Wood re­ceives of Touch of Class Award

Record Observer - - Opinion -

AN­NAPO­LIS — The Mary­land Horse In­dus­try Board, a pro­gram within the Mary­land De­part­ment of Agri­cul­ture, has named the re­cip­i­ents of its monthly Touch of Class Award for Jan­uary, Fe­bru­ary and March. Karen Kraushaar of Darnestown (Mont­gomery County), Ken Wood of Den­ton (Caro­line County) and Scott Se­rio of Colora (Ce­cil County) were rec­og­nized for their ex­cel­lence in three dif­fer­ent eques­trian dis­ci­plines.

Kraushaar re­ceived the Jan­uary Touch of Class award for rid­ing her 13 year-old horse Pi­rata to the 2015 Na­tional Paso Fino Per­for­mance Stallion Cham­pi­onship at the Paso Fino Grand Na­tional Show and Expo in Lex­ing­ton, KY. The horse has won more than 60 cham­pion and re­serve cham­pi­onship awards, mostly with Kraushaar aboard. She and her hus­band Kevin op­er­ate Sim­ple Gift Farm in Mont­gomery County. The board pre­sented its award to Kraushaar at a re­cep­tion dur­ing Horse In­dus­try Day in An­napo­lis (Feb. 23), with sev­eral state leg­isla- tors and govern­ment of­fi­cials in at­ten­dance.

The Fe­bru­ary award was pre­sented to Ken Wood at the Mary­land Stan­dard­bred Breed­ers As­so­ci­a­tion an­nual ban­quet on Feb. 26—just days be­fore he flew to Fort Laud­erdale, FL to re­ceive a na­tional cham­pi­onship tro­phy for his 4-year-old Stan­dard­bred geld­ing, JL Cruze.

Wood pur­chased the horse with two part­ners for $37,000 a year ago. Since then, the horse has set or equaled two world trot­ting records, in­creased his ca­reer earn­ings to $627,456 and won 17 of 24 races. Wood is also known na­tion­ally for his hu­man­i­tar­ian ef­forts. His com­pany, Life­time Well Drilling on Mary­land’s East­ern Shore, has drilled wells in Ghana and Tan­za­nia that have pro­vided free wa­ter to more than one mil­lion peo­ple. He has been rec­og­nized in­ter­na­tion­ally for his ef­forts and has been fea­tured on the “To­day Show” and in nu­mer­ous publi­ca­tions.

The March Touch of Class Award will be pre­sented to Scott Se­rio April 13 at Goucher Col­lege Rid­ing Cen­ter in Tow­son. Se­rio also re­ceived Thor­ough­bred rac­ing’s Eclipse Award for his pho­to­graph of Triple Crown win­ner Amer­i­can Pharaoh work­ing out prior to his last cham­pi­onship race in the 2015 Breed­ers’ Cup. Af­ter 20 years as a Bal­ti­more City po­lice of­fi­cer, Se­rio started Eclipse Sportswire, a net­work of sports pho­tog­ra­phers that spe­cial­izes in pho­tograph­ing horse events.

The Touch of Class Award is named af­ter a Mary­land-bred mare who won two gold medals in the 1984 Olympics. It is pre­sented to Mary­land eques­tri­ans and horses who have achieved na­tional and in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion. More than 100 Mary­lan­ders--and their horses--have been honored in 26 dif­fer­ent eques­trian dis­ci­plines since the pro­gram be­gan nearly five years ago.

For more in­for­ma­tion about the Mary­land Horse In­dus­try Board and the Touch of Class Awards, con­tact Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor Ross Ped­di­cord at ross.ped­di­cord@mary­land.gov or 410841-5798.

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