Today, Maryland Horse Breeders Association (MHBA) leadership celebrated Purple Friday with the launch of the “Maryland’s Colts are Back” campaign.
The campaign will consist of radio ads, press events, canvassing efforts, as well as social media to educate Marylanders on how the promise that was made prior to the 2008 election is being kept to preserve Maryland farms and jobs. In just over a year, Maryland has seen a 13% increase in Maryland-bred mares, a 23% increase in new stallions for the 2014 breeding season and the launch of the Maryland-Bred Awards Program. Funded by slots proceeds, the program has helped boost local breeding, selling and racing.
The new Maryland-bred incentive program is intended to resurrect the Maryland horse breeding industry, which has undergone a devastating decline in recent years. This innovative program provides the incentive to breed new horses through an immediate increase of breeder bonuses for Maryland-bred horses, and will also provide attractive financial incentives to own horses both now and in the future.
“For the first time in a decade we have seen a new farm open its doors, said Maryland Horse Breeders Association President Josh Pons. “If we create a few hundred more horses, we can create a few thousand more jobs. We are part of long agricultural tradition in Maryland spanning back 270 years. The Maryland-Bred Awards Program is about preserving that tradition.”
The Maryland horse industry preserves almost 600,000 acres of pristine land, supports 14,000 jobs, and has an economic impact of $1.6 billion in Maryland.
“There are very few farms that can sit so close to dense residential populations in Maryland and still be seen as a benefit to the community. Horse farms are on the frontline helping to stop sprawl,” said Pons.
With Baltimore’s football stadium as a backdrop, Maryland horse industry leaders, along with MHBA spokeshorses Alden’s Malibu and Mosby’s Raider ask Ravens fans to say hello on game day as the “Maryland’s Colts Are Back” campaign walks through Ravens viewing hotspots in Baltimore City.