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MHC Legislative Blog

2018.02.01 MD Horse Council Acquires Equiery 1TOP

LISBON, MARYLAND, February 1, 2018 - The Maryland Horse Council (MHC) is pleased to announce it has completed the acquisition of The Equiery, Maryland’s only all-breed, all-sport, digital and print horse publication.

With The Equiery, MHC has acquired a turn-key multi-media publishing and marketing entity that will enable the Council to not only better serve its membership but to also reach the entire Maryland equestrian community. MHC president Neil Agate,  an avid horseman, business owner and technology consultant, spearheads the Council’s team that is strategically implementing a long-range business plan for the organization, so that it can more effectively meet its founding mission, which is to be the voice of the equestrian community, to represent the interests of the equestrian community in state and county legislation and regulation.

As part of the strategic planning process, the Maryland Horse Council considered that many successful associations publish their own journals, including the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), the American Quarter Horse Association (The Quarter Horse Journal), and the United States Polo Association (Polo Magazine). MHC considered the option of launching its own multi-media publication, but when given the opportunity to acquire The Equiery, the team agreed that there were more advantages to acquiring a turn-key operation with an established brand, reputation and revenue stream.  

The rapidly expanding Horse Council was also in need of centralized headquarters that could serve as administrative offices and conference facilities. “Our volunteers were getting tired of donating warehouse space in their homes and barns for our files and records,” laughs Agate.

Meanwhile, on a more serious note, Agate explains, “We are so fortunate that The Equiery is an established, nationally recognized brand with a great group of people running it. This means that we will not be required to spend a lot of our volunteers' time to manage the publishing of the magazine going forward. Our main focus will be on growing both the publication and membership sides of the organization.”

For founding publisher Crystal Brumme Pickett, the merging of The Equiery into the business structure of Horse Council seems like a natural “marriage.” “We founded The Equiery in 1990, The Equiery joined the Horse Council in 1991. I have always believed in the mission of the Horse Council, and dedicated Equiery resources to growing MHC, just as we were growing The Equiery.”

“Truth be told,” chuckles Brumme-Pickett, “I never really expected the Horse Council to grow so big that it would acquire The Equiery. It is kind of ironic! But is a natural fit. And it is a better opportunity for The Equiery staff. Before accepting the Horse Council’s offer, several regional publishing houses were considered as The Equiery’s possible new home. However, as there would have been redundancies in jobs, I could not guarantee any Equiery staffers that a new publishing house would keep them. The Horse Council wants – and needs – The Equiery staff, their talent, their skills and their knowledge of the Maryland equestrian community. That stability for my team means everything to me. Meanwhile, for our clients, readers fans and followers, it will be a seamless transition – ultimately providing all of them with more resources and opportunities.”

Continues Agate: “The phrase ‘synergies that will expand both organizations beyond where each would have been able to go alone’ may be overused in the world of mergers and acquisitions, but there is truth to that, as we will see in the combination of the Maryland Horse Council and The Equiery. For The Equiery, we will be able to leverage the talents and knowledge of the MHC Directors and its other advisors to expand its coverage and products and overall reach.

“For MHC, with The Equiery we will be able to increase our reach to many more potential members throughout the state and give us a greatly expanded communications vehicle to keep our membership up to date on everything we are doing around the state.”  

Moving forward, in 2018 the Horse Council will develop a new strategic plan for the combined entity of MHC and The Equiery, a plan that will optimize both the revenue and distribution for The Equiery, and membership and messaging for MHC. The new strategic plan will lead the Council in new directions that will enhance both the MHC and Equiery’s reach, such as enhanced member services and an expanded schedule of events.  

ABOUT THE MARYLAND HORSE COUNCIL

Established in 1985, the Maryland Horse Council is the umbrella association for all horse organizations, clubs, businesses and professionals, farms and stables, institutions, owners and enthusiasts in Maryland, representing the interests of over 30,000 Marylanders on legislative and regulatory issues at the state, county and local levels. MHC has been repeatedly recognized by the American Horse Council as one of the most active and effective state horse councils in the country. For more information, please visit mdhorsecouncil.org, call 844 MD HORSE (844-634-6773) or email admin@mdhorsecouncil.org

ABOUT THE EQUIERY™

Established in 1990, The Equiery is Maryland’s only all-breed, all-sport equestrian news and information, advertising and marketing resource, publishing print and digital products, with a combined monthly reach of 30,000+. For national companies launching a new product or maintaining a branding campaign, the Maryland equestrian community provides the most qualified and concentrated equestrian community in the United States, and The Equiery provides unparalleled CPI, dramatically increasing the efficiency of every marketing dollar spent. For more information, visit equiery.com, call 1-800-244-9580 or email info@equiery.com.

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 PR METS 2018 01 30 GrantAwardFINAL TOP2

LISBON, MARYLAND, January 30, 2018 – The Maryland Horse Council (MHC) announced receipt today of a $750,000 grant to launch a first-in-the-nation project to facilitate the responsible transition of horses whose owners are no longer able to care for them. MHC was the first state horse council in the country to support a federal ban on export of horses for human consumption, and its members from every sector of the horse industry came together to develop an alternative. The program is called Maryland Equine Transition Service (METS) and was unveiled today at the Maryland Horse Industry Day in Annapolis. 

METS will include a statewide network of equine facilities, farms, associations, veterinarians, trainers, and rescues that can provide safe options for horses in transition. Using a mobile assessment team, the program will provide owners with individualized equine assessment services and transition options based on the specific needs of their horse. 

“Maryland has more horses per square mile than any other state, and many of those horses will end up needing new homes throughout their lifetimes,” said MHC President, Neil Agate. “We believe that all owners who need assistance in transitioning their horses should be aware of their options, and we are excited to unite and engage Maryland’s horse industry as we build this one-of-a-kind initiative.” 

The launch of this cutting-edge program is made possible through a generous grant funded by the WaterShed Animal Fund via The Right Horse Initiative. The Fund’s goal is to massively increase equine adoptions and provide resources for horse owners nationwide. "Too many horses owners in the United States find themselves without humane options when it is time to transition their horse,” said Christy Counts, President of the Right Horse Initiative. “We are proud to partner with the Maryland Horse Council on this progressive and innovative approach to providing transition support to horse owners.” 

To ensure the success of this program, MHC has partnered with Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) to leverage their expertise and well-developed infrastructure. As part of this partnership, the METS offices will initially be housed at DEFHR’s Lisbon, MD facility. “DEFHR is honored and thrilled to be part of this exciting new endeavor geared to help safeguard Maryland’s horses. We are looking forward to serving our equine community in a more meaningful and valuable way,” said DEFHR CEO, Erin Clemm Ochoa. 

The METS program will be developed and tested on a small scale over the next six months with services offered to all Maryland horse owners by the summer of 2018. For more information about METS, send email METS@mdhorsecouncil.org or visit www.mdhorsecouncil.org

About Maryland Horse Council (MHC) 

Established in 1985, the Maryland Horse Council is the umbrella association for all horse organizations, clubs, businesses and professionals, farms and stables, institutions, owners and enthusiasts in Maryland, representing the interests of over 30,000 Marylanders on legislative and regulatory issues at the state, county and local levels. MHC has been repeatedly recognized by the American Horse Council as one of the most active and effective state horse councils in the country. For more information, please visit mdhorsecouncil.org, or email info@mdhorsecouncil.org 

About Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) 

Founded in 1989, Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Inc. is a nationally recognized animal welfare nonprofit organization that ensures quality care and treatment of horses through intervention, education and outreach. As a premier all-breed equine rescue, DEFHR focuses its attention on legal documentation for court, rehabilitation and recovery of animals in distress while preventing abuse and neglect through community education and outreach. Its 58-acre farm in Woodbine, Maryland provides respite for more than 80 equines at any given time. DEFHR is accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries and the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance. To learn more, volunteer or donate, visit www.DEFHR.org

About The Right Horse Initiative 

The Right Horse is an initiative funded by the WaterShed Animal Fund, a division of the Arnall Family Foundation dedicated to improving the lives of companion animals. Their goal is to massively increase the number of successful horse adoptions in the United States by working together to reframe the adoption conversation and shatter the stigma surrounding horses in transition. To learn more about The Right Horse Initiative visit www.therighthorse.org

For More Information 

Contact: Jennifer Purcell 

844-634-6773 ext. 707 

METS@mdhorsecouncil.org 

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