We created the Sport Horse Committee to support our sport-horse breeders, our competition organizers, and our competition venues. Part of our work is educating the Maryland horse community, and the general public, about the substantial success of Maryland-bred equine athletes of all breeds at all levels of sport. Another part of our work is supporting our sport horses from foaling to retirement and everything in between.
What is a Maryland Sport Horse?
“A Maryland Sport Horse is a horse of any breed, including a mixed breed, that was foaled in Maryland and that has participated in at least three events with three or more participants in each, that were judged by a disinterested judge according to a publicly available set of rules.”
Equestrian sports are big business in Maryland. Equestrian sports generation at least $1 billion in economic activity. The non-racing competition sector supports over 3,340 jobs in Maryland and has a $310 million annual economic impact on the state’s economy. The racing industry adds over $670 million.1 Our unusually large number of riding schools and our ability to attract competitors from the highest levels of the sport – Olympic-level and up – means the competitive riding sector grows every year.
Unlike many states, Maryland’s competition sector includes almost every competitive discipline that exists, including: barrel racing, competitive trail riding, cutting, dressage, draft horse pulling, driving, endurance, eventing, fox chasing, harness racing, hunter/jumpers, jousting, mule jumping, polo, polocrosse, ranch riding, reining, rodeo, show jumping, side saddle, steeplechasing, Thoroughbred racing, vaulting, western dressage, western equitation, and working western, as well as several others. We have five international competition venues in the state,2 and we are an easy drive to two others.3
1 All values in 2022 dollars.
2 Pimlico Race Course (host of the Preakness States), the Fair Hill Special Event Area (host of the Maryland 5 Star at Fair Hill), the Prince George’s County Showplace Arena (host of the Capitol Challenge Horse Show and the Washington International Horse Show), Laurel Park (host of the Maryland Million), and Loch Moy Farm (host of the Maryland International 2/3/4* Horse Trials).
3 Morven Park International Equestrian Center in Leesburg, Virginia, and Plantation Fields in Coatesville, Pennsylvania (host of the Plantation Fields International Horse Trials).
COMING SOON! Maryland Sport Horse Database!
- Eventing in Maryland (2023)
- Horse Sport Stable Survey (2023)
- Statement on Thoroughbred Racing’s Participation in the Larger Horse Industry (2023)