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Letter from the Publisher


A MARYLAND HORSE COUNCIL PUBLICATION by Carrie Hull, Equiery Publisher & MHC Executive Director


By the time you read this letter, the entire horse community in Mary- land will have come together to attend the Maryland Horse Industry Day in Annapolis. In 2019, we had a record turnout and I only imagine this year to be even larger! In fact, as of press time, there are nearly 160 RSVPs already including the following confirmed speakers: Sec. Kelly Schulz, Dept. of Commerce; Sec. Joe Bartenfelder, Dept. of Agriculture; Sec. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, Dept. of Natural Resources; Sec. David Brinkley, Dept. Budget & Management; and Anne Arundel County Executive Steuart Pittman, past Past President of the Maryland Horse Council. We are proud to have such support of the horse community in Annapolis.


Tis Horse Industry Day is particularly important as our Legislative


Committee has recently reconvened for its weekly meetings, for the du- ration of the three month session of the Maryland General Assembly in Annapolis. In these meetings, we discuss any bills that could possibly affect the horse community. Tese are often agricultural bills, but we also discuss a number of other areas that affect the community and industry such as taxes, labor and employment regulation, etc. Tis year, the Maryland Horse Council is particularly proud to propose


two equine welfare bills. In the Fall of 2019, several members of the Legislative Committee had meetings with potential sponsors for a num- ber of different initiatives in the interest of the horse community. Tese initiatives were compiled as a result of a legislative survey to members in early June (Join the Maryland Horse Council today at join.mdhorsec- ouncil.org). Once we found sponsors that were on board with some of these initia-


tives, we all worked together to make sure the bills were drafted with acceptable language. By the time Te Equiery is published for February, we will have completed our first hearing in the House Environment and Transportation Committee for HB 9, Maryland Horse Industry Board – Breeding Stables and Horse Establishments – Definitions. Tis bill re- quires that pleasure and sport horse breeding stables now also be licensed by the Maryland Horse Industry Board. Te bill was conceived by mem- bership and industry partners as a way to help identify the small number of irresponsible breeders, such as those who have been behind the large seizure of horses for abuse and neglect that have occurred in recent years. On a somber note, many readers of Te Equiery and I mourn the recent passing of Teresa Butta. She had a transformative impact on my life at a very young age. In fact, I was her first Dressage student! My twin sister, Katie Hull, and I had two of Teresa’s ponies. Katie rode Speckles, a POA,


through the Short Stirrup division. I fondly remember going back to Teresa’s barn to visit Speckles when we knew her time here with us with limited. It was a true mark of Teresa’s compassion and love of horses. Speckles spent many years on our farm and Teresa cared for her in her retirement until the day she left this earth. Blind in both eyes and years since we had seen her, Speckles remembered our voices. You could tell that visit was just as important, if not more, to this 30-something year old pony, as it was to us. We must remember the horse-human bond is not one-sided and horses deserve the compassion, care, love, and security every single day of their life. Sadly, Redzy, my pony that we bought from Teresa was taken from us too soon due to colic, but I cherished every day with her. If we are very lucky, we get to have that horse of a lifetime. Te one horse (or pony) that we love more than absolutely anything, and for me, this was Redzy. She was the gentlest and kindest horse I’ve ever encoun- tered. She was my best friend and my confidant. We talk so much about the horse-human bond and why it is critical


for us to save these majestic animals because of their healing powers. For the sake of brevity, I will try to keep this short, but my wish is for every- one to experience the magic of horses. Our equestrian community, peers, competitors, recognize our common bond: the horse and the effect the horse has had on all of our lives. We must, though, continue to support our human-horse heroes, like Teresa Butta, who can impact the lives of our most vulnerable four-legged friends. She was a selfless advocate for all animals. As I compose this letter, I reflect on a visit yesterday with the TRF Sec-


ond Chances program, led by Sarah Stein, another human-horse hero. Sarah invited us to attend a graduation ceremony for one of the inmates in their program. It was amazing to witness these men describe the im- pact horses have had on their lives in just the short three to six months they have been involved in the program. Horses truly have a remarkable healing power. Te inmates articulated so clearly how these six retired Toroughbreds taught them patience, respect for others and themselves, and gratitude. I was extremely honored to present the graduate, Chris, with a one-year individual membership to the Maryland Horse Council. He is excited to pursue a career in the horse industry. Remember, we can all make a difference, and it is not only our respon-


sibility to protect our horses but also those humans dedicating their lives to these magnificent animals and sharing them with all of us that are ei- ther new to the horse world or multigenerational horsewomen and men. Horses and people who love them change and elevate lives. I write from experience and much gratitude.


Have you renewed your Maryland Horse Council membership?


The 2020 Legislative session has started. Renew or become a member today to follow MHC coverage and learn about opportunities to testify on bills that affect you! You can always check out your current membership status at www. mdhorsecounil.org/your-profile or email membership@mdhorsecouncil.org.


www.equiery.com | 800-244-9580


FEBRUARY 2020 | THE EQUIERY | 7


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