MHIB Board Members

In January of 1998 the Maryland Horse Council created proposed legislation for the formation of a Maryland Horse Industry Board to work with the Department of Agriculture, to function as a commodity board for the development of the industry. In April of 1998, the proposed legislation was passed into law. The purpose of the Maryland Horse Industry Board is to help develop and promote the state’s horse industry.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture and other interested parties can make recommendations to the Governor’s office, but ultimately the appointments are at the Governor’s discretion.

For the Thoroughbred Industry:
James B. Steele, Chairman

A Thoroughbred owner and breeder for nearly 40 years, James B. Steele has managed the multi-breed stallion station Shamrock Farm since 1977. Jim is currently president of Maryland Million LTD., past second vice-president of the Maryland Farm Bureau, past president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, past chairman of the Maryland Agricultural Commission and the Carroll County Agriculture Commission, past president of the Carroll County Farm Bureau, a former member of the Committee to Review Ag Land Preservation and a former member of the governor’s special commission to study slots and gaming in Maryland. In the mid-1990s, he served on the governor’s special commission that recommended that the state and the Maryland Department of Agriculture formally recognize horses, as well as other nontraditional forms of agriculture such as turf farms and nurseries, as part of Maryland agriculture. Jim and his wife Christie have five sons and four grandchildren.

For Licensed Board & Riding Stables:
Karen Fulton, Vice Chairman

Karen Fulton and her husband Stephen have owned and operated Full Moon Farm LLC at its Finksburg location since 1994. Full Moon Farm is an 80-acre full-service lesson and boarding facility, teaching anout 200 students per week and running numerous horse shows, schooling days and unrecognized horse trials, including a longformat three-day event. Karen is the resident head instructor and coach and manages the staff of the farm. Although once an active competitor in the Chicago area from which she came, Karen now prefers to teach and coach students, including her husband and two daughters Savannah and Grace. She and Stephen were active members of Goshen Hounds for several years and now take students out occasionally with Carrollton Hounds. Karen is a member of USEF, USEA, USHJA, MCTA and the AQHA. She is a former Level 3 certified instructor from ARIA. Karen has a BS in Animal Science from Purdue University and a MS in Comparative Animal Nutrition from Michigan State. She helped to establish Purdue’s first intercollegiate riding team and participated on the horse judging teams at PU and MSU both as a competitor and coach. Prior to her full-time involvement with the horse industry she was a research associate with the National Zoological Park for three years and was Baltimore Zoo’s Associate Curator of Mammals for seven years. Karen serves on the MHIB’s Health Advisory Committee.

For the Academic Equine Community
Dr. Amy Burk

Dr. Amy Burk serves as the coordinator for the undergraduate Equine Studies option within the Animal and Avian Sciences Department at the University of Maryland. She completed her graduate work in Animal and Poultry Sciences as a Pratt Fellow in Animal Nutrition at Virginia Tech, earning an MS in 1998 and a PhD in 2001. At UMD, she teaches Horse Management and Equine Science along with presenting many other horse-related lectures and labs within the department’s four-year curriculum. As an Extension Horse Specialist, Amy provides statewide educational leadership and training in the areas of equine nutrition and pasture management. She is the project coordinator for the Equine Rotational Grazing Demonstration Site in Ellicott City where she hosts many pasture-related educational events. She has received several awards including the Outstanding Educator Award from the Equine Science Society and the Poffenberger Excellence in Teaching and Advising Award from the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources at the University of Maryland. She grew up riding in the Linthicum 4-H Hi-Riders and St. Margaret’s Pony Club, both based in Anne Arundel County

For Organized Shows and Competitions:
Karin DeFrancis

Karin DeFrancis received a B.A. degree at Newcomb College in New Orleans, majoring in Communications/Journalism and History. After obtaining her J.D. degree from Georgetown Law School, she served for several years as a Deputy District Attorney in Orange County, CA. She is the daughter of the late Frank J. DeFrancis, former president of Laurel and Pimlico, and was active in the management of Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Courses. She oversaw the Marketing, Media, Special Events and Public Relations Departments, and later, as Executive Vice President, the operation, management and growth of the Preakness Stakes. Karin served as Executive Producer of the film, “The Preakness: An American Classic,” which won the 2000 Eclipse Award for local television. She was Executive Producer for a series of television commercials created in cooperation with the State of Maryland that won 13 National Vision awards for 2001, including National “Best of Show” and “Best Use of Humor.” With fellow members of the MHIB’s Marketing Committee, Karin launched the Film Festival “Horses in Cinema…A Celebration of the Preakness,” which debuted at the American Film Institute’s Silver Theatre in 2012. She represented the Maryland Jockey Club at the 2012 GI Film Festival kickoff at Washington’s Newseum. She is President of the Board of Directors of the Maryland Horsemen’s Assistance Fund, a member of the Board of Directors of the Baltimore City Police Department’s Signal 13, a member of the board of the Thoroughbred Alliance Show Series and serves on the Laurel Racetrack Impact Fund Committee and Advisory Council of the American Film Institute Silver Theatre and Cultural Center. She now consults for the Maryland Jockey Club.. 


For Animal Control and Humane Societies:
Beverly Raymond

Beverly, an early member of the Maryland Combined Training Association, was a state inspector of riding and boarding stables and veterinary hospitals for the Maryland Department of Agriculture from the late 1970's through 2010.  She was a founding member of the Maryland Horse Council and has spearheaded programs for the Maryland Department of Agriculture throughout her career.  She received a Governor's Citation for her work with the Maryland You Are Beautiful program, was awarded the Employee of the Quarter for the Maryland Department of Agriculture in 2004. She received the Anne Pumphrey Unsung Hero Memorial Award at the 1999 Maryland Horsemen's Party, and was the Maryland Horse Council's Horse Person of the Year in 2011. In July of 2013 the American Horse Council presented Beverly with the Van Ness Award; honoring a person who has shown leadership and service to the horse community in her state.

For Equine Veterinarians:
Michael J. Odian, DVM

Dr. Michael J. Odian, who has been practicing veterinary medicine for 19 years, operates a general equine practice focusing on sport horse medicine. His clients include many of the top competition horses in the state, from Grand Prix jumpers and A Circuit show hunters to World Champion Western reining horses. He also breeds and raises Clydesdale and Percheron draft horses and is president of the Maryland Draft Horse and Mule Association.  Dr. Odian received his B.S. at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and his veterinary degree at the Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island. He formerly served as the track veterinarian for the Thistledown Thoroughbred track and the Northfields Park Standardbred track in Ohio before moving to Maryland in 2003. Dr. Odian is a member of the American Association of Equine Practitioners, the American Veterinary Medical Association and the International Society of Equine Locomotive Pathology. He and his wife, Maureen, have two children. Their daughter, Michaela, competes in Dressage competitions.

For Trails and Recreational Riding:
Ronald MacNab

Ronald MacNab retired in 2007 from the Graduate School of USDA where he was dean of Curriculum Development and director of Evening Programs and Distance Education. Prior to that, he was director of the Information Technology Training Center at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Like many recreational riders, he was introduced to horses in his youth and returned to riding later in life. Ron has been a horse owner and active trail rider for the past 25 years and is currently president of Trail Riders of Today (TROT), where he has been a member for more than 20 years. He is chairman of the Maryland Horse Council’s Trails and Greenways Committee, Montgomery County Coordinator for TROT, and a volunteer Mounted Patrol and Trail Ranger with Montgomery County Parks as well as a member of the MHC Executive Board. He is an appointed member of the Montgomery County Countywide Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee as well as a former TROT representative to the Southeastern Trails Conference and a longtime member of the League of Maryland Horsemen. He is currently mapping the equestrian trails in central Maryland and works with state and local officials to maintain and increase the number of multi-use natural surface trails in Maryland, establish GPS mapping for all Maryland horse trails and develop a list of state facilities with overnight camping accommodations for horses. Ron lives in Colesville where he and his wife Janet enjoy retirement with their two Rocky Mountain horses and their two Jack Russell Terriers..

For the Maryland Standardbred Industry:
Eli Solomon

An engineer who retired from Northrop Grumman Corporation’s Electronic Systems BWI facility, Eli Solomon complements his former highly technical career with a deep and abiding interest in all aspects of the Standardbred industry. As an owner and breeder of Standardbred horses, he has been involved  with legislative and regulatory issues, is on the board of Cloverleaf Standardbred Owners Association (CSOA), which represents Standardbreds at Rosecroft Raceway and Ocean Downs, and is on the board of the Maryland Standardbred Breeders Association (MSBA)..

For The Equine Support Industries:
Kathleen Tabor, Esquire

Kathleen J. P. Tabor was first appointed to the MHIB in 2009. An attorney by profession, she opened her own firm in 2004, a general civil practice with a special focus on agricultural and equine businesses, activities, and ownership. Her practice has taken her across the state. Kathleen is also a trained mediator and collaborative practitioner. She is a life member of the Maryland Horse Council and a member of the Executive Committee. She also serves on the advisory board of the Maryland Fund for Horses, Inc. She is a founding member of the Agriculture Law and Animal Law sections of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA). She serves as a mentor to first-year law students and to others interested in equine law. She is a regular speaker at the Maryland Horse World Expo. She has authored articles on equine-related legal and dispute resolution issues, authored MHC’s “Guide to County Zoning and Horses,” and is co-author of the book, Maryland Equine Law—A Legal Guide to Horse Ownership & Activities. Kathleen has had a lifelong passion for horses. She is a pleasure rider, but also enjoys driving when the opportunity arises. She held a commercial carriage license driving Percherons and Belgians in the cities of Philadelphia and Baltimore and also held a pari-mutuel teller’s license with the Maryland Jockey Club prior to attending law school.

For the Maryland Horse Council:
Dorothy Troutman

Dorothy Troutman is the founder and president of the Maryland Equestrian Foundation, which had an integral role in the creation of the Rosaryville Conservancy and the Marlborough Horse Trials. She is a director for the Maryland Association for the Preservation of Equestrian Sports and a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. Through her work with the Prince George’s County Council and the Park and Planning Board, Dorothy works tirelessly to protect open spaces and trails for equestrian use and to provide facilities for showing and eventing. At the core of Dorothy’s efforts is her conviction that the horse industry and equestrian events are assets not only to Prince George’s County, but also to the entire state. Through MHIB, Dorothy wants to increase public awareness of the long tradition of horses in Maryland and their impact on the state’s economy and image, and to work with MHIB to promote horses in the state; provide facilities, trails and open space for riding and enjoyment; educate the public on all aspects of the Maryland horse industry; support and protect horse owners, horses and the related businesses; and help meet their requirements and needs.

For the General Public:
Jay Griswold

Jay Griswold is a lifelong horseman with a distinguished career in the business world and in community service. He foxhunted with the Elkridge-Harford Hunt and Green Spring Valley Hounds as a youngster and, like his father Ben, became an accomplished amateur steeplechase jockey. From 1960-1985, he competed in a record 16 runnings of the Maryland Hunt Cup, finishing second four times, and losing by just a nose at age 43 in 1982. He won the 1996 Hunt Cup as an owner with Hello Hal. Jay, a direct descendant of Alexander Brown, is a former partner in Alex Brown & Sons and former senior advisor of its affiliate, Brown Investment Advisory, and former chair of Alex Brown Realty Advisors. He is currently a partner in Black Oak Associates, a Mid-Atlantic real estate investment firm. Community service positions include Chair Emeritus of the Maryland Historical Society and Chair Emeritus of the Board of Visitors and Governors of Washington College in Chestertown where he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2007 and served as Interim President in 2014-2015. He is a graduate of Gilman School and Princeton University. He and his wife Toni operate Wit’s End Farm in the Green Spring hunt territory where he continues to own and train steeplechase horses and hunt regularly. Jay has three children and six grandchildren.

For the Maryland Dept of Agriculture:
Steve Connelly

Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder promoted Steve Connelly to Assistant Secretary of Marketing, Animal Industries and Consumer Services in November 2015. This office includes a wide range of programs including Marketing and Agribusiness Development, Food Quality Assurance, Animal Health, Weights and Measures, Horse Industry Board, State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners, and Maryland Agricultural Fair Board. Prior to this appointment, Connelly served as the department’s Marketing Specialist for Crop Insurance to promote and manage the targeted states grant program from the USDA Risk Management Agency. Previously, Connelly was a partner in the Capstone Group-NCH, a firm providing association management and government relations services. His career includes leadership roles with the USDA Farm Service Agency, Mid-Atlantic Soybean Association, Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation and Maryland Farm Bureau. He earned a degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of Maryland. Steve lives in Rising Sun with his wife Valerie.

MHIB Advisory Board Members 


Southern Maryland
Dr. Christine Bergmank is Executive Director of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Development Commission (SMADC), which promotes and enhances the five county region’s agricultural resources and heritage. She has been instrumental in showcasing the area’s horse farms. Her organization publishes “For Your Horse: a Southern Maryland Equine Guide” to stables, tack, trails and more. She earned her Masters’ and Doctorate degrees from North Carolina State University and co-manages an organic farm.


Central Maryland

Hope Birsh attended the 2014 Maryland Horse Forum and had so many excellent ideas during the marketing breakout sessions that she was immediately asked to become involved with the Maryland Horse Industry Board marketing committee. She helped extensively with the 2015 Maryland Horse Chase and the Horse Land exhibit at the Maryland State Fair, both of which were successful new ventures, thanks in large part to her efforts. MHIB members unanimously voted to ask her to represent Central Maryland on the MHIB Advisory Board. Hope originally came to Maryland to teach riding at McDonogh School before opening Maryland Saddlery in Butler 26 years ago. The store now has additional locations in Crofton and in Hockessin, DE. Hope is a past president of the American Equestrian Trade Association and is an MHIB “Touch of Class Award” winner. She owns a farm in the Green Spring Valley Hunt territory, where she lives with her two children, two horses and three ponies.


Maryland Sports Marketing

Terrance (Terry) Hasseltine, CSEE was hired as Executive Director of Maryland Sports in 2008. In early 2014, he was asked to take on more responsibilities with the Maryland Stadium Authority as Vice President of Marketing and Communication. He received his B.S. in Sports Management (and Communications) from the State University of New York College at Cortland and is accredited by the National Association of Sports Commissions as a Certified Sports Event Executive. Prior to coming to Maryland, he was deputy director of the Kentucky Sports Authority (KSA), promoting the state as a sports travel destination, and was instrumental in bringing the 2008 Ryder Cup and the 2010 AllTech FEI World Equestrian Games to Kentucky. Terry was the Chairman of the National Association of Sports Commissions (NASC) from April 2013-April 2014. During his tenure as Chairman, the Association saw significant growth in membership, revenues and attendance at their annual Symposium. He served on the NASC Board of Directors for over 10 years, five of those on the Executive Committee and one as the first Events Right Holder to serve on the NASC BOD. He also serves on the Maryland Tourism Coalition Board of Directors, U.S. Sports Congress Advisory Committee and serves in an advisory role with the Maryland Horse Industry Board. In February 2011, Terry was named one of the 20 most powerful people in Baltimore in the Baltimore Business Journal “Power 20: The Next Generation.” In April 2010, he was recognized by the Maryland Daily Record as a 2010 Most Influential Marylander – Civic Leadership. Since arriving in Maryland, Terry has been instrumental in leading various event-support opportunities for the state related to the FIFA World Cup, ICF Canoe Slalom World championships, NCAA Men’s Lacrosse National Championships, World Football Challenge (Chelsea v. AC Milan), Dew Tour, CONCACAF Gold Cup, Iron Man Maryland and many other events. Maryland Sports has engaged over a billion dollars worth of economic activity and secured over $500+ worth of those activities. Terry’s primary focus is to market and promote Maryland as a sports event and travel destination. His efforts led to a launch of a state-of-the art web site with searchable sports facility directory (www.MarylandSports. us). Currently Maryland Sports is expanding its web efforts, trade show presence, marketing and attention to TEAMMaryland (www.


Crystal Kimball is the publisher and owner of The Equiery. In addition to her articles in The Equiery, which have been reprinted in numerous other publications, her writing has appeared in the USCTA News, Sidelines, The Cecil Whig, Steeplechase Times and The Chronicle of the Horse. In college, she rode on the University of Maryland Equestrian Team and has been involved with hunters, combined training, dressage and foxchasing for many years. She has served as secretary for the Maryland Horse Council since 1994 and is subchair of the Maryland Horsemen’s Party. She has been a member of MHC since 1991 and serves on the Board of Directors as a director-at-large representing the business membership. She also serves as executive secretary for the Maryland Steeplechase Association, is a member of the MDA Soil Conservation and Pasture Management Committee and the Maryland FFA Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees, and is an incoming fellow in the LEAD Maryland program.



Keith Wills is a former board member of the Maryland Horse Industry Board. He works as an account representative and loan officer for Mid Atlantic Farm Credit, one of the region’s largest institutions financing agricultural activities. Keith serves on numerous local, state, regional and national boards and chairs the Equine Committee for the National Farm Bureau.


Horse Outreach Workshop

Rachel Rhodes is the coordinator for the Watershed Implementation Program in the Office of Resource Conservation at the Maryland Department of Agriculture. She attended Delaware State University where she received a B.S. in Animal Science while minoring in Environmental Science, then attended Wesley College where she received a M.S. in Environmental Science. Through her work at the department, Rachel serves as the department’s liaison with other agencies such as Maryland Department of Natural Resources, Maryland Department of Environment, Maryland Department of Planning, University of Maryland, U.S. EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, and local governments concerning the agricultural implementation for the Chesapeake Bay TMDL/WIP. She also serves as the program coordinator for the Horse Outreach Workgroup (HOW) a consortium of equine representatives who develop outreach materials to educate equine owners on conservation practices.

MHIB Staff

Executive Director:
Ross Peddicord

Ross Peddicord, a graduate of McDonogh School and Washington College, became Executive Director of MHIB in 2011. He has spent most of his life involved with horses, either professionally or for fun, showing, foxhunting, and breeding Thoroughbreds. For a brief period, he rode amateur steeplechase races. He has had a varied career in journalism, marketing, sales, public relations and fundraising at a number of Maryland institutions such as the Maryland Jockey Club tracks, the Baltimore Sun, Mount St. Mary’s University and Maryland Life Magazine, where he was co-publisher from 2004-2010. He serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Maryland Tourism Coalition, Executive Directors Committee of the Maryland Office of Tourism Development, and on the board of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts.

Stable Inspectors:

Pegeen Morgan, or Peggy as her friends know her, has been an Animal Health Inspector with the Maryland Department of Agriculture for 30 years and has been in the midst of all Maryland animal health issues. She has a diverse background with different animal species, but has always been a horse lover and has owned horses for 35 years, as a 4-H member and up to owning a small family farm in Upper Marlboro. Peggy also inspects animal health papers at regional agricultural fairs and shows. She and her husband Chris have two children who have grown up helping out on the family farm.

Ellen James is a lifelong horsewoman in both English and Western disciplines and is a graduate of Montana State University. She also worked for nine years as a veterinary technician. She inspects horse stables for MHIB and veterinary hospitals and clinics for the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners. She lives in northern Harford County.

Research Assistant
Annie Hankins

Annie began interning with MHIB in 2013 and now serves as a research assistant while attending graduate school. She is a Master’s candidate at the University of Maryland School Of Public Policy, studying Environmental Policy and Nonprofit Management. Additionally, she works for UMD’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership as a graduate assistant. She aims to continue working for the horse industry, as well as animal welfare and environmental conservation groups. She is a Washington, D.C. native who grew up riding and working at stables in Montgomery County. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Otterbein University in 2013 with a B.A. in Equine Business and Facility Management and a minor in Economics. During college, Annie was an active member of her school’s Intercollegiate Horse Show Association Hunt Seat team, American National Riding Commission Intercollegiate Championship team, and frequently competed her mares in the amateur jumper divisions

Stable Licensing 
Tonya Kendrick 

Tonya has worked at the Maryland Department of Agriculture for 18 years. Tonya handles the stable licensing for the MHIB; however, she spends most of her time working for the State Vet Board.​


2016 Meeting Schedule

April 13- Goucher College, Towson10 a.m.
May 11 - Equus Film Fest/Senator Theater, Baltimore10 a.m.
June 1 - Marion Dupont Scott Equine Medical Center, Leesburg, VA 10 a.m.
July 13 - Maryland Department of Agriculture10 a.m.
Aug. 11 - Harris Paints, Federalsburg, MD3 p.m.
Sept. 14 - Days End Farm Horse Rescue, Lisbon10 a.m.
Oct. 14 - Fair Hill National Steeplechase Association, Elkton MD10 a.m.
Nov. 15 - Miller Senate Office Building, Annapolis4 p.m.
December TBA