ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ) — With the Maryland 5-Star, Capital Challenge Horse Show and Jim McKay Maryland Million Day all on the calendar, Gov. Larry Hogan declared October as “Maryland Horse Month,” the Maryland Department of Agriculture said.

The inaugural Maryland 5-Star, scheduled for Oct. 14-17 at Fair Hill, features competition in dressage, cross-country and show jumping, and is only the second event in the U.S. to receive a five-star designation for the high level of competition. Four of the top eight eventing riders are scheduled to appear at the event, organizers say.

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“Maryland has a rich history as a leader in the horse industry, and is one of only two states to host both a Triple Crown Race in the Preakness Stakes and an international 5-Star Event, coming this year to Fair Hill,” Hogan said. “With more horses per square mile than any other state, the equine community is a critical part of our state’s heritage and economy. I encourage all Marylanders to join in celebrating Maryland Horse Month.”

Now in its 36th year, Jim McKay Maryland Million Day, set for Oct. 23 at Laurel Park, highlights some of the best thoroughbreds in the state with a day of stakes races.

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The Capital Challenge Horse Show, on now until Oct. 10 at the Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, holds competitions for hunter/jumper horses.

A 2018 study by the American Horse Council found Maryland’s horse industry contributes $1.3 billion to the local economy and supports 21,000 jobs.

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The Maryland Horse Foundation has information on educational programs, places to visit and an events calendar on its website.

CBS Baltimore Staff