Focusing Forward
Who could have ever predicted a pandemic occurring in our lifetime? I'm currently on my seventh week of working from home due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Even though I love where I live, I've found that I'm even more grateful that it's on a farm.  My horses are here, and I'm enjoying walks with our dogs throughout the property during the day and in the evening. 

Although I miss having a plan for my show schedule and traveling for EMO, I've discovered more about my local community that I would have never otherwise explored.  I've planted flowers purchased from a local grower, bought vegetables and fruit from our lo cal farm store and have volunteered at a nearby farm that grows produce for our community food bank.

So often we're caught up in our jobs and our responsibilities that we overlook what's right in front of us. If possible, take some of your down time to discover your community; you'll enjoy the journey! 

All of us at EMO are thankful to be working with you and appreciate your business and referrals as we continue on during this challenging time.   Thank you for trusting EMO with your insurance needs...we appreciate your loyalty!

E. Sue Bopp 
EMO - Ride with the Leaders!

Our New Normal

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted our world like nothing we've ever seen and prompted questions regarding liability insurance coverage. Here, E. Sue Bopp answers a few commonly asked questions she's received from clients as they navigate this new challenge. 
Question:  Has the COVID-19 virus negatively impacted insurance companies and will our rates increase? 

Answer: No, infectious disease is a written exclusion on liability policies, so the rates aren't going up for our clients. We are still seeing people buying and leasing horses  despite the hold on horse shows around the country, and we expect that when showing resumes we'll see an increase in business once again. 

Question:  How does COVID-19 affect professional liability insurance coverage?

Answer: If a professional has to cancel a clinic they're giving or a horse show they're producing, they should contact us. If their receipts are less than we estimated at the beginning of the year when they renewed or applied, the underwriters will give them a refund. If a clinic or horse show is canceled, we can provide refunds immediately. It's best not to wait until the end of the year to contact your insurance agent if you find yourself in this situation.

Question: Should we have our clients sign a COVID-19-specific release when we allow them back into the stable if we've been under a quarantine?

Answer:  I believe it would be good to have a COVID-19 release, so in the event that someone thought an infectious disease is covered in a professional liability policy, they would better understand that it's not covered. It's similar to an equine liability release/waiver, where they understand that risk is involved in riding horses. The COVID-19 virus can be transmitted, and they are assuming the risk involved with returning to the stable. A release might not preclude someone from suing you, but it puts them on notice that the stable owner and instructor are taking every precaution and following the mandates of their respective state or locality. 

If you have additional questions about COVID-19 as it relates to your insurance coverage, please call us: (800) 347-3552.  

As news of the global coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to unfold, The EMO Agency, a division of Marshall & Sterling Insurance, and its employees are taking care to maintain our commitments to our clients, while protecting the health and safety of our employee-owners.

At the onset of the outbreak in January, our parent company, Marshall & Sterling, established a coronavirus response task force to help ensure high levels of coordination and response. This team, in conjunction with senior management, quickly realized that the company would need a much larger distributed and remote workforce soon and acquired the necessary equipment

As most of our employees are now working remotely, we encourage you to communicate your needs for service via email as a first option. Employees will also be checking their office voice mail regularly. We'll do our best to respond to your requests as quickly as possible, using best efforts to identify urgent and priority needs. 

Please try and refrain from visiting our offices to the greatest extent possible to reduce your risk of exposure and ours. If you must come in, please email or call us with your need and arrange a specific time so we can be prepared for your visit and limit your exposure time in our office to the greatest extent possible. We eventually may have to eliminate all office visits.

We're confident that the plans we have in place will enable us to continue to provide you with the level of service and support you have come to expect. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you in advance for  your patience and understanding, and we'll do everything we can to continue serving you while also complying with increasing restrictions designed to limit the spread of this challenging disease.


Maggie Fitch, of  Frankfort, Michigan, is one of The EMO Agency's newest clients. Maggie purchased her horse, Official, in April and chose EMO to insure her new partner.
"This is the first time I've ever had a horse insured," said the 22-year-old. " Because he's an investment project and young horse, I think insurance is a smart way to go when getting into anything with a sizable value. Like insurance for a car or a house, I would insure a nice horse." 
Maggie has been riding for 17 years and has shown in the hunters, jumpers and equitation locally and in USEF-rated shows. She attended the University of Kentucky and studied Equine Science for three years before taking a break to enroll in the two-year Horse Industry Training Program at Maplewood Stables in Reno, Nevada. After graduation from the HITP, she plans to return to UK to complete her degree and then begin a career in the equine industry.

"In the future, I'd like to bring along young horses and train and resell them," she said. "I'm hoping to work as a farm manager, and I do really enjoy teaching lessons, too. I think there are a lot of different places I can go inside the industry. Owning a young horse and bringing him along is the next step for me and will help in my overall education." 


   Quarantine Preparations

Many people who keep their horses at home are feeling fortunate that they can spend this time with them, while others who board their horses are separated. But if you're the primary caregiver, have you considered what might happen if you get sick with the COVID-19 virus? Do you have a back-up plan if you're unable to care for your horses for two weeks or more?

If you haven't done so already, take the time to prepare for a worst-case scenario so someone could step in and cover for you if an emergency arises. Imagine if you walked into a friend's barn and needed to care for their horses. What would make your life easier and allow the safest and smoothest transition in care? 

Each person will have his or her specific needs, but here's a list to get you started or for you to double-check against your own: 

  • Feed, Supplements and Medications - Be sure to replenish your hay and grain supply to insure you have at minimum a month of feed on hand. In addition, if your horse receives supplements or medications on a regular basis, be sure to reorder, have an updated prescription or ask your veterinarian for a refill if you're running low. Compile a feeding schedule with times and amounts and clearly label all bags and bottles if they're not easily identifiable.  
  • Water - Be sure to include instructions for watering your horse. Even though it may seem obvious, identify the spigot, hose and number of buckets needed. Include the location of extra supplies in the event a bucket or an automatic waterer breaks.
  • Emergency Kit - Restock your emergency kit and be sure it's easy for someone to locate in your feed or tack room. Include standing wraps and bandages, if possible. This would be a good time to also check your fire extinguisher to be sure that it's up to date.
  • Turn-Out Protocol - Include instructions for your horse's turn-out, where he's turned out, with or without other horses, fly spray routine, the length of time and any clothing, boots or fly mask he might need.
  • Farrier Check - Contact your farrier in advance to establish a protocol in the event that you're unable to be at the barn during the next scheduled appointment. You might even want to staple a list of instructions on a stall door or in the tack room if there are special requests or needs for the next trim or shoeing.
  • Equipment - Keep an extra halter, lead rope and any other equipment your horse might need in a tack or feed room where they're easy to find. 
  • Emergency Contacts - Finally, post a list of emergency contacts in a conspicuous location. Include yourself, insurance agent, veterinarian, farrier, sheriff/police department and any other people who could be useful in an emergency, such as a trainer, neighbor or other friends. 


Congratulations to Holly Shepherd and Loretta Patterson's CHS Krooze for winning the $25,000 Harrah's Gulf Coast Grand Prix, which wrapped up the 2020 Gulf Coast Winter Classic in Gulfport, Mississippi. The EMO Agency is a proud sponsor of the Gulf Coast Winter Classic Circuit!
Congratulations to Mary and Larry Antonini and Loretta Patterson for receiving the 2020 Gulf Coast Winter Series Circuit Sportsmanship Award from show manager Bob Bell. 
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Lisa Boswell
J. Blake Boyd
Bil Hartman
Daran Lockhart
Bill Reightler
Nate Rolfe
Drew Taylor

Mortality/Vet Services 
Bascomb Alexander
Debbie Armstrong/CSR
Amanda Foster
Stephanie Linthicum
Beth Rogers/CSR
Lindsey Williamson

Farm & Liability 
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(800) 347-3552