox has crossed from the House to the Senate (HB 107).


A bill not likely to pop up on the average horse person’s radar, but one that could have a subtle yet profound impact on the horse indus- try, is Senate Bill 99 and its cross-fi led cousin, House Bill 171. With the cumbersome and decidedly non-sexy title of “Environment: Yard

Waste, and Food Residuals, and Other Or- ganic Materials Diversion and Infrastructure – Study,” why would any horse person pay at- tention to this bill? And what does this bill do? In essence, this bill requires the Department of the Environment to consult with certain enti- ties (including the Maryland Horse Council) and to study, review, explore, identify, and make recommendations regarding certain matters that relate to the diversion of yard waste, food residuals, and other organic materials (such as horse manure). In short, the hope is to identify ways to increase the commercial opportunities for horse manure, which could eventually mean that, for horse people, rather than manure be- ing just a cost center for their business, it could eventually become another income stream. Now wouldn’t that be cool?

As most owners of horse farms know, fed- eral mandates to improve water quality in the Chesapeake Bay (the largest estuary in the United States) have trickled down to aff ect ev- ery farm owner in the state. Like all farmers, horse farm owners must comply with nutrient management regulations. In order to comply, more and more horse farms are having their manure hauled away, adding to the expense of their operations. However, those who haul the manure away

are fi nding their options increasingly limited as well. Using census numbers produced by United States Department of Agriculture Sta- tistical Services in 2010, Maryland has 79,100 equids (horses, ponies, donkeys, mules). If the average horse produces 55 pounds of manure per day, then Maryland horses produce ap- proximately 1.5 billion pounds (approximately 800,000 tons) of manure per year. While many farms are able to compost this material and use it as fertilizer and soil amendment onsite, many



Judge: Evelyn Pfoutz (L) Opening date: March 6 Closing date: April 3

Opening date: April 24 Closing date: May 15

May 21 Judge: TBA

Judge: Aviva Nebesky (L) Opening date: May 22 Closing date: June 12

June 18 10 | THE EQUIERY | APRIL 2017

10400 Gorman Rd Laurel, MD 301-776-5850



April 23 May 13

June 11 800-244-9580 |



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