The Maryland Horse Breeders Association membership has selected three incumbent members, a former board member and a 2018 presidential appointee to the 2019 Board of Directors, as announced June 13. Dictated by MHBA bylaws, the annually held election fills five open seats on the board. Those elected this year will serve for the next three years. Incumbents Louis Merryman, Sabrina Moore and James B. Steele Jr. join Richard Blue Jr., who last served on the board in 2017, and Michael F. Horning.
Richard F. Blue Jr.—President of Blue & Obrecht Realty, this is Blue's fourth term on the board, having previously served from 2001 to 2002, and 2011 to 2017. The resident of Brooklandville (Baltimore County) owns R Blue Farm with wife Lisa. He is a past president of Maryland Million and serves on the board of the Maryland State Fair. His goals for the MHBA include making sure the Fund provides consistency and stability to Maryland breeders, to continue working on a team with the MTHA and MJC to better Maryland racing in all ways and to ensure that the Legislature knows what economic impact racing has on Maryland's economy, as well as make sure retired horses have a second career.
Michael F. Horning—A retired insurance executive, and current board member and treasurer of the Maryland Thoroughbred Horsemen's Association, Horning was a presidential appointee to the MHBA board in 2018. The Potomac (Montgomery County) resident is the breeder and owner with his wife Debbie of multiple Maryland-bred stakes winners. He seeks to promote the Maryland horse breeding industry and encourage new participation in the sport, as well as work to maintain the revenue stream from VLTs that is critical to the breeding industry in the state and assist MHBA to optimize its investment portfolio and enhance its resources.
Louis Merryman—A member of a family with a long history of service to the MHBA, Merryman, 41, has been on the board since 2016. Owner/operator of Anchor & Hope Farm in Port Deposit, Cecil County, where he stands four stallions – current leading Maryland freshman sire Bourbon Courage, Holy Boss, Imagining and Long River – he was formerly the managing partner of Heritage Stallions Inc. and instrumental in purchasing and syndicating Seville (Ger) and Tritap. Prior to that he was stallion manager and farm manager of Northview Stallion Station and general manager of Northview in Maryland and Pennsylvania. Merryman notes that for the Maryland Thoroughbred industry to progress and thrive “it needs to be recognized and respected on a national level again. We have the personel and infrastructure, we need to create an environment that attracts breeders and owners.”
Sabrina Moore—Manager and co-owner of GreenMount Farm in Glyndon (Baltimore County), Moore, 27, has a small broodmare band that has produced the likes of 2018 Grade 1-winning juvenile Knicks Go. Her background includes having worked as a groom, in the Horsemen Relations department at Pimlico, and as a showman at the horse sales. A committee member for the Maryland Horse Industry Board as well as the MHBA's Social Media & Marketing Committee, she was first elected to the MHBA board in 2016, and counts among her continuing goals “to help bring in new members. . . recruit a younger generation of horsemen to ensure the future of horse breeding in Maryland, as well as to communicate with members to keep them informed and for the help they may provide to help MHBA meet their objectives.”
James B. Steele—The manager of Shamrock Farm in Woodbine (Carroll County) since 1977, Steele begins his sixth three-year term on the board, was MHBA president from 2006 through 2009 as well as vice-president from 2004-2005 and secretary-treasurer in 1999. The current president of Maryland Million Ltd., he is also chairman of the Maryland Horse Industry Board and has previously served as chairman for the Maryland Farm Bureau Equine commission and Maryland and Carroll County Agricultural Commissions, and was vice-president of the Maryland Farm Bureau. Steele's goals while on the board are “To promote and protect the horse industry in Maryland. . . to continue to educate our legislators and the general public about the importance of the horse industry to Maryland's economy and way of life. . . and to work to maintain the strong connection that horse farms have with the agricultural community.”
Of the five directors whose terms expired in 2019, Rebecca B. Davis and David DiPietro were ineligible to stand for reelection because of having served six consecutive years as a member of the MHBA Board. Those whose terms have not expired are Brooke Bowman DVM, Michael Harrison DVM, Christy Holden, TK Kuegler, D. David Moose, Larry Murray, Kent Allen Murray, William S. Reightler, David Wade and Theresa Wiseman.
The complete election results, along with Committee presentations, will be on the agenda at the MHBA annual general membership meeting, to be held Wednesday, June 26, starting at 12 p.m., at the Maryland State Fairgrounds' Vista Room in Timonium, Md.
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