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Maryland Horse Breeders Association records

 Collection 0049-MDHC

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association was founded in 1929 as an agency dedicated to the promotion and protection of the Maryland horse industry. The collection consists of office files of the association, which reflect activities such as publishing the Maryland Horse; reviewing legislation concerning the racing industry in Maryland; supporting increased opportunities for Maryland horse breeders; and promoting horse shows and sales, steeple chasing, and thoroughbred racing.


  • 1929-1979

Use and Access to Collection

This collection is open to the public and must be used in the Special Collections reading room. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


19.00 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association records document the activities of the organization from 1929-1979; the bulk of the materials consists of registration applications which date from 1951- 1975. Subjects covered include horse shows, sales, and racing; registration of Maryland bred horses; Maryland Fund bonus payments; the publications program of the association; and the syndication of stallions.

Biographical / Historical

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) was established January 16, 1929 by a group of thirty three horsemen as an agency dedicated to the promotion, protection and education of the Maryland horse industry. To achieve these goals, the organizers of the MHBA elected a board of directors and chose its five member executive committee from among them, a governance structure which has been retained up until the present time. Major activities did not begin until the waning of the Depression. During the June 24, 1936 directors' meeting, a proposal was made to establish a newsletter, Maryland Horse, to be published on a monthly basis. From the modest beginning of a four-page issue, it grew within a year to almost fifty pages and garnered an international mailing list of 2500. Maryland Horse has been the principal instrument of publicity and education for the MHBA. The association includes within its wide spectrum of interests pony and horse shows, horse sales, hunt club and draft horse activities, steeplechasing and thoroughbred racing. The MHBA was also given representation on the Maryland State Fair Board in 1937.

The MHBA has confronted many issues throughout its history. In 1937, Virginia and Delaware horse breeders proposed a merger which might have eventually led to a large eastern association, comprising all the states from Maine to Florida. After considerable discussion and debate, the MHBA decided that Maryland had unique problems which could only be best served by a strong local delegation, and the proposal was voted down. The MHBA has taken an active voice in legislation concerning the racing industry in Maryland such as revising stallion fees taxation laws in 1937, working against dog racing and winter racing proposals in 1967, and supporting legislation promoting better racing conditions and opportunities for Maryland breeders such as the Maryland Fund. This fund was established in 1962 by the state legislature to award a bonus to the breeders whose winners were bred or foaled in Maryland and a smaller bonus to the owners of Maryland sires of Maryland bred winners. The winners must be registered through the MHBA in order to be certified as eligible for these bonuses.

The MHBA holds directors' meetings monthly or more often as deemed necessary by the president. Standing committees include legislative, membership, show, sales, registration, and the Maryland Fund. Sources of funding include annual and semi annual horse sales in which the MHBA is a fifty fifty partner with the Fasig Tipton Auctioneering Company as well as revenue from registrations, membership dues, commissions, track and fair board contributions, and advertising.

The MHBA is dedicated to fostering and preserving Maryland traditions, to encouraging research and education, to promoting Maryland as an ideal state for the horse industry, and to protecting the industry by promoting beneficial legislation not only for professional horsemen but for amateurs and the interested public as well.


This collection is organized as nine series:

Series 1
Series 2
Administrative Files
Series 3
Series 4
Series 5
Series 6
Series 7
Breeder's Bonuses
Series 8
Maryland-Bred Registrations
Series 9

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Maryland Horse Breeders Association records were donated to the University of Maryland at College Park Libraries by the association in 1976. In 2018, a Maryland Horse Breeders Association baseball cap was donated to the collection.

Related Material

The Maryland Room has within its holdings an incomplete run of Maryland Horse magazine beginning with volume 12 (1949); the call number is SF 277.M3 Folio. Also included are: Horse Play vol. l(1973), call number SF 309.H64, Folio (after 1975, published independently); Eastern Fall Yearling Sale, 1969, call number SF 299.M32; Maryland Fall Mixed Sales, 1976, call number SF 299.M3l; Maryland Fall Sales, Horses of All Ages, 1972, call number SF 299.M3; Maryland Spring Sales of Selected Two Year olds, 1977, call number SF 299.M35; Timonium Fall Yearling Sale, 1976, call number SF 299.M33; Gittings, David Sterett, Maryland and the Thoroughbred, call number SF 283.G55.

Processing Information

A preliminary box inventory was created using the file headings as established by the MHBA. Some duplicate materials were discarded during the initial inventory process. A description of the collection was written.

After examination of the preliminary box inventory, the series and subseries were determined. All file headings were retained from the existing file structure. Where no file headings existed, they were created; these headings are enclosed in brackets [ ] wherever they appear. All the files were examined, and extraneous material discarded; the files were then sorted according to series assignment and all materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes. Within the series and subseries, the MHBA's original chronological order was retained.

Guide to the Maryland Horse Breeders Association records
Preliminary inventory prepared by Janet Strickland.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742