"Military Night", Friday, October 28th, was even more special for the crowds at the 2016 Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) when theMaryland Horse Discovery Center Networkreceived theKlinger Perpetual Award for Honor & Servicesponsored by Ariat International and the EQUUS Foundation. The award recognizes a horse, individual, or organization that best demonstrates the values of honor and service as embodied by Klinger, a special horse who has touched the lives of many in his life of service with the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard) Caisson Platoon.
Under the leadership of the Maryland Horse Industry Board Chair, Jim Steele, the Horse Discovery Center Network was established in 2015. "Like the horse Klinger, the goal is to showcase the best of the horse world, give the public the opportunity to enjoy these wonderful animals and help our industry prosper and grow", said Executive Director Ross Peddicord. It's hard to imagine a future without horses, but the Maryland Horse Industry Board continuously heard a litany of terrible first-time experiences with horses. "It became obvious to us that despite the over 700 riding schools and boarding barns operating in Maryland that we needed to establish a network where folks could encounter horses in a safe, friendly and knowledgeable environment", said Peddicord.
Four workshops were scheduled across the state at which over 60 stable operators gathered to develop criteria for the network centers. 46 applications were received. The inspection team, including equine attorney Kathleen Tabor and Bev Raymond, winner of the American Horse Council's Van Ness Award, traveled over 3,000 miles in a three-month period to inspect facilities, make sure they had airtight insurance policies, bomb proof horses and programs in place to teach very basic horsemanship and riding instruction. Eventually 35 centers in 15 counties were certified.
Not surprisingly, the Maryland Horse Industry Board has continued to be innovative. In 2017, it will unveil a "horse curriculum", for grades 4-8, developed by Discovery Center operators along with the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation and the Maryland Department of Education. The $1,000 EQUUS Foundation grant received as the Klinger Award recipient will be used to connect the stables to local schools and provide opportunities to introduce children to horses in a structured, knowledgeable format.
Mary Horse Discovery Center
These Maryland Horse Industry Discovery Centers are committed to providing the best possible experience for you and your family. They offer a range of experiences from demonstrations and hands-on activities to farm tours and volunteer opportunities. Many stables also offer riding lessons, trail rides and pony rides.
• Cedar Rowe Lusitanos Equestrian Fitness Center, Rocky Ridge
• Misty Peaks Farm, Smithsburg
• New World Stables, Frederick
• Reddemeade Equestrian Center, Silver Spring
• Waredaca Farm, Laytonsville
• Woodland Horse Center, Silver Spring
Prince George's County
• The Big Purple Barn, Bowie
Anne Arundel County
• Dun-Pikin Farm, Pasadena
• En-Tice-Ment Stables at Obligation Farm, Harwood
• Amazing Grace Equestrian Center, Parkton
• Graham Equestrian Center, Gunpowder Falls State Park, Glen Arm
• The Retreat at Beckleysville, Hampstead
• Darenth Farm, Mount Airy
• Full Moon Farm, Finksburg
• Nagrom Farm, Westminster
• Persimmon Tree Farm, Westminster
• River Valley Ranch, Manchester
• Sweet Rock Stables, Manchester
• Talbot Run Equestrian Center, Mount Airy
• Columbia Horse Center, Laurel
• Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Woodbine
• Clark's Elioak Farm, Ellicott City
• Jewel's Landing Farm, Ridgely
• Fairwinds Farm & Stable, North East
• Rolling Hills Ranch & Freedom Hill Therapeutic Riding Program, Port Deposit
• Silver Fern Farm, Earleville
• Windy Way Horses, Hurlock
• Worthmore Equestrian Center, Worton
• Holly Ridge Farm Equestrian Center, Willards
• Secret Pride Stables, Salisbury
• Freedom Hill Horse Rescue, Owings
• Lucky Cricket Farm, Huntingtown
St. Mary's County
• A Moment In Time Farm, Leonardtown
• The Greenwell Foundation, Hollywood
• Peaceable Pastures, Fairplay
The EQUUS Foundation is the only national charity solely dedicated to horse welfare and the horse-human bond. Efforts are focused on the rescue, rehabilitation and prevention of unwanted horses, and the rehoming of horses for new careers after their competitive careers are over, including those serving the special needs and veterans communities. The EQUUS Foundation provide resources to over 1,000 equine charities across the United States, and award over $250,000 annually to organizations operating at the highest standards for horse care and use, and for programs where it is needed most.