Van Ness Award Goes to Maryland’s Beverly Raymond
Each year, the American Horse Council presents the Van Ness Award to a person who has shown leadership and service to the horse community in her state. It is awarded in memory of Mrs. Marjorie Van Ness, one of the founders of the New Jersey Horse Council and the AHC’s Coalition of State Horse Councils. This year’s award was presented at the AHC’s annual meeting in June to Beverly Raymond ofUpper Falls,Marylandfor her long and successful service to the horse community inMarylandand nationwide.
“As a founding member of the Maryland Horse Council, Ms. Raymond has made her state council effective and critical to the industry’s health at the state and national level,” said AHC president Jay Hickey in presenting the award. “For 35 years, she has been the embodiment of education and outreach. She is one of those individuals who has a vision and is committed not just to her job as a State Stable Inspector, but also to helping foster, grow and improve the horse industry inMaryland.”
During her time in the industry, she has had tremendous influence on the development of state policies as they apply to horses. She helped create one of the first certified Volunteer Mounted Patrols. She worked with the Maryland Department of Agriculture to expand the definition of agriculture to include all horse operations. She worked to pass legislation to create an equine commodity board – the Maryland Horse Industry Board, a great promoter of theMarylandhorse industry.
“My first reaction was ‘Wow!’” said Raymond. “I am very overwhelmed; receiving this award is far beyond anything I had ever expected. I am extremely touched by the number of people that came to support me receiving this award, as well as by how many people have told me how much they have gotten out of the work I had done.”
Ms. Raymond is a leading advocate for setting standards for equine welfare, rescue, and adoption programs. She helped spearhead the equine industry’s formal interpretation ofMaryland’s Code for the “Minimum Standards of Care for Equine.” As a result, the Maryland Horse Council’s interpretation is now used as the basis for determining cases of neglect or abuse. Since its inception 28 years ago, she has been a tireless advocate for the Maryland Horse Council, and because of her work and dedication, there is a thriving Maryland Horse Council and a dynamic Maryland Horse Industry Board.
Although Ms. Raymond is retired, she is still active within the Maryland Horse Council. She also spends her days riding her horses, painting, and rehabbing her parent’s old house that was built in the 1700’s.