Fair Hill International and Jim McKay Maryland Million Day Highlight Big Month for Maryland’s Horse Industry
It’s two big weekends for Maryland horses with the Fair Hill International running October 12-15 and the 32nd running of the Jim McKay Maryland Million Day on Saturday, October 21. The Fair Hill International brings three days of horse trials to the 6,000-acre Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area for this one-of-a-kind event. The Fair Hill International combines dressage, cross country jumping and stadium jumping in what amounts to an Olympic games for horses. The Jim McKay Maryland Million, part of the 11-race Maryland Million Day at Laurel Park, was founded in 1986 to feature top Maryland horses, and all horses running in the stakes must be sired by a stallion standing in the state. Last year’s race brought 21,722 fans to Laurel, who placed nearly $4.5 million in wagers on the race.
The horse industry is an important, living part of Maryland’s history and an economic driver for the state. The total annual economic impact of the horse industry on the state is approximately $1.6 billion, with a direct impact of $1 billion, generating $72 million in annual taxes.