Phase One of a new study conducted by the Maryland Horse Industry Board and the Maryland Stadium Authority finds that the concept of developing a Maryland Horse Park continues to be vital to the growth of the state's horse industry but offers some new approaches to an initial study conducted in 2005.
The original study recommended building a large central facility similar to the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Ky. for about $120 million. The new study finds that Maryland already has many of the essential components for such a park at existing facilities. It suggests that a new horse park can be made up of a system of existing and perhaps upgraded equine facilities across the state that can be linked together and operate cooperatively rather than as strictly individual venues.
While suggesting that a linked system would likely work for Maryland, the study makes no conclusive recommendation on actual implementation and leaves the door open to other possibilities.
Phase 2 of the study will investigate exactly what needs to be done to maximize the use of the state's current equine facilities and study the potential these facilities have for attracting national and international events, competitions, and visitors to Maryland. The second phase is scheduled to begin early in 2013 and be completed by the fall. The study is funded jointly by the MHIB and the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.
Full study: www.mda.maryland.gov/pdf/Horse_Park_2012.pdf