State Parks Reopen to Riders! On April 24, 2020, T e Equiery posted

on its homepage the story “Update on Riding in State Parks” in which we an- nounced that horseback riding was not allowed at Department of Natural Re- sources-managed state parks under Gov- ernor Hogan’s stay at home orders. T e Maryland Horse Council immediately started petitioning for this to be changed. On May 6, 2020, T e Equiery announced

on its Facebook page that under the Gov- ernor’s latest orders, horseback riding was reinstated as a permitted outdoor activity at state parks and that lesson and board- ing stables could re-open under specifi c COVID-19 guidelines and restrictions. At fi rst, DNR stated that only riders who lived together were premitted to ride together but that too was changed a week later. T e response from our readers was overwhelm-

ing, but this one email from Christina Micek sums up the majority of these comments when she wrote: “T ank you for sticking up for us!!!!!” T ank you to all those involved with getting our state parks to reopen to horseback riding! It was truly a group eff ort!

Preakness Set for October 3 On May 16, what would have been the 145th

running of the Preakness Stakes, the Maryland Jockey Club hosted a series of virtual parties instead and announced that this year’s Preak- ness Stakes will be run on October 3. “Under normal circumstances, I would have

stood today at Pimlico Race Course with Ms. [Belinda] Stronach to present the Woodlawn Vase to the winner of the 145th Preakness

Horseback riding was declared a “premitted outdoor ac- tivity” as of May 7 with Maryland State Parks opening their trails to riders once again! Pictured: Tuckahoe State Park

Stakes. But, as we all know, these are not or- dinary circumstances,” Governor Larry Hogan stated. “I am delighted that we are successful in working with 1/ST, the Maryland Jockey Club and all who are connected to Maryland’s T or- oughbred racing industry to set the new date of October 3rd.” At this time, plans for Black Eyed Susan

Day have not been released. More information about both BESD and Preakness day will be posted on over the next few months. T e Belmont Stakes is set to run June 20 and the Kentucky Derby on September 5, which makes this year’s Preakness the fi nal leg of the 2020 Triple Crown.

Northview Stallion Station to Con- solidate to Maryland

Northview Stallion Station, one of the largest

T oroughbred stallion operations on the East Coast, announced on May 11 that it is sell- ing its Pennsylvania property and consol- idating operations to its Maryland facility. According to Gen- eral Manager Da- vid Wade and Vice President Michael Golden,

the four The 145th Preakness Stakes will run at Pimlico on October 3 this year.

stallions standing in PA will be moved to Maryland as soon as the property sells. If the property does

not sell by November 30, the stallions will be moved then. In a letter to their clients, Northview

stated, “T is has not been a hastily made decision and is unrelated to the Pennsylvania political climate or CO- VID-19, as we know some will surmise. Pennsylvania has a strong racing and breeding industry that we are certain will continue to grow and prosper, but it’s not where Northview needs to be at this point.”

USEA Subcommittee Moves for Safer Cross-Country

On May 4, the US Eventing Associa-

tion announced that its Cross-Country Safety Subcommittee has issued a se-

ries of rule change proposals to help minimize the risk of the cross-country phase of eventing. T e subcommittee was formed in May 2017 and Jonathan Holling currently serves as chair. T e subcommittee reviews all accidents that happen on cross-country at all USEA-recog- nized events to identify current and potential concerns in order to help improve the safety of the sport for both horse and rider. After several meetings, the subcommittee of-

fi cially released a list of four rule change sug- gestions. “Not any one of these things is going to fi x the problem. In reality it is a high-risk sport and we are looking at minimizing the risk,” Holling said in a USEA press release.

Increasing Minimum Eligibility Require- ments Holling stated that he feels the biggest thing needing to be addressed is rider qualifi cation. T e proposal involves increasing the Minimum Eligibility Requirements (MERs) in order to give riders a greater base of knowledge before moving up the levels. “We felt pretty strongly, and the data confi rmed, that one way we can increase the skill of riders and the horseman- ship and relationship between the horses and the riders is to raise the minimum eligibility requirements,” Holling said. Currently, USEA rules have MERs in place

for the move up to Modifi ed and above divi- sions. Competitors and horses at the Beginner Novice through Training levels do not have any qualifi cation requirements to move up.


The Equiery, P.O. Box 610, Lisbon, MD 21765 • FAX: 410-489-7828 • email Be sure to include your full name, phone number and address. All submissions become the property of The Equiery. | 800-244-9580 JUNE 2020 | THE EQUIERY | 9

Katherine O. Rizzo

Katherine O. Rizzo

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