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These animals of ‘grace and majesty’ helped build the nation

June 24, 2024 ,
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The Postal Service dedicated its Horses stamps during a June 17 ceremony in St. Joseph, MO.

The event was held at the Patee House Museum and kicked off the National Pony Express Association’s 164th Pony Express Re-Ride — a 10-day annual event in which riders retrace the historic route from St. Joseph to Sacramento, CA.

“Beyond their grace and majesty, horses have long been integral to American culture and society,” Jamiel Freeman, the St. Joseph postmaster, said at the event.

“Their participation in the Pony Express is a testament to their reputation as loyal and hardworking.”

Spanish conquistadors brought domesticated horses to the Americas in the 16th century.

Over time, the horse population spread across North America, and their numbers grew in tandem with the development of the United States. They played critical roles in agriculture, industry and transportation.

As herd animals, horses are hardwired for social contact and readily bond with humans.

“Horses have been such a vital part of our country’s history, and by honoring these magnificent animals, we are acknowledging their beauty and stamina as well as their part in our history and vital role for the Pony Express,” said Pam Simmons, president of the National Pony Express Association, who spoke at the ceremony.

The Horses stamps come in panes of 20, featuring images of five horses.

Mechanization and modern transportation steadily reduced horses’ economic importance.

Today, their number has more than doubled as new roles continue to emerge in areas such as law enforcement, therapy, riding and other equestrian activities.

The pane of 20 stamps features five photographs of individual horses.

Derry Noyes, an art director for USPS, designed the Horses stamp using existing photographs by Stephanie Moon and Karen Wegehenkel.

The stamps are available at Post Offices and usps.com.

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