Katharine M. Voss
Katy Voss has been a trainer in Maryland for more than 40 years. She helped found the MTHA in 1987 and is currently Secretary, as well as a member of the MTHA Purse, Finance and Legislative committees. She also is a longtime board member and secretary-treasurer of Maryland Million and a former president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.
Voss comes from a well-established family of horse people. Her father, the late John B. Merryman, served on the MTHA Board of Directors, and, with Voss’ late mother Kitty, bred and raced a successful stable for many years. Voss’s siblings—Ann, Edwin and Elizabeth Merryman—are also successful trainers in the region. Voss owns and operates Chanceland Farm, a large breeding, training and rehab facility in Howard County that she developed with Bob Manfuso who passed away earlier in 2020.
Chanceland is also an active consignor at Maryland auctions. Over the years, Voss has developed many outstanding stakes winners, including Twixt (a Maryland-bred champion in the 1970s), Bishop’s Fling, Smart ’n Quick, Due North, Wood So, Woodfox, Rugged Bugger, Carnival Court, Polish Holiday, Creamy Dreamy, Lies of Omission, Tuzia, Our Peak, Plata, Corvus, Saratoga Bob and Las Setas.
During the 2020 Maryland legislative session, she used her decades of legislative experience to work in Annapolis to support the Racetrack and Community Development Act and sports betting at the racetracks. She is currently working on the design of the barns and other aspects of the new stable area at Laurel Park envisioned in the legislation.
Voss said navigating through the construction schedules for rebuilding Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park while maintaining a successful racing and training program is of the utmost importance, as is the need for strong, dedicated leadership to continue the progress in Maryland.
“Going forward, I believe the biggest challenge to the Thoroughbred industry, not just in Maryland but nationally, is the cost of developing horses,” Voss said. “The vast majority of owners never recoup their investment unless the horse is a stakes horse. The consequence is fewer owners developing fewer horses, resulting in shorter fields, which leads to lower demand for young stock and breeders breeding fewer mares as reflected in The Jockey Club’s annual foal crop statistics. This downward spiral will continue if we don’t come up with solutions and make the necessary changes as soon as possible.”