Minutes of the Quarterly Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Horse Council (MHC)
Tuesday, Nov.17, 2015, Miller Senate Office Building, Annapolis, MD
Officers & Executive Committee Members: Present (X), Absent, or Representing
Jane Seigler President X
Neil Agate Vice President Absent
Valerie Ormond Secretary X
Dale Clabaugh Treasurer X
Chris Bricker Elected Member X
Royce Herman Elected Member X
Steuart Pittman Elected Member X
Judy Smith Elected Member X
Kathleen Tabor Elected Member Absent
Amy Burk DAL - Individuals X
Rob Burk DAL - Individuals Amy Burk
James Casey DAL - Individuals X
Christy Clagett DAL – Farms; Larking Hill Farm X
Jean Clagett DAL – Individuals Absent
Kimberly Clark DAL - Charity/Found.; Thoroughbred Placement & Resources, Inc. X
Karen Fulton DAL – Farms; Full Moon Farm Absent
Royce Herman DAL – Individuals X
Crystal Kimball DAL – Businesses; The Equiery X
Carolyn Krome DAL – Farms; Persimmon Tree Farm X
Ron MacNab DAL – Individuals X
Carolyn Mackintosh DAL – Farms; Loch Moy Farm Dale Clabaugh
Steuart Pittman DAL – Farms; Dodon Farm X
Peter Radue, DVM DAL – Businesses; Damascus Equine Associates X
Beverly Raymond DAL – Individuals Absent
Kathleen Tabor DAL – Individuals Absent
Keith Wills DAL – Businesses; Mid-Atlantic Farm Credit Absent
MHC Association Members:
Sharon Roberts Carroll County Equestrian Council
Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Assn. Absent
Jacquelyn Cowan Chesapeake Plantation Walking Horse Club X
Rhonda Rollins Equine Rescue & Rehabilitation Inc. Absent
Trish Gilbert Fair Hill International, Inc. Absent
Judy Smith Frederick County Equine Alliance X
Kristy Alvarez & Lori Harrington Freedom Hill Horse Rescue Absent
Renee & Pat Dixon Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Absent
Anne Butcher Goshen Hounds Absent
Eliana Lucy-Thomas Gunpowder Falls Volunteer Mounted Patrol Absent
Donna Wayson Hopewell Farm Absent
Leslie Bauer & Howie Fegea Howard County Farm Bureau, Inc. Absent
Gretchen Mobberley Howard County Horse Shows Assn. Absent
Crystal Kimball Howard County Iron Bridge Hounds X
Charles Brown Humane Society of Carroll County Absent
Cindy Marson and Nancy Thomas League of Maryland Horsemen Absent
Christy Clagett Marlborough Hunt Club X
Chris Anderson Maryland 4-H Program Absent
Patty Sasscer Maryland Association for Wildlife Conservation (MAWC) Absent
Karla Dell Maryland Draft Horse & Mule Assn. Absent
Stephen Fulton Maryland Combined Training Association X
Rachel Bennett/Jennifer Arsenault Maryland Equestrian Club X
Dorothy Troutman Maryland Equestrian Foundation/Rosaryville Conservancy Absent
Dean Geis Maryland Farriers Association X
Cricket Goodall Maryland Horse Breeders Association Absent
Katie Nechamkin Maryland High School Rodeo Association X
Alan Lohman Maryland Horse Shows Association Barbie Burns
Carrie Everly Maryland Jockey Club Absent
Dan Myer Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association Absent
Crystal Kimball Maryland Steeplechase Association X
Eileen Simpson Maryland State Quarter Horse Association Absent
Chris Bricker Maryland Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association X
Peter Radue, DVM MD Assn. of Equine Practitioners X
David Turner Mid-Atlantic Saddlebred Association Absent
Pam Kister My Lady’s Manor Driving Club Kim Weinhold
Guillermo Warley New Market Middletown Valley Hounds X
Plantation Walking Horse Club
Richard Hagen Potomac Hunt Club Absent
Carolyn Del Grosso Potomac Valley Dressage Association, Inc. Absent
Art and Nancy Lisi Preserve Harness Racing at Rosecroft Absent
Charlotte Davis Rural Maryland Council Absent
Valerie Pringle The Humane Society of the U.S. X
Gale Monahan TROT – Trail Riders of Today Priscilla Hoffman
Royce Herman Tuckahoe Equestrian Center X
Bridget Love Meehan Washington International Horse Show Absent
Leo Courtney, M.D. Wicomico Hunt Club Absent
Dale Clabaugh State Farm Insurance
Win Hayward AXA Advisors
Crystal Kimball The Equiery
Margaret Rizzo McKelvey Mythic Landing Enterprises, LLC
Michael Odian DVM Equine Practice, LLC
Valerie Ormond Veteran Writing Services, LLC
Peter Radue, DVM Damascus Equine Associates
Judy Smith Friday’s Horse Equine Giftware
Charity and Foundation:
Ahesahmahk Dahn City Ranch, Inc.
Kimberly Clark Thoroughbred Placement & Resources, Inc.
Tina Snyder Horsemen Helping Horses
Vicki Carson Flying Chesterfield Farm
Christy Clagett Larking Hill Farm
LuAnne Levens Periwinkle Farm
Anne Luke Holly Ridge Equestrian Center
Erin and Steuart Pittman Dodon Farm
Jane Seigler Dressage at Sundown
Judy Smith Good Friday Farm
Tina Snyder Safe Haven Farm
Individual: Chris Bricker, Amy Burk, Dr. James Casey, Sandra Crow, Leslie Diamond, Eddie Franceschi, Royce Herman, Cynthia Longo, Joe Michael, Edward L. Moser, Nancy Perry, Ross Peddicord, Bill Reightler, Eli Solomon, Joanne Stone
Guests Present: Danielle Bauer, Frank Boston, Brittany Flurer, Holly Gann, Annie Hankins, Martha Herman, Victoria Kaminski, Melinda Lawrence, Wanda Melton, Peggy Morgan, Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, Delegate Stephen Rafferty, Betsy Lafferty, Arthur Morgan, Senator Norman Stone, Debbie Sharp, Doctor Chad Stahl, Richard Snyder, Ivy Smith, Jim Steele, Scott Trauers, Ann Walker, Chloe Waterman, Kim Weinhold, and Eileen Flanagan.
Association Manager Present: Margaret Rizzo McKelvy
Roll Call and Minutes
At 7:00 PM, President Seigler called the meeting to order and welcomed the membership and guests, and special guests including Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam, Delegate Stephen Rafferty, Senator Norman Stone, and the new chair of the University of Maryland for Equine and Avian Sciences, Chad Stahl.
Secretary Ormond conducted a roll call. President Seigler asked for a review of the minutes from the August Quarterly Board of Directors meeting. Mr. Royce Herman made a motion to approve the minutes of the August MHC BOD Meeting with amendments, and Treasurer Clabaugh seconded. The minutes were approved.
Treasurer Clabaugh provided the financial report and discussed the move from accrual to cash basis and other 2015 expenditures including the MHC lobbyist and a new website. Mr. Steuart Pittman made a motion to approve the Financial Report, and President Seigler seconded. The Financial Report was approved.
Legislative Leadership Awards and Citations
President Seigler thanked legislators for their assistance and presented awards to the following individuals, who each made brief remarks:
Senator Shirley Nathan-Pulliam
Delegate Stephen Rafferty
Eileen Flanagan, Chief of Staff for Senator Karen Montgomery
President Seigler also recognized Senator Joan Carter Conway, Senator Cheryl Kagan, Senator Ronald Young, Senator Paul Pinsky, Delegate Barbara Frush, and Senator Jim Rosapepe, who also received awards, but could not be present. She asked members to be active in the legislative process and to testify, call, and participate when needed.
Horse World Expo
Mr. Herman asked people to sign up for the Horse World Expo and passed around a sheet for that volunteer effort in January. He reported that the January 2015 Horse World Expo needed more volunteers than the number that signed up to help. The 2016 Expo is scheduled for Jan. 22, 23, and 24, and the MHC Board of Directors Quarterly meeting is scheduled for Friday evening, Jan. 22. He said the volunteers who covered it on Friday evening during the MHC meeting last year would cover it again this year.
MHC Annual Report
President Seigler said the MHC continued to grow, and all committees are doing excellent work. She asked people to review the annual report handed out to all members and encouraged all members to become more involved in the work of the MHC.
Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) Annual Report
Chairman Jim Steele reported it was a successful year for MHIB, with over 700 licensed stables, 35 experience centers, and the Maryland Million handle was up 37%. He credited Executive Director Ross Peddicord to much of the growth and asked him to discuss the progress.
Mr. Peddicord let members know the printed MHIB Annual Report was available in print copies at the meeting and a new trails brochure was available also. The information on the trails is also available on the DNR website, and he thanked Mr. Ron McNab for his assistance. He discussed the 35 “experience centers” and their role in helping introduce people to horses.
Mr. Peddicord discussed the My Maryland Horse effort at the Maryland State Fair and mentioned it won an award for the Best New Educational Exhibit this year.
Dr. Amy Burk stated the University of Maryland Equine program produced its first annual report this year, and it was available to meeting attendees. She discussed several of the programs including outreach and research. She talked about Dr. Chad Stahl, the new Director of Equine and Avian Studies who brings new initiatives.
Outlook for 2016 Maryland General Assembly Session
Mr. Frank Boston, MHC lobbyist, said the legislators who were new last year have experience this year. He is expecting 1400 pre-filed bills, so is expecting over 4000 bills this year. It will be busy and hectic, but for MHC, much will be the same. He expects there will be some people who will re-introduce Sunday hunting bills.
For the Cost of Care bill, it is likely to see it again, and MHC may re-introduce it. He thinks a new bill will pass this year. The language needs to be correct.
Politically, the Governor is strong, and the Legislature is strong. There is a good balance.
One statewide bill that touches many farmers is the paid sick leave bill. The bill that is in mandates a certain amount of sick leave pay depending on number of hours worked.
President Seigler encouraged members to attend the Legislative Tour with Mr. Boston at the annual November meeting if they haven’t in the past, as it is informational and educational.
Report on Equine Disease Communications Center
Dr. Peter Radue discussed a joint project between the Association of Equine Practitioners and United States Equestrian Foundation, and the concept is that equine disease information would be shared across media across the country. It has private and government funding.
MHC has donated, and he encouraged associations to donate to the program. Please make your organizations aware of it so they can donate. Eventually a call center will be open to find out information about equine diseases that may be breaking out.
Mr. Peddicord stated that MHIB would make a donation. President Seigler then informed the audience of MHIB’s funding from the feed fund.
Reports and Business from Committee Chairs and Affiliated Organizations:
President Seigler reported for Jane Thery that horse farms’ environmentally friendly story continues to be told. One of the Committee’s initiatives has been getting horse farms enrolled in the Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment (FSCAP) program. In just two years of participation, horse farms went from 0% to 25% of the farms in the entire program. This was entirely due to the Farm Stewardship Committee’s efforts.
SAFE Act: Mr. Pittman discussed why the MHC decided to take a position on the SAFE Act, and that it decided to conduct a poll to see members’ views. Although normally MHC does not focus on federal legislation, MHC thought this was an issue that deserved attention, such as MHC has given to the PAST Act. He reported that for the new proposal, 25 votes were in favor, 3 were opposed, and one abstained. He read the proposal, which was approved via this vote. The proposal is available on the MHC website, including steps forward that the MHC will take in trying to help the welfare of horses in Maryland.
He discussed the Maryland Fund for Horses (MFFH) and its current efforts, and said that MHC would revive its Unwanted Horse Project Committee to review ways to further the new policy position.
Cost of Care Bill: Ms. Crystal Kimball spoke about the Cost of Care bill. Last year’s bills had good intentions but were bad bills because they did not give due process. They covered both companion animals and livestock. She educated attendees on the meaning of the Cost of Care bills, and said MHC is considering whether to do a livestock version only and leave the companion animal bill to others.
Sunday Hunting: Mr. Joe Michael is on the Wildlife Advisory Commission and said Department of Natural Resources wanted to see resolution of the Sunday hunting issue. The MHC Legislative Committee met over the summer and reached the consensus that a statewide compromise should be considered. Specifically, it was proposed that MHC would not object to Sunday hunting during the firearms season, so long as it ends within 2-3 hours after sunrise. That way, equestrians would know that hunters could be out there at that time. Mr. Michael made a motion for the statewide compromise solution and read the proposed solution.
Mr. Guillermo Warley seconded the motion.
Ms. Erin Pittman suggested changing the wording from “one weekend day” to “one weekend day per week.”
Ms. Priscilla Hoffman asked if this was a request by the Secretary of DNR, per Mr. Michael’s discussion. President Seigler said that there was pressure from several fronts for a statewide solution. MHC has been expending considerable time and effort fighting county courtesy bills. The Secretary of DNR apparently has requested his staff to seek a statewide resolution of the controversy. Additionally, Mr. Boston explained that legislators have indicated that they want a statewide solution, and that MHC’s political capital in seeking their support in fighting county-by-county bills may be wearing thin..
Ms. Valerie Pringle asked if there was another solution. Mr. Boston said he thought that the compromise that Ms. Kimball and Mr. Michael had on the table was a good a solution.
Ms. Pringle asked if it would be a slippery slope, and asked who would be the enforcers.
Mr. Pittman said that the Legislative Committee envisioned that this would be a statewide solution and would simplify it for all counties. It also would bring back most of the day to user groups in those counties that have fun day Sunday hunting, although some counties that currently have no Sunday hunting would now have morning hunting. Maryland Farm Bureau is proposing something similar, but it would grandfather those full day Sundays already in place.
President Seigler discussed the patchwork of bills, and said she believes we will continue to lose ground if we don’t come up with a compromise. Mr. Herman concurred that MHC needs to come up with a solution that is not just doing the same thing. He also addressed Ms. Pringle’s concern on enforcement and said 99.5% of hunters will honor it.
Mr. Michael said he spoke to the Director of Wildlife Heritage on the way to the meeting, and indicated that DNR would work with President Seigler to create a bill. Mr. Boston said due to what we have been doing politically we are in a strong positon to get what we want. Mr. Michael said we look like we are trying by coming to the table and compromising.
Joanne Stone asked why we should compromise. Mr. Michael explained how local courtesy local courtesy bills are very difficult to defeat, so we may continue to lose ground.
Ms. Katie Nechamkin asked who is on MHC’s side. Mr. Pittman said outdoors people, and Mr. Boston said we are up against some tough competition. Mr. McNab said the DNR police are interested in having the state have one standard, so it is easier for them. He talked about Prince George’s County’s policy of having managed hunts close at 1:00 pm.
President Seigler called for a vote. All in favor. None opposed.
PAST Act: Ms. Jackie Cowan talked about the PAST Act. The Senate bill passed, and House bill was held up. The bill is back in, and she asked for support again. President Seigler asked for a motion to support the PAST Act again, and Mr. Pittman so moved. Ms. Cowan provided background on the soring industry. Ms. Pringle seconded. Ms. Luanne Levens asked what the current penalties were, and Ms. Pringle said it varies, for example it is a $10.00 fine in Kentucky. All in favor, none opposed.
President Seigler discussed Mr. Peddicord’s Maryland Horse Industry Day Feb. 23rd. Will have a session to teach attendees how to present messages to legislators followed by legislator visits and closing with the happy hour event at the Calvert House.
Ms. Cowan offered to assist with grass roots lobbying and an event at the Horse World Expo.
MHC Business Network
Ms. Crystal Kimball talked about the inventors’ series this year and said there would be an event at Horse World Expo Friday afternoon. She is also going to do an event at the Marion Dupont Equine Medical Center – one for Farms, one for Individuals. She asked who might be a lead for that effort, including possibly one of the DAL’s for individuals to lead.
Committee to Support Racing
Ms. Christy Clagett said Laurel had 157 days of racing this year – 3 days a week. She said there had been an argument that racing wouldn’t work during football season, but they put up big screen TV’s. And so far it’s been successful. She said the Day at the Races would be at Pimlico, the first week in June, before Belmont. She explained the program, and encouraged people to attend. President Seigler mentioned the positive Evening at the Races at Rosecroft event that just occurred.
Trails and Greenways Committee
Ron McNab talked about the new trail maps, and said they are online. He also mentioned a new pdf application that could be downloaded from DNR’s site and used with a cell phone and GPS to track where riders are on the trail.
He congratulated the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning – Commission which was awarded best county park system in the country in 2015 (Prince George’s and Montgomery).
American Horse Council (AHC)/Coalition of State Horse Councils (CSHCs)
Ms. Vicki Carson discussed the latest initiatives of the CSHCs which included trying to assist in growing memberships for horse councils.
Maryland Fund For Horses (MFFH)
Ms. Carson talked about the Horse Bucks program and said assistance will continue to be available to those in financial need for everything from gelding to eye surgery. She also talked about the MFFH webinar program, which will continue. MFFH will publish a second edition of Safe and Sound brochure which will be out in the spring.
As Mr. Pittman said, the board has been concerned about unwanted horses and having some kind of safety net. She mentioned an “Equine Surrender Center,” to try and assist Maryland horses. MFFH is happy to work with the new committee to come up with new solutions.
MHC Political Action Committee (PAC)
Mr. Win Hayward explained the PAC as another lobbying arm. It demonstrates a level of seriousness that MHC brings to the legislature. We needed to rebuild this year and raised $3500 this year between BBQ and more. PAC is in full swing, and Mr. Hayward thanked everyone. Mr. Pittman said people were interested in donating money.
Mr. Peddicord thanked Ms. Pittman for her nine years of service on the board. He mentioned the Horses for Courses program and Mr. Dahn Aheshamak’s participation. The idea is to get 4th through 8th graders out to Discovery Centers and learning about horses. He talked about a public/private partnership to help make Prince George’s Equestrian Center (PGEC) a world class equestrian center. He said a similar group was in place in Fair Hill.
Ms. Kimball reported there will not be a Lisbon Horse Parade this year. The logistics of getting 500 people with horses in a parade loop, and the trailer parking were a problem. Mr. Pittman asked if it could be moved to Annapolis, and Ms. Kimball said yes, it could be anywhere. The Equiery will support this year’s The Great Farmer’s Feed the Hungry Christmas Parade.
9:00 PM President Seigler asked for a motion to adjourn. Treasurer Clabaugh so moved, and Mr. Herman seconded.
Secretary, Maryland Horse Council