R. Thomas Bowman

Tom Bowman and his wife, Chris, own and operate Dance Forth Farm in Chestertown on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

The Bowman operation has been selected as Maryland Breeder of the Year 10 times, including for 2022. Post Time, the champion Maryland-bred 2-year-old male of last year, was bred by Tom and Chris; their son, Dr. Brooke Bowman: and Milton Higgins III, a longtime breeding and racing partner with the Bowmans.

Tom, a longtime veterinarian, served multiple terms on the Maryland Racing Commission. During his tenure he was an advocate for equine welfare, health and safety, and chaired the MRC Equine Health, Safety and Welfare Advisory Committee, which was included as part of the 2020 Racing and Community Development Act. Before that, Tom was part of the MRC Safety Advisory Committee that implemented many rules and regulations associated with the Mid-Atlantic Strategic Plan to Reduce Racehorse Fatalities.

Tom said he has obvious concerns about the racing industry’s physical facilities and its current ownership group but also the overall state of racing and breeding in Maryland and beyond.

A five-time president of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association, Tom was co-chair of an important MRC task force that authorized the current Maryland-bred breeder and owner incentive program. The task force studied ways to encourage participation in the program and increase the number of mares bred in the state.

Tom said the changes suggested by the task force and later enacted led to growth. He believes that with more recent competition from the Virginia breeding program, it is time to re-examine the Maryland program and seek to fortify it.

“My biggest concern is the continuing national decline in foal production and the subsequent effect of less horses available to compete In racing,” he said. “We may not be able to influence national trends, but we can certainly continue  to create programs that will encourage people to produce and race Maryland-bred and -sired horses in Maryland. I would like to help create such programs.”