CLOSE links and ties between the Irish equine sector and Maryland, USA were fostered during a highly successful trade visit this week from the Maryland Horse Industry Board.

The Maryland group worked closely with Chris Ryan and Frances Horgan of the Traditional Irish Horse Association (TIHA), visiting thoroughbred and sport horse studs, yards, and sales houses in a whirlwind week. Executive Director at the Maryland Horse Industry Board, Ross Peddicord said the Maryland Horse Industry Board was ‘delighted to provide the chance for Irish equine businesses to explore opportunities for future partnerships and trade with Maryland Five-Star and Maryland Horse Industry Board.’ Governor Larry Hogan (Rep) also attended a Thursday evening reception in Dublin with Irish equine industry figures.

Synonymous with top events such as the Preakness Stakes, the Maryland Hunt Cup, the Washington International Horse Show, and five-star Fair Hill, Maryland is known as America’s horse capital with more horses per square mile than any other State, including Kentucky.

Maryland is home to 100,000 horses from 40 breeders and the industry is a major player, contributing over $2.1 billion to Maryland’s economy p.a.

Chris Ryan of the Traditional Irish Horse Association, said: “To see the State funding in Maryland that comes from both industries - thoroughbred and sport horses - working together is something we can really learn from here.”

William Micklem underlined the importance of fostering international relations saying: “It is so important to foster these links, we always have a very special relationship with the USA. There is a horse for everyone, it’s a sport for all, a sport for life.”

  • (Next week: Feature on the Maryland Horse Industry Board’s trade trip to Ireland).