The Equine Studies Program at the University of Maryland announced that it is placing the equine breeding program on hiatus until a more sustainable funding model can be developed.
Dr. Amy Burk, coordinator for the program, said, “I am very proud of what the program helped achieve in the last five years, including the training of our hard-working students and the quality of the horses we produced.”
The program trained over 80 students in equine breeding and sales and helped students land jobs in the breeding industry in both Maryland and Kentucky. “When several of our students started working for Ashford Stud in Kentucky and several farms here in Maryland, I knew we were doing something right”. Ashford Stud is home to Triple Crown Winner American Pharoah. “Unfortunately, expensive programs like these take a toll on University resources. I think the hiatus will give us some much needed time to work with our industry stakeholders to identify patrons and improve our bloodstock” she added.
Since the start of the program in 2013, it has produced 5 racehorses that have collectively earned nearly $100k including one that placed in the Maryland Juvenile Stakes on Maryland Million Day. Just recently as Labor Day, the program saw another winner with the 2-yr old colt, Fearless Terp (Nicanor – Daylight Lassie, Seeking Daylight) who won in front of a packed crowd at the Timonium State Fairgrounds.
The program will be selling its current herd of horses as part of the wind down. Offered for sale will be Thoroughbred weanlings by Jump Start, Golden Lad, and Mosler and Thoroughbred mares in foal to Friesan Fire, Great Notion, and Golden Lad. In their place, the University hopes to secure two privately-owned pregnant broodmares that students will foal out on campus as part of the equine reproduction class.
Burk added, “While we won’t have the training and sales preparations as part of the program, I’m hopeful that field trips and additional internships will fill that void.”
The Equine Studies Program is thankful for the steadfast support of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, many generous individuals, Fasig-Tipton, and especially the stallion owners and farms that donated breeding seasons and broodmares.
For more information, contact Jennifer Reynolds, Coordinator of Equine Extension Activities, at [email protected], 301-405-154.7