Many industries took a big hit during the pandemic, but Maryland’s horse industry wasn’t one of them.
The industry actually broke records as ridership grew and farms were purchased. 2020 also produced 20 Maryland world and national champions in nine different equestrian disciplines — including an award-winning farrier from union bridge.
Farrier Mike Poe knows a good horse when he shoes one. There are about 80,000 farriers in the U.S. and he is the best having just won a world champion farrier competition.
“The joke I make is, I get to play with horses and fire and you fools pay me, but the truth is I enjoy being around horses,” said Poe.
That statement is true for a lot of Marylanders. In fact, 700,000 acres or about 10 percent of land in Maryland is devoted to horses and 2020 saw a 14 percent increase in horse-back riding activities.