March 3, 2016

Maryland Horse Industry Day

February 23rd was Maryland Horse Industry Day, a day when representatives of the horse industry come to the state capital of Annapolis to discuss with legislators issues regarding the horse industry in Maryland and to remind them of the importance of the industry to Maryland’s economy. I was able to attend this event, and it was a great opportunity to learn about our state government and the legislative priorities of the Maryland horse industry.


Some of the featured speakers and sponsors of Maryland Horse Industry Day
(photo courtesy of Holden Rafey)

As the only constituent present from my district, I was tasked with distributing packets to my representatives containing information and statistics about the horse industry in Maryland. I was even able to meet with Matt Weiss, Legislative Aide to Delegate Marc Korman (District 16 - Montgomery County). Mr. Weiss took notes while we talked, and he showed me how to track a bill through the Maryland legislature using the Maryland General Assembly website.


(photo courtesy of Holden Rafey)

After visiting the delegates’ offices, I also went across the street to the state senate building and spoke with Michael Lore, Chief of Staff to Senator Susan Lee (District 16 – Montgomery County). He knew that Maryland is ranked #1 in the nation for number of horses per square mile, and I was very impressed.

According to the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s infographic, Maryland has 15.6 horses per square mile, more than any other state. This is a $1.6 billion dollar industry, which employs over 25,000 people and generates $78 million in tax revenue. A huge variety of equine disciplines and activities are represented in Maryland including racing, breeding, steeplechase, trail riding, and sport horse competitions.


(image from the Maryland Horse Industry Board Facebook page)

The horse industry is vibrant and thriving in Maryland, and I was proud to represent horse interests to my elected officials.



My name is Holden Rafey, and I am honored to be serving as the Maryland Horse Council’s Youth Correspondent. As the MHC Youth Correspondent, I will be posting monthly to this blog about horse-related topics in the state of Maryland to give a youth perspective and share information on topics of interest to MHC youth members. I live in Montgomery County and attend Walter Johnson High School, where I play softball and field hockey. My equestrian trainer is Melinda Cohen, and I ride at her barn, Dream Catcher Farm, in Frederick County. In addition to being the Youth Correspondent for the MHC, I am also serving on the Washington International Horse Show Junior Committee and loved seeing lots of Maryland barns represented at Barn Night!

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