Community Members Working to Preserve Potomac Horse Center as an Operating Riding Facility

On May 1st, the Potomac Horse Center (PHC) at 14211 Quince Orchard Rd in North Potomac announced it will close on July 22. Later that day, residents put together a petition with hopes to save the center.

On Tuesday, the Potomac Horse Center posted the following on its Facebook page: “In the wake of Potomac Horse Center’s impending closure, our loyal and dedicated community members have redoubled their efforts to preserve the Potomac Horse Center (PHC). They have connected with local and state representatives and are diligently working to find a resolution. Since time is of the essence, the community has asked that PHC share a petition link (see below) and a link to the Potomac Horse Center Foundation’s Square page in hopes that the community will support PHC with signatures and donations.

The Potomac Horse Center Foundation, Inc. truly appreciates their support.
For more information, call (301) 330-5427.

Per Loyal Clients of PHC: “The Potomac Horse Center (PHC) and dedicated community members notify herein they are currently working to preserve PHC as an operating riding facility, in response to the PHC announcement on Friday May 3, that negotiations with MNCPPC-MC Parks had reached an impasse, causing impending closure. Concerned PHC clients and community began working to keep the center open and ask for your support. PHC is an important recreational amenity, serving the diverse Montgomery County population and larger metropolitan area for generations providing a variety of programs for:

• Children from all walks of life, as young as five, are introduced to the wonder of horses, participate in group or individual lessons, the popular summer camp program and special holiday events.
• Adult riders of all ages and experience levels, including novice, jump, flat and dressage classes, providing cardio-vascular activity, known to preserve health, muscle and bone strength for aging
adults well into seniority (70s, 80s).
• Students from local middle and high schools participate in classes, the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) shows, with many moving on to Intercollegiate Horse Shows, all guided by the
exceptional training staff at PHC.
• Therapeutic riders sponsoring a program serving disabled, autistic and traumatic brain injured (TBI) individuals. The positive effects can be miraculous, cerebral palsy victims will relax and uncurl while sitting on a horse, and hyperactive autistic children have an opportunity to calm.

The Potomac Horse Center is unique among other Montgomery County riding facilities, with three indoor arenas, a bucolic setting with fields and woods, an outdoor arena and event jump course. Such settings are known from neuro-science research to be mentally and physically beneficial for all in proximity to view fields and trees. The historic farmhouse where the PHC manager lives, is on the County’s historic register. The barns should be considered historic with notable Olympians, including a gold medalist having trained at the facility. PHC also housed the famed Spanish Riding School Lipizzaners in 1964, during their historic first visit to the USA.

Horses and ponies at PHC have varied backgrounds including retired racehorses, former show/event ponies and horses, a Texas Ranger mount, gentle rescue horses, and horses who performed at the Metropolitan Opera. PHC employs many dedicated young people of the County as grooms, camp counselors and trains therapeutic riding volunteers. PHC serves as first employment and provides training for many young people, gaining life-long skills and experience all contributing to the $2.9 billion Maryland horse industry. Many of the current staff will not only lose jobs, but housing if PHC closes.

Beyond recreational health benefits, working with horses builds confidence, empathy and self-control, sorely needed abilities in today’s world. Most people cannot afford to own a farm, barn or purchase a horse or pony. Public riding stables provide an important resource for communities, with affordable lessons and contact with horses. For many it is their only opportunity to have experiences with horses.

Increasing pressures of ever-expanding commercial and housing development reduce green areas and recreational spaces making preserving PHC essential for this, and future generations in the County. With limited time, the PHC community is making an open appeal for immediate funds and long-term funding for MNCPPC-MC identified capital improvements and escrow demand of $3-5 million.
Petition https://www.change.org/p/save-the-potomac-horse-center
Immediate Fund Donation https://www.potomachorsecenter.com
Escrow donation:  https://montgomeryparksfoundation.org/donate-to-parks/ Note on behalf of PHC

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