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.