Horse Show in Washington, D.C. Collett will be tasked with responsibilities in the areas of marketing and promotion, competition man- agement, vendor sales, website/e-newsletter content and social media. To read more, visit

MD Author Wins National Award Maryland author Valerie Ormond won two

prestigious military and veteran writing awards in 2019. T e Military Writer’s Society of America

presented Ormond with the President’s Award for exceptionally meritorious contributions to the organization during its annual membership conference. Ormond has volunteered for the organization since 2013 by helping lead veteran writing work- shops, assisting with conference planning and serving as a book award judge. She also spearheaded their Ambassador Program to expand veteran writing workshops to include volunteers across the country conducting free work- shops for veterans. In addition, the

EQUUS Film and Arts Festival awarded Ormond the Win- nie Award for Best Veteran Fiction for her book Believing In Horses, Too. “T is award means so much be- cause the EQUUS Literary Awards recognized my book for its support in recognizing veterans and their families,” Ormond said. “Our military, veterans, and their families often face situations people are unaware of. I hope to bring that as- pect of military life out through this story.” Ormond is a Navy veteran herself, a spouse of a veteran and the mother of a veteran.

Omnibus Funding Package Includes Wins for Equines

President Trump signed into law on Decem- ber 19, 2019 an omnibus appropriations pack- age that includes major victories for equines. T e package was made of bills H.R. 1865 and H.R 1158, which fund all federal agencies for the 2020 fi scal year. T e following sections relate to equines: • Wild horses and burros: T e funding pack-

age provides an additional $21 million to the Bureau of Land Management’s Wild Horse and Burro Program—funds that can only be accessed after the agency submits a compre-


hensive plan on how it will implement an ag- gressive, non-lethal program for managing wild horse populations. T e program must be based on scientifi cally sound, safe and humane fertility control tools that exclude surgical ster- ilization; an increased focus on adoptions; and relocation of wild horses and burros to larger, more humane pastures instead of perpetually warehousing these animals in holding pens. Additionally, the bill prohibits the BLM and, for the fi rst time ever, also the U.S. Forest Ser- vice from killing or sending healthy horses or burros to slaughter. • Companion animals in domestic violence situations: T e package provides $2 million for a new grant program authorized by the 2018 Farm Bill, based on the Pet and Women Safety (PAWS) Act. T e grant program will help provide emergency and transitional shelter options for domestic violence sur- vivors with companion animals. House committee report language directs the USDA, and the Depart- ments of Health and Human Ser- vices as well as Housing and Urban Development to coordinate imple- mentation during FY20 (House and Senate committee report language not explicitly reversed

is deemed

agreed to by both chambers in the omnibus).

Maryland author Valerie Or- mond recently earned awards from both the EQUUS Films and Arts Festival and the Military Writer’s Society of America.

• Horse slaughter: Prohibits USDA expenditures on horse slaughter inspections, eff ectively


horse slaughter plants from operat- ing in the U.S. during FY20. • Animal Welfare Act enforce- ment: T e House committee report

calls on the USDA to require that inspectors document every observed violation, to reverse concealment practices that the agency has pro- moted during the past few years. T e omnibus includes $31,310,000 for Animal Welfare Act (AWA) enforcement. • Horse soring: Provides $1 million (a $295,000 increase) for USDA enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), to crack down on the cruel practice of “soring” Tennes- see Walking Horses and related breeds. • Disaster planning: Continues funding for the USDA to coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and to sup- port state and local governments’ eff orts to plan for protection of people with animals and in- corporate lessons learned from previous disas- ters. Directs the USDA to work with producers that want to voluntarily develop disaster plans to prevent livestock deaths and injuries. • Vet care: Provides $8,000,000 for the Vet-

erinary Medicine Loan Repayment program that encourages veterinarians to locate in un- derserved rural or urban areas.

To read more, visit

Freedom Hill Horse Rescue Verifi ed by Global Federations

T is past December, Freedom Hill Horse

Rescue (FHHR) in Owings was verifi ed by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS). GFAS is the only globally recognized organization that provides standards for iden- tifying legitimate animal sanctuaries. Accord- ing to GFAS, “Verifi cation means that FHHR meets the criteria of a true equine sanctuary/ rescue and is providing humane and respon- sible care of the animals.” To achieve this status, an organization goes

through a rigorous peer-review and site visit that ensures they meet all animal care standards and adhere to ethical operational principles. “Freedom Hill conducts outstanding reha-

bilitation, retraining and successful re-homing programs, all to the benefi t of the horses,” GFAS Equine Program Director Daryl Tropea, Ph.D stated. “T e organization’s Board Mem- bers and volunteers are tremendously dedicated and involved in a hands-on way, ensuring both responsible and humane equine care and orga- nizational growth and sustainability.”

MRC Launches New Safety & Wel- fare Initiatives

On December 19, the Maryland Racing Com- mission approved a host of directives and regu- latory changes related to the safety and welfare of racehorses that will go into eff ect early in 2020. T e changes have been under review and discussion since July. Racing offi cials wanted to hear from horsemen before voting on changes. Implementation and monitoring of these direc- tives fall to MRC Equine Medical Director Dr. Libby Daniel, while the stewards will monitor compliance and horse eligibility and determine whether any penalties are necessary. Penalties, which could take into account ag-

gravating or mitigating circumstances, are still being discussed given the regulation changes. “We wanted people to have the opportunity to be heard before we implemented these rules and regulations,” MRC Chairman Mike Al- geo said. “We have been having meetings for a while, and these changes are not reactionary but precautionary. We are being proactive. A large majority of our discussions have revolved around track safety and track-related issues. We continue to do things that matter.” To read the full list of directives, see www.

Caption Correction T e caption on the top right hand corner of

page 48 in the January issue was misidentifi ed. T e rider pictured is Joanne Mumma riding Chief of State daughter Tsalute the Chief, a Morgan/T oroughbred cross.

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