2016 WIHS Honor & Service Award Recipient
Maryland Horse Discovery Center Network
John E. Franzreb III, Beverly Raymond, Jim Steele, Kathleen Tabor, Esq., Karen Fulton, Ross Peddicord,
Vicki Lowell, Lynn Coakley, Alison Borris, Klinger and SFC Jeffery Tyree. Photo courtesy of Shawn McMillen Photography
Under the leadership of the Maryland Horse Industry Board Chair, Jim Steele, the Horse Discovery Center Network was established in 2015. "Like the horse Klinger, the goal is to showcase the best of the horse world, give the public the opportunity to enjoy these wonderful animals and help our industry prosper and grow", said Executive Director Ross Peddicord. It's hard to imagine a future without horses, but the Maryland Horse Industry Board continuously heard a litany of terrible first-time experiences with horses. "It became obvious to us that despite the over 700 riding schools and boarding barns operating in Maryland that we needed to a establish network where folks could encounter horses in a safe, friendly and knowledgeable environment", said Peddicord.
Four workshops were scheduled across the state at which over 60 stable operators gathered to develop criteria for the network centers. 46 applications were received. The inspection team, including equine attorney Kathleen Tabor and Bev Raymond, winner of the American Horse Council's Van Ness Award, traveled over 3,000 miles in a three-month period to inspect facilities, make sure they had airtight insurance policies, bomb proof horses and programs in place to teach very basic horsemanship and riding instruction. Eventually 35 centers in 15 counties were certified.