Saturday, December 21, 2013

Horse Council PAC makes donations to legislators

The following contributions will be made by the Horse Council PAC before the start of the 2014 Maryland General Assembly.  They were agreed to unanimously by the board of directors of the Horse Council PAC on December 20, 2013 after considering participation in MHC activities, responsiveness to MHC requests, alignment with MHC on policy positions, and ability to affect outcomes on MHC issues by virtue of committee assignment and rank. 

  1. Mike Miller D – Senate President, Prince George’s and Calvert - $200

  1. Mike Busch D – Speaker of the House, Anne Arundel - $200

  1. Maggie Macintosh D - House, Baltimore City, Chair Environmental Matters - $200

  1. Ed Reilly R – Senate, Anne Arundel, Minority Whip, attended multiple MHC events and led 2011 tour - $200

  1. Guy Guzzone D – House, Howard, Deputy Majority Whip, running for Senate, attended multiple MHC events and led 2012 tour - $200

  1. Sheila Hixson D – House, Montgomery, Chair Ways and Means, attended Horse Expo - $200

  1. Eric Luedtke D – House, Montgomery, Vice Chair Ways and Means, attended BBQ - $100

  1. Karen Montgomery D – Senate, Montgomery, Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee, sent staff to BBQ - $100

  1. Tom Hucker D – House, Montgomery, Economic Matters, attended Horse Expo - $100

  1. Peter Murphy D– House, Charles, Health and Government Operations, attended Horse Expo - $100

  1. Susan Aumann R – House, Baltimore Co, Asst. Minority Whip, sent staff to BBQ - $100

  1. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio R – House, Caroline, Dorchester, Talbot, Wicomico, Minority Whip, Economic Matters, attended BBQ, running for Lt. Governor - $100

  1. David Brinkley R – Senate, Frederick and Carroll, Minority Leader, Finance, attended mulitiple MHC events, longtime friend of MHC and horseman - $100

  1. Steve Lafferty D – House, Baltimore Co., Environmental Matters, attended Horse Expo with wife who is involved with horses - $100

  1. J. B. Jennings R – Senate, Baltimore and Harford; Education, Health, and Environment, has attended past MHC functions and owns feed store - $100

  1. David Rudolph D – House, Cecil, Vice Chair Economic Matters, supporter of Fair Hill - $100

  1. Geraldine Valentino-Smith D, House, Prince George's, Judicial Committee, has been responsive on equestrian use of Bowie Training Center - $100

Friday, December 20, 2013

Attention residents of Harford and Cecil counties! Del. Glen Glass Town Hall meeting

Del. Glen Glass (Cecil and Harford counties) has issued this invitation for a Town Hall meeting:

Dear Friend:

In preparation for the 2014 Session of the Maryland General Assembly, I am holding a Town Hall meeting on Saturday, January 4th, 2014 from 12:00PM to 2:00PM at the American Legion Hall located at 44 North Parke Street, Aberdeen, MD 21001.

The Town Hall meeting will provide a forum for you to communicate directly to me.  I want to hear from you about the concerns and issues that are of interest to you.  As your Delegate in Annapolis, I want to know how I can best represent you in the legislature, and how I can make the 2014 Session a productive one, setting forth an agenda that reflects what is important to you.  One of the issues that I am going to consider is a bill that will fix Maryland’s automated speed camera enforcement program to prevent the current abuses in the existing program.

If you are not able to attend the Town Hall meeting, or if you would like to send in advance any comments on topics that you would like to be discussed, please email me at

I will look forward to hearing from you, or seeing you at the Town Hall meeting on January 4th.  In the meantime, I wish you a very happy holiday season, and send my best wishes for a Happy New Year!

Your delegate and servant,

Glen Glass
District 34A
6 Bladen Street, Room 325
Annapolis, MD 21401

Friday, December 6, 2013

Do you need a Commercial Driver's License to haul your trailer?

Click Here for a link to an article with some useful info.

Maryland Horse Council Votes to Support Prince Georges County Casino at Rosecroft Raceway

Mythic Landing Enterprises, LLCPress ReleaseFor Immediate Release
Maryland Horse Council Votes to Support Prince Georges County Casino at Rosecroft Raceway
Maryland Horse Council Board of Directors Voted at Annual Meeting on November 19th     

December 5, 2013 - Damascus, MD: On November 19th, at the Maryland Horse Council Annual Meeting at the Miller Senate Office Building in Annapolis, the Board of Directors voted to support locating the Prince Georges County casino at Rosecroft Raceway. Below is the text of a letter written by Maryland Horse Council President Jane Seigler to Video Lottery Facility Location Commission Chairman Don Fry strongly urging the Commission to locate the casino at Rosecroft, and outlining why such a casino at Rosecroft would have huge benefits not only for the horse industry, but also for the community at large.

Text of President Seigler's letter:

"The Maryland Horse Council strongly supports the location of the Prince  
George's County Casino at Rosecroft Raceway.

The Horse Council is the non-profit, umbrella trade association for all equine
related businesses, professions, associations and interest groups in the State of
Maryland. [See] The Horse Council's member
associations represent over 35,000 horse people, and our membership also
comprises farms, businesses, charities, foundations and individual supportive
members. Our membership includes many farms, families and businesses
involved in the Standardbred industry in Maryland, as well as many
individuals who follow and enthusiastically enjoy the sport.

We are sure that the Lottery Commission is well aware of the important
economic impact of the Standardbred industry on the state and local economy:
1,600 jobs, $66,000,000 in assets and 18,000 acres of green space. You
perhaps might not be as aware of the symbiotic relationship among all the
various segments of the horse industry in Maryland. The Standardbred,
Thoroughbred, other sport horse and pleasure horse segments each rely on a
largely integrated network of vendors of everything from feed and hay, to
veterinary medicine, to pickup trucks. Thus the health of each segment
contributes in a very direct way to the health of the entire horse industry in
Maryland - an industry with total assets of $5.6 billion, and which controls
587,000 acres, almost one-third of all the agricultural land in Maryland.
Location of the Casino at Rosecroft will help ensure that the track remains
healthy and thriving, which in turns helps ensure a healthy and thriving
Standardbred industry, a healthy and thriving Maryland horse industry and a
healthy and thriving Maryland economy.

But the economic benefits of locating the Casino at Rosecroft go beyond the
impact on the Standardbred industry and the horse industry as a whole. The
Casino will undoubtedly boost the local economy in general. It just makes
sense that it should be sited where it can be a catalyst for new growth and
economic development, rather than being lumped in with a site that is already
highly developed. The citizens of Prince George's County deserve to enjoy
new economic opportunities at diverse locations, including Rosecroft.

For all of these reasons, the Maryland Horse Council strongly urges the Video
Lottery Facility Location Commission to locate the Prince George's County
Casino at Rosecroft Raceway."

To view a copy of the letter, click HERE.
To learn more about the Maryland Horse Council, click HERE  
Maryland Horse Council
Jane Seigler, President
Mythic Landing Enterprises, LLC
Margaret Rizzo, President

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Judicial and regulatory news

Via the MD Farm Bureau:

Two recent developments that could have impact on horse farmers -

1. A West Virginia poultry farmer prevailed in a court case brought by the EPA and some environmental groups that would have required them to obtain a Clean Water Act permit on the basis of runoff from their farmyard area.
"The Clean Water Act prohibits the discharge of pollutants from "point sources" of pollution to navigable waters (which are loosely defined to include many wetlands and tributaries adjacent to waters that are actually navigable). Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs) are defined as point sources under the Clean Water Act. However, the Clean Water Act specifically exempts "agricultural stormwater runoff" from the definition of point sources of pollution.  . . .
Chief Judge John Preston Bailey of the District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia held that ventilation fan exhaust (dust, feathers, manure, and dander) that landed in the farmyard and ran off during precipitation events is agricultural stormwater runoff, which does not require a permit under the Clean Water Act." John Dillard,
This ruling was based on the fact that "only the portions of the operation where animals are confined, where litter or manure is stored, where the raw materials are stored and waste containment areas are the “production area,” ("production areas" do require Clean Water Act permits). However, dust from ventilation fans that lands on other parts of the operation and runs off during precipitation is not subject to the permit requirement.

2. The Maryland Department of Agriculture has re-submitted the proposal to update the phosphorus measurement portion of nutrient management plans.  Under the proposed regulation, the P-Site Index will be replaced with the Phosphorus Management Tool (PMT), which is designed to be more sensitive to the potential for P to move off of farmland. The new regulation, if adopted, could be more restrictive of the use of phosphorus in fertilizers applied to the land.

For more information about either of these topics, click here.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Notice about WSSC Commissioners meeting about winter closing of Rocky Gorge trails

Just received this notice from some avid trail riders and trail policy watchdogs:

  "This Wednesday, October 16, is almost the last WSSC Commisssioners' Meeting before they officially close their riding trail for 3 1/2 months (Dec 1 - March 14) . . ..  Since WSSC's 1/4 million dollar study by EA Engineering said the trails were fine (after 50 plus years of year-round riding, with the riders judging when it is prudent) and WSSC's 2011 claim that winter has the most rainfall has been resoundingly discredited by both NOAA's and WSSC's own data, plus their new 4-FUN "hotline" would close the trail on any wet day anyway, the winter closing really makes no sense.
   We have been advised that our best chance to get this pointless rule changed -- to return to year-round riding, as it had been for all the previous decades -- is through the Commissioners.  A few of us are planning on going to the Commissioners' meeting this Wednesday, to ask to return to allowing winter riding (and to congratulate them on how well the other aspects of the trail have been going).
    The more of us that are there, the bigger effect it will make on the Commissioners.  Please, if you can arrange to come by the WSSC building (Sweitzer Lane, Laurel) this Wednesday morning, October 16 (supposedly 8:30 AM, but in practice, 9 AM should be OK too), to participate in the Commissioners' meeting, it would be super!  The dry winter days are some of the nicest times for riding, and your help can be critical to get the trails re-opened in the winter."

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Government Shutdown Could Impact Horse Industry

Submitted by admin on Mon, 09/30/2013 - 15:21

To date Congress has failed to pass any of the annual appropriation bills that fund government agencies and projects for the 2014 fiscal year (October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014).   Congress has also failed to come to an agreement regarding a Continuing Resolution that would continue to fund the government past the end of the current fiscal year, which ends tonight at midnight.    If an agreement is not reached by that time non-essential government operations, many that impact the horse industry and equestrians, could cease.  Should a shutdown occur, it could impact the U.S Department of Agriculture's response to disease outbreaks, procedures for the import and export of horses, recreation on federal land, and temporary worker programs. At this time, government agencies are still working on their shutdown plans and determining essential and non-essential operations. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture   
One of the cornerstones of the U.S. horse industry includes the movement of horses both internationally and domestically. The horse industry relies on USDA to maintain and operate import, export and quarantine facilities for horses traveling in and out of the U.S. At this time, border inspection is deemed essential and will have no lapse in service. Import, Export and Quarantine Facilities are run on a user fee basis and will continue to operate as usual. 

Testing at the National Veterinary Service Lab in Ames, Iowa will be suspended. However, tests which are pending during the shut down will be finished. All incoming tests will be suitably stored by USDA Animal Plant Health Inspection Service staff and processed at a later date. In case of a disease outbreak, high priority tests will be done on a case-by-case basis. 

USDA is also responsible for the enforcement of the Horse Protection Act (HPA), and the slaughter horse transport program regulations. It is likely a shutdown will impact these programs.

Many equestrians are dependant on federal land for recreational opportunities.  In the event of a government shutdown, the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service and Bureau of Land Management will close and secure park, refuge and visitor facilities on public lands.  National Forest recreation sites across the U.S., which require a government employee to stay open, would also be closed to the public.

Temporary Worker Programs and Visas
The horse industry relies on semi-skilled and entry-level foreign workers provided by the H-2A temporary agricultural worker and H-2B non-agricultural temporary worker programs for many of the employment needs of the horse industry.  A government shutdown would halt the processing of applications for both the H-2A and H-2B programs and delay or prevent many employers in the horse industry from obtaining workers when they are needed. Visas for foreign competitors at U.S. equine events could also be delayed.   

At this time, it is not certain the government will shutdown.  If a shutdown does occur it could last a few hours with little impact on the industry or several weeks with greater consequences.  

If you have any questions please contact the AHC.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Legislation to Eliminate Soring Introduced in Senate

Legislation to Eliminate Soring Introduced in Senate

(Washington, D.C.) There are now bills in both the House and Senate to amend the Horse Protection Act to eliminate soring.  On July 31, just before breaking for the August recess, Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced the Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013.  The bill is intended to strengthen the Horse Protection Act (HPA), which was enacted in 1970 to prohibit the showing, exhibiting, transporting or sale at auction of a horse that has been sored.
The Senate bill is the same as the legislation already introduced in the House, which now has 137 cosponsors. 
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) enforces the HPA.  USDA deems soring to involve the use of action devices, chemicals, pads, or wedges to cause pain in a horse’s forelegs and produce an accentuated show gait for competition.  According to the USDA, soring has been primarily used with Tennessee Walking Horses, Racking Horses, and Spotted Saddle Horses and continues despite the existence of a federal ban for over forty years.
The bill focuses on those breeds by amending the HPA to prohibit a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Racking Horse, or a Spotted Saddle Horse from being shown, exhibited, or auctioned with an action device, or a weighted shoe, pad, hoof band or other device if it is constructed to artificially alter the gait of the horse and is not strictly protective or therapeutic.  These new prohibitions would not apply to other breeds and would not prohibit the use of therapeutic pads, or bell boots or quarter boots that are used as protective devices. 
“The horse show industry has been living with the HPA for over 40 years.  However, the base for USDA enforcement of the Act is the showing, exhibition, auction or transport of a sore horse,” said Jay Hickey, president of the American Horse Council (AHC), which supports the bill.  “For this reason USDA has focused its efforts on those segments of the show community that involve breeds and activities that are most frequently involved in soring.  If a breed or discipline is not soring its horses to exaggerate their gaits, then as a practical matter the Act has likely not adversely affected them and the bill to amend the Act, if passed, will not affect them any more than current law.”
The legislation would also increase fines and penalties for violations for soring, including the potential for a lifetime ban for repeat offenders. 
The bill would create a new licensing process for horse show inspectors, eliminating the current program that uses industry-affiliated designated qualified persons (DQPs).  This program has received criticism because DQPs are often not independent of the industry they are inspecting.  Under the bill, USDA would be required to train and license the new independent inspectors for shows and other HPA-regulated activities that wish to hire an inspector.  Licensed or accredited veterinarians would be given preference for these positions.  The decision to hire an inspector, however, would still be up to the show, sale or auction.  It would not be made mandatory.  Shows or sales that employ DQPs now would begin using USDA-selected inspectors.  Shows or sales that choose not to use DQPs now would not be required to use them should the bill pass.
“The AHC supports this legislation, as does the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Morgan Horse Association, the American Paint Horse Association, the Pinto Horse Association of America, the American Quarter Horse Association, the American Saddlebred Horse Association, the Appaloosa Horse club, the Arabian Horse Association, the Maryland Horse Council, the United Professional Horsemen’s Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association and other horse groups,” said Hickey.  “The bill focuses on the problems it is intended to solve and does not adversely affect other segments of the show industry that are not soring horses and have no history of soring horses.”

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Maryland Court upholds contributory negligence standard

On July 9, the Court of Appeals of Maryland issued a ruling in a case (JAMES COLEMAN v. SOCCER ASSOCIATION OF COLUMBIA) in which a plaintiff sought damages for injuries sustained when he jumped up to hang on the top bar of a soccer goal that was unsecured. The goal toppled on top of him, and he sustained serious injuries to his face. The trial court denied damages, because it found that the plaintiff was partially responsible for his own injuries, and under Maryland's contributory negligence standard that means that he cannot recover anything. On appeal, the plaintiff asked the Court to instead apply a comparative negligence standard, under which the plaintiff could recover at least partial damages, even though he was found to have contributed to his own injuries. Noting that the legislature has considered the question of whether to replace the contributory negligence standard with the comparative negligence on numerous occasions and has failed to do so, the Court said: "For this Court to change the common law and abrogate the contributory negligence defense in negligence actions, in the face of the General Assembly’s repeated refusal to do so, would be totally inconsistent with the Court’s long-standing jurisprudence." The Court also noted that there are several different versions of comparative negligence standards in use in various states, and choosing one that would be best for Maryland is best left to the legislature.

There was a lengthy dissent, in which the contributory negligence standard was described as a "dinosaur," which the dissent predicted would be relegated to "a judicial tar pit at some point" in the future.

Maryland is one of a handful of states that still applies the contributory negligence standard, which is favorable to defendants in negligence suits because it denies the award of damages if the injured party can be shown to have contributed to his own injuries through his own negligence.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

American Horse Council requests urgent action against proposed federal legislation that would strip trails funding

According to the American Horse Council, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) is planning to offer an amendment (S. Amdt 1742) to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations act (S.1243) that would strip all funding from the Recreational Trail Program (RTP).

The Paul amendment would transfer all funding from the Transportation Alternatives Program to pay for bridge repairs. RTP is part of the Transportation Alternatives Program and would lose all its funding in FY 2014 if this amendment passes and the bill becomes law.

For more information on how to make your voice heard, click here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Howard County meets with Ag & Equine Industry Leadership to Revise Zoning Proposal

Via the Equiery:

"Today, July 19, 2013, the Howard County Department of Planning & Zoning met with leadership from the equine and ag communities for the purpose of modifying the proposed amendments affecting the ag industry in general and the small-parcel equine and livestock farmer in particular. The ag and equine industry leaders present reported that they believed that the session was extremely productive, and the resulting language should satisfy the majority of the equestrian and ag communities. DPZ has to now execute the discussed language, which will need to be reviewed to insure that it is in concordance with the discussion. The Equiery will post the revision as soon as it is made available to the public, which DPZ expects to do no later than Monday, July 22, 2013. The equine and ag industry leaders involved with the meeting felt that it was productive and that the concerns were addressed and rectified, but we still need to see the proposed modifications in the final language."

To read the Equiery's full report, click here.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Link for Howard County info is not working, so here is full text of notice from Susan Gray about this issue

Dear member of the Howard County Farm Community and/or Concerned Resident:

As you may be aware, the Howard County Council is in the process of adopting new zoning regulations for the County.  At this time, it anticipates finalizing the regulations on July 25, 2013.  Included among the changes being considered are ones which would very significantly affect the farm community, particularly those raising livestock (including horses) on small to medium size farms.  From what can be discerned to date, these proposed regulations, if passed, will make it much more difficult for equine, as well as other specialty farming interests (i.e., sheep, goat and alpaca), to thrive.  These interests are now the backbone of agriculture in the County and contribute vast sums to the County’s tax base and its economy.
 Where We Are Now:
Currently, “farming” is defined broadly in the Zoning Regulations to include “[t]he breeding, raising, training, boarding and general care of livestock for uses other than for food, such as sport or show purposes, as pets, or for recreation…” (Section 103.0 (77), page 1 attached).  As long as you are engaged in these or other activities also defined to be “farming,” you do not have to comply with any setback or other similar County restrictions, except that you can’t put your manure pile or a structure sheltering animals within 200 feet of your neighbors’ house. (Section 128.A.4,  lines 16-25 on page 11 attached). There also is currently no limit on how may horses or other livestock you may have per acre.  Thus, overall there is a tremendous amount of leeway with few regulations on how property is used for farming purposes.  And since “farming” is considered a use as a “Matter of Right”  in almost all areas of the County, except in Columbia and on  other non-residentially zoned land, neither the County nor your neighbors can shut down your “farming” activities (including livestock keeping) because they don’t like the way you farm, where you put your ag buildings, or the fact that you may drive you tractor on a local road or operate noisy farm equipment at a time not liked by your suburban neighbors.
Proposed Changes:
The zoning text amendments now before the County Council would change this regulatory environment very, very significantly.  They would:
1) countywide, limit the definition of a “farm” to only those properties which have an agricultural tax assessment and whose principal use is agriculture.

2) make it a violation of the zoning regulations to keep livestock (other than cattle)1 anywhere in the County other than in the “western” portion (i.e., RC and RR zones—see attached map) if the property’s principal use  is not a “farm” as defined above.2
3) change the keeping of livestock in the RC and RR zones from a use as a “matter of right” to an “accessory use. “
4) in the RC and RR districts, increase the size of a lot/land parcel needed to have any type of livestock from 40,00 square feet to a minimum of 3 acres;
5)      for all properties, except “farms” as defined above, limit the number of livestock per acre as  follows3:  
Horses or Mules:   1 per 1.5 acres
Ponies, miniature horses or donkeys 1 per ¾ acre
Llamas or alpacas 1 per  16,335 sq. ft.
(slightly more than 1 per 1/3 acre)

Goats or sheep 1 per 13,036sq. ft.
(slightly less than 1/3 acre)

4) require all properties in agricultural use, except “farms” as defined above,  to comply with side of property set back requirements.  (Note:  the proposed regs penalize lots/parcels over three acres by having a 30 ft side set back instead of a 10 ft setback for smaller properties).  This means you can no longer put an ag structure right on or next to your side property line.

5) prohibit the operation of farm machinery on all properties on which livestock are  kept (except on “farms” meeting the definition above).
What happens if your farming or livestock keeping operation does not comply with these proposed regulations if they are passed?

Existing uses will be allowed to continue, but if your noncompliance is brought to the County’s attention, you most likely will be required to go through an extensive County process to get a “nonconforming use”  designation.  This usually requires getting an attorney.  There will be a hearing on the matter where you will  be required to prove that the uses in which you are not in compliance were occurring before the new zoning regulations went into effect.  If you cannot prove this, your farming/livestock keeping operation must come into compliance with the new regulations or it can be shut down.

If the regulations are passed as proposed, you will not be able to expand your livestock keeping  to have more than the number of animals specified in the regulations and you will not be able to build anything in the side setback area of your property as of the effective date of the new regulations.

What can I do now?

E-mail members of the Howard County Council and the County Executive and say “STOP.”  These proposed regulations have not  been discussed with the agricultural community, particularly those on small to medium sized farms who will be most affected.  It is extremely important that this discourse occur before any changes to the regulations are made,particularly since these proposed regulations would appear to seriously effect the long term viability of the horse and other specialty livestock industries in the County.


District 1   Courtney Watson (Elkridge area)
District 2   Calvin Ball (Columbia)
District 3   Jennifer Terrasa (Eastern/South eastern portion of County)
District 4   Mary Kay Sigaty  (Columbia/ (Highland/Clarksville)
District 5   Greg Fox  (Western Howard County, including Highland and parts of Clarksville)

Drafted by Susan Gray 240-426-1655

Small Horse Farm Owner
Land Use Attorney
Resident of Highland


The entirety of the proposed changes to the Zoning Regulations can be found by goggling “Howard County Council.”   You will see a header on the home page for Comprehensive Zoning 2013.”  Click on this and a menu related to comprehensive zoning will appear.  Click on “Text Amendments.”   Specific relevant proposed text changes are attached.
The following are the specific zoning text changes proposed that would affect keeping livestock in Howard County.

Section 103:  “Definitions”   Section of Zoning Regulations

“Farm:”  definition of “farm”  is proposed to be changed to require  a “farm” to not only require that “farming” be the principal use of the property, but also to require that the property have an agricultural tax assessment.  (See unmarked page 30, lines 26-27 of full text of Zoning Regulations or attached page 1).

“Farming:”  the existing definition of “farming” is proposed to be changed as follows: (see page  1 attached).

add phrase, “Not included in this definition [of “farming] are those uses subject to Section 128.0 permit requirements and Section 131.0 Conditional Use requirements.” See: page 31, lines 4 and 5, page 1 attached.

Implications of proposed change:  It is not clear what the phrase “permit requirements” refers to.   However, if the above proposed qualification is interpreted to apply to the proposed new section  “Livestock on residential lots and parcels”  found in Section 128.0 (see text of newly proposed Section 128.D.10 on page 12 attached),  then, if you are raising horses, sheep, goats, etc. on a lot or parcel whose use is principally residential, (see proposed new definition of “Residential lot or parcel” on page  2 attached), you will be defined by the proposed new regulations  to NOT be engaged in ‘farming,’ even though you are performing actions which under the existing Zoning Regulations constitute “farming.”  Since by exclusion from the definition of “farming” you are no longer engaged in “farming” as defined in the Zoning Regulations, the raising, breeding,  training, showing or recreational use, etc., of livestock are not activities you can do any longer as a “matter of right.”  Under the proposed text changes to be further explained below, these activities become an “accessory use” only in the RC and RR districts (i.e., western Howard County). add the following text:  “The operation of agricultural  machinery and equipment that is an accessory use to a principal farming function.  Agricultural machinery and equipment may be used on farms that are not the farm on which the machinery and equipment is normally stored.”  (Page 1 attached.).

Implications of proposed change:  Under Section 101.O of the existing Zoning Regulations, uses not specifically identified in the Zoning Regs as permitted, are not allowed.  This section reads as follows: “All uses are prohibited unless specifically enumerated as a use permitted as a matter of right or as an accessory use in the various districts as provided by these regulations.”  (Page 16, lines 11-12 of full text of Zoning Regulations.).   Because of this restriction and the use of the terms “accessory use to a principal farming function” and the reference to the use of the machinery on “farms,” it would appear that this proposed text amendment would authorize the use of farm machinery only on properties meeting the definition of a “farm.”

“Residential Lot or Parcel:  A lot or parcel improved with a single family residence as the principal use.”  This is a proposed new definition.  (See: page 45, lines 4,5 of full regulations or page 2  attached).
“Animal Unit:”  Proposed new definition  (page 21, lines 26-32,page 1 attached) defines the number of horses,  mules, ponies, miniature horses, donkeys, sheep, goats, llama and alpaca that comprise one “animal unit” for the purpose of limiting the number of animals per acre on residential lots and parcels.

Section 104 RC (Rural Conservation)

Section 104B:  Definition of “Farming”  under section of “Uses Permitted as a Matter of Right”(see: page 55 --not numbered, lines 28-29, or page 3 attached) is proposed to be changed to delete the requirement related to lot size.

Section 104C “Accessory Uses:”  This section is proposed to be revised to add  keeping “Livestock on Residential lots and parcels “as an “accessory use,”  and making such livestock keeping subject to the requirements of Section 128.0.D.”  See page 58, lines 23,24 or page 6 attached).

Section 104E “Bulk Regulations:”  Proposed text changes on page 60, lines 3,4 and lines 18,19, (see page 7 attached) impose 30 ft side property setback  for ag structures as an accessory use on properties greater than 3 acres, and 10 ft setback on properties less than 3 acres in size, respectively.

Section 105:   RR (Rural Residential) Zoning District

Section 104B:  Definition of “Farming”  under section  of “Uses Permitted as a Matter of Right” (page 67 --not numbered, lines 18-19, on page 8 attached) changed is proposed to be changed to delete the requirement related to lot size.

Section 105C “Accessory Uses:”  This section is proposed to be revised to add  keeping “Livestock on Residential lots and parcels,” as an “accessory use” and to  subject such livestock keeping to the requirements of Section 128.0.D.”  See page 70, lines 7,8, on page 11 attached).

Section 105E “Bulk Regulations:”  Proposed text changes on page 71, lines 30,31, and lines 45,46,  or see attached page _____, impose 30 ft side property setback  for ag structures as an accessory use on properties greater than 3 acres, and 10 ft side setback on properties less than 3 acres in size, respectively.

Section 128:   Supplementary Zoning District Regulations

Section 128.A.4:  Current regulations found on page 341, lines 16-25 are proposed to be deleted and new regulations on page 341, lines 27-41, on page11 attached, are proposed to be adopted.  Proposed revisions keep current  200 foot setback requirement for manure pile and animal shelters from neighbors’ house on separate lot.  Big change is found in lines 33-34 of propsed regulations which would require compliance with accessory structure setback requirements for applicable zoning district.  These setback requirements are found in Section 104E for the RC district and Section 105E for the RR zone.  (See pages  7 & 11 attached.).

Section 128.D.10: (See attached at page12).    This proposed new section is hugely important.  This section, when combined with the changes proposed to the definition of a “farm,” (Section 103.0 #76, on  page 1 attached), the changes proposed to the definition of “farming, “ (Section 103.0 #77 on page 1 attached), and the proposed new definition of a “residential lot or parcel, (Section 103.0 on page 2 attached),  eliminate the keeping of livestock on all residential lots or parcels as a “matter of right,” and allow the keeping of livestock on these properties “o]nly in residential districts where it is enumerated as an accessory use….” and only if the following conditions listed in the section are met (see Section 128.D.10 on page 12 attached):

The lot or parcel shall be at least 3 acres in size;
The single family residence on the property must be used as a dwelling;
The  maximum number of livestock on the property is one animal unit per 1.5 acres;
Animal shelter locations must comply w/ the setback requirements in Section 125B.

The number of animals by type equally one “animal unit”  is set out on page 1 attached.
The bulk requirements (now just setback limitations)  are discussed Section 104E and 105E above.

How do all these proposed regulation work together?

As mentioned above, under the existing regulations, if you are engaged in various types of agricultural activities, including the “breeding, raising, training, boarding and general care of livestock for uses other than for food, such as sport or show purposes, as pets, or for recreation…” you are considered engaged in “a normal farming function”  (see current definition of “farming” above) and thus your activity is allowed in many zoning districts in Howard County (west as well as eastern portion of County) as a matter of right.
Historically, and to date, in almost all zoning districts, whether you were engaged in farming activities allowed as a “matter of right” was simply determined by the actual activities you were engaged in.  Up until, 2011 and the passage of a winery bill (CB9-2011), there was not even a definition of a “farm” in the Zoning Regulations.   CB9-2011 added the term “farm” to the Definition section of the Zoning Regulations and defined it to mean “A lot or parcel principally used for farming.” This definition of a “farm,” because it requires the principal use of a property to be for agriculture, excludes most of the equine, and specialty livestock related activities taking place in the County because the vast majority of these activities are taking place on property where the principal use is residential.  This definitional change, which would make the definition of a farm apply to only a small number of agricultural operations in the County has been meaningless, however, to date, because no distinctions were made in the Zoning Regs between “farms” meeting this definition and “farms” not meeting the definition.
Now, however, the proposed regulations, with their creation of a new category of “farms,” embodied in the new definition of “residential lot or parcel) (i.e., those where agricultural activities are being conducted on parcels or lots, principally residential in nature, and not having an agricultural assessment), creates for zoning purposes two types of farms:  1)  those few whose principal use is agriculture & have an ag tax assessment, and 2) and everybody else who is engaged in the activities historically defined as “farming,” but just engaging in these activities on property whose principal use is residential. By creating this dichotomy , the County is able, in the proposed text amendments, to eliminate as a “matter of right,”  the keeping of livestock on properties now-defined as Non-farm properties (see change in definition of farming. The keeping of livestock on these properties is now allowed only as an accessory use and only in the zoning districts where this accessory use is explicitly enumerated. Since this use is only listed as an accessory use in the western portion of the County (RR and RC zones),  keeping of livestock on these non-farm properties in the eastern portion of the county would be prohibited, if the proposed text amendments are adopted.  Almost all horse and other specialty animal owners and trainers in western Howard County would be subjected to new, stringent regulations on their animal keeping,, and because livestock keeping is no longer a use as a “matter of right,” but instead is an “accessory use, “ the continued future use of their property  for animal keeping would become more tenuous.
The bottom line in all of this is that these text amendments, if passed, would in one fell swoop make Howard County a  less than friendly place for the vast majority of horse and other specialty livestock owners, trainers, and other associated with these animals, if they are being cared for in Howard County. They clearly set the stage for driving Howard County’s major “farming” base out of the County.

Map showing RC and RR Zoning Districts (this is “western” portion of County) APPENDIX:       Proposed Zoning Text Amendments4
Section 103.0; Definition Changes
(Page 21 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 30 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 31 of Zoning Regulations)`

(Page 45 of Zoning Regulations)
 (Page 55 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 56 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 57 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 58 of Zoning Regulation)

(Page 59 – 60 of Zoning Regulations)
Section 104E  Bulk Regulations

(Page 67 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 68 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 69 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 70 of Zoning Regulations)

(Page 71 of Zoning Regulations)
Section 105E.$:  Minimum Setback Requirements Structures (same as regulations at page 7 of this Appendix for RC Zone.)

(Page 341 of Zoning Regulations)
Section 128.0 Supplemental Zoning Regulations
Section 128.A.4

(Page 356 of Zoning Regulations)
Section 128.D.10

Here's more complete info on the proposed Howard County zoning changes

Click here for full info.


The Howard County Council is in the process of adopting new zoning regulations for the County.  At this time, it anticipates finalizing the regulations on July 25, 2013.  Included among the changes being considered are ones which would very significantly affect the farm community, particularly those raising livestock (including horses) on small to medium size farms.  These proposed regulations, if passed, will likely make it much more difficult for equine, as well as other specialty farming interests (i.e., sheep, goat and alpaca), to thrive.  These interests are now the backbone of agriculture in the County and contribute vast sums to the County’s tax base and its economy.
Action is needed NOW. E-mail members of the Howard County Council and the County Executive and say “STOP.”  These proposed regulations have not  been discussed with the agricultural community, particularly those on small to medium sized farms who will be most affected.  It is extremely important that this public dialog should occur before any changes to the regulations are made, particularly since these proposed regulations would appear to seriously affect the long term viability of the horse and other specialty livestock industries in the County. 
District 1   Courtney Watson (Elkridge area)
District 2   Calvin Ball (Columbia)
District 3   Jennifer Terrasa (Eastern/Southeastern portion of County)
District 4   Mary Kay Sigaty  (Columbia/ (Highland/Clarksville)
District 5   Greg Fox  (Western Howard County, including Highland and parts of Clarksville)

For more information, contact Susan Gray 240-426-1655,

Monday, May 27, 2013

Details of proposed federal legislation on drug use in racehorses

Here, courtesy of, is info about this new proposed legislation to regulate drug use in racehorses.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Annapolis Legislative Session Wrap-up

The dust has fully settled on this year's legislative session in Annapolis. Here is the final outcome of the bills MHC has been following:

SB819/HB1156 These bills would codify Maryland’s current contributory negligence liability standard, ensuring that the contributing fault of an injured party can be asserted as a defense in a lawsuit. The law would only go into effect in the event that a pending court decision strikes down the current standard (which is generally favorable to horse owners and horse business operators). DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE
HB1182 This bill freezes the current law, and creates a commission, largely composed of legislators, to study it. DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE
MHC supported these bills.

SB37/HB865 These bills authorize a court to order a defendant convicted of a specified charge of animal cruelty, as a condition of sentencing, to pay, in addition to any other fines and costs, all reasonable costs incurred in removing, housing, treating, or euthanizing an animal confiscated from the defendant. Favorable report from Senate; did not make it out of House Committee. MHC supported these bills.

SB 820/HB767 These bills create a state fund to support programs to spay/neuter dogs and cats. The bills provide that the fund will be partially supported by a surcharge on “commercial feeds.” MHC has requested an amendment that the surcharge be applied only on dog and cat feeds, as horse feeds are already subjected to a fee that supports the MD Horse Industry Board. BILL AMENDED TO LIMIT TO DOG AND CAT FEED; PASSED

HB 1440 This bill makes clear that “compost” is not part of the solid waste stream, and authorizes the Department of the Environment to draft regulations governing compost facilities. MHC is exploring possible future programs that would facilitate composting of horse manure, and is working to ensure input into the MDE drafting process. PASSED

SB 1029 This bill creates a volunteer program within the Department of Agriculture, administered in cooperation with the Department of Environment, to recognize the environmental stewardship and contribution of Maryland farmers who implement and maintain best management practices consistent with the state’s goals of reducing the amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment entering the Chesapeake Bay and other waters of the state. This bill essentially codifies, formalizes and makes somewhat more stringent the current Farm Stewardship Certification and Assessment Program (FSCAP), currently operated by the MD Association of Soil Conservation Districts. MHC’s Farm Stewardship Committee has been working to include more horse farms in the FSCAP program. PASSED

Hunting bills. MHC has consistently opposed allowing weapons hunting on Sundays on public or private lands, as this creates an unacceptable risk for other users.
SB 2/HB66 Dorchester County, turkey hunting, Sundays on public land. PASSED
SB24/HB214 Queen Anne’s, deer hunting, Sundays on private lands. PASSED
HB 543 Carroll, deer hunting, Sundays on private lands. PASSED
HB365 PASSED, HB366 UNFAVORABLE REPORT, HB671 DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE These were bills to reduce bow hunting buffer zones.
MHC has consistently opposed extending hunting to Sundays on public or private land, and will be working with other stakeholders to develop strategies to address this issue in the next legislative session.

Racing bills
SB858 Ejections from race tracks - appeals. UNFAVORABLE REPORT
SB 961 This bill will help determine the future of the Bowie Race Course Training Center. PROVISIONS REGARDING BOWIE WERE STRICKEN FROM THE BILL. PASSED
HB1503 This bill increases to $150,000 the amount of the annual grant from the Purse Dedicated Fund to Fair Hill. UNFAVORABLE REPORT

Other bills of interest
HB 1282 This bill establishes an Agricultural Land Condemnation Board to hold public meetings to consider proposed State and local condemnations of prime and productive farmland for “environmental mitigation purposes” and to issue written decisions on whether to approve proposed condemnations. DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE

SB427/HB796 These bills allow a credit against the State income tax for the diminution in value of specified agricultural land resulting from enactment of the Sustainable Growth and Agricultural Preservation Act of 2012 and adoption of specified regulations related to nutrient management. DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE

HB378 This bill authorizes the Comptroller, subject to approval from the Maryland Agricultural Land Preservation Foundation (MALPF), to use agricultural land preservation funds to reimburse a landowner for the release of a specified easement restriction when a lot is not used to construct a dwelling house. Passed in House. PASSED

SB 970 This bill creates a cause of action under specified circumstances for an owner of property to use against the Department of Agriculture, the Department of the Environment, the Department of Natural Resources, or the Department of Planning if the application of specified regulations adopted by any of these agencies infringes on a private property right of the property owner. DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE

SB 364 This bill requires the University of Maryland Cooperative Extension Service to provide a dedicated extension agent to assist individuals with the adoption of management-intensive farming and grazing practices, and requires the Governor to provide at least $500,000 each year to support the Department of Agriculture's activities related to management-intensive farming and grazing, beginning in fiscal year 2015. Hearing was 2/12. The cross-filed bill (HB400) received an unfavorable committee report and was withdrawn. WITHDRAWN

SB 404/HB408 These bills provide a subtraction modification (credit) under the Maryland individual and corporate income tax for specified expenses incurred to buy and install enhanced agricultural management equipment (including manure spreaders) under specified circumstances. PASSED

HB623 This bill provides a statutory definition for the “agricultural land management practices” that are exempt from certain sediment and erosion control requirements, including “those methods and procedures used in the preparation and cultivation of land in order to further crop and livestock production . . ..” DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE

SB796/HB1091 These bills require, on written request of a landowner in an application to purchase an easement, an easement to authorize the landowner to use the land subject to the easement for renewable energy generation under specified circumstances. DID NOT MAKE IT OUT OF COMMITTEE

MHC to vote on anti-soring bill

At the next Quarterly meeting, MHC will vote on a resolution in support of a bill recently introduced in the US Congress: H.R. 1518. This bill, known as the "Prevent All Soring Tactics Act of 2013," would require disqualification of a horse from being exhibited if it is determined to be sore; require the USDA to license, train, assign and oversee persons to inspect horses for soreness at shows, exhibitions, sales and auctions; and provide for public disclosure of violations.
In addition, H.R. 1518 would make causing a horse to become sore, the use of an "action device" and/or a weighted shoe, pad, wedge, hoof band (that is used to artificially alter the gait and is not strictly protective or therapeutic) on any limb of a Tennessee Walking Horse, a Racking Horse or a Spotted Saddle Horse at a show, exhibition, sale or auction, and/or the failure to obey an order of disqualification punishable by fines up to $5000 and/or imprisonment for up to 3 years. The bill also provides for permanent disqualification of persons, after the third violation, from participating in, attending (other than as a spectator) or financing participation by others at any horse show, exhibition, auction or sale.

Plan to attend the Quarterly Meeting and make your voice heard! For location, details, click here.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

MD Dept. of Natural Resources seeks input on improving trails

From MHC Trails and Greenways Committee:

Request for Comments

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking comments on equestrian issues and concerns about Maryland state owned trails, located in state parks, state forests and wildlife management areas.  The comments will be incorporated into the "Land Preservation and Recreation Plan" or "LPRP", which is done every five years.  Last time, trails were left out entirely.  This year,  trails will be included and given significant space.  The plan may include maintenance, improvements, new trails and land purchases.

A "Trails Working Group" was formed consisting of representatives of trail user interest groups (equestrians, hikers, mountain bikers, ATV'ers, etc.) and asked to survey their member's for issues and concerns.  What changes and improvements would you like to see implemented?

General comments such as, "Enlarge trailhead parking lots for trailers", will be included in the body of the report.  Specific comments such as, "Enlarge the parking lot for trailers at Monocacy NRMA", will be included in the Appendix.

Please send your comments so that DNR can improve our trail riding experience and increase our riding opportunities.
Ron MacNab will be collecting comments from trail riders through the Yahoo Groups, MarylandTrailRiders , and TROT-Members,  or you may email him directly using the subject line "Request for Comments" at

All comments due by June 15.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Proposed federal legislation would give US Ant-Doping Agency authority to regulate racing

According to the New York Times, a bill about to be introduced into Congress will give USADA authority over the use of drugs and medications in horse racing. Click here to read the article.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Equine Vets and Controlled Substances

MHC Executive Committee Member (soon to be MHC VP) and equine vet Dr. Peter Radue recently received this letter from The American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP).  Under current federal law, it is illegal for any veterinarian to use controlled substances away from his/her licensed premises. This means that technically, vets are prohibited from carrying and using medications for pain management and euthanasia, if necessary, at your farm or stable. Although the law has not previously enforced, DEA has recently warned vets in California and Washington state that they are in violation. If you believe that equine and other mobile vets should be able to carry controlled substances in their trucks please contact your congressman using the link below.  If vets are unable to carry controlled substances they will be unable to address emergency situations requiring pain relief or euthanasia.

Dear Dr. Radue:
The AAEP Welfare and Public Policy Advisory Council is working with the AVMA and Congress to ensure that veterinarians can provide complete care to their animal patients.  With the recent introduction of the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528) we have the opportunity to make an impact.
As large animal veterinarians, most of us have frequent need to use controlled substances to treat our patients at the stables, ranches, farms and other sites where they live.  However, the provisions of the existing Controlled Substances Act
  (CSA) make it illegal for any veterinarian to transport and/or use controlled substances outside of the DEA license location that is registered for that individual. This means that it is currently illegal for veterinarians to carry and use these vital medications for pain management, anesthesia or euthanasia on farms, at house calls, in veterinary mobile clinics, or in ambulatory response situations.
Veterinarians must be able to legally carry and use controlled substances for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, to safeguard public safety and to protect the nation’s food supply.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which enforces the law, has informed organized veterinary medicine that without a statutory change, many veterinarians are in violation of the CSA and cannot legally administer controlled substances away from their registry site. The DEA has already notified some veterinarians in California and Washington State that they are in violation of this law.
We encourage you to contact your members of Congress and urge them to support the Veterinary Medicine Mobility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1528). This act would amend the CSA that currently prohibits veterinarians from transporting controlled substances to treat their animal patients outside of their registered locations.
Please join us in telling Congress that veterinarians need to be able to transport controlled substances to the locations of their animal patients, not only for the health and welfare of the nation’s animals, but for public safety.
The link below takes you to the AVMA Legislative Action Center where you can easily express your support of H.R. 1528.  Contact information for your representative(s) is generated  automatically by your zip code and a message which you may edit is provided.
Take Action!
 Thank you for your advocacy.
Ann E, Dwyer, DVM
2013 AAEP President

Tuesday, April 23, 2013



Executive Summary
Current Maryland State law requires the Bowie Race Course Training Facility to operate as a thoroughbred training facility.  Numerous attempts have been made in the past few years to repeal that law, but none have passed.  Current State statute also states that when the facility is no longer required for thoroughbred training, the State will have first right of refusal for the property, followed by the City of Bowie.  The current law will have to be repealed in order to stop thoroughbred training at Bowie, which can not happen until the next legislative session.

1.      Current State statute 11-519 requires Bowie to operate as a thoroughbred training facility.  That statute has not been repealed, although Senator Peters' bill in 2013, and Senator Peters' and Delegates Hubbard’s and Valentino-Smith’s bills in 2011 attempted to do so.  None of those bills repealing the statute have passed.  Under current statute, Bowie will have to continue as a thoroughbred training facility at least through the next legislative session when another attempt to repeal the statute could be introduced.

Statute Text:
“Article - Business Regulation §11–519.
(a) The owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center shall operate the Center as a thoroughbred training facility to provide more stall space for a race meeting that a licensee holds.
(b) The owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center is responsible for the cost to improve, maintain, and operate the Center.
(c) As long as the Bowie Race Course Training Center is used for the purpose specified in subsection (a) of this section, the Commission shall have general regulatory jurisdiction over the Center to:
(1) provide enough stalls;
(2) maintain safe operating conditions;
(3) require the owner of the Center to submit an annual operating financial statement; and
(4) order reasonable improvements.”

Stature 11-519 requiring Bowie to operate as a thoroughbred training facility has not been repealed in legislation as of this date.

2.      Below is a summary of the recent proposed legislation to convey the Bowie Race Course Training Center to state, county, and City of Bowie and to repeal the statute to operate Bowie as a Thoroughbred training facility.

Bowie Race Course legislation included in Sen Peters’ original Senate bill SB961 -
 Horse Racing – Special Takeout and Bowie Race Course Training Center
Pertinent language:

“… repealing certain requirements that a certain racing licensee maintain the operation of the Center….

 …BY repealing and reenacting, with amendments, 
Article – Business Regulation
Section 11–514 and 11–519
Annotated Code of Maryland
(2010 Replacement Volume and 2012 Supplement)…

(Bowie portion, including 11-519 repeal, removed from SB961in amendment and passed in Senate and House and signed into law April 9, 2013.)

Bowie property conveyance and language referring to required operation included in an amendment to proposed legislation for SB152 -  Budget Reconciliation and Financing Act of 2012 (Amendment attached, not linked- see pages 5 and 6).
Note:  Full SB152 and amendment did not include 11-519 repeal as other legislation had; alternate language in section (4)(ii)1 below.
“(4) (i) A racing licensee of a racetrack location at Laurel Park shall:
1. maintain the operation of the Bowie Training Center;
 2. convey the property associated with the Bowie Training Center as preserved land.
(ii) 1. When the Bowie Training Center is no longer required by the State to be operated as a thoroughbred training facility, the State shall have the right of first refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
2. The City of Bowie shall have the second right of refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
3. A grantee under subsubparagraph 1 or 2 of this subparagraph may not be required to operate the Bowie Training Center as a training facility.”

 (Did not pass)

Sen Peters’ 2011 Senate bill SB491 -  Authorizing the owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center to convey the property associated with the training center to the State, Prince George's County, or the City of Bowie; and providing for the construction of specified provisions of law.” Included repeal of 11-519.
Del Hubbard and Del Valentino-Smith’s 2011 House bill – HB557 -  “Authorizing the owner of the Bowie Race Course Training Center to convey the property associated with the training center to the State as preserved land under Program Open Space.”  Included repeal of 11-519.
(Neither passed)
3.      Current State statute (2011) states when Bowie Training Center is no longer required to be operated as a thoroughbred training facility, the State shall have first right of refusal for conveyance of the property, and the City of Bowie has second right of refusal.  This statute does not repeal 11-519.
Article 9-1A-09 – Article - State Government
§9–1A–09. IN EFFECT
(a) As a condition of eligibility for funding under § 9–1A–29 of this subtitle, a racing licensee shall:
(4) (i) A racing licensee of a racetrack location at Laurel Park shall:
1. maintain the operation of the Bowie Training Center; or
2. convey the property associated with the Bowie Training Center as preserved land.
(ii) 1. When the Bowie Training Center is no longer required by the State to be operated as a thoroughbred training facility, the State shall have the right of first refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
2. The City of Bowie shall have the second right of refusal as grantee for any conveyance under subparagraph (i) of this paragraph.
3. A grantee under subsubparagraph 1 or 2 of this subparagraph may not be required to operate the Bowie Training Center as a training facility.

9–1A–09. // EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 31, 2013 PER CHAPTER 412 OF 2011 //
(4) If a video lottery operation license is issued to a racetrack location at Laurel Park, the video lottery operation licensee shall:
(i) maintain the operation of the Bowie Training Center; or
(ii) if State law no longer requires the Bowie Training Center to operate as a training facility, convey the property associated with the Bowie Training Center to the State as preserved land under Program Open Space.” 

4.  Additional information of interest:
-Language in 10-year Agreement
 “…The MTHA has also agreed to a closure of Bowie Training Center on January 1, 2014 in return for a binding commitment to build 300 net new stalls at Laurel Park funded in part by the MTHA to properly accommodate horsemen displaced by the closure.”
And:  “Highlights of the Agreement” - Bowie Training Center -
Legislation and Commission approval to authorize the closing of Bowie is contingent upon the construction of 300 new stalls at Laurel no later than December 31, 2014 and a requirement that Laurel Park and Pimlico remain open for year-round stabling and training at no cost to the horsemen.  Such legislation and Commission approval shall also provide that Bowie may not be closed until completion of the initial 150 stalls.”

Note:  Even if the 150 stalls are completed in 2013, the current statute has not been repealed.   Bowie will be required to operate as a Thoroughbred training facility until a bill is introduced and passed in a legislative session repealing that statute.
-Additional details on the agreement are also included in The Equiery’s blog post:  “Finally, A Happy Christmas for Racing” (Dec. 18, 2012), but no Bowie discussion.