Ross Peddicord: Leading Us Forward, continued...

and also sent several to the track. Some notewor- thy horses they produced include stakes winner King’s Corsair and stee- plechaser Shy Donald.

The Fundraiser After 18-years with

Te Baltimore Sun, Ped- dicord decided he needed a career change and went back to school to earn his MBA from Mount St. Mary’s University. He ended up staying at the university first in the PR Department and then as the school’s Director of Major Gifts and Planned Giving. He also spent five years as the Market- ing Director for Mount St. Mary’s Continuing Education programs. It may seem that Peddicord had

left the horse world behind him, but as most of us know, once you get bitten by the horse bug, you really can not let it go! While at Mount St. Mary’s he started the school’s riding program and Intercollegiate Horse Show As- sociation team. He also served as the teams’ faculty/administrative advisor and helped facilitate sev- eral quality horses being donated to the school’s program. Editor’s Note: next time you see

Ross, ask him about a horse named Monsignor K. And while you are at it, also ask him about escorting Secretariat from the paddock at the 1973 Belmont Stakes. In 2004, Peddicord switched

Trained by Ross Peddicord (far left) and owned by Sen. James Clark, Jr., Sir Martin won at the “Big T” in 1974. Grooming for Peddicord that day was Jay Young, now Pres. Emeritus of Elkridge-Harford Hunt Club.

back to the publishing world and founded Maryland Life magazine with two partners. Trough Maryland Life, a magazine devoted to the history and culture of Mary- land, Peddicord began working with county and state tourism agencies and served as the chairman of the Maryland Tourism Council. Tese connections, along with his fundrais-

ing skills and Maryland equestrian knowledge, landed him the job of MHIB’s Executive Di- rector in January of 2011.


Peddicord’s connections continue to grow as he nears his ten year anniversary with MHIB. And boy has he been busy over the last nine years! From Horse Forums to Horseland to Horse Discovery Centers, Peddicord continues to push Maryland’s horse industry to the front of both state and international attention. It was under Peddicord’s tenure that the

ing people together that might not always agree but they make something happen.” Birsh became an advisory member of MHIB and helped get the Maryland Horse Discovery Center program up and running. Now, among many projects, she spearheads Horseland at the Maryland State Fair each summer. “It really was Don Litz’s idea to bring a horse presence to the state fair,” she explained. Litz was on the State Fair board and wanted to see horses brought to the general public. “Horseland is one of the few non-competitive areas of the State Fair and one of the few ways you can engage the general pubic with horses.” Te Horseland tent grows in popularity each

year with an average of over 70,000 people walking through over the 11 days of the fair each year. “Te magic is sitting there talking with people about horses,” Birsh added. Tat is the magic of Peddicord too. “He identifies tal-

Maryland Horse Dis- covery Center program began (see page 36 of this issue for more on the HDC program) as well as Horseland at the State Fair. Both of these pro- grams strive to expose new people to horses and bring these new people into the horse industry. Hope Birsh of Mary-

Ross Peddicord pictured with Dale Aus- tin, won a Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association Outstanding Media Person award in the 1980s.

land Saddlery first met Peddicord at the 2014 Maryland Horse Forum where she was presented a Touch of Class Award and attended one of the marketing meetings. “Ross is really good at

spotting people who are passionate about this industry and I had some ideas I wanted to get going with,” she said adding, “His gift is bring-

ent, gets them started and then sends them off to war!” Birsh said with a laugh. “And then he is there in your corner the whole time cheering you on and being so supportive. Ross truly is a Maryland treasure.” According to current MHIB President Jim

Steele, Peddicord also started the Touch of Class award program, which honors Maryland horses,

individuals, teams, organizations or

events that demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in the Maryland horse industry by achieving national or international recognition. “I had wanted to acknowledge horse excel- lence within the state and at the time, [MHIB] latched onto the Maryland Best Program,” Steele explained. “But that program just wasn’t the right spot for horse people so Ross came up with the Touch of Class.” Tis awards program puts Maryland horse people and horses in the spotlight, thus pro- moting the industry as a whole. Birsh won the award in August 2014 for her involvement in the equine community since 1985 and lead- ership for the industry as the then President- Elect of the American Equine Trade Associa- tion. “Some in the original group that got the award going were worried we would run out of people to give the awards to after a short time. But that just hasn’t happened,” Steele said with a chuckle. “We have the top steeplechasers, the top jousters… really the top of everything right here in Maryland!” Steele first met Peddicord through the Tor- oughbred racing industry when Peddicord sent a mare to Shamrock Farm to breed. “Our paths crossed several times after that and then his name came up when we were looking for a new Executive Director,” Steele explained adding, “Ross is an encyclopedia of knowledge and has an Energizer Bunny-worth of energy. He can go out and meet people as a friend, our kind of person so to speak, which is one of the reasons he is so great for this job.” But Peddicord does not just promote the industry on a local and national level, he has


Pictured from left: MD Jousting Association President Vicki Betts; 2016 Touch of Class award winner Mikayla Miller; and MHIB Ex- ecutive Director Ross Peddicord.

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