Maryland Horse History Trails

Maryland Horse History Trails

Horses at the beach 

Horses At The Beach"Horses At The Beach"

 Horses at the Beach Brochure

New Website Provides Residents with Self-Guided Tours of Maryland History

The first Maryland Historic Horse Trail, which includes 11 sites steeped in equine as well as Maryland history, was unveiled by the Maryland Horse Industry Board(MHIB) on July 13, 2014 at a special gathering during the evening’s race card at the Ocean Downs harness track in Berlin. MHIB is a program within the Maryland Department of Agriculture.

The self-guided “Horses At The Beach” driving tour, which takes place in Worcester and the southern part of Wicomico counties, can be accessed through the new website: www.MDhistorichorsetrails.com.

​ An accompanying brochure is available at tourism centers and can be downloaded from there website Eventually a phone app and historic markers will also help guide visitors along the trail.

The trail takes visitors from the Assateague National Seashore Park, home of Maryland’s famed “Wild Horses,” the Assateague Ponies, to Glen Riddle Farm, now a popular eatery that was once the training grounds of Thoroughbred horse racing legends Man o’War and War Admiral. The horses’ iconic status is honored in the stunning restoration of the farm’s training barn, in equine oil portraiture and in a History Hall of Fame. Other stops include Ocean Downs, which is celebrating its 65th anniversary, the Calvin B. Taylor Museum and Holly Ridge Equestrian Center, the area’s first certified Equine Experience Center where the public can enjoy and learn about horses firsthand.

The project is the brainchild of Angela Reynolds, prominent in state tourism circles and a member of the MHIB Horse History Committee. She presented the idea a year ago to committee Co-Chairs Karin DeFrancis and Jay Griswold. They encouraged her and fellow committee members Ellen Moyer and Margaret Worrall to proceed full speed ahead.

“Our hope is that this is the role model for several Historic Horse Trails that will be developed statewide,” Ms. DeFrancis said. Next up could be a Preakness Trail in the Baltimore region or one in Southern Maryland where horses are rooted in the state’s colonial past.

Reynolds enlisted the help of community and local tourism leaders as well as owners and curators of the various sites. Moyer, a former Mayor of Annapolis, and Worrall, one of the state’s most noted equine historians, researched the sites and wrote the background stories. All searched for vintage photographs to populate the website and brochure.

“This has been a labor of love for Ellen, Margaret and myself,” said Reynolds, who is the daughter of a horseman. One of the sites is the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin, a property owned by local horseman John Fager and managed by Reynolds. The hotel once housed the town’s livery stable and offered guests a horse drawn bus to take them to and from Ocean City.

Griswold added, “We are so proud of what Angela, Ellen and Margaret have achieved. With their help, we plan to maintain the integrity and appeal of this trail as we enlist more partners and expand this effort to develop more Historic Horse Trails all over Maryland.”

For more information, contact info@MDhistorichorsetrails.com or MHIB Executive Director Ross Peddicord at ross.peddicord@maryland.gov or 410-841-5798.