Governor Declares April 1-7 ‘Horse Appreciation Days’ as Delaware Horse Expo Set


DOVER — To recognize the long heritage and broad impact of Delaware’s equine industry, Governor Jack Markell has declared April 1-7 as Horse Appreciation Days in Delaware, in conjunction with the annual Delaware Horse Expo.

“Delaware has a strong and vibrant equine industry, which provides thousands of jobs from veterinarians to trainers,” Gov. Markell said. “Events like the Delaware Horse Expo help introduce even more people, especially young people, to a lifelong passion for horses, and I am pleased to help recognize this growing sector of our agricultural economy.”

Secretary of Agriculture Ed Kee said the Department of Agriculture is committed to supporting and strengthening the equine industry.

“Horses add so much beauty, grace and talent to our state, with an estimated economic impact of $360 million,” Kee said. “From our racing commissions to our veterinary inspectors, we firmly support the industry’s success by protecting the security of racing and by protecting the health of your animals.”

The proclamation was presented to the Delaware Equine Council at its scholarship dinner Saturday by Sen. Gary Simpson of Milford and Rep. Bobby Outten of Harrington.

Capping Horse Appreciation Days is the annual Delaware Horse Expo, April 6-7 at the Delaware State Fairgrounds in Harrington.

Events include a Cowboy Race, retired Thoroughbred clinic, a Cowboy Church worship service, trick riding performances, the Parade of Breeds led by the Delaware State Police Mounted Patrol unit on Saturday and the Paso Fino Bailadores Team on Sunday, mounted drill team exhibitions, a jumper exhibition, speakers on equine topics, pony and carriage rides and activities for children. Headlining the Expo will be Craig Cameron, host of the RFD-TV show Ride Smart.

“We are pleased to have the Governor recognize our industry and its successes,” said Stan Vonasek, president of the Delaware Equine Council. “We welcome everyone with an interest in horses to attend the Expo – there’s something for everyone.”

The Expo runs from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 6, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, April 7. Admission is $7 per day, free for children 12 and under.
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Statement In Observance of Delaware Horse Appreciation Days

Whereas, the State of Delaware has a long and proud tradition of a strong equine industry, from the horses our forefathers rode during Colonial times to the horses who race at our three racetracks today; and

Whereas, there are an estimated 2,000 equine operations in Delaware, including breeding farms, training facilities, riding schools, and trail riding;

Whereas, equine operations excluding racetracks comprise approximately 12,000 acres, making for a significant part of our land use kept in open space and forestland; and

Whereas, horses are the source of jobs for thousands of Delawareans, both directly and indirectly, including through veterinarians, feed and bedding, equipment, grooming and tack supplies and more; and

Whereas, the Delaware Equine Council helps promote and educate the public about the importance of horses in the First State, including providing scholarships to young people advancing their education in agriculture of equine studies; and

Whereas, because of the significant benefits that the equine industry has brought to Delaware agriculture and our quality of life,

Now, Therefore, We, Jack A. Markell, Governor,
and Matthew Denn, Lieutenant Governor,
do hereby declare April 1-7, 2013


in the State of Delaware, and encourage all citizens to recognize and appreciate the benefits and long tradition of the equine industry in Delaware.