American Sailor
Artist’s rendering.

The Maryland Horse Library and Education Center was designated by the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) as the Educational and Cultural Center of the Maryland Horse Park System. The new, multi-faceted facility will honor the history and importance of Maryland’s horse industry. 

“Maryland is home to over 100,000 horses, more horses per square mile than any other state,” said Secretary Joe Bartenfelder. “With over 40 equine disciplines practiced right here in Maryland and premiere horse events held year-round, our state’s equestrian industry is world-renowned. This center will teach Marylanders and visitors from around the world about the remarkable contributions of our horse industry.”

Construction of the 4,500-square-foot center is expected to begin in September and will be open to the public by spring 2022. The center will be located in the Maryland Horse Breeders Association’s (MHBA’s) building in historic Reisterstown, centrally located close to Pimlico Race Course, Sagamore Farm, and other popular equine destinations. Once completed, the facility will house over 1,000 equestrian books, a memorabilia area, versatile meeting rooms, a media center, interactive kiosks and rotating exhibits.

“This one-of-a-kind facility in Maryland will serve as a central learning and research hub for horse sports in the state,” said MHIB Chair Jim Steele. “It is our intention for the center to educate the public about the breadth of Maryland’s horse industry and to motivate them to get involved. I want to thank all of the individuals who have been involved in making the center a reality, it is your hardwork and dedication that has made this all possible.” 

As part of the state’s efforts to enhance and increase interest in the Maryland horse industry, the MHIB established the Maryland Horse Park System. The Maryland Horse Park System is made up of three venues: an outdoor and field equestrian competition facility; an indoor competition and exhibition arena; and an educational and cultural center. To identify these three locations, the MHIB and the Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) commissioned the Maryland Stadium Authority (MSA) to perform a study in 2011. 

Upon the conclusion of the study and improvements made to each facility, the Fair Hill Special Events Zone in Elkton was designated the outdoor and field equestrian competition venue and the Prince George’s Equestrian Center was named the indoor competition and exhibition arena. 

Additionally, the study found a need for an educational and cultural center. To fill this need, the Maryland Horse Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the MHBA, started planning and fundraising for the construction of the center. The foundation is responsible for the center’s development and maintenance. 

“The goals of the center align perfectly with the Maryland Horse Park System’s overall mission to promote and increase interest in the state’s horse industry,” said MHBA Executive Director Cricket Goodall. “We are thrilled to be designated as part of the Maryland Horse Park System and are excited to showcase the legacy of Maryland’s iconic equine sector.”