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Horseshoe Greetings Lives the Equestrian Life

Kentucky business, rooted in horse country, supports US Equestrian through card sales

by Glenye Cain Oakford | Oct 30, 2018, 3:00 PM EST

When the staff at Horseshoe Greetings need inspiration for the company’s equestrian line of greeting cards, all they have to do is step outside the office. Horseshoe Greetings, the equestrian branch of the corporate greeting company Wall Street Greetings, is based at a historic farm in Versailles, Ky., that company founders Laura and Tim

Members of the Horseshoe Greetings staff, with Jefferson the Welsh pony and Brussels the retired hunter.
Photo: Moon Ko

Voss own. Among the property’s other residents are Saint Simon (barn name Brussels), the Vosses’ retired children’s hunter, and his companion, a Welsh pony named Jefferson that Dr. Ashley Embly owns.

Horseshoe Greetings walks the talk. Many of their 30 current staff members are either equestrians themselves, fans of equestrian sport, or have kids who are equestrians. The Vosses’ daughter, Helen, is a successful hunter jumper competitor and a senior at Texas A & M University, where she has ridden on the intercollegiate team. And now, thanks to a partnership with US Equestrian, Horseshoe Greetings also is supporting equestrian sport by donating 15% of its equestrian-themed card sales to US Equestrian.

“The Vosses have always had a passion for animals, and Laura, specifically, has always been interested in equestrian sports,” said Horseshoe’s president, Mary Ellen Harden. “Helen, their daughter, picked that up at an early age and spent the last few years of high school in Wellington competing with Ashland Farms.”

Helen, who rides with trainers Ken and Emily Smith, competes as an adult amateur in the hunter and equitation divisions, and the Vosses buy and sell show horses in addition to operating the greeting-card business.

The Vosses founded Wall Street Greetings, a provider of corporate greetings for a range of businesses, more than 25 years ago in the farmhouse at their farm, which dates to around 1790 and is now named Wall Street Stable. They established the Horseshoe Greetings brand in 2017 after partnering with US Equestrian.

“Design, especially for the gift and stationery market, has always been my background,” Harden said. “What’s very exciting for me is that there really hasn’t been an equestrian sports space in that market. You’ve always had a few lines that maybe had one or two pieces in their collection that feature equestrian sport. I find it very exciting that, with the partnership with US Equestrian, we can really look at developing a lifestyle brand for equestrian sport that will involve the stationery pieces, the greeting cards, and, as the brand grows, even more pieces in the collection. It seems to me that there hasn’t been one brand before that speaks to the home, lifestyle, and gift products that equestrian enthusiasts will appreciate and purchase. I have really enjoyed just getting to know the sport better myself, to understanding the different disciplines and how, for all of them, it truly is all about the horses.”

Horseshoe Greetings offers everything from gift, holiday, and birthday greetings to stationery, custom, and youth cards. And what better way to celebrate your equestrian life than by sending a horse-themed holiday, birthday, or thank-you card that also supports horse sports?

When Horseshoe Greetings visited the USEF Pony Finals presented by Collecting Gaits Farm at the Kentucky Horse Park earlier this year, Harden got a first-hand look at what equestrians’ competitive life is about.

“I love the tradition of excellence, the care for the horse, how it teaches such a good work ethic, and the relationship aspect of it all, not just between the kids and their ponies but between the people, too,” she said. “It came up a lot: ‘Oh, we need cards to thank our trainers, to thank the people who transported the horses, the people who take care of the horses, the people on our team.’ There are so many people involved in the sport, and it’s a real community. We’re excited to be involved in that, and we’re appreciative of US Equestrian giving us such an opportunity to support the sport with that 15% contribution to their programming.

Horseshoe Greetings president Mary Ellen Harden
Photo: Moon Ko

“Everyone is just so enthusiastic about the horse!” Harden added. “As we’ve designed, I’ve learned how important it is to feature the horses correctly and to handle each of the different breeds correctly. I’ve always appreciated the horse racing and bourbon aspects of Kentucky, but to get a more in-depth knowledge of equestrian sport and those involved in it has been exciting.”

Harden believes the company’s genuine connection to equestrian life shows in their designs, and it’s also allowed Horseshoe Greetings to partner with creative talent that’s already well established in the horse world.

“For example, Doug Prather is a very well-known equine photographer, and we were immediately able to get his photography featured on the cards and pull him into the program,” Harden said. “Those kinds of connections have really helped make the company successful in just the first two years.”

The company’s horse-country location and roots are also proving influential in Harden’s own family. Her two young daughters, now ages two and four, love visiting Jefferson the pony at their mom’s workplace, and they appear to be likely candidates for riding lessons.

“They are certainly starting to get the bug, which I’ve heard can be dangerous!” Harden said with a laugh. “What Kentucky mother doesn’t contemplate riding lessons for her daughters?”

To check out the complete line of horse-themed offerings at Horseshoe Greetings, visit horseshoegreetings.com.

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