By unanimous approval, two prominent leaders in the equine industry were recently named to Virginia Tech's Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center's Council.

The council provides advice and counsel to the center’s director and staff to help the equine medical center meet the needs of the equine industry and the constituencies it serves. In addition, the council provides assistance in generating private support for the center to enhance and expand its programs.

Named to the council on Sept. 23 were David Hayden and Michael Hillman, both Maryland residents.

Hayden owns and manages Dark Hollow Farm, a thoroughbred breeding farm near Baltimore. He has been involved with horses for 40 years and has been breeding racehorses since the mid-1970s, when he says he was inspired to get into the thoroughbred business after watching Secretariat win the Belmont Stakes.

He runs the farm with his wife, JoAnn, a retired Baltimore County schoolteacher. Hayden is also the founder and sole proprietor of David Hayden Advertising, an advertising and marketing firm whose clients include prominent farms in Maryland and Kentucky.

Hillman is an avid amateur three-day event rider and has a group of successful event horses on his farm in Emmitsburg, which he manages with his wife, Audrey. Hillman, an engineer by training, is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Nuclear Power School and served as an officer aboard United States nuclear submarines. He has worked at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Department of Energy. He says he enjoys writing about his experiences with horses and for 10 years has authored a column on Eventing for The Equiery.

In addition to his professional and equestrian activities, Hillman serves as the president of the Greater Emmitsburg Historical Society, is on the marketing committee for the Frederick County Community Foundation, and is the founder of Emmitsburg.net, one of the largest non-profit integrated community websites in the United States.

“The leadership at the [equine medical center] was very pleased when Mr. Hayden and Mr. Hillman were nominated as prospective members of the Equine Medical Center’s Council,” said Dr. Nathaniel A. White II, Jean Ellen Shehan Professor and Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center director.

“Both of these gentlemen are very highly regarded within the equine community and we are certain to benefit from their knowledge and experience. We look forward to working with them; their contributions will surely make an enormous difference to the center,” White added.