Who We Are

EPIC is a non-profit organization created to preserve the equestrian heritage and rural character of Montgomery County, Maryland by conserving and protecting our natural resources. EPIC supporters and affiliates include equestrians, businesses and service providers serving equestrians, and individuals who care about horses, farming, and conservation of trails and open space in Montgomery County.

Equestrian Partners in Conservation (EPIC) is a Montgomery County-focused community organizing effort to engage the equestrian community in a strategic effort to conserve land for equestrian purposes and increase equestrian access to private and public lands.

Montgomery County is Maryland’s most populous jurisdiction, located adjacent to the nation’s capital. It is also home to more than 12,000 horses. The horse community contributes almost $200 million annually to the county and the surrounding area. Businesses serving equines (feed, tack, vet, training, boarding) as well as the horse industry (breeding and racing) occupy a significant place in the County’s economic landscape. Open space for farms, pasture, trails, and training facilities is a requirement for the continued existence of this horse community and the benefits it provides to our economy and our environment.

There are more than 20,000 acres of farmland devoted to horse farms in Montgomery County. Montgomery County is home to the largest number of “equine places” (2600)–more than any other county in Maryland. Of all of the horse facilities that offer access to trail riding, an astonishing 94 percent report using private lands for trails or access to public lands.

More than 4,000 Montgomery County residents are involved in equestrian activities. The total value of all equine related assets in Maryland is more than $5 billion. Equine related expenditures in Maryland totaled more than three-quarters of a billion dollars in 2002. Horsepeople own an estimated 685,000 acres of Maryland land.

EPIC has been created to enhance, not compete with, existing equestrian and conservation efforts. With the support of horse owners and equine-related businesses, EPIC leverages the latent political and economic influence of the Montgomery County equestrian community to expand the pool of resources available to conservation while representing and enhancing our equestrian interests.