Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Important Alert! Action needed NOW to safeguard the Prince George's Equestrian Center! OPPOSE SB 15!

The Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee of the Maryland State Senate is currently considering a bill (SB 15) that poses a serious threat to the future of the Prince George's Equestrian Center. This bill calls for a commission to study "how to protect and enhance the competitive position of The Show Place Arena in the public assembly marketplace," as well as a study of its current operations and management. There are numerous problems with this bill, the most significant of which is it separates the Show Place arena out as the subject of the study, and does not consider it as part of the entire Equestrian center. This will inevitably skew the results of the study in a way that does not accurately represent the important role the entire equestrian center, Show Place Arena plus the other arenas, barns, parking, etc., plays in Maryland equestrian life. It is significant that the bill's preamble refers to the Show Place Arena as "a multipurpose arena in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which is used for concerts, sporting events, trade shows, and other events," and does not specifically refer to equestrian uses. Another problem is that the bill provides for only one representative of the equine industry on the 14 member commission.

As stated by Dorothy Troutman, President of the Maryland Equestrian Foundation and former Co-chair of the Prince Georges Equine Industry Task Force:
"Our Park and Planning Commission has already requested that the Stadium Authority conduct two studies—one to evaluate the economic fiscal market and impact of the entire facility and the other to review and evaluate the operation and managerial structure. These studies would be for the Show Place Arena and the surrounding Prince George’s Equestrian Center—the existing show rings and barns, parking areas, and the abandoned Marlboro Race Track and infield. The Commission is also in the process of developing a Master Plan to utilize the entire area for equestrian and other purposes and is arranging a drainage system for the infield."
So this bill is unnecessary and potentially very harmful.

Here is the full text of the bill:

Please write TODAY to the committee members, expressing your OPPOSITION to SB 15.

Here is contact info:
Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee (EHE)
2 West, Miller Senate Building, Annapolis, MD 21401 (410-841-3661 Annapolis/Baltimore or 301-858-3661 Washington, D.C.)
Chair: Joan Carter Conway
Vice Chair: Roy P. Dyson
Joanne Benson SB 15's sponsor

Be sure to include any personal information you can about your use/enjoyment of this facility as an equestrian, and if you are in any of these legislator's districts, be sure to let them know that, too! You can find out who your legislators are at:

For more information, contact Jane Seigler at

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