Touch Of Class Award


Maryland Horse Industry Board Touch of Class Awards

The MHIB established the Touch of Class Award in September 2011 to honor Maryland horses, individuals, teams, organizations or events that demonstrate the highest standards of excellence in the Maryland Horse Industry by achieving national or international recognition. The award is named after Touch of Class, a Maryland-bred mare who won two Olympic showjumping gold medals and currently holds the Olympic record for number of clean jumping rounds in Olympic competition.

Below are the Touch of Class Award recipients, to date. Read our Touch of Class brochure which features the first year of winners.

Touch of Class Award Recipients 

January 2021

Hannah Irons & Scola Bella - US Young Rider Dressage National Champion and Sara Hassler & Harmony’s Boitano - US Young Adult Dressage National Champions

December 2020

The 2020 Novice Jousting Champion: Kristen McDaniel, 2020 Amateur Jousting Champion: Emily Trawick, 2020 Semi-Pro Jousting Champion: Marley Enfield, 2020 Professional Jousting Champion: Brad Enfield

November 2020

Valerie Ormond's book Believing In Horses Too, Winner of the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award. Valerie's second novel, Believing In Horses, Too, won a Gold Medal in the Military Writers Society of America Book Awards; 1st Place in The Authors' Zone Book Awards; Best Y.A. Fiction in the Stroud Arts Book Festival; Best Book in Juvenile Fiction in the Pinnacle Book Achievement Awards, and Best Veterans Fiction in the EQUUS Film and Arts Festival Literary Award.

February 2020

The MD Horse Board’s Touch of Class Award was presented to The Great Frederick Fair International Fair & Expositions Winner

January 2020

The MD Horse Board’s Touch of Class Award was presented to Dr. Amy Burk, Chair of the National Assoc. of Equine Affiliated Academic Board, Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Dressage Fifth Ace, trained by Alison O’Dwyer, Thoroughbred Makeover Champion Field Hunter Diplomat, trained by Sara Katz 

December 2019

The MD Horse Board’s Touch of Class Award was presented Royal Casino - Cynthia McNemar

USEA National Two-Year-Old Future Event Horse Championship​

November 2019

The MD Horse Board’s Touch of Class Award was presented 

October 2019

The MD Horse Board’s Touch of Class Award was presented to Bobby Lillis with a Touch of Class Award at the Maryland Million on Oct. 19.​ Lillis was recently recognized nationally with the Godolphin Award for outstanding racetrack Community Service.


September 2019:

The MD Horse Board’s Touch of Class Award was presented to Donna & Garon Stutzman of Grove Creek Mules from Centreville for Tom Collins, their 2019 World Champion English Performance Mule at Sept. 28 Tuckahoe “Celebration of the Horse” event. Tom Collins recently qualified for the 2019 national dressage finals in Kentucky, believed to be only the second mule to ever do so. 

August 2019: 

Kaymarie Kreidel and her Horse Hunter:​ Touch of Class Award was presented to Kaymarie Kreidel and her Horse Hunter for their famous outriding in the 2019 Preakness by Jim Steele Pres. of MD Horse Industry Board and Owner of the Maryland Saddlery Hope Birsh During the Maryland Horse Forum at Goucher College.

July 2019

2018 National Jousting Championship, Pro, Mark Ashce 
2018 National  Jousting Championship,  Semi-Pro, Vincent Rheinhold
2018 National Jousting Championship, Amateur, Marley Enfield
2018 National Jousting Championship,  Novice, TJ Lord
Maryland’s Four National Champion Jousters at the state jousting championships. Current national jousting champions from Md with their Touch of Class Awards—l to r Marley Enfield, amateur class; Vincent Reinhold, semi pro; Hall of Famer Buck Schuyler accepting for TJ Lord, novice; Mark Asche, pro

May/June 2019:

Zanjabeel 2018 Eclipse Award of Outstanding Steeplechase horse. NSA 2018 Champion owner Rosarian Farm
Zanjabeel​. 20108 Eclipse Award of Outstanding Steeplechase horse, owned by Meadow Run Farm
Jack Fisher~ NSA-2018 Champion Trainer
Ross Geraghty. NSA~2018 Champion Jockey by earnings
Eric Poretz~ NSA~2018 Champion Apprentice rider.
The presentation was made during the Fair Hill Meet.

Touch of Class Award was given to Governor Larry Hogan for being a Champion of the Fair Hill Equine Improvements Project, award accepted by DNR Acting Assistant Secretary Emily Wilson — at Fair Hill Steeplechase Races.

March/April 2019:

Darren Nagle. NSA-2018 Champion jockey by wins
 Irv Naylor. NSA-2018 Champion Timber owner
The presentation was made during the Green Spring Valley Hounds Point to Point Race Reception.

February 2019

QUANTUM LEAD - Quantum Lead, bred by Dr. Elizabeth Callahan, won U.S. award to represent the US at Young Horse Championships in France 

January 2019:

The MARYLAND 4-H HORSE COMMUNICATIONS TEAM-  The Touch of Class Award was honored to award The Maryland 4-H Horse Communications Team who won the high point Communications Team Champion award at the Eastern National 4-H Horse Round-Up in Louisville, Kentucky on November 4, 2018. This award is given to the team that has the highest cumulative points from all three divisions; Public Speaking, Individual Demonstration, and Team
Demonstration. Congratulations Anthony Righter, Lesa Ramsburg, Kami Barth, Karen Scott; Horse Communications team coach, and Katherine Grasser(not present)  The presentation was made during Maryland Horse Industry Day

2018 Touch of Class Award Recipients 

JOCELYN PIERCE, the 29-year-old Marylander was among the Top 10 finishers in the 2018 Mongol Derby, described at the World's Toughest Horse Race. The race is run over 600 miles in 9 days in Mongolia over natural terrain using native Mongolian ponies as mounts. The presentation is being made at the Lisbon Horse Parade on December 8, 2018, in Lisbon, MD.

DARRELL IRELAND and his World Champion Quarter Horse, SS RAMPAGE,  in the Aged Gelding Halter division.  The presentation was scheduled to be made at the reception of the MD Horse Council's annual meeting in the Lowe House Office Building in Annapolis on Nov. 13, 2018.

MIKE HOPKINS, Exec. Dir. MD Racing Commission--the first Marylander to be named Chairman of Racing Commissioners International. RCI is the governing body for parimutuel horse racing in North America and the Carribbean.  The presentation was made to Mike at the Maryland Million horse race, Laurel Park, Laurel, MD. on Oct. 20, 2018 by DLLR Sec'y Kelly Schultz; MD Racing Commission Chairman, Mike Algeo; and MHIB Chair Jim Steele.

ROSENTHAL, USEF Champion Hunter Sire of 2017, stood at High Point Hanoverians, Chestertown, MD. Owned by the Barilar family.  Also sired Best Young Horse at Devon (Pa.) and Upperville (Va.) hunter breeding shows in Spring, 2018. Rosenthal passed away earlier in the year.
The presentation was made to the Barilars at a MD Horse Industry Board meeting at High Point Hanoverians on August 8, 2018.

JENNA DAWES , named MD. Rookie of the Year by the American Quarter Horse Association, governing body for the Quarter Horse breed, and ranked 8th overall nationally; and her coach, KAREN BISHOP MARX.   The presentation was made at the "Celebration of the Horse" Expo at the Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely, MD on Oct. 13, 2018.

Alyssa Jastram, Novice National Ch.
Marley Enfield, Amateur National Ch.
Mikayla Miller, Semi Professional National Ch.
Bradley Enfield, Professional National Ch.
also: Shannon Allen, Winner of her division in international competition in Scotland at the Scottish Tilters Competition.
The presentation was made to these champions at the MD State Jousting Championships on Oct. 6, 2018 at the Anne Arundel County Fairgrounds in Crownsville.

Spring 2018
Winners: KELLY WELLS, coach, of both the 2018 Women's and Men's Interscholastic Polo National Champions.
The Women's Team:

Abbie Grant
Maddie Grant
Sophie Grant
Catie Stueck
The Men's Team:
Brennan Wells
Jack McLean
Aidan Tydings
Parker Pearce
Champion Tournament Pony: June, OTTB, Marlan Farm

February 2018:  

Both Renee and Tina won divisions of the national Time To Ride Challenge, sponsored by the American Horse Council, for introducing nearly 3,000 newcomers to the wonderful world of horses. The award was presented to them on January 30, 2018 at Horse Industry Day in Annapolis in the MD Senate Office Building [Cecil County, Anne Arundel County]. 

January 2018*:  
Filmmaker Kurt Kojala of Chestertown, MD.--Kurt's film "The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague" won two awards at the EQUUS International Film Festival in New York City. Kurt was also named Best Director at the Chesapeake Film Festival for this movie, which followed the journey of a Maryland teenager as she purchases and starts training a Chincoteague pony in her battle to fight depression. [Kent County]

2017 Touch of Class Award Recipients 

December 2017*:  
Loafers Lodge Farm (John and Margaret Almond, Monkton, MD. --The Almonds bred In A Dream, the small pony hunter champion at the National Pony Finals in Lexington, Ky and bred more than a half dozen other ponies competing in the Finals. as well champion ponies at the national fall indoors shows. The Almonds are also repeat Touch of Class winners. [Baltimore County]

November 2017:  
For the second year in a row Scottie Sherman (Hunting Horn Farm, New Market, MD) won the Take 2 Series national hunter championship with her mare Feather. It is also Scottie and Feather's second Touch of Class Award. [Frederick County]

October 2017*:  
Mackenzie Taylor and Rita.  Mackenzie from Damascus, MD (TaylorMade Stables) won the Theodora Randolph (also known as the North American) Field Hunter Championships this month in Middleburg, VA.This is the second Touch of Class Award for Mackenzie, who previously won by riding Rege Dvorsky's pony Inkspot several years ago to the International Mounted Games Championship in the U.K.  [Montgomery County] 
*The October-January awards were presented to the honorees at the 20th Anniversary Celebration of the Maryland Horse Industry Board on January 20, 2018 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium. 

September 2017:  
Jessie Flores of Rusted Star Ranch (Berlin) rode down the track aboard her American Quarter Horse This Doc Is Zipped.  Jessie, an Agriculture Teacher at Worcester Technical High School and Worcester County Future Farmers of America advisor, and her 14-year-old gelding were recognized for winning the 2017 Jeffer’s Cowboy Mounted Shooting Association Ladies 3 National Championship.
*Article by Katherine O. Rizzo, The Equiery

August 2017
From Maryland Polo Club & Marlan Farm
Kelly Wells, coach
Jack McLean
Parker Pearce
Aidan Tydings
Parker Pearce
Brennan Wells

July 2017
Varsity Team, Garrison Forest School
Cindy Halle, coach
Kaycie Campbell, Asst coach
Team members:
Lila Bennett
Olivia Reynolds
Hannah Reynolds
Emily Wiley
The Womens Interscholastic Polo Team award was made to them at the MD Horse Council Barbecue at the Congressional Polo Club in Poolesville on September 9, 2017. The Mens Interscholastic Polo Team award was presented them the following day, September 10, at an end of year scrimmage at the Maryland Polo Club in Monkton.

June 2017: 
These Marylanders who are reigning national steeplechase champions in several divisions were honored with the Touch of Class Award:
Irv Naylor, leading owner and his Eclipse Award winning 'chaser Rawnaq
Cyril Murphy, trainer of the Eclipse champion
Jack Fisher, leading trainer
Sean McDermott, top money winning jockey
Bruton Street Stable, leading timber owner, and their timber champion horse,  Two's Company. 

The awards were presented at the Fair Hill Races on May 27.

May 2017
Marylanders swept all four divisions at the 2016 National Jousting Championships. Reigning champions and Touch of Class winners are:
Caroline Graves, Novice
Vincent Reinhold, Amateur
Mikayla Miller, Semi Professional
Brad Enfield, Professional

The awards were presented May 13 at the Shawan Valley Joust at the Baltimore County Ag Center in Cockeysville. Members of the Scottish Tilters Riding Club from Edinburgh, Scotland participated in the joust. 

April 2017:  The winners: Nanette Schumaker and her horse La Cosa Nostra, 2016 United States Eventing Association Training Level Master Rider and Master Amateur Rider national champions. Nanette is from Crofton and boards her horse at A Bit Better Farm in Montgomery County. 

The award was presented at "A Fair Hill 4-Star Evening" Aptil 11 at Waredaca Farm in Laytonsville.

Winter 2017: Our state's 4-H equine youth excelled in national competition, winning team and individual championships at the 2016 Eastern 4-H Roundup where 21 states competed. Winners of the Touch of Class Award are:

Maryland 4-H Horse Communications Team
Public Speaking--Maggie Ryan, Carroll County
Individual Demonstration--Lydia Harouna, Montgomery county
Team Presentation--Alexis Solley and Carley Gray, Anne Arundel County
Coach: Karen Scott, Carroll County

Maryland 4-H Horse Bowl Team
Arianna Cordrey, Cecil County
Sabrina Dobbins, St. Mary's County
Tabitha Gregory, Frederick County
Melanie Martin, Carroll County
Coach: Jan Rubenstein, Carroll County

The awards were presented January 31 at the 2017 MD Horse Industry Day at the Miller Senate Office Bldg. in Annapolis

2016 Touch of Class Award Recipients

 December 2016: Doug Maddox, Towson filmmaker, producer-director, received the award after his 90-minute feature film Christmas Ranchwas named Best Family Film at the 2016 EQUUS International Film Festival in New York City. The horse-themed movie was filmed at Green Mount Farm in Glyndon and was purchased by Showtime Family network. It is also available on Netflix as well as other outlets like itunes and Amazon. The award was made December 8 at the Maryland premiere of Christmas Ranch at the Senator Theatre.

November 2016: Scotty Sherman and her Thoroughbred mare Feather were named national hunter champions in the Take2 series. Feather is a former Maryland-bred racehorse by the sire Love of Money (by champion MD sire Not For Love) out of the Horatius mare, Alvinia. The award was presented at the MD Horse Shows Association annual awards banquet at Camden Yards.

September-October 2016: The award was presented to Bailey Doloff of Sykesville and his pony Wishlea Star Dasher. They were winners of the Gold Medal at the U.S. Pony Jumper Championship Finals in Lexington, Ky. They also won numerous other major pony jumper championships during the year. "Dasher" is a Maryland-bred and his breeders, Brigid and Ciara McMurtrie of Baltimore County were also honored. The presentation was made at the Washington DC International Horse Show at the Verizon Center in Washington DC.

August 2016: The award was presented to three inductees in the U.S. Harness Racing Hall of Fame, all from Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City, MD. The winners: Joe Thomson, owner of Winbak Farm, which has been leading breeder 20 times in various states as well as champion U.S. breeder numerous times; the racehorse Muscle Hill, foaled at Winbak, who earned over $3.2M and is now a champion sire; and Arl's Troublemaker, based her whole life at Winbak and dam of three stakes winners of over $2.6M. The award was presented at Ocean Downs in Berlin, MD.

July 2016: The award was presented to these winners of the 2016 winning national women's interscholastic polo team: Kelly Wells, coach: Sophie Grant, Maddie Grant, Catie Stueck and Abbie Grant. The award was presented at Marlan Farm in Freeland, the team's home base.

June 2016: The award was presented to these reigning national steeplechase champions: Irv Naylor (leading owner), Dawalan (champion steeplechaser owned by Naylor and his trainer, Cyril Murphy); Jack Fisher (leading trainer); Mark Beecher (leading amateur jockey); Michael Wharton and Alicia Murphy, owner-trainer, respectively of national timber champion Grinding Speed. The award was presented at the Governor's Cup steeplechase dinner.

May 2016: Dr. Kathleen Anderson. Dr. Anderson was honored for being named and serving as president of the American Association of Equine practitioners (AAEP). Her state of the art veterinary clinic is at the Fair Hill Training Center in Elkton. The award was presented to her at the Fair Hill Races.

 April 2016:  Buck Schuyler, inducted into National Jousting Hall of Fame, and these three reigning national champion jousters: Michael Virts(professional), Mikayla Miller (semi professional) and Vince Reinhold (amateur). The awards were presented at the annual meeting of the MD Jousting Association in Annapolis.

March 2016:  Scott Serio, Elkton.  Scott, a former Baltimroe city police officer turned professional photographer, won the 2015 Eclipse Award for photography by capturing 

Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh in a superb shot in his last workout at Keeneland Race Course. The award was presented at a Horse Board monthly meeting at Goucher College.


February 2016: Ken Wood, Denton.  Ken not only campaigned national champion Standardbred trotter JL Cruze, but is the recipient of many national awards for using the professional services of his Eastern Shore well drilling company for humanitarian purposes. He has drilled wells and provided water at no charge for over 1 million people in Tanzania and Ghana. The award was presented at the MD Standardbred Breeders annual dinner.

January 2016:  Karen Kraushaar, Simple Gift Farm in Darnestown and her 13 year-old Paso Fino stallion, Pirata. Pirata is the reigning 2015 National Performance Stallion Champion at the Paso Fino National Expo, Lexington, KY.The award was presented at Horse Industry Day in Annapolis.

2015 Touch of Class Award Recipients 

December 2015 - Three Maryland horse trainers who earned top honors at the 2015 Thoroughbred Makeover competition in Lexington, Kentucky. The are: Michelle Warro from Davidsonville (Anne Arundel County), Rebecca Walters from Fallston (Harford County) and Neil Agate from Germantown (Montgomery County) . For more information.

October and November 2015 - Marilyn Little, a double gold medal winner in 3-Day Eventing at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto Canada, and Ben Stevick, a double gold medal winner in dressage at the 2015 Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles. For more information

August and Sept 2015 - Pat Oliva and Julio Mendoza, two remarkable Maryland equestrians who have distinguished themselves in national and international competition, were honored during festivities at the My Maryland Horse Festival . For more information.

June and July 2015 - Maryland-based women’s and men’s high school polo teams that recently won the 2015 national interscholastic polo championships will be honored with Touch of Class Awards. For more information.

May 2015 - Management of the 350-acre Fair Hill Training Center — which has become one of the premier U.S. and international racehorse training facilities during its 33 year history and is home base to two current North American champion racehorses — received the May Touch of Class Award. For more information.

April 2015 - Buddy Wooters, a six-time U.S. jousting champion from Denton (Caroline County) and a member of the National Jousting Association (NJA) Hall of Fame, is among the four national reigning jousting champions, all from Maryland, who were named the April Touch of Class Award. For more information.

March 2015 - Maryland-based stables, trainers and riders from the state’s large steeplechasing community swept leading national honors in 2014 and were honored for their achievements with Touch of Class Awards. For more information.

February 2015 - February Touch of Class Award was presented to Joe Clancy, editor of the Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred Magazine and recent recipient of Thoroughbred racing’s Eclipse Award. Clancy is the author of a national, prize-winning story about the Preakness exploits of Horse of the Year California Chrome.   For more information

January 2015Two youth regional riding teams that won national championships at the 2014 U.S. Pony Club Championships in Lexington, KY received the January Touch of Class Award from the Maryland Horse Industry Board (MHIB) last week at the Horse World Expo in Timonium. The two teams represent two different equestrian disciplines—Mounted Games and Show Jumping. For more information

2014 Touch of Class Award Recipients

December 2014 -  The Iron Bridge Hounds Pony Club from the Washington metro area and the St. Margaret’s Pony Club from Annapolis. For more information.

November 2014 - Barbara Smith, a horsewoman from Lothian (Anne Arundel County) who was among the Top 10 finishers in the grueling 2014 Mongol Derby in Mongolia. For more information.

September and October 2014 - Grace Fulton of Carroll County and Kc van Aarem of Montgomery County, two teenage riders who were members of winning teams at the 2014 Adequan FEI North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) in Lexington, Kentucky. For more information.

August 2014 - Hope Birsh, Cockeysville, for her involvement in the equine community since 1985 and leadership for the industry as current President-Elect of the American Equine Trade Association. For information.

July 2014 - Marissa Wells, who was recently named 2014 Interscholastic Female Player of the Year by the U.S. Polo Association, and her three teammates: Maddie Grant, Abbie Grant and Stephanie Schultz - winners of the U.S. national girls interscholastic team chamionship. Additionally, Marissa's mother Kelly Wells was honored as team coach. For more information.

June 2014 - Don Principe, a 15-year-old Hanoverian stallion who stands at stud at Hilltop Farm in Cecil County, is currently ranked as the nation’s leading sire of dressage horses by the U.S. Equestrian Federation. For more information.

May 2014 - The May Award was presented to Spellbound, one of the nation’s leading show ponies, who is headquartered and trained by Kimberly Stewart at her Glenwillow Farm in Jefferson (Frederick County). The award was accepted by his owner and rider Bernadette Chungunco, 14, from Fairfax, VA. For more information.

April 2014 - The April Touch of Class Award was presented to Marilyn Little and her mare Demeter from Frederick (Frederick County); and Tayler Stewart and her gelding Fugitive from Damascus (Montgomery County) -- two reigning 2013 champions in the U.S. Eventing Association (USEA) national rankings. The award was presented to Little at the 2014 Rolex Kentucky Three-Day Event in Lexington, Kentucky by MHIB Board Member Karen Fulton. The award was presented to Stewart at the Maryland Combined Training Association Horse Trials at Shawan Downs in Cockeysville May 3-4. For more information.

March 2014 -  MHIB recognized five National Steeplechase Champions: Mark Beecher, U.S. champion amateur steeplechase jockey (Baltimore County); Foyle, U.S. champion timber horse that is owned by Merriefield Farm (Charles Noell) and trained by Bruce Fenwick (Baltimore County); Irv Naylor,  U.S. champion timber owner (Baltimore County); Tuscalee, Maryland-bred and owned steeplechase champion recently inducted into the National Racing Hall of Fame in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. (Prince George’s County); and Jack Fisher, U.S. champion steeplechase trainer (Baltimore County). For more information.

February 2014 - Victor Carrasco, the Maryland-based jockey who was recently named Thoroughbred racing’s leading apprentice rider, was presented with the February Touch of Class Award during the President’s Day races at Laurel Park. For more information.

January 2014 - Chic With Chex, a 10 year-old sorrel Quarter Horse mare — owned by Don Burgy of Howard County and trained by Dutch Chapman of Carroll County — received  the Janaury 2014 Touch of Class Award. For more information. 


2013 Touch of Class Award Recipents

December 2013 The December Touch of Class Award was presented to Madison and Miranda Iager, two teenage sisters from Woodbine (Carroll County), and their national champion mules. Awards were presented by MHIB Chair Jim Steele at The Equiery Holiday Open House in Lisbon (Howard County). - For more information

November 2013 - Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance presented the November Touch of Class Award to Spencer Bramble, a 17 year-old senior at Queen Anne’s County High School and a World Champion rodeo rider during a special “Evening at the Harness Races” program at Rosecroft Raceway in Prince George’s County.  For more information.

October 2013 - Stuart S. Janney III, the Baltimore County resident whose horse, Orb, won the 2013 Kentucky Derby. Jenn Patterson, Orb’s exercise rider and chief caretaker, accepted the award on Janney’s behalf, which was presented during the 2013 Maryland Million on Oct. 19. Patterson manages a string of horses, including Orb, who are stabled at Fair Hill Training Center in Cecil County and are owned by Janney and his cousin, Ogden Phipps. For more information.

September 2013 - Ashley Foster, a 17 year-old college freshmen, and her horse Charade, a 12 year-old Warmblood gelding, show jumpers who trains at Rolling Acres Farm in Brookeville in Montgomery County. For more information.

August 2013 - A family of champion Standardbred racehorses and breeding stock, owned by Joe Thomson of Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City (Cecil County) received the August Award. They are:

  • The broodmare Lady Ashlee Ann and the stallion Bettor’s Delight, who were installed in the Living Harness Horse Hall of Fame on July 7, in Goshen, NY.
  • Betterthanchedd
  • ar, a son of Lady Ashlee Ann (another Winbak-owned horse) who was named Canadian Champion Pacer in 2013.
  • The late Classic Wish, another Winbak Hall of Fame honoree, who is the dam of Bettor’s Delight.

For more information

July 2013 - Four Marylanders who swept all four divisions at the 2012 National Jousting Finals received the July Award. The four were Corey Minnick of Washington County, Malcolm Macy of Harford County, Lily Fisher-Flaherty and her younger brother, Ian Flaherty of Calvert County. Read the release.

June 2013 - Linda Zang, an internationally renowned dressage rider and judge from Anne Arundel County, and Qredit, a 5-year-old Oldenburg stallion owned by Hilltop Farm in Cecil County. The award was presented during the Dancing Horse Challenge at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center. Read the release.

May 2013 -  This month was the 40th Anniverary of Secretariat's Triple Crown. MHIB celebrated the anniversary by presenting Touch of Class Awards to three outstanding Maryland equestrians during a VIP reception at the American Film Institute in Silver Spring yesterday. More than 200 people attended the reception, which was sponsored by the Maryland Jockey Club and MHIB. The three were:

  • Trainer Graham Motion who recently won the $10 million Dubai Gold Cup, the world’s richest
    horse race.  Mr Motion trains in Fair Hill
  • Author Patrick Smithwick Jr. of Howard County who wrote Flying Change, A Year of Racing and Family and Steeplechasing
  • Jockey Mario Pino, Maryland’s all-time leading jockey and 10th on racing’s all time win list with nearly 6,500 wins

Read the full release

April 2013 - Tracey Morgan and her pony, Fuego 88, who won the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s National Combined Driving Single Pony Championships in Southern Pines, N.C. and will now represent the United States at the World Combined Driving Championships in France in October. Read the full release.

March 2013recipients include owners, trainers, jockeys and horses from Maryland who dominated the national steeplechase scene in 2012. They are listed below. Read the complete release here. (Note that February and March awards were presented together.)

  • Irvin Naylor of Stillwater Farm in Glyndon (Baltimore County), the nation’s leading steeplechase owner for the third consecutive year. His stable, which received a Touch of Class Award in 2011, sent out 13 winners in 2012, earning $449,075.
  • Jack Fisher of Monkton (Harford County), the nation’s leading trainer for the sixth time. Fisher’s horses, which he trains for a variety of owners, made 90 starts, winning 16 races and collectively earning $453,645.
  • Ross Geraghty of Monkton (Harford County) and Mark Beecher of Glyndon (Baltimore County), the nation’s leading jockey and apprentice jockey, respectively.  Geraghty and Beecher, both Irish-born, now make their homes in Maryland. Geraghty led the nation’s jump jockeys by winning 17 races with earnings of $444,950. Beechewas the top apprentice, winning seven races and $123,525
  • Incomplete, champion U.S. timber horse owned by Bob Kinsley, Jt.-Master of Foxhounds of the Elkridge-Harford Hounds in Harford County. Incomplete is trained by Ann Stewart in Baltimore County. Incomplete, a 12 year-old Maryland-bred gelding, was undefeated in three 2012 timber races, winning in Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland. His wins included the My Lady’s Manor Steeplechase, the Virginia Gold Cup and earnings of $84,000.
  • Blythe Miller Davies of Monkton (Baltimore County), trainer of Pierrot Lunaire, the year’s overall national champion steeplechaser. Ms. Davies began training Pierrot Lunaire in late spring 2012. Under her handling, the horse won back-to-back Grade I steeplechases -- The Lonesome Glory Stakes at Belmont Park (NY) and the Grand National in Far Hills (NJ). He was the sport’s leading money-winning horse with $253,000 in yearly earnings.

February 2013 recipients are breeders of national champion Welsh ponies. They are listed below. Read the complete release here. (Note that February and March awards were presented together.)

  • Sally Steinmetz of Rosehaven Farm Ponies in Havre de Grace (Harford County).Ms. Steinmetz is an owner and breeder of three national champion Welsh ponies. She owns and breeds Rosehaven Talisman, who was the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)Leading Welsh Sire in 2011 and 2012. She also owns and exhibits two of his national champion offspring—(1) Rosehaven Magic Rain, Welsh pony hunter champion, and (2) Rosehaven Minuet, Welsh pony pleasure champion. All of these awards were earned in 2012 in the Welsh Pony divisions of the U.S. Equestrian Federation national standings.
  • Dr. Margaret Hoffecker and her husband John Almond of Monkton, who breed national champion ponies at their farm, Loafers Lodge Ponies, in Baltimore County. The farm bred eight ponies that competed in the national U.S. Pony Finals last summer at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington. One of their homebreds, Loafers Lodge Classic Jazz (whose show name is “Frosted”), was named Medium Green Pony Champion and was ridden by Maddie Schaefer from Westminster.


January 2013 - Kristen Wilson of Eldersburg (Carroll County) and her multi-national champion 4-year-old Tennessee Walking Horse, The Midnight Ride, who is the National Walking Horse Association Overall High Point Champion of 2012. Read the full release.


2012 Touch of Class Award Recipents

December 2012 - Officer Megan Lau of the Maryland National Capital Park Police, Montgomery County division. She was the overall winner of the National Mounted Police Equitation Championship at the North American Police Equestrian Championships.

November 2012Jacob Pope, an 18 year-old senior at McDonogh School who is from Columbia (Howard County). Jacob won the ASPCA Maclay National Championship in equitation at the National Horse Show in Kentucky.

October 2012 - Mackenzie Taylor, 16, from Damascus (Montgomery County) and her pony, Inkspot. Taylor won the Individual World Mounted Games Championship in international competition in Wales, United Kingdom (a first for a Marylander). A total of 56 competitors from 17 countries participated in the event, which took place over two days. Inkspot was adopted from the Days End Farm Horse Rescue in Lisbon (Howard County) and was also on hand to help Taylor accept the award. 

September 2012 - Suzanne Stettinius, 24, from Parkton (Baltimore County). She is one of the world’s top 36 woman competitors in the Modern Pentathlon Event, winning the Silver Medal at the 2012 North and Central America and Caribbean Open event, and representing the United States at the recent London Olympic Games. Stettinius is also a licensed steeplechase jockey and trainer.

August 2012 - Two Maryland-born polocrosse players,  Dori Johnson and Caroline Gardiner compete at the national and international level. Both represented the United States in a series of test match competitions in the United Kingdom.

July 2012 – Two Maryland teenagers who are newcomers to national competition, and one veteran national title holder were honored for earning national titles in Jousting, the official state sport of Maryland. Corey Minnick, 30, of Hagerstown (Washington County) won his third national title in the “Professional” division; Mikayla Miller, 13, of St. Leonard (Calvert County) won the national title in the “Amateur” division; and Anthony Reinhold, 17, of Denton (Caroline County) won his title in the “Novice” division.

June 2012 - Three gold medalists, a national coach and one horse who have helped propel Maryland’s dressage community into the national spotlight were honored. The five award recipients were Maryland's three 2011 U.S. Dressage Federation’s Gold Medalists (1) Susanne Hassler of Chesapeake City; (2) Christine Betz of Thurmont; and (3) Jaralyn Finn of Poolesville. Also honored were, (4) Scott Hassler, National Coach for the U.S. Dressage Federation; and (5) Royal Prince, the U.S. Equestrian Federation’s Breeding Sire of the Year who is stabled at Hilltop Farm in Cecil County. 

May 2012 - Merlin,  a therapy horse who has helped hundreds of special needs children and adults deal with emotional issues and trauma, was honored in May. The 32-year old gelding, who is still in active use at Rose of Sharon Equestrian School in Glen Arm (Baltimore County), was also honored as the American Morgan Horse Association's "National Therapy Horse of the Year".

April 2012- Dixies Valentine, a 7-year-old mare, received the 2012 World Champion Mare Award during the Her Highness Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Awards, which were awarded for the first time this year to recognize women in Arabian racing and presented along with the Darley Awards. Dixies Valentine was also nominated for a Darley Award for Horse of the Year and has twice before been named a Champion Arabian Filly of the Year.

April 2012 - Golden Odessy, a Maryland-bred filly raised in Harford County, was named Champion Three Year Old Filly of the Year during the 2012 Darley Awards, which are considered “the Oscars” of purebred Arabian racing in the United States. She also won the Delaware Park Arabian Juvenile Championship Stakes and the Dr. Sam Harrison Juvenile Filly Stakes.

March 2012 - Bon Caddo, champion U.S. timber horse. After being winless in 2010, Bon Caddo came back with a vengeance in 2011, winning the My Lady’s Manor Steeplechase and the Virginia Gold Cup. He also finished second in the Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, earning $73,500 for the year. He is owned by Charles and Barbara Noell’s Merriefield Farm in Monkton and is trained by Dawn Williams.

March 2012 - Tom Voss, champion U.S. steeplechase trainer. Mr. Voss operates Atlanta Hall Farm in Monkton and has been the nation’s leading steeplechase trainer four times. Over the years, his horses have earned nearly $20 million and have included champions on the flat as well as over fences. He added a fifth national steeplechasing title this year, winning 16 races.

March 2012 - Irvin S. Naylor, champion U.S. steeplechase owner. A Marylander native who now lives in York, Pa., Mr. Naylor maintains his impressive racing operation at Still Water Farm and Training Center in Baltimore County. In 2011, Mr. Naylor’s stable led all U.S. owners, winning 16 races. His horses earned $719,725. The stable included national Eclipse-winning champion jumper Black Jack Blues and Tax Ruling, runner-up as Steeplechaser of the Year.

February 2012 - Standardbred colt Googoo Gaagaa set a new world’s record for a mile by a trotter at a half mile track when he clipped four-tenths of a second off the previous mark in the Hubert Jackson Memorial Maryland Sire Stakes Final Stakes at Ocean Downs on Aug. 25, 2011. He sped the distance in 1 minute 56 seconds and won the race by 41 lengths. GooGoo GaaGaa is undefeated in six lifetime starts, winning his races by a combined total of 130 lengths. He finished fourth in votes as USHWA Two Year-Old Trotter of the Year.

February 2012Standardbred colt Roll With Joe was named the United States Harness Writers Association Dan Patch Award winner as the U.S. Three Year-old Pacer of the Year and was runner-up for Horse of the Year honors. He was bred and raised at Winbak Farm in Chesapeake City and is still partly owned by Winbak’s owners Joe and JoAnn Thomson. In 2011, Roll With Joe won the $1Million Meadowlands Pace, the $500,000 Battle of the Brandywine, and the $401,000 Messenger Stakes and earned $1,649,725.

February 2012 - Thoroughbred gelding Rapid Redux and his owner Robert Cole, Jr., a Baltimore County native. Rapid Redux has won 22 consecutive races, including a perfect 19-for-19 season in 2011. His winning streak included winning races at seven different tracks at distances of five furlongs to 1-1/8 miles, using seven riders. The National Thoroughbred Racing Association, Daily Racing Form and the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters honored Rapid Redux with the Special Eclipse Award.

January 2012 - Blue Rain, the U.S. Equestrian Foundation’s National Champion Pony Sire from 2004 to 2011, who is now 23 years old and lives at Springdale Pony Stud in Frederick County. He is owned by Allyson Coluccio and Lisa Gordon Carr.


2011 Touch of Class Award Recipients

December 2011 - Tiffany McClure, the International Professional Rodeo Association's 2010 World Champion Barrel Racer, who grew up in Prince George's County and graduated from Anne Arundel Community College.

November 2011 - John Crandell II and his horse Heraldic, who won two silver medals in endurance riding at the 2011 Pan American Games held in Chile. Heraldic is the only horse in history to win the triple crown of endurance racing. The Crandells live and train their horses in Anne Arundel County.

October 2011 - Colleen Rutledge and her horse Shiraz, who were the third highest-placed U.S. horse and rider combination at the prestigious Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials in England and are under the consideration for a berth on the 2012 U.S. Olympic 3-Day Team. Ms. Rutledge lives in Frederick and operates Turnabout Farm in Howard County.

September 2011 - Graham Motion, who won the 2011 Kentucky Derby with Animal Kingdom and ranks as one of the nation's leading trainer of Thoroughbred racehorses. Motion trains his horses at Fair Hill in Cecil County. This was the first ever Touch of Class Award presented.

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