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MD Higher Education Commission
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“2018
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Maryland Horse Council acquires The Equiery

| February 10, 2018
Rams Head
The Maryland Horse Council (MHC) is pleased to announce it has completed the acquisition of The Equiery, Maryland’s only all-breed, all-sport, digital and print horse publication.
With The Equiery, MHC has acquired a turn-key multi-media publishing and marketing entity that will enable the Council to not only better serve its membership, but to also reach the entire Maryland equestrian community. MHC president Neil Agate, an avid horseman, business owner and technology consultant, spearheads the Council’s team that is strategically implementing a long-range business plan for the organization, so that it can more effectively meet its founding mission, which is to be the voice of the equestrian community, to represent the interests of the equestrian community in state and county legislation and regulation.
 As part of the strategic planning process, the Maryland Horse Council considered that many successful associations publish their own journals, including the Maryland Horse Breeders Association (Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred), the American Quarter Horse Association (The Quarter Horse Journal), and the United States Polo Association (Polo Magazine). MHC considered the option of launching its own multi-media publication, but when given the opportunity to acquire The Equiery, the team agreed that there were more advantages to acquiring a turn-key operation with an established brand, reputation and revenue stream.
The rapidly expanding Horse Council was also in need of centralized headquarters that could serve as administrative offices and conference facilities. “Our volunteers were getting tired of donating warehouse space in their homes and barns for our files and records,” laughs Agate.
Meanwhile, on a more serious note, Agate explains, “We are so fortunate that The Equiery is an established, nationally recognized brand with a great group of people running it. This means that we will not be required to spend a lot of our volunteers’ time to manage the publishing of the magazine going forward. Our main focus will be on growing both the publication and membership sides of the organization.”
For founding publisher Crystal Brumme Pickett, the merging of The Equiery into the business structure of the Horse Council seems like a natural “marriage.” “We founded The Equiery in 1990, The Equiery joined the Horse Council in 1991. I have always believed in the mission of the Horse Council, and dedicated Equieryresources to growing MHC, just as we were growing The Equiery.
“Truth be told,” chuckles Brumme-Pickett, “I never really expected the Horse Council to grow so big that it would acquire The Equiery. It is kind of ironic! But is a natural fit. And it is a better opportunity for The Equiery staff. Before accepting the Horse Council’s offer, several regional publishing houses were considered as The Equiery’s possible new home. However, as there would have been redundancies in jobs, I could not guarantee any Equiery staffers that a new publishing house would keep them. The Horse Council wants – and needs – The Equiery staff, their talent, their skills and their knowledge of the Maryland equestrian community. That stability for my team means everything to me. Meanwhile, for our clients, readers, fans and followers, it will be a seamless transition – ultimately providing all of them with more resources and opportunities.”
Continues Agate: “The phrase ‘synergies that will expand both organizations beyond where each would have been able to go alone’ may be overused in the world of mergers and acquisitions, but there is truth to that, as we will see in the combination of the Maryland Horse Council and The Equiery. For The Equiery, we will be able to leverage the talents and knowledge of the MHC Directors and its other advisors to expand its coverage and products and overall reach.
“For MHC, with The Equiery we will be able to increase our reach to many more potential members throughout the state and give us a greatly expanded communications vehicle to keep our membership up to date on everything we are doing around the state.”
Moving forward, in 2018 the Horse Council will develop a new strategic plan for the combined entity of MHC and The Equiery, a plan that will optimize both the revenue and distribution for The Equiery, and membership and messaging for MHC. The new strategic plan will lead the Council in new directions that will enhance both the MHC and Equiery’s reach, such as enhanced member services and an expanded schedule of events.
Rams Head

Category: Local News, NEWS

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